Monthly Archives: November 2012

What do you do if you have an auto accident in Mexico?

Auto accident in Mexico

First, if passengers or drivers are injured, seek medical attention.

If your vehicle has been stolen, hopefully you would have taken a picture or record your V.I.N. and License Plate on your phone. Also make certain you include your Mexican Tourist Auto policy #, if any, and the Claims Center phone # for the policy. Many times people leave all their important paperwork, passport, vehicle title or registration, in the car and it takes an inordinate amount of time reconstructing or retrieving that paperwork. Best just to put it all in your phone, and save a copy of each important document at home so the information can be easily transferred to you no matter where you are.

If you have a Mexican Tourist auto policy, contact your Mexican Insurance Companies Claim Center. Most Claims Centers use Mexican Toll Free #’s which typically cannot be dialed with a U.S. cell phone, so you might have to use a land line. Be prepared to provide them your:

Policy #
Exact Location (if uncertain, ask someone)

Do NOT enter into any kind of agreement with a 3rd party. That is, anyone whom you have damaged or injured in the accident.

If you do not have a Mexican Tourist auto policy and are depending on your own U.S. auto insurance policy then one of two things could occur. Remember, Mexican law requires immediate financial restitution to a damaged or injured 3rd party.

1. Mexico does NOT recognize U.S. auto policies 3rd party liability coverages. That particular coverage must be written by a legally licensed and authorized Mexican insurance company. Consequently, there is a high probability that you will still be held accountable if you do not posses this type of policy.

2. If you don’t have a Mexican Tourist Auto policy, you might be asked to make immediate financial restitution to the damaged 3rd party. The authorities typically negotiate with them, and you will have to pay them on the spot. At times, the 3rd party, who understands the system, might seek financial restitution from you prior to the authorities arriving. If the authorities do show up and you are required to pay the 3rd party and you don’t have monies to do so, will usually impound your vehicle, and possibly bring you before a Magistrate.

Once, on a flight home from San Antonio, rode with a Bodily Injury Adjuster for a major U.S. (national) auto personal lines insurance company. We shared stories, and when I asked exactly what occurs when one of their U.S. policies has a claim in Mexico, he chuckled and said “nothing”! We are not allowed to cross into Mexico to work…period. When I asked how they adjusted the claim, he said they processed the claim once the insured got themselves, and their vehicle back to the U.S. Absolutely worthless, so know what you have. Most U.S. insurance companies possessing this endorsement, will advise you get additional 3rd party liability coverage for Mexico.

For the least amount of resistance, purchase a 3rd party liability policy issued by a Mexican insurance company, very inexpensive, especially as compared to the scenario above.

If your vehicle is valued high enough to warrant physical damage (i.e. Collision and Theft) it can be purchased for a few more dollars. Finance companies, if your still making payments on your vehicle, require this coverage. If you have a U.S. full coverage (Collision & Theft included) insurance policy that contains a “Border Endorsement”, you should have this coverage, as long as the insured event takes place along the frontera, generally within 26 kilometers of the U.S. border. Many U.S. insurance companies do not have this provision, and those that do, have guidelines that practically make them worthless. FYI, get it in writing.

Follow the instructions provided by your Claims Center or Adjuster. Always ask them to provide you a Claim #, and if an Adjuster arrives, be certain to request their Business Card and a copy of the Claims Report. If they cannot get to you in a reasonable amount of time, due to your location or other factors such as Holidays, or heavy traffic, then you might receive permission to drive the vehicle, if it is safe to do so, and if not, they will probably send a tow truck (grua) to your location.

If, and this is very rare, you are in a serious accident where injuries or possibly a total loss of yours or anothers vehicle, you might have to go before a Magistrate. This is not common, as Mexico does not want to hinder tourist travel, or generate bad publicity, due to the economic impact tourists generate. However, on occasion, and due to their laws, they might hold you in a Magistrates office until the case is settled. Most Mexican insurance companies, not all, provide legal assistance for this scenario.

What have we learned.

1. Make copies and document all of your important paperwork on cell or at home
2. Do not rely on a U.S. Insurance Companies, Border Endorsement
3. At least purchase a 3rd party liability policy from a legally licensed and authorized Mexican company.
4. If needed or warranted, purchase Full Coverage, that includes Theft and Collision and Legal Assistance, which will also include the needed 3rd party liability coverage
5. Report your claim prior to exiting Mexico
6. Lastly, follow the instructions provided by the Claims Center or Adjuster

Have a safe trip, and if we can assist you with answers to your questions, please feel free to call or E mail us!

For all of your Mexico Auto and International health insurance needs, please call us at 1-800-434-3966 OR Email us at or visit us at to issue your own policy. We appreciate your business!

What documents are needed to travel in Mexico

The process for entering into Mexico via Automobile (land), by sea, or air is as follows.

As of January 2007, the United States will require U.S. citizens to present a valid U.S. passport or other accepted identification when entering or departing the United States by air or sea travel to or from Mexico or Canada.

U.S. Citizens are required to show proof of citizenship when traveling to and from Mexico. Each visitor needs a valid picture I.D. and one of the following:

* a state-issued birth certificate with an affixed seal, or
* a naturalization certificate, with a laminated naturalization card, or
* a valid U.S. passport

If flying into Mexico, you will receive a Mexico Tourist Card and a Mexico Customs Declaration form to be completed prior to your reaching your destination. All visitors, including all minor infants and children, must be in possession of a Tourist Card. Don’t lose or misplace your Tourist card as it is needed for your return flight.

Minors – In addition to possessing one of the forms of documentation mentioned above, an unaccompanied U.S. or Canadian citizen under 18 years of age must have the following:

* If traveling alone, the minor must carry a notarized letter signed by both parents giving permission to do so.
* If traveling with one parent, he or she must have a notarized letter from the absent parent giving permission for the traveling parent to take the minor out of the country, or an original court order indicating that the traveling parent has full custody.
* If the minor is traveling with one parent, and the other is deceased, the deceased parent’s Death Certificate must be presented.

Listen, these procedures are not always followed verbatim, especially in Mexico. It is however, wise to posses everything in order to proceed with as little difficulty and sometimes irritation as possible.

Mexico Travel Documents To enter Mexico you will need the following:

As previously mentioned, a valid passport or your birth certificate with embossed seal and government issued photo ID, generally a valid Drivers License. It is a good idea to have at least 3 copies of these documents, allowing you to save some time at the Port of Entry, or in dealing with Aduana. They are the “Mexican Customs” located approximately 18 miles into the interior of all Mexican border cities and towns from Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California. That allows you to not stand in line so long, and to avoid paying for extra copies.

We suggest you keep an extra set of all your important documents, such as passports, vehicle registration, titles, etc. at home with one of your emergency contacts, if needed. In addition, if you have E Mail, you might want to scan a copy of your important documents and save them in your PC or cell.

Vehicle Permits


You do not need a Vehicle Permit in the “Free Zones”. That is the Mexican states that border California, and most of Arizona. Along the Texas, New Mexico, border is considered “free” or Frontera as well. However, once you arrive at a Port of Entry generally between 18 to 26 kilometers, then you have to acquire the vehicle permit.

* If you are a Mexican Citizen, you need to prove your citizenship by providing a Passport, Proof of Work Authorization in the U.S., your Resident Alien Card, or Naturalization Certificate.
* If traveling beyond the frontera, or border, then you will also need to provide a copy of your Registration, or cars Title (if you have one, Canadians provide only Registration) A bill of sale is not valid proof of vehicle ownership.
* A credit card for the temporary importation of your vehicle, which includes the vehicles permit, good for up to 180 days. NOTE: You MUST return the permit if you are not going to re-enter Mexico prior to your vehicle permits expiration. Failure to do so will cost you the “bond” that has been charged to your credit/debit card.
*IMPORTANT: For financed, leased, rental or company owned vehicles, you must obtain a letter from the actual owner authorizing you to take the vehicle into Mexico, which will typically entail the purchase of a full coverage Mexico Tourist Auto policy. You should always purchase at least a 3rd party Mexico insurance policy from a legally licensed Mexican insurance company. That can be purchased in the U.S.

As in all Gov’t sanctioned requirements, they can be changed by the Mexican, or U.S. Gov’t at any time.

Now go enjoy your adventure! If you have any questions, please feel free to call or E Mail.

For all of your Mexico Auto and International health insurance needs, please call us at 1-800-434-3966 OR Email us at or visit us at to issue your own policy. We appreciate your business!

Thanksgiving travel is up! Go to Mexico!

Not just in U.S., but Mexico too!

According to AAA, predicts 43 million Americans will travel over 50 miles from their home this year. That is up by only o.7% over last year, as personal income remains tight.

Out of New York, a leading Travel Agency, CheapOair, announced it’s top 10 International and National destinations. Leading the International destination, as usual, Cancun garners top spot from the Northeast part of the U.S. I am sure a few people suffering from the effects of Hurricane Sandy would love to be able to kick back for a few days in a place that does not resemble a war zone.

AAA also states that due to the drop in gas prices, it is still cheaper to drive the family during this holiday than to fly. Thanks to a an average decline of 35 cents per gallon since last month.

We didn’t receive any concrete numbers for vehicle travel from the U.S. and Canada to Mexico, but it always remains one of the busiest travel times for Mexican Ex Pats to visit family and friends.

If you want to know what is needed when traveling to Mexico by car, please visit banjercito, to see what documents, and permits will be needed. Stick to the Mexican Toll Roads for faster and more reliable road conditions.

Other items needed:

1. Vehicle Title or Registration (if still making car payments, you will need a “Letter of Permission” from the Lien Holder.), we can help.

2. Valid U.S. Passport

3. A Valid U.S. issued Credit Card (Debit Cards will be debited a dollar amount according to the year of your vehicle)

4. A Mexican Tourist Auto Policy underwritten by a Mexican Insurance Co. Though your U.S. Auto Insurer may say you have coverage, Mexican authorities do not recognize it!

5. Very Important! Don’t forget to turn in your Vehicle Permit when you EXIT Mexico!

Beautiful Puerto Penasco, Mazatlan, and all of Baja are just a few hours away from most of the U.S. Southwestern States for those who just want to relax and enjoy the sun.

For those visiting family, your loved ones can’t wait to see you!

For all of your Mexico Auto and International health insurance needs, please call us at 1-800-434-3966 OR Email us at or visit us at to issue your own policy. We appreciate your business!