Why do I need Mexican insurance?

The application of the law is what accounts for the differences, and the reasons for needing Mexican insurance. 

The law in Mexico is based on the Napoleonic Code where guilt prevails over the assumption of innocence. In the U.S., the law is based on the English Common Law where innocence prevails over the assumption of guilt. Mexico does not have compulsory automobile insurance.

The basic difference between Mexico’s and United States financial responsibility law is that anyone involved in an accident in Mexico must have the means to respond to damages or injuries for which they may be responsible….which in Mexico would be in the form of either cash or a Mexican insurance policy.

Can my U.S. insurance help me?

Before leaving home, you should inquire if your U.S. insurance policy will cover damage suffered by your vehicle in Mexico. 

If so, ask if the policy has restrictions or limitations in this regard, such as miles from the border, or number of days in Mexico. 

Once you’ve familiarized yourself with your own auto policy and the extent of it’s coverage in Mexico, you can then proceed to make a more qualified decision towards your Mexican insurance needs.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Whether or not U.S. insurance policy extends coverage into Mexico, the LIABILITY coverage on a Mexican insurance should at least always be purchased. 

The Liability coverage on your U.S., or any other non-Mexican insurance policy, is not recognized by authorities in Mexico. Only a Mexican automobile liability policy is acceptable evidence of financial responsibility.

Will I go to jail if I have an accident?

If serious injury has not occurred, a Mexican insurance policy might help reduce red tape and allow the motorist to be on his way sooner rather than later, but the policy should not be construed as your “ticket out of jail”. 

Some visitors to Mexico are unable to understand why motorists are temporarily incarcerated in Mexico following an automobile accident where injuries or deaths occurred.

In the first place, serious injuries or deaths have been committed against innocent persons due to someone’s negligence. It is up to Mexican authorities to determine who the negligent person is. While that investigation is in motion, all drivers involved in the accident must be detained.

Any person involved in the commission of a crime, and I have stated that an automobile accident in México is considered in principle to be a penal offense (see “Why do I need Mexican insurance?”), must be detained in a secure place to prevent their escape. 

The only secure place is a holding cell and, therefore, the motorist finds himself detained awaiting the investigation of his involvement.

Liability Coverage

The recent adopted amendments made to the Federal Labor Law here in Mexico, which requires all insurance companies in the country to increase the sum of Civil Liability on all policies.

The new law requires an amount of up to $3,000,000 MN ($200,000 USD) liability coverage on all auto insurance policies issued in Mexico. This of course, will have an impact of an increase of the overall cost of your current policy.

Article 502 of the Labor Law, which provides for compensation for death from 730 to 5000 days of salary ,after the reform adopted on November 13, 2012.
FEDERAL LABOR LAW. (As amended in December 2012)
Article 502. – In case of death of the employee, the compensation due to persons referred to in the preceding article shall be the amount equal to five thousand days of salary, without deducting the worker compensation received during the time he was subjected to temporary disability scheme.

Taking all of this into account, we recommend that you take these considerations into account when renewing, amending or opening a new policy here in Mexico. It is always our policy to bring you the most current information on any changes made to legislation regarding your insurance requirements during your stay here in Mexico. 

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact our office for further assistance or answers to any questions you many have.