Mexican auto insurance for tourists

If you are driving from the United States of America into the United Mexican States, you need Mexican auto insurance. Regardless what you think, your USA based policy will not be accepted if you are involved in an accident in Mexico.

Exploring Baja in my Vanagon Westy is amazing. Accidents happen, however, and I want no problems so I've done a lot of research into insurance. The stories from people who've had problems are terrible. In Mexico, if there is an accident beyond a minor fender bender, the police get involved. If you do not have proof you are financially able to cover any damage you may have done to the other party or their vehicle, you may find your freedom seriously restricted. Tales of American travelers who thought their US policy was good in Mexico spending a night or two in a Mexican jail are common. You need a Mexican policy. Luckily, daily, weekly and monthly plans are available. They are not terribly expensive.

Bajabound comes highly recommended. I have no experience with these guys but at the nexus of price vs quality and service, they seem to be the winners. Reports say their customer service is top notch, they are clear and easy to work with. Many of the campsites, whale watching places, and other organizations I may be visiting when in Baja recommend them. The only reason I do not use them is that my 1987 VW is older than they'll offer full coverage to. I could buy liability but my darling, beloved camper van would not be covered.

The folks at Lewis and Lewis, in my former home town of Santa Monica, CA, however are brokers for Qualitas, one of the largest insurance companies in the UMS. I have used them 3-4 times in the last 2 years. I just bought a new policy, which spurred this post. In addition to being Mexico's largest auto insurer, Qualitas seems happy to insure older vehicles. Online reviews and reports from folks who've had accidents are very good. Qualitas field agents sound amazing. Most importantly, I have full coverage for my Westy!

There are a lot of other options, including some clubs that you can get insured through. I am sure some guys are as good or better than these two, I'd love to learn about them, but as best I can tell Baja Bound and Lewis and Lewis are two of the best.

As with any service like this, there is a ton of fine print and dozens of add-on options and things you'll need to understand about your specific policy. This is only intended to point you to some respectable agencies.

Be darn sure to keep a printed copy of your insurance in your car.