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By Anthony Peck
It’s not uncommon at all for Americans and Canadians to take a quick trip across the border into Mexico. In fact, for people living in Arizona and California it’s simply a matter of hopping in their cars and heading south. If you’ve ever seen the line at the border you know what we’re talking about? The five million dollar question is, how many of those drivers bothered to pick up a Mexican car insurance policy first?
Yes ladies and gentlemen, that’s right. Your money might be good south of the border, but your car insurance coverage isn’t. While you might still be able to pick up some comprehensive or collision coverage within a certain number of miles from the good old US of A you’re not going to be able to use your liability coverage. And since Mexican authorities require you to have a minimum of $20,000 in liability coverage before you travel south of the border in your vehicle-well, you can see where this is going.
Fortunately, a good Mexican car insurance policy isn’t hard to find. There are plenty of companies out there that understand you’re not in Mexico for the long haul, which is why many organizations offer “day passes” for their insurance coverage. You have the choice of picking up a policy for a day, a month, six months or a year (or anywhere in between, depending on their policies). Bear in mind that like American car insurance policies, all Mexican insurance policies are a bit different. It’s wise to find out exactly how much coverage they offer before signing on the dotted line.
The smartest thing you could possibly do for yourself is make arrangements to purchase a Mexican insurance policy for the duration of your vacation before you leave the states. That ensures that you’re not leaving anything to chance, you’re never left sitting on the border hoping nothing happens and you don’t have to have your vacation marred by hunting around for an insurance carrier. If you didn’t pick up an insurance policy before you hit the road (or you’re reading this just a little too late) you can usually purchase insurance from an insurance agent in one of the border towns.
Whether it’s going to cost you more to do it when you’re already across the border has never been determined. Bear in mind, however, that while Mexico may thrive on its trade and tourism with the U.S. it has a no tolerance policy when it comes to Americans breaking their laws. Mexican policia have been known to have a “shoot first, ask questions later” approach to busting tourists without insurance (metaphorically speaking, of course). You could find yourself guilty until proven innocent and spending some time in the Tijuana prisons you hear so much about.
The bottom line is that you never, ever want to drive south without making sure you’re covered by a Mexican car insurance policy that picks up where your American insurance leaves off-right at the border.
About the Author: Anthony M. Peck is the Senior Developer, Software Project Manager and Director of Business Development for QuoteScout.com. For more information on car insurance for your Mexican vacation, visit them on the web at www.QuoteScout.com.
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