How to Get Auto Insurance for Your Mexico Trip - NerdWallet (2024)

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Whether you’re driving to Mexico to enjoy the beautiful vistas of Los Cabos, eat your way around Mexico City or explore the markets and nightlife of Tijuana, it’s crucial to have Mexican car insurance before you get behind the wheel there.

Here is what you need to know about Mexican car insurance.

How to Get Auto Insurance for Your Mexico Trip - NerdWallet (1)

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Mexican car insurance requirements

Mexican law requires all drivers, including U.S. tourists who plan to drive in the country, to have liability coverage. The minimum requirements are:

  • 100,000 Mexican pesos (around $5,000) for bodily injury and death liability coverage.

  • 50,000 Mexican pesos (around $2,500) for property liability damage.

If you're caught driving in Mexico without the minimum required coverage, you could face jail time and hefty fines. Once you get a Mexican car insurance policy, make sure your insurance documentation is with you at all times to prove you’re covered.

You’ll still need to get Mexican liability insurance even if your current insurer offers some coverage while you’re driving in Mexico. Some U.S. insurers, like USAA, offer limited coverage in Mexico if you’re within a certain distance of the border. But this coverage usually only includes limited damage insurance, which won’t cover you up to Mexico’s legal requirements.

How much car insurance you should have in Mexico

Mexican liability car insurance requirements are low. NerdWallet recommends considering higher limits for greater financial protection in the event of an accident, just like you would with your liability insurance in the U.S. Medical bills and car repairs after a crash can be incredibly expensive, and if you’re at fault, you’ll be held financially responsible.

Many insurers in Mexico recommend liability insurance with at least a $300,000 combined single limit to cover you for third-party property damage, bodily injury and death. However, you can find policies offering up to $1 million in liability coverage.

🤓Nerdy Tip

As a general rule, you’ll want enough liability insurance to cover your net worth. That’s equal to the value of all your cash, investments and things you own, minus your debt. You may not need higher liability limits if you have a low net worth, since there’s less incentive for a lawsuit from the other driver after an accident.

Types of Mexican auto insurance coverage

While there are plenty of reliable insurers in Mexico, the safest bet for tourists is to purchase Mexican insurance through a U.S. insurer or agent. That way you’ll avoid potential scams or miscommunication.

Below are some of the common types of car insurance in Mexico.

  • Liability insurance is required in Mexico to drive legally. It covers property damage and injuries you may cause others in an at-fault accident. Many Mexican insurers recommend liability insurance starting at a combined single limit of $300,000.

  • Bail and legal assistance coverage will pay for your bail and legal fees if you’re detained after being found at fault in a crash.

  • Physical damage coverage covers your vehicle up to its actual cash value for damage resulting from events such as a crash, riot or natural disaster. If your U.S. policy already includes collision and comprehensive coverage, and your insurer offers limited coverage in Mexico, you may not need physical damage coverage. Check with your insurer to be sure.

  • Medical payments coverage helps pay to treat your and your passengers’ injuries after an accident.

  • Total theft coverage covers your vehicle up to its actual cash value in case it is stolen.

  • Partial theft and vandalism coverage pays for the value of stolen or vandalized items that were permanently attached to your vehicle, like tires or a radio.

How to get temporary car insurance for a Mexico trip

Some major U.S. insurers offer temporary Mexican insurance plans through partners in Mexico. These plans can cover drivers for one day to a year, so tourists can insure their vehicle for a weekend or summer holiday without paying for coverage they don’t need. If you plan to drive in and out of Mexico several times a year, you’ll likely want a yearlong policy, as the daily cost of insuring your car will be cheaper the longer you insure it.

Here are some large insurers that offer Mexican car insurance by partnering with insurers across the border:

  • Allstate through MexPro.

  • American Family through International Insurance Group.

  • Geico through International Insurance Group.

  • Liberty Mutual through MexPro.

  • Progressive through MexPro

To purchase Mexican car insurance, call your agent or insurance company before your trip to see if they can connect you with a reliable Mexican insurance company. If they cannot help, contact other U.S. insurers to set up your Mexican car insurance policy.

Rental car insurance in Mexico

If road trips aren’t your thing, you might opt to rent a car once you arrive in Mexico.

The most straightforward way to get coverage for your rental would be to buy Mexican car insurance from the car rental company.

If you plan to decline the rental company’s car insurance and instead rely on the coverage provided by your credit card, you’ll still need to purchase Mexican liability car insurance. Credit card insurance benefits typically only cover damage to the rental car, not any damage you may cause to others or their property. Be sure to confirm with your credit card company that there aren’t any restrictions on Mexican car rentals.

How to Get Auto Insurance for Your Mexico Trip - NerdWallet (2024)


How to get car insurance to drive in Mexico? ›

To have coverage while driving in Mexico, you need to buy a separate Mexico tourist auto policy. Mexico car insurance is competitively priced and offers customizable short-term or extended coverage options, including physical damage, liability, vandalism, partial theft, medical payments, roadside assistance, and more.

What insurance do I need to travel to Mexico? ›

There are currently no requirements that require U.S. citizens to carry medical or travel insurance as a condition of entering the country. However, since Mexico is still considered a developing country, many Americans purchase travel insurance before going.

How much is Mexico tourist auto insurance? ›

Policy lengthLiability-only costExtended package cost
One-day policy$32$38
10-day policy$85$169
Six-month policy$184$380
Source: International Insurance Group, based on non-binding quotes obtained for a 2014 Subaru Forester valued at $15,000.
Sep 28, 2022

What rental car insurance do I need in Mexico? ›

Personal Liability Insurance, also referred to as Third-Party Insurance, is mandatory when renting a car in Mexico. You cannot rent a car without this coverage. Although this is the only obligatory type of insurance, it's not always enough. In fact, it's highly recommended to opt for additional coverage.

Does American car insurance work in Mexico? ›

Is my car insurance valid in Mexico? No, U.S. auto insurance policies aren't valid in Mexico. If you'll be driving in Mexico, even for a short time, auto insurance is required by Mexican law, and you could end up in jail if you're involved in an accident and don't have it.

Does AAA cover in Mexico? ›

Since U.S. liability insurance is invalid in Mexico, you'll need proof of Mexico auto insurance for a road trip south of the border. AAA can help you get what's required through one of Mexico's largest and most reputable insurance companies.

What is the best travel insurance for Mexico? ›

If you plan to get active in Mexico and want to make sure you have adequate travel insurance coverage for medical expenses and emergency medical evacuation, we recommend the SafeTreker plan from Trawick International.

Is Mexico part of USA for travel insurance? ›

Is Mexico covered in worldwide insurance? Yes, Mexico is covered in worldwide (excluding USA and Canada) insurance. If you have an annual worldwide insurance policy, then you will be able to travel to Mexico using this policy.

How does insurance work in Mexico? ›

The healthcare system in Mexico is a blend of public and private institutions. The public sector provides healthcare for the uninsured through the Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social (IMSS) and the Instituto de Seguridad y Servicios Sociales de los Trabajadores del Estado (ISSSTE).

Do you need separate car insurance for Mexico? ›

Proper insurance for driving in Mexico

U.S. drivers need to buy a separate Mexico auto insurance policy while driving in Mexico.

Does my Geico insurance cover me in Mexico? ›

If you drive your car into Mexico, your US auto insurance policy can't come with you. Driving your car in Mexico requires a separate international auto insurance policy. But don't worry. GEICO can help you get a Mexico auto insurance quote.

What documents do I need to travel to Mexico by car? ›

Driving to Mexico
  1. U.S. citizens must present a valid U.S. passport book or card, and an entry permit issued by Instituto Nacional de Migración.
  2. Enter Mexico with valid proof of automobile registration, even if remaining in the border zone.
Feb 15, 2024

Can I buy Mexican auto insurance at the border? ›

The answer is yes. However, purchasing car insurance at the border will be more expensive than doing it beforehand. The company will ask you general questions such as your age, length of visit, and where you are going. How Much Does It Cost?

Does my health insurance cover me in Mexico? ›

U.S. health insurance plans typically do not cover regular and routine medical care required overseas. This means your health insurance won't pay for care if you need to visit a doctor for a prescription medicine, or if you need treatment for a condition that is not considered an emergency.

Does my Visa credit card cover car rental insurance? ›

When you use your Visa card to book a car and pay the full price of the rental, you are covered by this insurance. To access this coverage you must decline the Collision Damage Waiver (CDW/LDW) or similar coverage offered by the car rental company in its rental agreement.

How do I get permission to drive in Mexico? ›

Driving to Mexico

Banjercito is the government authority that issues vehicle permits. Get a permit online, at the Mexican border, or at certain Mexican consulates in the United States. U.S. citizens must present a valid U.S. passport book or card, and an entry permit issued by Instituto Nacional de Migración.

Does US medical insurance work in Mexico? ›

Travel Insurance Requirements for Mexico

Travel insurance is not required to visit Mexico, but it's still a good idea to get travel insurance that includes travel medical insurance and coverage for emergency medical evacuation. That's because your U.S. health insurance policy may not provide any coverage in Mexico.

Does Geico car insurance cover international? ›

Insurance Outside The U.S.

Whether you're staying in North America or renting a car internationally, here are a few options: Heading to Canada? Good news — your GEICO auto insurance policy will cover you!

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