For the next leg of our journey, Eric and I have decided to take our Ford Transit Connect down to Baja. At this point we plan to drive down to the tip of the peninsula – taking our time to surf, snorkel, hike, and eat along the way. While we plan to spend a couple of months on the trip, we realize that conditions can quickly become unstable or even dangerous in Mexico.
As a basic precaution, we plan to NEVER drive at night. Additionally, we plan to only sleep in secured RV campgrounds, and we are prepared to turn around at any point if we feel that it is unsafe to be traveling. We have spent the last few weeks gearing up (both physically and psychologically) and we will be leaving in the next few days.
We have done A LOT of research about safety, roads, and campgrounds. However, one of the most difficult things was actually reviewing and choosing Mexican auto insurance. Because of the instability in parts of Mexico, a good auto insurance policy is essential in case something does go wrong. For the rest of this blog post, I thought I would share some information about Mexican auto insurance for others interested in driving through Baja.
Mexican Auto Insurance: A new law effective September 2014, requires proof of Mexican Liability Insurance at all times when driving on federal roads and bridges. You can be asked for proof of insurance at checkpoints, border crossings, or traffic stops. While it is possible to buy auto insurance at the border, I have read that the insurance offered at the border is usually more expensive with poor coverage. Therefore, it is much better to purchase an auto insurance policy online through a U.S. broker prior to crossing the border. Here are some things to keep in mind when purchasing auto insurance for Mexico:
- It is recommended that you obtain coverage for at least $300,000 US dollars. Mexican law recently changed to increase the limits on the amount owed in the case of an at-fault accident resulting in the death of a third party. Now the damages are equal to the amount of 5000 days of The General Minimum Wage. Therefore, it is recommended that you use the same level of care regarding Mexico Liability limits that you would use when purchasing a US or Canadian auto liability policy.
- Many standard Mexican auto insurance policies offer percentage deductibles as opposed to fixed deductibles. While percentage deductibles reduce the premium by a few dollars, in the event of a claim it will cost you much more. It may make sense to a do a little searching for a policy that offers fixed deductibles to reduce the amount that you would have to pay in case of a collision or theft.
- If you are going to be traveling for more than a few weeks, it may be worthwhile to look into a 6 month or even a year long policy as these tend to have better rates than the short term policies.
- Some companies offer policies that target specific areas. For example, Mexico Insurance Services, offers a Baja only policy at a discounted rate. This may be a good option if you plan to only drive the Baja Peninsula.
After extensively researching various auto insurance brokers and policies, in the end I decided to go through International Insurance Group, Inc.. Of course there are risks driving through Mexico, but having a good insurance policy gives me peace of mind that some of those risks can be mitigated.