The border crossing category specifically relates to issues and information crossing the U.S. Mexico border

The Difference Between Mex and U.S. Insurance

What is the difference between Mex and U.S. Insurance?  We are all so accustomed to buying insurance in the United States that it has literally become part of our lives.  In 1927 the rulers in Connecticut passed a mandatory auto insurance law, and ever since states have been adopting similar versions.

Key Differences Between Mexican and American Auto Insurance

So, as an American citizen, it is likely that you were forced to buy insurance before you could drive alone!  At the very least your Mom or Dad had a talk with you about how much his insurance premiums were going up because, yes YOU are being added to the family auto insurance policy.  And he tried to use this as leverage to make you do your chores, and then some.

The primary difference between Mex and U.S. insurance

Have you heard of Big Data?  Well, for all those years insurance companies have been collecting data, driving habits, accident history, loss ratios, and risk figures.  And nowadays these companies plugin to the Big Data to find out almost everything about you – not just what you share on Facebook, but your driving habits, your eating habits, spending habits, what you watch and who are your friends, where you work, family story…what your breakfast looked like this morning.  They know everything about you.  In the United States, you are given an insurance rate based on who you are….or I guess based on the data that the company has on you.  You can list 20 vehicles on your policy, and they’ll ask you everything they don’t already know during the application process.  But the auto insurance industry is smart – and they know exactly how risky YOU are to insure.  If you have a DUI, or a criminal record, had no job or 10 jobs this year, fraud experience, lies on applications, etc  – they know.  You will pay more or less based on what they know.

In Mexico, it’s quite opposite.  The difference in Mexican Auto Insurance and insurance you purchase in the U.S.?  DATA.

Only within the past few years have the Mexican States started to adopt mandatory insurance laws.  And the insurance itself is on the vehicle as a risk (not the driver).  Mexico has data on which vehicle is stolen most, and where it is stolen.  But they don’t know about your 15 DUI’s in the past 5 years.

Because of this Mexican Insurance ties the policy coverage to the individual vehicle, and not the driver.  You can add drivers to the policy, but never add cars.  And you cannot get a discount because of your profession, you cannot swap vehicles mid-policy, you cannot change the VIN or the value…  Are you starting to see the difference?

When they sell a car in Mexico, they will advertise if auto insurance is good for “another 6 months”. An insurance policy will transfer to the new owner in Mexico, much like registration does in the U.S. If it’s registered until next July you’ll see it in the ad.  The Mexican insurance will transfer with the car, and when you get a new car…that’s right, you need new auto insurance in Mexico. The insurance adds value so use it as a selling point! You can call us with the new owner’s name and their details and we can transfer the policy over at no charge.

Difference Between Mex and U.S. Insurance: Pro-rate

In the U.S., if you get a new car they remove the old car from the driver’s policy, and pro-rate the discount, and apply it to the pro-rated premium of the new car!  It’s all done electronically in minutes. Pro-rate does not exist in Mexico.

How does this affect you?  Well, you need to understand that when, as a tourist or even as a national citizen of Mexico, when you buy insurance on your car, it stays on that car until it’s time to renew.  You have a limited time to cancel (34 days with mexinsurance.com) but even then, when you cancel the annual term the days that you used are converted to the daily rate – which can get pretty expensive.  If you sell your car six months into the policy, you can charge the buyer additional for the insurance that will be transferred but you can’t get a refund from the Mexican insurance company.

As you can see, there is more than one difference between Mex and U.S. insurance. If you have any questions about Mexican Insurance, aka “MexInsurance” please contact us at service@mexinsurance.com.

Mexico border crossing

Crossing into Mexico: What You Need to Know

Whether traveling to Mexico for business or to enjoy a vacation, there are various aspects of the trip that travelers should keep in mind.  From necessary travel documents to car insurance, travelers to Mexico will need to know the following information when crossing into Mexico.

Necessary Identification

While it’s easy to get into Mexico, it isn’t so easy to get out of you don’t have the required identification.  That means travelers must pack their passport booklet or passport card.  A driver’s license or state ID is also handy for procuring insurance or establishing an identity for rentals.  Always keep your personal information handy and well protected.  Don’t leave your passport lying around hotel rooms, restaurants, or in a beach bag.

how to get a passport
Passport for Mexico

Crossing into Mexico with Money

It’s a good idea to have access to your money in a few different ways when traveling to Mexico.  Have a combination of Mexican and U.S. currency.  Find out if anywhere you plan to visit accepts your credit cards of choice or if travelers’ checks will be helpful.  Avoid carrying around an abundance of cash if possible and certainly don’t allow onlookers to see large amounts of cash either. See this article on Cash in Mexico

Driving Permits

You will need Mexican insurance if you plan to do any driving in Mexico.  You may also need to register your vehicle and obtain a permit if you plan to drive in various states or territories of the country. See this article on the Mexican Permit Free Zone with a map!

Tijuana Border Crossing
Tijuana Border Crossing 1985

Language

If you’re not fluent in Spanish, be sure to learn some basic phrases to facilitate your travels.  While English is widely spoken in the tourist destinations of Mexico, anywhere off the beaten path could require a rudimentary knowledge of the language.  A simple phrase book or language dictionary should be included in your packing checklist.

Bring Directions with You

Since you may lose internet access from your cell phone while traveling in remote stretches, it’s a good idea to include maps in your suitcase or digital map on your device.  Mapping out your journey and itinerary beforehand is a good idea, too.  However, in the event of road closings or detours, a physical map of the intended region you plan to travel through should not be forgotten.

Come with Phone Numbers

When visiting Mexico or any foreign country, it’s important to have number of U.S. contacts in the event of an emergency.  Also, include the number for the U.S. consulate should you run into any trouble during your visit or lose your travel documents.  Be sure a close friend or relative also has important numbers for where you’ll be staying in case they need to contact you for any reason.

Health

The main health risk associated with travel to Mexico is water.  Drink bottled water to avoid any issues and be sure the restaurants you dine in wash their fruit and vegetables with filtered water.  In good hotels and resorts, this is not typically a problem.  If you have known health issues, be sure to include information regarding the nearest healthcare facility in the area you’ll be staying.  It can also be helpful to discuss your health with your doctor before traveling for any added advice relative to your condition.

Safety

Read about the stops on your travel itinerary.  Be sure to travel and stay in safe places.  It helps to keep a low profile when traveling; that is, try not to stand out with expensive cameras or luggage if possible.  Never look like a target and try to travel with someone or within a group if possible.  You can minimize threats of theft or worse by remaining aware of your surroundings at all times and staying on the beaten path.  Though Mexico is fascinating to explore, be sure that the area you plan to explore is designated as safe for tourists.