Insurance for Rental Cars for Mexico
We hope the following information about automobile insurance for rental cars in Mexico is useful. Information is provided under two major categories:
- A vehicle rented in the U.S. and driven to Mexico
- A vehicle rented in Mexico and driven only in Mexico
Our insurance program DOES allow you to purchase Mexico auto insurance for a vehicle you rent in the U.S. and drive to Mexico. To purchase and print your Mexican auto insurance policy online you will need the following information about the vehicle BEFORE you issue the policy:
- Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
- License Plate Number
- U.S. or Canada auto insurance company, policy number, and expiration date
If you plan to drive the rental car into the interior of Mexico where a Temporary Importation Permit is required by Mexican Customs, in all likelihood you will be required to present a notarized letter from the rental car company that gives you permission to take the vehicle to Mexico.
Temporary Importation Permits are not required in the border region, for Baja California and Baja California Sur (South), or for the State of Sonora as far south as Guaymas.
As of March, 2017, the only place we know of to obtain auto insurance for a car you rent in Mexico is from the rental car company. These are vehicles registered in Mexico and which have Mexican license plates.
We do not provide insurance coverage for rental cars registered in Mexico.
What you need to know: You could be responsible for several types of claims with a car you rent in Mexico:
- Third Party Liability – Pays for bodily injury you cause to others or for damage you cause to the property of others. This coverage does not apply to occupants of your rental car.
- Medical Payments – Pays for medical expenses for occupants of your (rental) car who are injured in an accident involving your (rental) vehicle.
- Damage to or Theft of the Rental Car – Pays for Total Theft of or damage caused to the rental car in an accident and certain other causes of damage.
- Loss of Use – Pays the rental car company for the income they lose when the rental car is out of commission due to an auto accident while the car was rented to you.
Things to consider:
- When the driver in a car accident in Mexico can not immediately prove the ability to pay for damages caused, Mexican law prescribes the driver be incarcerated and the vehicle impounded. Under no circumstances is it wise to drive in Mexico without Liability insurance provided by a Mexican insurance company that is authorized by Mexico’s National Insurance Commission.
- Many “premium” credit cards (Gold, Platinum) include coverage that might cover some of the situations described above, and especially Loss of Use. We suggest you check with your credit card issuer to find out what auto insurance coverage is included with your annual credit card fee. If, for example, Loss of Use for a rental car in Mexico is included with your credit card, you can avoid having to buy that auto coverage when you rent a car.
- Insurance for rental cars in Mexico is usually more expensive than the cost to rent the vehicle. However, if you rent a car in Mexico, the alternative of not buying the auto insurance is definitely not recommended.
- Many people tell us they have decided not to rent a car in Mexico and just rely on taxis and tour guides for their transportation. Besides being more economical, they like not having to worry about getting lost or finding a place to park, and they like the historical information they learn from government licensed guides.