What About Claims?
Reporting a Claim
Reporting a claim on your Mexico auto insurance policy is similar to what you would do in the U.S. or Canada . . . call a toll free number to report the incident.
One of the pages in the policy documents you print when you purchase your policy is titled “What to do in Case of an Accident or Theft.” This page provides step-by-step instructions and includes the toll free numbers to report a claim to your insurance company or to request Roadside Assistance, Emergency Medical Assistance, or other forms of Travel Assistance.
As in the U.S. and Canada, the call center receiving your first report of a claim is manned 24/7 with English and Spanish speaking representatives.
If you elected to purchase the upgrade MexVisit Travel Assistance, a separate instruction page is included for information to obtain services from this policy feature, including the toll free telephone.
Will I Really Need this Insurance?
Only a small percentage of motorists are involved in traffic accidents or have their vehicle stolen. For those who do have that experience, the following information may help.
A traffic accident, even in the familiar environment near your home, can be an unnerving event. People’s reactions naturally range from mildly nervous to highly stressful.
A traffic accident in another country, with a different language, different customs, and a different legal system may increase the feelings of uncertainty even if no one is injured.
First Things First:
Stay calm . . .
If there are injuries, get medical help as soon as possible.
Call and report the incident to your insurance company immediately. The toll free number is printed on your policy and also on the page titled “What to do in Case of an Accident or Theft.”
Unlike the U.S. and Canada, almost all traffic accidents in Mexico are attended by an insurance adjuster and the police.
You paid good money for your policy, not just to fix your car, but to help you work with the authorities. GET THE HELP YOU PAID FOR AND QUICKLY CALL THE INSURANCE COMPANY.
DO NOT MAKE PAYMENT DIRECTLY TO A THIRD PARTY OR TO THE POLICE. If the police ask for or suggest payment to them or to the other party to the accident, politely explain that you have insurance, and since you are not familiar with procedures or may not be fluent in Spanish, your insurance company instructs you to allow them to resolve any issues. If you do make payment, your insurance company is not obligated to reimburse, to make additional payments, or to represent you in the matter, and in fact will likely deny anyp payment to your or the other party to the accident.
Remember, your policy includes Legal Assistance and a Bail Bond. Let your insurance company handle things.
VEHICLE DAMAGE PROTOCOL: Mexican insurance companies subscribe to an industry agreement called “hit for hit” (in Spanish, “golpe por golpe”). Under this agreement, if both parties in an accident have insurance for damage to their vehicle, each insurance company pays to repair the damages to their customers’ vehicle. This saves the insurance customer from having to deal with yet another insurance company.
VEHICLE THEFT: If your vehicle is stolen, report it to your insurance company immediately. They will help you with the steps necessary to process your claim.
After reporting the theft to your insurer, you will be required to report the theft to the local authorities, usually at the office of the local Ministerio Público. Ask the insurance company adjuster to accompany you to the office of Ministerio Público to help you report the theft.
Be sure to receive a copy of the report you make to the Ministerio Público.
Some insurers and some jurisdictions also require you to report the theft to the local office of the Federal Highway police. Again, ask the insurance adjuster to accompany you and to help you complete the report to the Federal Highway police. To report the theft to the Federal Highway policy you will need a copy of the report you made to the local Ministerio Público.
As in the U.S. and Canada, a theft claim may take longer to process than a claim for collision damage from an accident. This is because fraud is so prevalent that the insurance companies must take care to confirm the legitimacy of each claim.
If your vehicle is stolen, the insurance company may require that you report the theft to the law enforcement agency in your home state or province (local police or sheriff, state police, RCMP), and provide the Mexican insurance company a copy of this report. This may sound like a hassle but it helps you if your vehicle is subsequently caught smuggling drugs, etc.
You will also be asked to provide a copy of the Bill of Sale when you purchased the vehicle, and to sign over the original title to the insurance company. If you have added permanently installed equipment to your vehicle you may be asked for receipts so the company can include the value of those items in the event of theft or total loss in an accident.
IMPORTANT: Please Note... If you have an accident or claim in Mexico you must report it to your Mexican insurance company BEFORE you leave the country. Failure to do so may result in your claim being denied. The company must have the opportunity to investigate the claim and assess damages, something they cannot do this if you have left the country.
The adjuster will complete a written report, take photos of the Vehicle Identification Number on the driver’s side door, and may take photos of your driver’s license and the Declaration Page of your policy. You will be asked to sign the report. Since the report is in Spanish, make sure you know what you are signing.
If your vehicle left the road in the accident, check for damage underneath the vehicle and make sure such damage is mentioned in the adjuster’s report.
You will be given a copy of the Claim Report. The claim report form has a Claim Number printed on it. You will need/use this number to reference your claim during follow-up service.
Save yourself a little trouble . . . Logically, most people keep their Mexico car insurance policy in the glove compartment of their vehicle. But, what if your vehicle is stolen with your policy in it?
We suggest you jot down the following information on a piece of paper and keep it in a wallet or purse:
The telephone number to report a claim is printed on the face sheet of your policy and is also on the page titled “What to do in case of an accident” which prints with your policy. A different toll free number is also printed on that page, which allows you to call from the U.S. and Canada for anything related to your claim.
How long does it take to settle a claim?
Every situation is different and while it is not necessarily true, the time required to process a claim in Mexico will seem longer because you are in unfamiliar surroundings, you may not have a second car to transport you, and possibly because of language differences.
You can help speed up the process from the start by asking the adjuster to carefully explain all the steps you will need to take . . . then take those steps as quickly as you can. The information and documentation required by the insurance companies is logical and necessary to allow them to evaluate the claim. The companies will not pay until they have the information they require. It pays to be cooperative.
Once you and the insurance company reach agreement on the amount of payment, you will be asked to complete a Mexican government required form regarding the claim settlement transaction. The insurance company is not being “burrocratic.” The form is required as part of the government’s effort to fight money laundering related to drug trafficking.
Some Mexican insurance companies reimburse claim loss with a paper check while others pay by an electronic fund transfer (EFT) to your bank account. I prefer EFT.
Minimize the Inconvenience and Cost of a Claim – More about MexVisit Travel Assistance
An accident or theft of your vehicle will most certainly cause delays in your travel and these delays mean unplanned expenses. If your policy includes MexVisit Travel Assistance, you have a bundle of coverages which really help out, including hotel expense and a rental car for a couple of days.
Parts needed to repair your vehicle may be difficult to locate and may take time for them to be shipped to the repair shop. MexVisit includes an express parts locating and shipping service. You pay for the cost of the parts while MexVisit gets them to you quickly.
If you are hospitalized because of an accident MexVisit will pay for transportation and lodging for travel companions and will pay for lodging if you require convalescence before continuing your travels.
If your vehicle is stolen or is a total loss from an accident or requires time consuming repairs, you may be eligible to be transported back to your point of origin in the U.S. or Canada.
Following is a partial list of services MexVisit will help with to mitigate the cost or inconvenience of an accident or stolen vehicle:
Please refer to your policy for specific details about this coverage. For a deeper explanation of typical coverage, our MexVisit page has more information.
Prevention is the best medicine