Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insurance...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers Insurance CSR 4 Years

UPDATED: Jun 5, 2019

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Important facts to know...

  • Insurance policies are essential while crossing the border though the requirements vary from one country to another
  • You may not need an additional cover while traveling to Canada
  • The process of obtaining a Mexican auto insurance policy while traveling to Mexico
  • The rules you should know while driving across the border

You may be required to provide some documentation if you are driving across the border either to Canada or Mexico.

Among the must-have documents in both countries include:

  • a valid driver’s license
  • vehicle registration
  • a proof of U.S. citizenship
  • a passport or an approved travel document

Another significant document required at the border is an insurance policy. While the U.S insurance coverage is acceptable in Canada, the same does not apply at the Mexican border. Anyone driving to Mexico requires having at least a third party auto liability Mexico Insurance.

While crossing to Canada, the authorities may require you to provide a non-resident insurance card from your insurer.

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Crucial Information

Before traveling to any country, it is advisable to seek counsel from your insurance agent who directs you on the insurance covers of the country you are planning to visit. The insurance provider also gives you the Canadian Insurance Card required at the Canadian border.

You may also consider looking at different driving rules to avoid getting on the wrong side with the authorities.

Remember that the insurance cover does not cover drunk driving in both Canada and Mexico. Additionally, drinking may earn you a straight deportation from Canada or a jail term in Mexico for driving while drunk.

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Auto-Insurance Policy in Canada

As mentioned earlier, Canada recognizes the U.S. auto insurance. However, just like in the United States, you will be required to carry a driver’s license that is valid all the time you are driving.

The policy works well for anyone visiting the country for a short period or as a tourist. If you are planning to stay in Canada for a long time, you should consider getting the Canadian auto insurance.

  • All the provinces in the country adopt the no-fault auto liability insurance, which covers only the personal liability related accidents.
  • Some provinces like Ontario may only have the government running the auto insurance operation while other provinces have the private insurance providers.
  • The speed limit in Canada is a little lower in Canada than U.S. ranging from 80-100 kilometers per hour.
  • Radar detectors are illegal in some provinces in Canada and may lead to massive fines and if the authorities find you having one.
  • Canada and its provinces have a very high minimum liability limits compared to the United States. However, they include disability insurance and the life insurance components in their policies which may be absent in the United States insurance covers.

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Lack of a Mexican Auto Insurance

Some insurance providers may extend coverage of some limited damages in Mexico, but the policies do not have any legal jurisdiction in the country.

This lack of legal jurisdiction means that if you are involved in an accident while driving an illegally insured car, then you will have to pay hefty fines, or worse still, earn yourself a jail time in a Mexican jailhouse.

Additionally, the U.S based insurance policy may only cover your damage alone and not your liability to others in the country.

If involved in an accident and you do not have the Mexican liability insurance, you may get restrictions from leaving the country until the police determine whether you are liable for the crash.

Acquiring the Mexican Insurance Policy

Therefore, it is important to get a separate auto insurance cover before crossing the border. The Mexican law requires one to have liability insurance from a reputable and licensed insurance company in Mexico.

One may acquire one through a broker in the United Sates working together with one of the insurance companies in Mexico.

Before purchasing any insurance plan from a broker, inquire about the company underwriting the policy to ensure that it is a financially secure company.

The Mexican automobile liability insurance covers several policies including:

  • Physical damage and theft of the car – the insurance policy covers for total theft, meteorological phenomenon, collision, fire, explosion, and turn over. The insurance also covers for towing and a repair place in the U.S.
  • Civil liabilities – the insurance covers for the body and property damages to other parties other than the insured person. The insurance covers up to $300,000.
  • Medical coverage for the insured and the occupants of the insured vehicle – the insurance covers up to $5,000 for each occupant but do not exceed $25,000 for all occupants.
  • Legal assistance – the insurance companies provides the legal services required as well as paying the bail bond.

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Causing an accident in Mexico

Unlike when you don’t have coverage, the insurance company helps you resolve the case and get out as soon as possible if the accident did not cause serious injuries.

However, anyone who causes an automobile accident where serious injuries or death occurred receives a temporary incarceration in Mexico until the authorities determine the negligent person.

Report all incidents in Mexico before the vehicle returns to U.S to avoid denial of the claim. In the case of the loss of a car, the vehicle owner should file an auto theft report with the Mexican authorities and report the incident to the Mexico Insurance Claim Adjuster.

The person should also include information about any other insurance provider covering the risk of theft.

Remember that the Mexico Insurance Policy does not settle the insurance if the driver did not have a valid driving license or was driving while drunk.

Therefore, if you are planning to cross the border to Mexico this holiday, it is important to get an insurance coverage for your car lest you get yourself into problems with the authorities.

You should also learn the traffic rules and regulations of the country of visit before the tour. You may also consider traveling to the northern side of America where there is no hassle getting an insurance cover.

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References:

  1. http://gmacinsurance.com/About/GMAC_News/08May02.asp
  2. https://www.geico.com/information/aboutinsurance/auto/canada/
  3. http://www.carinsuranceguidebook.com/american-auto-insurance-in-canada/
  4. https://www.abis-group.com/faq.php
  5. https://www.mexperience.com/lifestyle/transport/auto-insurance/