For a Mexican-plated vehicle, the cost of car insurance varies depending on the state in which you’re located, the value of the vehicle, and the type of coverage that you want.
For example, for a regular coverage policy, in the Puerto Vallarta area, for a Mexican plated vehicle, insurance costs between 3,000 pesos (US $170) and 9,000 pesos (US $500) a year. That’s the average. That’s not really bad at all. The snowbirds that come down here for only 6 months out of the year pay for their car insurance on a semi-annual basis and the ones who stay here for only 3 months usually get it on a quarterly basis.
To obtain the amount of a car insurance premium, we get the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) and once we put that in, the computer calculates the value of the vehicle. If the value of the vehicle is 250,000 pesos (US $14,000), insurance would be around 8,000 to 9,000 pesos (US $450 to US $500) a year. If the value of the car is around 65,000 pesos (US $3,500) then the premium drops to around 2,000 pesos ($120) a year.
In Mexico, you’re insuring the vehicle and not the driver. So as long as the vehicle is insured, the person driving it is of driving age, and not drunk or anything like that, they have coverage. Anyone can drive your vehicle as long as they’re of driving age. The liability comes included in the full policy. It’s pretty similar to the US. You get material damages to your own vehicle, theft to you your own vehicle, and third party liability, which will cover you from damages done to other property or injuries caused to other people. That coverage, at the least, is required by Mexican law even though a lot of people down here don’t drive with that, it is required to at least have liability.
The amount of liability coverage required varies by state. For for Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, and Nayarit, you usually get between 3 million pesos (US $170,000) and 4 million pesos (US $225,000) in liability. Roadside assistance, legal assistance, medical expenses for the driver and the occupants of the vehicle all come included in standard and full coverage policies.
A lot of people ask about Uninsured Motorist Coverage. The way it works down here in Mexico is that if someone hits you and they have insurance, their insurance will cover it. If someone hits you and they didn’t have insurance, then your insurance would jump in and cover it but you would just have to pay the deductible, which is a standard of 5% of the total vehicle value for material damages. There is an option that you could add on to your policy for an extra cost that would eliminate the deductible in those types of situations so you don’t have to pay anything. But there really is nothing considered “Uninsured Motorist Coverage” down here because your insurance will cover you if the person that hits you doesn’t have insurance. Let’s say someone hits you and they were not insured, and you have to go to the hospital. In this case, your insurance will jump in and cover you under the medical expenses for the driver or occupants of the vehicle.
We also have policies for vehicles that are not Mexican-plated. Instead of using the VIN, all we need to get is the vehicle value from the person. As long as the value of the vehicle is not excessively overstated, whatever they are comfortable getting reimbursed for is the amount that we put in the event that the vehicle was stolen or declared a total loss in a collision. That will determine the premium of the policy as well. The annual premium for a US-plated cars is between US $200 and $500, depending on the cost of the vehicle.
We can provide you with car insurance for a set amount of days. A lot of times, a 6-month policy is cheaper than getting it for 2 weeks or 2 months. We also have to make sure that if you are driving in Mexico with a foreign-plated vehicle, you have to bring your foreign driver’s license as well. The average premium for a Mexican-plated vehicle is 6,000 pesos (US $340) and the average premium for a US-plated vehicle is $300, so the price is pretty similar.