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Does my American car insurance policy cover me in Mexico?

Sandy beaches, historic ruins, delicious food and warm hospitality - are all wonderful reasons to take a trip to Mexico. For residents of the US, it's as easy as driving south for a memorable vacation experience. But it's worth a little preparation before taking your car across the southern border. Although your US driver’s license is valid in Mexico, a typical American auto insurance policy will not cover you once you cross the border.

Like the US, Mexico also has auto insurance laws and expectations for drivers that you should be aware of. Some of the most affordable insurance companies sell additional Mexico car insurance endorsements and coverage options that extend coverage into Mexico. See below for more information on popular Mexican car insurance companies and the best ways to stay insured when driving into America's neighbor to the south.


Which insurance companies provide auto coverage in Mexico?

Many American auto insurance companies provide additional coverage you can purchase for a trip to Mexico. Call your insurance company ahead of time to add this coverage to your policy, and be sure to remove it after you return to the states. Some of the policies have a mileage limit, such as staying within 75 miles of the US border. Have a basic itinerary to share with the insurance agent to make sure you're properly covered based on your plans. 

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Allstate Mexico Tourist Auto Insurance
Allstate Mexico Tourist Auto Insurance

Allstate’s “Mexico Tourist Auto Insurance” program partners with Mexican auto insurance companies to provide coverage south of the border. Allstate Mexican Tourist Auto Insurance coverage includes:

  • Physical damage and theft
  • Liability: bodily injury and property damage up to $500,000
  • Medical payments for the insured and passengers
  • Legal assistance after an accident
  • Loan/lease pay off
  • Roadside assistance
  • Medical evacuation after an accident

To qualify for Allstate's Mexican auto insurance, you must have a similar US policy and be older than 21. Allstate does not offer coverage for rental cars in Mexico.

GEICO Mexico Car Insurance
GEICO Mexico Car Insurance

Like Allstate, GEICO requires its customers to purchase a Mexico Tourist Auto Policy. This coverage includes standard and extended options:

  • Physical damage
  • Liability coverage
  • Vandalism
  • Partial theft
  • Medical payments
  • Roadside assistance

GEICO's Mexican car insurance policies are written by Grupo Nacional Provincial and El Aguila Compania de Seguros, which also provide coverage for watercraft. You can find coverage in Mexico for your powerboat, yacht, personal watercraft, or sailboat.

Progressive Mexico Insurance
Progressive Mexico Insurance

Progressive offers coverage in Mexico for cars, RVs, and motorcycles. Progressive breaks its Mexican insurance coverage into three tiers:

  • Basic coverage: liability, travel assistance, med pay, roadside assistance, and legal assistance (no physical coverage)
  • Standard coverage: includes all the coverage of basic in addition to collision and theft (no comprehensive coverage)
  • Extended coverage: all of the above, plus vandalism, partial theft, domestic repair and fixed deductibles
Liberty Mutual Mexican Auto Insurance
Liberty Mutual Mexican Auto Insurance

Liberty Mutual partners with MexPro to insure cars, RVs, motorcycles, and other towable vehicles. Below are Mexico coverage options available via Liberty Mutual and MexPro:

  • Third-party liability: $300,000 to $500,000
  • Optional fixed deductible, rather than percentage deductible (standard for Mexican insurance policies)
  • Collision
  • Theft
Other options for car insurance in Mexico
Other options for car insurance in Mexico

GEICO, Allstate, and Progressive are not the only companies with Mexico car insurance options. See other options below:


Coverage for a rental vehicle in Mexico

You can generally rent a car if you have a major credit card, a valid driver's license and a passport if you are not a resident of Mexico. Although many insurance policies in the US extend to cover rental vehicles, driving in Mexico may complicate matters. If you’re traveling to Mexico and planning on renting a car, your US policy may not cover you. 

Third-party liability insurance is required when renting a vehicle in Mexico, and basic liability coverage is often included in your daily rental fee. However, the bare minimum may not be enough coverage when it comes down to actual costs that would be covered. Liability insurance covers damage done to another driver and their vehicle, or property damage - so it won't cover the rental car you are driving. 
 
Most well-known rental car companies allow you to purchase coverage (like collision) when you rent the vehicle - and they should be able to explain the aspects of auto coverage for your destination and will be able to help you select the right coverage. You may want to call the rental car company ahead of time to avoid any surprises.
rental car

Frequently asked questions

Do I really need insurance to drive in Mexico? Chevron down icon

Yes. Mexican law requires liability insurance if you're going to drive in the country.

Do I have to wait until I'm in Mexico to purchase auto insurance? Chevron down icon

No, you don't have to wait until you are in Mexico to purchase coverage. In fact, it's best to plan ahead and contact multiple companies for rates prior to your trip - which also allows you to speak with a bilingual (or English-speaking) agent, which may not be the case if you are already in Mexico when you decide to purchase auto insurance.

What if I live in a border state? Does my Texas policy let me drive in Mexico? Chevron down icon

This is worth a call to your insurance agent to check on. Border states such as Texas, Arizona or California may have slightly different allowances and specifics due to the close proximity to Mexico, so check your policy and communicate with your insurance company to be sure.

My credit card offers rental car insurance. Is this good enough? Chevron down icon

Like your US auto insurance, the rental car coverage offered by some credit card companies may not apply south of the border. Call your company to clarify before counting on this for auto insurance coverage. Even if their rental car insurance won't work for your trip, many credit cards offer great travel perks and other benefits you may still be able to take advantage of on your trip to Mexico.

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Additional resources

If you’re driving to Mexico, make sure your vehicle is properly insured. Contact your insurance company and add Mexican coverage for the duration of your stay. Aside from insurance, you may need to look into other permits specific to your location in Mexico. Consult your insurance company to learn more about the specifics.

If you're looking to upgrade your domestic insurance policy, use The Zebra's car insurance rate comparison tool to find an affordable policy today! 

insurance agent
RECENT QUESTIONS

What insurance companies can I use with Turo?

I'm not sure how many companies are actively offering coverage for Turo, but I do know they have a sponsorship with Liberty Mutual that allows hosts to choose a protection plan. This protection plan covers liability and physical damage to the vehicle, but hosts can also deny a plan if they have their own coverage.
Dec 19, 2019 Richmond, VA

What happens if you hit a rental car?

The claims process after hitting a rental vehicle would be the same as hitting a vehicle owned by another person. You should contact your insurance provider and notify them of the incident.
Jun 18, 2017 Philadelphia, PA

What is Extended Transportation Expenses Coverage?

This is another way to describe rental reimbursement coverage. Meaning, if your vehicle would temporarily disabled due to a covered claim/incident, this coverage would reimburse you for the transportation expenses you have.
Feb 22, 2018 Fayetteville, North Carolina

Does car insurance cover a uhaul?

Renting a U-haul is much like renting a car. Consider the size of the vehicle you will be renting.
Jul 17, 2016 Topeka, KS

About The Zebra

The Zebra is not an insurance company. We publish data-backed, expert-reviewed resources to help consumers make more informed insurance decisions.

  • The Zebra’s insurance content is written and reviewed for accuracy by licensed insurance agents.
  • The Zebra’s insurance content is not subject to review or alteration by insurance companies or partners.
  • The Zebra’s editorial team operates independently of the company’s partnerships and commercialization interests, publishing unbiased information for consumer benefit.
  • The auto insurance rates published on The Zebra’s pages are based on a comprehensive analysis of car insurance pricing data, evaluating more than 83 million insurance rates from across the United States.