How to Make Sure You’ve Got Auto Insurance When You Go South of the Border

If you’re living in southern California and you happen to rack a rare, precious day out what are you going to do with it-pay yet another visit to the tired strip mall down the street? Or take advantage of proximity and hop the border to Mexico?

Thousands of Americans can’t be wrong. Mexico is a great place to visit, and it’s located within convenient driving distance of plenty of cities in SoCal. Before you hop behind the wheel, however, make sure you’ve got all your ducks in a row and plenty of auto insurance to keep you covered on the trip.

Ideally, your California auto insurance policy would be enough to keep you protected when you hop over to Mexico. Many companies that operate heavily in SoCal have arrangements with auto repair shops to cover you within a certain distance of the California border, which makes life really easy for commuters who drive from Cali to Mexico every day for work. Some insurance companies don’t have this kind of handy dandy set-up, however, which is when you need to start looking into other options.

If you know that you’re going to be making a trip to Mexico, regardless of how long your stay is going to be take the time to contact your insurance agent. They can make your life really, really easy by letting you know whether or not your current policy will extend to where you’re going. If it doesn’t, they can probably give you a valuable referral to a company that specializes in hooking tourists up with short term insurance that can sell you a Mexican policy for the duration of your stay.

When it comes to car insurance, Mexico is even tougher than the United States. California drivers are required to carry a minimum of $20,000 in auto insurance coverage, although most usually pick up more just to be on the safe side. (A good auto insurance dealer will start selling policies at $50,000.) You can purchase these policies from dealer once you actually get to Mexico, but that’s assuming that:

a) You’ll be able to find a dealer, and

b) You won’t get into an accident on the way there.

You know what happens when you assume.

Instead, most people choose to err on the side of caution and purchase a policy from a dealer in SoCal that specializes in working with Mexican insurance. That dealer will take down the details of your visit, then connect you with a short term policy (usually either one day, one week, two weeks, one month or six months) issued by a Mexican auto insurance dealer for the duration of your stay.

You’ll be protected the minute you drive across the border, and your California auto insurance policy will pick you back up the minute you get back. Who could ask for anything more?