Third party liability insurance is required by law in Mexico. Throughout the many roadside checkpoints in Mexico, police may ask to see your proof of insurance. This isn’t as likely to happen as it is in other Latin American countries, nevertheless, it’s not a good idea to be caught without it. Personally, I’ve never been asked to show proof of insurance.
Some U.S. insurance companies offer insurance coverage in Mexico. However, the coverage is typically only valid in the free trade zone (~25 miles from the US border). Understand that Mexico authorities do not recognize “foreign” insurance. So even if you’re U.S. carrier says that you’re covered, this will only be for your vehicle. Any damage to other people or their property will likely not be covered.
It is important that you purchase insurance from an authorized agency who is incorporated and registered in Mexico before you begin your trip. You can purchase insurance at the border (on either the US or Mexican side). Although most riders choose to order it online before crossing the border. It’s one less thing to think about on border crossing day. It takes only a few minutes to fill out a quote online. You’ll be instantly approved and covered. Print out your papers and be on your way.
The price for liability only insurance was very reasonable. However, it has gone up recently because the Mexican government significantly increased the liability compensation amounts for fatalities. So in the rare and unfortunate event that another person is killed in an accident, you could be liable for 7x the previous amount. The actual amount varies by state. Therefor, most insurance agencies are suggesting at least a $300,000 USD liability policy with many recommending as much as $500,000 USD liability policy.
The cost of full coverage (comprehensive collision, fire, theft) can be very expensive. But you can get it and it might make sense if you’re traveling with an expensive BMW GS. Most policies for motorcycles will not cover the medical payments for the rider and/or passenger – you’ll need health insurance to cover these costs.
If you’re planning a short trip, you can get coverage by the day. Typically for trips longer than 2 weeks, it is more economical to purchase a 6-month policy.
All claims must be reported while in Mexico. Don’t wait until you get home to make a claim – you may be denied. Be sure to get a police report as evidence. As always, you’ll be better off if you never get into an accident. Ride defensively, exercise commonsense and never assume that the coast is clear. Remember, you just can’t trust that left blinker…
What is included in the coverage?
Plans will vary so check with your provider for more details.
Civil Liability – Coverage for bodily injury or property damage as a result of your motorcycle. Note, rider and passenger are not generally covered under this clause. This is the part required by Mexican law.
Physical Damage and Total Theft – This coverage protects your motorcycle for the lesser of its actual cash value or amount stated on your policy for total theft, collision, over turn, fire, lightning, explosion, and certain natural phenomenon. It will not cover you if your bike is vandalized or some items are stolen. Towing expenses may be covered in order to move the motorcycle to a place designated by the company for repairs.
Legal Defense – Upon request, the company will appoint the services of professional attorneys and will pay for the procedural expenses incurred for the defense of the rider from the time the rider is detained until the conclusion of the case.
Bail Bond or Guarantee Deposit – The Company will post a bond or deposit a guarantee after the rider has been assigned an attorney.
What insurance companies do you recommend?
The most respected insurance agencies are listed below. Look around ADVrider and Horizons Unlimited and these names will appear time and time again with great reviews. I get a small commission if you buy a policy by clicking these links. But there is no obligation, so if you prefer, you can always enter in the website address directly into your browser or seek out other agencies.
Mexpro – With many motorcyclists on staff, Mexpro always comes highly recommended from riders. Click the link to get a quote. You will find cheaper alternatives online, however Mexpro goes above and beyond with excellent customer service (which you’ll want if you get in an accident). They also use only using the most creditable underwriters (ABA Seguros, ACE Seguros, El Aguila Compañía de Seguros and Grupo Nacional Provincial).
BajaBound – Don’t let the name fool you. They offer coverage for all of Mexico.