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Christian Limon, is with the Marcus Family Law Center, PLC, in El Centro (founded in 1974). She brings a comprehensive set of skills and expertise to assist her clients. She is licensed as an attorney both in Mexico and California, with her international practice in Imperial County and Mexicali. Her emphasis is family law, including cross-border custody and family support issues. Christian is also experienced in cross-border contracts and bi-national litigation (civil, commercial, family, and labor), advising several US companies in Mexico, including real estate development and maquiladora operations. Christian is a Spanish/English interpreter with a focus on legal documents and legal proceedings, as well as a California Notary. She is a member of the California BAR, Imperial County Bar Association, ANADE (Mexican Association of Corporate Attorneys) and AEM (Mexican Entrepreneurs Association).

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Mexico Insurance

Mexican auto insurance

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Oscar Padilla's on Main Street

Oscar Padilla’s on Main Street

This article was written by P. J. Padilla of Oscar Padilla Mexican Insurance, the company right across the border from us, in Calexico which was founded by his father.

We use Padilla for our Mexican auto insurance.

Padilla insured us for a whole year, including replacement of our vehicle (damage, fire, & theft), $150,000 liability, $20,000 legal service and bail bond – all for $261.75.

That also includes $700 for emergency repair, towing, and shipment of auto parts – not a bad deal.

Here’s the article, which is very informative and useful.

Jim says to tell you we’re not getting paid for posting this, but we do get paid (a little) if you click on the Padilla link and buy.

Mexican Auto Insurance-Know Before You Go

By P.J.  Padilla Owner-Oscar Padilla Ins., Inc

Although it accounts for how I support my family and, dating back to 1951, how my father supported us, I’m also the first to admit that a blog about insurance might be as riveting as paint drying!  That said, though, the importance of insurance can’t be overlooked, particularly when in a foreign country, which is where this begins………

Why is Mexican insurance necessary?

Mexico has traffic laws very similar to the United States.  The application of their laws is what accounts for the differences, and the reasons for needing Mexican insurance.  The law in Mexico is based on the Napoleonic Code where guilt prevails over the assumption of innocence.

In the U.S., the law is based on the English Common Law where innocence prevails over the assumption of guilt.

Mexico does not have compulsory automobile insurance.  The basic difference between Mexico’s and United States financial responsibility law is that anyone involved in an accident in Mexico must have the means to respond to damages or injuries for which they may be responsible….which in Mexico would be in the form of either cash or a Mexican insurance policy.

Can my U.S. insurance help me?

Before leaving home, you should inquire if your U.S. insurance policy will cover damage suffered by your vehicle in Mexico.  If so, ask if the policy has restrictions or limitations in this regard, such as miles from the border, or number of days in Mexico.  Once you’ve familiarized yourself with your own auto policy and the extent of it’s coverage in Mexico, you can then proceed to make a more qualified decision towards your Mexican insurance needs.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Whether or not U.S. insurance policy extends coverage into Mexico, you should always, at least, buy LIABILITY insurance.  The Liability coverage on your U.S., or any other non-Mexican insurance policy, is not recognized by authorities in Mexico.  Only a Mexican automobile liability policy is acceptable evidence of financial responsibility.

What does Mexican insurance cost?

It varies slightly throughout the industry.

First rule of thumb, which represents a significant savings, is getting a 6 Month or One Year policy if you spend more than three weeks a year in Mexico.  Second rule of thumb is don’t jump at the lowest priced one….a lesson we learned all too well ten years ago when we agreed to market a Mexican insurance company’s Auto program that offered very competitive rates.  A year later the CEO of the Mexican insurance company was missing, along with premiums we had been remitting to the company.

There are fine companies in Mexico with many years of credibility.  We, as an example, continue to be proudly associated with two companies for several years, Seguros Atlas and Qualitas Seguros, who represent a combined 86 years in business.

Will I go to jail if I have an accident?

If serious injury has not occurred, a Mexican insurance policy might help reduce red tape and allow the motorist to be on his way sooner rather than later, but the policy should not be construed as your “ticket out of jail”.

Some visitors to Mexico are unable to understand why motorists are temporarily incarcerated in Mexico following an automobile accident where injuries or deaths occurred.  In the first place, serious injuries or deaths have been committed against innocent persons due to someone’s negligence.  It is up to Mexican authorities to determine who is the negligent person.  While that investigation is in motion, all drivers involved in the accident must be detained.

Any person involved in the commission of a crime (and, as previously stated, an automobile accident in Mexico is considered, in principle, to be a penal offense) must be detained in a secure place to prevent their escape.  The only secure place is the police station and, therefore, the motorist finds himself detained awaiting the investigation of his involvement.  A visitor, if allowed to remain free, may likely flee for the border.

This `n that…….

The policy only covers foreign-plated vehicles.  It does not cover a vehicle with a Mexico license plate.

The policy is null and void if driver responsible for the accident was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Policy is null and void if driver does not have a valid driver’s license.

A towed vehicle must be described on the policy, otherwise it voids all coverage in case of an accident.

Should a claim be presented, the insured must declare the existence of any other insurance with another company covering the same risk.

All claims must be reported in Mexico before insured returns to U.S.

Failing to do so subjects the claim to a denial by the Mexican insurance company.

We now carry Home Owners Insurance.

We exist by serving.

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