Your Guide to USAA Mexico Insurance

Your USAA insurance policy may extend your full coverage across the Mexican border, but you’ll still need some extra coverage.
Written by Macy Fouse
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
If you’re taking your car on a trip to Mexico, your United Services Automobile Association (USAA) policy may provide some coverage for a certain distance from the border—but you’ll still need a Mexican liability insurance policy.
Driving in another country can be thrilling or terrifying…or both. If you’re taking a trip south of the border, you’ll want to be familiar with Mexico’s car insurance requirements before heading out. Driving uninsured in Mexico is a serious offense—and your American
car insurance
policy won’t cut it.
If you have a
USAA car insurance
policy and you’re traveling to Mexico, we have everything you need to know about securing coverage for your trip—including what your policy covers, how much
Mexico car insurance
you need, and how to get it. Vámanos!

Do you need car insurance coverage to drive in Mexico?

Yesall tourists driving in Mexico are legally required to get a
liability insurance
policy from a Mexico-based insurance company. Mexico requires all cars to have a minimum amount of insurance, so you’ll need an official Mexican auto insurance policy valid for the duration of your trip.
Some car insurance companies provide the option of adding “limited Mexico coverage” to your existing policy, which may extend the limits of your
collision insurance
comprehensive coverage
within a certain number of miles from the border. This is only available once you’ve also secured a Mexican liability policy.
While your American car insurance policy may offer some protection while you’re driving in Mexico, it’s not enough to protect you from the consequences of breaking the Mexican Federal Liability Law. No matter how great your U.S. insurance company is, they’ll only provide limited coverage in Mexico at best. If you’re involved in a
car accident
as a tourist and you don’t have Mexican car insurance, forget the fines and fees—you’re likely to get arrested and put in jail. On top of that, you’ll be stuck with the financial responsibility of paying for any repairs, medical bills, or legal fees involved.
Before you cross the border, you’ll need to buy an insurance policy from a Mexican insurance company or an American company that partners with Mexican insurers. This policy will be entirely separate from your U.S. car insurance policy, including a separate payment, coverage options, and coverage dates.
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What does Mexico car insurance cover?

Like most U.S. states, Mexican law requires drivers to have liability insurance at a minimum. If you cause an accident, this insurance covers the
property damage
bodily injury
of the other driver. There are no country-wide requirements for the coverage limit, but it’s generally recommended to secure a policy that covers at least $300,000. You may need more depending on which state you’re driving in, though.
If you want your car repairs or medical bills to be covered after an accident, you can add
collision coverage
comprehensive insurance
to your Mexican car insurance policy—but only if you already have these coverages on your American policy. If you want extra protection, here are a few other coverages you may be able to add to your coverage in Mexico:
  • Roadside assistance coverage: If your car leaves you stranded in Mexico, this coverage generally pays for towing services, battery jump starts, tire changes, or a locksmith. 
  • Medical payments
    : As the name suggests, this coverage takes care of medical expenses for you and your passengers in the event of
    car accident injuries
  • Medical evacuation: If your injuries are serious, you may need emergency transportation to a hospital, which this coverage pays for. 
  • Legal help: If a car accident in Mexico leaves you in a sticky legal situation, this coverage pays for legal expenses, like court costs, bail bonds, or attorney fees.

How to get a USAA Mexico insurance policy

If you’re covered through USAA, policyholders can typically add limited coverage to their policy while driving in Mexico. This limited coverage can extend the limits of your collision or comprehensive coverage to help cover loss or damage that happens within a certain distance from the U.S.-Mexico border. The exact distance limit will depend on your specific policy, but it’s often 75 miles.
Even if you have this limited coverage from USAA, you’ll still need to have a Mexican insurance policy for your time in the country. So why would you even need to add limited coverage to your U.S. policy? If you plan on only driving within the distance limit of the limited coverage, you may not need to purchase a Mexican collision/comprehensive policy to be fully covered—which could leave some extra money to spend on tacos and margaritas!

How to get a Mexican auto insurance policy

Several major American auto insurance companies—like
, and
—work with Mexican partner insurance companies to offer coverage in Mexico. If your U.S. car insurance company doesn’t offer this option, you can buy an insurance policy directly from a Mexican insurance provider like MexPro, Baja Bound, or Grupo Nacional Provincial. Just like regular car insurance, it’s always a good idea to
compare insurance rates
from several different companies to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
Here’s the information you’ll need to purchase a Mexican car insurance policy:
  • The dates of your Mexico trip
  • Where in Mexico you’ll be driving
  • Your American car insurance policy number 
  • Your driver’s license information 
  • The year, make, model, and VIN of your vehicle 
  • Your license plate number

How much does Mexico car insurance cost?

As with U.S. car insurance, the cost of coverage in Mexico depends on a handful of different factors including the amount of coverage you want, how long you need it, and the type of vehicle you drive. In general, Mexican car insurance for turistas can cost anywhere from $2 to $40 per day.
You’ll obviously pay more for
full coverage
than you would for minimum liability, but Mexican car insurance tends to be cheaper than American insurance. Even if you don’t plan on staying very long, you may be able to get a better deal if you opt for a six-month or 12-month policy instead of paying a daily rate.
"After I bought my new car, the insurance companies tried charging me $315/month.
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If you’re leaving your own car in the states and getting a car from a rental agency instead, you can usually get full coverage insurance through them. Major rental companies like Enterprise, Hertz, Alamo, National, and Avis have branches in Mexico. But the Mexican liability law still applies to renters too, so you’ll still have to buy a policy through a Mexican insurance company.
Not fully. Your U.S. car insurance company may provide extended coverage up to a certain distance from the border, but you’ll need a Mexican liability insurance policy to avoid breaking the law.
USAA members can add extended coverage that applies to trips within 75 miles of the border, but the exact distance limits will depend on your specific policy. This extended coverage generally only applies to your collision and comprehensive insurance, though, so you still need liability coverage through a Mexican insurance provider.
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