Auto Insurance (Medical below)
Note: New limits placed by the government in 2013 on maximum liability have increased considerably. $500k liability is best $100k is minimum you should have. The maximum varies from State to State, so check with your agent to see how much you really need. This has added $75 to $100 to most premiums on a 6 month policy.
Your US or Canadian insurance is usually not valid in Mexico. You do not have to buy Mexican Insurance, but it would be foolish not to do so . A 3 or 6 month policy is usually the most economical. Expect to pay about $120 - $135 for each $10K insured (6 month policies).
Saving money if you are American
Switch your insurance to Progressive or Blue Sky. Both of these companies provide collision in Mexico, meaning you only need liabiltiy. Check their conditions.
Saving money if you are Canadian
Many Canadian Insurance companies will rebate you for the time your vehicle is out of Canada or the US, so you can in many cases, end up breaking even. This is certainly the case with ICBC in BC.
Vagabundos del Mar or Lewis &L ewis
Vagabundos del Mar can provide insurance for our clients at better rates. We also recommend Lewis & Lewis which gives our customers a 10% discount. There is no need to be concerned about insurance until a month or 2 before your trip. Although we are tied to Vagabundos, it is up to you where you buy your insurance, and we encourage you to shop around. What is cheapest may not be the best fit for you.
Most Mexican insurance companies cap labor rates at $75 US an hour. This may not be enough, especially for RV repairs if you have to have them done in the US. The only companies I can find that have no cap, are HDI Seguros (agent www.mexadventure.com) and Qualitus (Lewis & Lewis ). I also believe Vagabundos now have an option for the higher rate. Some policies provide medical evacuation services. Check where they evacuate you to, especially if you are Canadian. You may not want to be evacuated to a US hospital.
Recent changes to Mexican law means everyone should carry $500,000 in liability. You may also want to check with your own insurance company to ensure they do not cover either collision or liability in Mexico. Some do. You do not want to double insure.
If you are in accident, the first call should be to your broker as you wait for the police. A good reason to have a cell phone. If you are shopping around for insurance, their availability is a consideration in your decision. You also want to check how many adjusters each company has in Mexico, do they speak English or provide an interpreter and how fast will they respond. These unknowns are why we recomend using Vagabundos.
If you are in an accident, do not move the vehicle until the police attend. It is illegal and you will be fined (about $100), it does not matter how much traffic you are blocking.
Quite frankly your chances of an accident in Mexico are not that high. Most people tend to drive much more defensively, especially in an RV. In a caravan I think you are even safer. Using toll roads also cuts your risk down.
I saw another RV'er last season with a dash cam. They are a great idea, I bought one for myself for about $30. (this one). You have to buy an SD card for it separate. An 8 gig will provide 1 hour, 16 gig, 2 hours and 32 gig ,4 hours. It overwrites the oldest recording. One of these could be invaluable in an accident that is not your fault. If it is your fault, you may want to hide it quick. Garmin has also bought out a new GPS with a webcam built into it.
Trip Interuption Insurance
You may purchase this from a number of companies, or will we sell it to you and cover you by reimbursing you the average daily rate for each day you have to cut your trip short. This includes urgent family matters, medical emergencies and severe vehicle breakdown that cause you to miss the remainder, or part of the trip. The cost is around 8% of the total trip cost. Contact us for details.
You should protect yourself with some sort of Travel Insurance. Americans need to check with their insurers for any coverage and take out appropriate travel insurance. Canadian Medicare systems will cover you for what it would cost in Canada, but please double check with them first. Medical care in Mexico is pretty cheap, although if you end up in hospital and need a major operation it can get pricy to the point Canadian Medicare will only cover a portion. I know of one person with a heart condition who was charged 10k & Canadian Medicare covered 7K of it. An option is evacuation insurance. This company appears to be the most reasonable. If you purchase travel insurance, remember those usually include evacuation costs. Canadians please ensure you have coverage for transiting the US. Costs there could ruin you.
Warning: When you purchase travel insurance be sure to declare every medical condition you have or have had. There have been cases of claims denied because a condition was not declared, even though the problem was unrelated. Remember the insurance companies may get access to some of your medical records, you probably unwittingly sign a release for them, when you sign up. Check with your doctor as to what is written down in your record.