Auto insurance by itself is enough to confuse many people. Temporary car insurance can be confusing. Temporary car insurance is very specialized and not that scary.
Temporary auto insurance, as the name suggests, is a policy that’s only in effect for a specific time or for a particular occasion. Policies usually have terms that are measured in days or even weeks. Temporary insurance for cars should not be confused with non-owned auto insurance. This is a policy that covers a driver and not a vehicle.
Temporary Car Insurance to Rent
There are many other uses, but the most common use of temporary car insurance is when you rent a vehicle. Renting temporary auto insurance is not car insurance. It is an agreement between the rental company and you to pay for any damages. This is an additional charge on your rental car and is always sold as an upsell.
Most insurance companies will cover you at least partially for renting a car while you are in the United States and Canada. The rental company might offer temporary car insurance to cover the gap, but it may not be necessary.
You should consult your agent if you are planning to rent a car soon and are not sure of your coverage. This could help you save a lot on unnecessary rental car fees. Renting is a good option. You can expect to pay $6-12 per day more in rental fees. This premium is not inexpensive if you annually increase it.
You should seriously consider renting temporary car insurance if you are driving in another country. Most American auto insurance policies do not cover Mexico and exclude coverage for international travel. There is a good chance that your car insurance from home will not be available when you board an international flight. If you are involved in an international accident, your rental auto insurance could be all that stands between you and it.
Mexico Temporary Car Insurance
Driving south of the border with temporary car insurance is another common use of temporary car insurance. Contrary to Canada, where you can use your existing auto insurance policy and it is generally recognized by the local authorities, Mexico has its own set of legal requirements.
American insurance companies do not sell Mexican auto insurance or do business with Mexican insurance companies. To get the coverage that you require, you will need to make your own decisions.
Your agent may be able to provide temporary Mexican car insurance through an online brokerage or agency located close to the border. You should ensure that you are getting Mexican auto insurance when you purchase temporary insurance to use in Mexico. You should also ensure that you aren’t paying too much.
There are many reputable Mexican insurance companies, including ACE Seguros and HDI Seguros as well as Grupo Nacional Provincial. These companies have A. M. Best ratings, which means they are just as secure financially as their American counterparts. Seguros, Spanish for “insurance”, is what “Seguros” means.
You’re almost halfway through getting your Mexican insurance. Also, you will need a Mexican tourist visa as well as a temporary vehicle importation permit for your car. This permit is not required in Baja California or parts of Sonora, in the northern part of Mexico. However, it’s a must for anyone driving in Mexico. You could end up in Mexican jail bars if your car is found without it.
At the border customs point or at the Mexican consulate, the visa and permit can be obtained. You can also apply online for your permit in English, saving you time at the border. The total cost of driving in Mexico will be several hundred dollars. However, a small amount of that deposit is required to secure the permit. The deposit will be returned when the permit is surrendered upon your return to the United States.