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Oscar Padilla Mexican Insurance Services, Inc. is the oldest and largest mexican insurance service provider, celebrating over 64 years of service by specializing in a standard of personal Mexican auto insurance service set in 1951 by its founder, Oscar Padilla. It was that year that Padilla decided to experiment with selling mexican insurance to tourist motorists crossing the border into Mexicali, Calexico, CA’s neighbor to the south. It was unchartered territory for his was the first attempt at a full-service mexican insurance office in California. He later established the home base of operation in San Diego, CA.
In the end, that decision in 1951 dramatically altered the rest of his life, not to mention the driving habit of motorists to Mexico. As the mexican insurance industry pioneer that personal service is the hallmark of many years of untiring, dedicated service to motorists to Mexico, and remains unmatched.
A few frequently asked questions over the years include:
Why is Mexican insurance necessary?
Mexico has traffic laws that are very similar to those in the United States. The application of these laws is what accounts for the major differences, and is the reason that you need quality Mexico auto insurance. The law in Mexico is based on the Napoleonic Code, where guilt prevails over the presumption of innocence, whereas in the U.S., the law is based on the English Common Law, where innocence prevails over the presumption of guilt.
The basic difference between Mexico's and the United State’s 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. In Mexico, this would be in the form of either cash or a Mexico auto insurance policy.
IMPORTANT BAJA UPDATE: Effective January 1, 2012, auto liability insurance is MANDATORY throughout Baja California. Until now, acquiring Mexican auto insurance was strongly advisable if you intended on driving in Baja….as of 1/1/12, it’s a MANDATORY REQUIREMENT. Article 18 of the vehicle code establishes that all cars in Baja must have liability insurance, even foreign plated vehicles.
Can my U.S. insurance help me?
Before you leave home, make sure that you find out if your U.S. insurance policy will cover damages suffered by your vehicle while in Mexico. If it does cover these damages, 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 have familiarized yourself with your own auto policy and the extent of its coverage in Mexico, you can then proceed to make a more qualified decision towards your Mexican insurance needs.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Whether or not your U.S. insurance policy extends coverage into Mexico, the LIABILITY coverage on Mexico auto insurance should always still get purchased (and, again, to reiterate, in Baja it is a mandatory requirement). Authorities in Mexico do not recognize the Liability coverage on your U.S. policy, or any other non-Mexican insurance policy. Only a Mexican automobile liability policy is acceptable evidence of financial responsibility.
What does Mexican insurance cost?
Proudly representing Qualitas Compania de Seguros, Mexico's leading Tourist Auto Insurance carrier, we offer Quick Quote above for a simple and easy calculation of Qualitas' low rates.
IMPORTANT: Be advised, at or about 25 days of coverage a 6 MONTH or ANNUAL policy makes far greater economic sense. The way Qualitas rates are structured, a policy term in excess of 25 days or so will be more cost effective with a 6 MONTH or ANNUAL policy. Our Quick Quote is designed to give you the daily quote but also automatically programmed to reflect the 6 MONTH and ANNUAL quote, enabling you to see all your options in one easy glance.
Is it necessary to name every conceivable driver on the mexican insurance policy?
No, however, it is suggested you, at least, name the registered owner. Also, if the registered owner will not be accompanying the vehicle to Mexico, it is important to name at least the primary driver, or anyone who will likely always be with the vehicle. Our mexican insurance policy enrollment provides space to name two individuals. Again though, it is not necessary to name every conceivable driver.
What if I did not buy an adequate number of days of mexican insurance?
If after your policy transaction is completed you realize you made an error and need additional time of coverage, you have two options: 1) acquire another mexican insurance policy for the additional day(s), and make certain it starts at the exact hour and day your first policy ends, so there is no lapse in coverage; OR 2) buy another mexican insurance policy for the entire adequate period of coverage and call 800-466-7227 to authorize our cancellation (and refund) of your first policy.
IMPORTANT: These adjustments must be made prior to the first mexican insurance policy taking effect. As a reminder, minimum term of coverage is 24 hours. A policy for "a few hours" is not available.
What are some other important things to know?
The mexican insurance policy is null and void if the driver responsible for the accident was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
The mexican auto insurance policy is null and void if the driver does not have a valid drivers license.
A towed vehicle must be described on the mexican insurance 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 mexican 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.
In case of total theft of the vehicle, the owner of the vehicle or the person who had possession of the vehicle must file an Auto Theft report in person with Mexican authorities.
In case of an impounded vehicle, the registered owner of the vehicle is the only one authorized to sign for its release, and it must be done in person.
For 63 years we have successfully provided mexican auto insurance to motorists traveling in Mexico. We've tried addressing the most common mexican insurance questions above and continue to welcome calls or emails for additional inquiries.
Our Customer Service staff is standing by to offer assistance and can be reached as follows:
Toll-Free (800) 466-7227