Does Your Car Insurance Cover You While You Are in Mexico?

Last night, while having dinner with some friends and reminiscing of yesteryear when driving into Mexico was relatively safe, a question arose.  Would your car insurance company cover a loss into Nuevo Laredo, Mexico?  Keeping in mind that Nuevo Laredo is the neighboring city to Laredo, TX, many Laredoans think that coverage could be found in a Texas auto insurance policy but the simple answer is, it depends.  In the past, and perhaps even today, some insurance companies used an endorsement onto the existing Texas auto policy that provided limited coverage.  The limitations were based on three basic circumstances.  The vehicle made “infrequent” trips into Mexico not exceeding a 25mile radius of the Texas-Mexico border and the trip did not exceed 10 consecutive days.  The problem with the policy language is it is ambiguous.  The “infrequent” part is left up to anyone’s interpretation.  To the average Laredoan, driving into Mexico four times per month is not considered frequent but to someone living in North Texas it may be.  To prevent ambiguity, some insurance companies began defining “frequency” by using a fixed limit on the number of days driven into Mexico per month.  What would the process look like after a accident occurs in Nuevo Laredo?  After a claim has been submitted, a claims adjuster needs to determine if coverage exists.  Assuming that the damages were only to the car not to anyone else’s property and insurance company decides to cover the loss, the next question is, how are you going to bring the car into the United States?  Many insurance companies won’t allow there adjusters to travel into Mexico.  Having to figure out how to bring your car back home is a big inconvenience to say the least.  Whether coverage exists against physical damage to the vehicle, a much bigger concern is liability.  What if you are the one at fault in a car crash in Mexico?  In Mexico, you are guilty until proven innocent.  So if you cause bodily injury or property damage, you may be held in custody until you pay for the damages.  What a nightmare!  Although the claims process is rather quick for most insurance companies, there is protocol.  The insurance company must first investigate if there is coverage and may need to speak with the other driver involved in the accident.  All the while, unless you were able to make payment of the damages, you’d be waiting in lockup hoping that coverage exists!  What if this happened on Thanksgiving and the adjuster will call you first thing on Monday morning?  Thus, needless to say, if you ever drive into Mexico DO NOT RELY on the Texas auto policy to cover a loss.  It would be to your best interest to purchase a Mexico auto policy.

 

 

Insurance Blogger

Fred Gonzalez is the principal agent at AlphaSure Affordable Insurance Services in Laredo, TX. He has been licensed to sell and service insurance in Texas since 2001.
AlphaSure Affordable Insurance Svcs 201 W Del Mar Blvd Suite 20 Laredo, TX 78041 (956) 729-9500 affordableinsurancelaredo@gmail.com

 

 

 

Shopping for Car Insurance in Laredo, TX

If you are you considering switching agents?  Then the next step is to start shopping for car insurance.  There are essentially 3 ways to shop.  You could get an insurance quote from a company directly either online or through a 1-800 number.  You could get a quote from a captive agent such as State Farm agent.  A captive agent typically is bound by contract to place a client’s insurance policy with their captive company and is not free to place with any other company if the client meets their own underwriting guidelines.  These companies are good reliable companies with name recognition.  Local captive agents are knowledgeable and you can meet them in a face to face meeting.  However, because a local captive agent is many times limited to his contracted carrier, he will be limited with the options available.  Thus, you might not get the “best” deal out there.  A third option is shopping with a local independent insurance agency.  This in my opinion, must be in the mix when you’re shopping for car insurance in Laredo or home insurance in Laredo.  In addition to having a person to talk to should the need arise, an independent agent is knowledgeable and is contracted with many insurance companies.  Some companies are regional companies with good financial ratings and service, while others, like Progressive Insurance, are national insurance companies.  For example, when a customer comes to me asking to “bundle” his car insurance and home insurance policies to get a multi-policy discount, assuming underwriting eligibilities are met, I will quote ALL the home insurance companies that we are contracted with and ALL of the car insurance companies we are contracted with.  Sometimes we might find that the best deal is keeping the auto insurance and house insurance with the same insurance company, such as Safeco Insurance.  But many times, it’s better to have a mix between company A for the car insurance and company B for the home insurance.  In short, a good independent agent can provide options.

 

 

Insurance Blogger

Fred Gonzalez is the principal agent at AlphaSure Affordable Insurance Services in Laredo, TX. He has been licensed to sell and service insurance in Texas since 2001.
AlphaSure Affordable Insurance Svcs 201 W Del Mar Blvd Suite 20 Laredo, TX 78041 (956) 729-9500 affordableinsurancelaredo@gmail.com

 

My Son Turned 16 and Just Got His Driver’s License

When long time customers call advising that their son had just received his driver’s license, they always seem to brace for the bad news…the auto insurance premium went up!  The rate increase is inevitable because, let’s face it, insurance companies rate their policies based on the risk of loss and the amount of potential damages that will inevitably be paid out.  Thus, a youthful driver, with no experience, presents a greater risk of car crash.  However, insurance companies also recognize the not all teenagers drive the same way.  And not all teenagers lack maturity.  How could an insurance company distinguish between a “mature” teen to a not so mature teen?  One way is by demonstrating good academic responsibility.  Here’s where the “good student” discount comes in.  If your teen driver is a full time student with a “B” average or better, he will normally qualify for a discount.  Keep in mind that not all insurance companies offer the same type of discount, but most will offer some type of discount.  With an independent agent helping you, you could be rest assured that they scrubbed all the discounts available to you.  In fact, what we as agency do as courtesy to our clients is to offer a re-quote on auto insurance to make sure that the current policy is best value for you.  Some companies rate youthful operators less than others.  It’s important to check them all out.

 

Fred Gonzalez is the principal agent at AlphaSure Affordable Insurance Services in Laredo, TX. He has been licensed to sell and service insurance in Texas since 2001.
AlphaSure Affordable Insurance Svcs 201 W Del Mar Blvd Suite 20 Laredo, TX 78041 (956) 729-9500 affordableinsurancelaredo@gmail.com

 

Laredo Texas Insurance | (956) 729-9500