Auto Insurance Primer

What is auto insurance? Auto insurance (or car insurance, motor insurance) is insurance consumers can purchase for cars, trucks, and other vehicles. Its primary use is to provide protection against losses incurred. By buying auto insurance, depending on the type of coverage purchased, the consumer may be protected against:

* The cost of repairing the vehicle following an accident

* The cost of purchasing a new vehicle if it is stolen or damaged beyond economic repair

* Legal liability claims against the driver or owner of the vehicle following the vehicle causing damage or injury to a third party.

Liability insurance covers only the last point, while comprehensive insurance covers all three. Even comprehensive insurance, however, doesn’t fully cover the risk associated with buying a new car. Due to the sharp decline in value immediately following purchase, there is generally a period in which the remaining car payments exceed the compensation the insurer will pay for a “totaled” (destroyed, or written-off) vehicle. So-called GAP insurance was established in the early 1980’s to provide protection to consumers based upon buying and market trends. The escalating price of cars, extended term auto loans, and the increasing popularity of leasing gave birth to GAP protection. GAP waivers provide protection for consumers when a “gap” exists between the actual value of their vehicle and the amount of money owed to the bank or leasing company. In some countries including New Zealand and Australia market structures mean that people are more likely to buy a nearly new car than a new car so this is less of a problem.

In the United States, liability insurance covers claims against the policy holder and generally, any other operator of the insured’s vehicle, provided they do not live at the same address as the policy holder and are not specifically excluded on the policy. In the case of those living at the same address, they must specifically be covered on the policy. Thus it is necessary for example, when a family member comes of driving age they must be added on to the policy. Liability insurance generally does not protect the policy holder if they operate any vehicles other than their own. When you drive a vehicle owned by another party, you are covered under that party’s policy. Non-owners policies may be offered that would cover an insured on any vehicle they drive. This coverage is available only to those who do not own their own vehicle.

Generally, liability coverage does extend when you rent a car. However, in most cases only liability applies. Any additional coverage, such as comprehensive policies, i.e. “full coverage” may not apply. Full coverage premiums are based on, among other factors, the value of the insured’s vehicle. This coverage may not apply to rental cars because the insurance company does not want to assume responsibility for a claim greater than the value of the insured’s vehicle, assuming that a rental car may be worth more than the insured’s vehicle. Some states, such as Minnesota, may require that it extend to rental cars. Most rental car companies offer insurance to cover damage to the rental vehicle. In some regions, the costs associated with not having access to the vehicle (“Loss of Use”) is also covered.

Windshield Replacement – Cost Factors

Windshield replacement can be expensive, especially if your insurance company will not pay for it. Replacing your windshield is usually covered if you have comprehensive coverage, which is other than collision, on your policy. It is best to check with your insurance company first before setting up an appointment to have it replaced. If you do have to pay for the cost of windshield replacement there are several factors involved in the final cost, which could cost over two hundred dollars. When you take your car in to have the windshield replaced, the company will first decide if it can be repaired instead of replaced. Not every cracked or chipped windshield will require replacement.

Some of the factors that are considered in the cost of windshield replacement can include:

• Size of the windshield

• Insurance coverage, because most insurance policies have a deductible that the customer has to pay before the insurance will pay, which can range from two hundred fifty dollar and more

• Additional parts that need replaced such as the rubber mounting that goes around the windshield

• The auto glass repair shop, which includes the hourly rate of doing the replacement. If you choose to go to a dealership to have the work done it will be more expansive than a regular auto glass repair ship.

• Towing to the repair shop if the windshield is so damaged it is unsafe to drive the vehicle

One of the most important factors that need to be considered is the type of glass that is used for the windshield replacement. The most expensive glass that can be used in windshield replacement is dealer glass, which is the type of glass that was used for the windshield when it was built. There are other comparable types of windshield glass such as original equipment manufacturer (OEM). This type of glass has to meet or exceed the vehicle manufacturer’s standards but is generally not as costly as dealer glass. The only real differences between the two are the maker, the fact that the OEM glass does not have the manufacturer’s name stamped on the glass, and the price.

There is another choice for windshield replacement glass that does not meet the same standards as OEM windshield glass but it is cheaper. This glass is called aftermarket glass. Other than the more expensive dealer glass, OEM tends to be most popular choice.

In today’s world, you may be able to save the cost of having your car towed to the auto glass repair shop by having a mobile unit come to your home to replace your windshield. The replacement does not take long but it needs a couple of hours to set up before you can drive the vehicle.

Questions to Ask Before An Auto Insurance Purchase

Information about auto insurance companies and coverage options are available from multiple sources for examples the state’s department of insurance, magazines, and independent reviewers’ websites. Insurers operate within the scope of state’s regulations, so everyone will get more or less the same suggestions. There are laws that govern how insurance companies conduct their businesses. There is a clear boundary between legal and illegal practices, but customers still need to do their due diligence to not only avoid frauds but also purchase the right insurance policy that contains the right coverage from the right company.

Insurers have their own methods to determine price and coverage. Apart from company’s policy, customers’ personal data and previous DMV records, behaviors on the road are also essential. Two people who have the same car model and make can get different quotes because they have different records and preferences as well. Here are some questions policyholders must ask themselves before they decide to purchase coverage from any provider.

1. How Much Do They Drive?

More mileage per policy period means more expensive premium. A person who drives a car every day of the week to commute spends more time on the road, hence higher risk of accidents. Distance between home and workplace also helps determine auto insurance premium. Therefore, someone who drives short distance should pay less for auto insurance coverage. Some companies provide discounts for low mileage, too.

2. Do They Use Their Cars for Commercial Purposes?

There are two types of auto insurance policy: personal and commercial. Personal auto insurance is for those who drive for personal purposes for examples to their workplaces or leisure travels. All types of coverage in the policy protect the safety of the drivers and cars. Commercial auto insurance provides more complete protections such as for cargo or passengers (who are not from the same household). Financial protection for cargo means more expensive premium, but this is necessary from business point of view.

3. Do They Have Any Emotional Attachment with Their Cars?

People who love their cars very much need the best protections available from providers. In addition to minimum coverage requirement by the state, optional coverage is necessary to protect cars from wide range of potential dangers. Collision, Comprehensive, and Road Assistance are not mandatory, but they must purchase such coverage for better protections. Additional coverage increases premium rate.

4. Does Anybody Else Drive the Car?

Other drivers (for examples spouse, children, or anybody who lives in the same household) must put their names in the policy. Additional drivers mean more expensive premium, but it can be cheaper when the other driver is a teenager. Insurance companies tend to think of young drivers as high-risk, so it is best to list their names as secondary drivers to minimize cost.

5. What Type of Cars Do They Drive?

Cars with minimum safety features cost more to insure. Sports cars or luxurious models are expensive to repair, and this is why auto insurance providers charge higher premium.

6. Do They Own or Lease the Cars?

Full ownership of the car grants the right to choose any combination of insurance coverage available from provider. When the car is still under lease or finance agreement, the financial service that leases the vehicle often requires driver to include specific type of coverage as part of the deal. In this case, total cost for insurance is almost always more expensive than the amount full owners have to pay.

7. Where Do They Park?

Policyholders’ address is also an important thing to consider. People who park their cars in urban areas where crime rate is high tend to pay higher for auto insurance. There is higher risk of theft and vandalism in the area, so additional protection is necessary. Car owners who live in suburbs often pay less.

8. Do They Have Any Traffic Violation History?

Traffic law violations in the past affect the current premium rate. Records of DUI, involvement in major accidents, improper turn, and failure to produce driver license or insurance card affect premium. When an insurance company thinks that a driver is too risky to insure, the driver needs non-standard auto insurance. The term “non-standard” refers to coverage for high-risk drivers.

CCC Valuescope & USAA Conspiring to Defraud, Committing RICO Act Violations?

I am filing a consumer complaint against CCC Valuescope (CCCG) and my insurer USAA for falsely alleging a fair “market value” of my automobile.

My insurer USAA has breached its duty to exercise the utmost good faith to me its insured. By using CCC Valuescope (a company I allege violates the U.S. federal RICO Act) USAA has intentionally provided me a low and fraudulent valuation of my automobile in hopes of obtaining an unreasonable and unfair settlement.

CCC Valuescope (formerly known as CCC Information Services Group Inc – CCCG) can by no means be deemed a fair and market value of automobiles as CCC Valuescope works exclusively for insurers and therefore has an economic interest to supply valuations that are intentionally below the actual fair market value of what insured vehicles are truly worth.

It is known fact throughout the insurance industry that CCC gathers its values from what car dealers would sell a vehicle for at basement wholesale prices, not the true “retail value of an auto of like kind and quality prior to the accident” as mandated by FL insurance regulations. Moreover CCC Valuescope uses a mix of vehicles formerly leased, used, and abused among wrecked cars when compiling valuations to afford their insurance company customers paying out total losses the lowest possible “values” to present their insured.

Ironically, nearly every vehicle in CCC Valuescope’s appraisal of my car report consisted of vehicles that had over 20 records indicative of issues such as accidents and faulty cars. Among the report, some cars had 28, 31, and 32 records.

Cutting costs and denying its insured “the utmost due care” historically can be documented against USAA beginning with the class action lawsuit against USAA in Washington’s King County (March 12, 1999) for compelling auto repair shops to use “imitation” parts in repairs, while simultaneously hiding this practice from policyholders. Beyond auto insurance, USAA has countless complaints filed against it in 27 states across the country.

CCC Valuescope is not independent in their valuations since they are a hired gun for the insurance companies! Upon conducting a VIN search on the vehicles within the CCC report 39813905, many cars had over 20 records indicative of numerous collisions, issues with the vehicle, and several changes of ownership. By relying upon CCC’s intentionally low valuation of my vehicle, USAA is breaching its fiduciary duty to act in good faith in handling my claim. No fair and honest evaluation of my claim can be performed by CCC as it is contracted by insurers for the primary purpose of minimizing monies paid out by insurers to its fiduciaries. By using CCC Valuescope, USAA is clearly not exercising the “utmost due care” in the interest of me its insured as required by Baxter v. Royal Indemnity.

CCC admitted itself in its SEC Filing on 3-16-2005 that “the Company sometimes pays a new customer for the remaining commitment of its previous contract with third parties as an incentive”. In regard to regulation, CCC mentions in the same filing “in most states, however, there is no formal approval process for total loss valuation products”. CCC itself confesses in the same report “individual state departments of insurance have taken positions as to whether the use of CCC Valuescope valuations is in compliance with a states claim handling regulations”.

“The Company is aware that since 2002 the California Department of Insurance has advised some of the Company’s customers (which management estimates to be approximately 14% of the total revenue earned in 2004 from the Company’s CCC Valuescope valuation product and service) that the Department believed that their use of CCC Valuescope had not been in compliance with the California insurance regulations in effect prior to October 4, 2004, with respect to certain components of the products methodology. The Company believes the product was in compliance with the applicable California regulations.”

“On April 24, 2003, the California Department of Insurance formally adopted new regulations that required the Company to change its methodology for computing total loss valuations in California.” There is good reason therefore to believe CCC Valuescope’s valuation methodology is terribly flawed and skewed to favor its insurance company customers.

In CCC’s annual report filed February 13, 2004 the legal proceedings and numerous class action lawsuits against CCC are documented in pages 35, 42, 43, and 44 of the 53 page report.

On page 35, CCC Valuescope admits to setting aside $4.3 million as an estimate towards potential settlement to “resolve potential claims arising out of approximately 30% of the transaction volume of CCC Valuescope”.

By acknowledging 30% of transaction volume becoming potential claims, CCC Valuescope thereby makes it public record that it anticipates a sizeable percentage of lawsuits for unfair and fraudulent valuations. Such a high percentage of transaction volume alone attests to the flawed methodology of CCC’s report, its unscrupulous dealings, and wholehearted commitment to protect the financial interests of the insurers it serves.

Ironically, four of CCC Valuescope’s automobile insurance company customers have made contractual and, in some cases, also common law indemnification claims against CCC for litigation costs, attorneys’ fees, settlement payments and other costs allegedly incurred by them in connection with litigation relating to their use of CCC’s flawed TOTAL LOSS valuation product.

Certainly the countless class action lawsuits filed across the United States against CCC Valuescape provides further evidence concerning the grossly low and inaccurate valuations of vehicles they give the insurers they serve. Among the many are:

CCC Settles Class Action Suit on Valuation of Total Loss Vehicles (July 15, 2005)

Chicago-based claims software-maker CCC Information Services Inc. announced that it and 15 of its customers signed a settlement agreement with the plaintiffs in various class action suits pending in Madison County, Ill. These consolidated suits, Case Nos. 01 L 157, et al., relate to the valuation of vehicles that have been declared total losses by insurers.

Terms of the settlement agreement will require CCC to pay notice and administration fees and other costs associated with the settlement. The company estimates that these costs will total about $8 million, and including available insurance proceeds of $1.8 million, the company is fully reserved for these payments. Other settlement costs, including claims by class members, will be paid by the insurance companies that are participating in the settlement.

August 23, 2000, a putative statewide class action was filed in the Circuit Court for Hillsborough County, FL, against CCC and USAA Casualty Insurance Company (Peter Sintes et al. v. USAA Casualty Insurance Company and CCC Information Services, Inc., Case No. 00-006308). Plaintiffs allege that USAA contracted with CCC to provide valuations of “total loss” vehicles and that CCC supplied valuations that were intentionally below the actual fair market value of the insured vehicle.

Iinsurance companies “owe a duty to the insured to exercise the utmost good faith.” Baxter v. Royal Indemnity Company, 285 So.2d 652 (Fla. 1st DCA 1973).

Given the countless and ongoing class action lawsuits against CCC Valuescope there should now be no question that CCC Valuescope is not independent in its auto valuations and is guilty of violating the U.S. federal RICO Act and National Insurance Regulations, along with many of the complicit insurance companies such as USAA who willingly and knowingly use their product with the intent to deceive.

Tampa Bay Car Accident Statistics – Proof That Everyone Needs Auto Insurance

With the economy falling on hard times, many people are cutting expenditures in any way they can, including skimping on coverage for their car insurance. While it’s understandable that people must do what they can to put food on the table for their families and survive, many are making a horrible mistake – driving without auto insurance.

Florida law states that if you operate a motor vehicle in the state, you must purchase automobile insurance. Florida’s minimum coverage of insurance is $10,000 personal injury protection (PIP) and $10,000 property damage liability (PDL).

Driving without auto insurance in the state of Florida is illegal. If you do not purchase auto insurance under the guidelines mentioned above, your drivers’ license can be revoked for up to three years.

If the legal consequences of driving without auto insurance don’t compel you to purchase car insurance, then perhaps these recent car accident statistics, provided by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, will.

In 2010 there were 17,480 traffic accidents in Hillsborough County, which encompasses Tampa, Brandon, Riverview, Valrico, Fishhawk, Ruskin, and Sun City Center. In 2009, in the city of Tampa alone, there were 6,788 car accidents. Alcohol was involved in 7% of them (480).

In 2009, Pinellas County, which encompasses St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Largo, Palm Harbor, and the Gulf Beaches, had 13,669 accidents.

The city of Tampa ranks third in statewide traffic accidents, behind Miami and Jacksonville. This makes car insurance rates in Tampa higher than other cities in Florida. It also puts you at a tremendous risk should you opt to drive without car insurance and then be involved in an accident. The scary thing is – one in seven people throughout the country don’t have car insurance. In some states, it’s even as high as one in four!

If you’re involved in a car accident and do not have auto insurance, the consequences can be devastating physically and financially. You’ll need repairs on your car, or possibly a new one, if your vehicle is beyond repair. You could require medical care to cover injuries. Injuries sustained in car accidents can be soft tissue injuries such as whiplash, to more severe ones such as a concussion or broken bones.

If you’re hit by an uninsured motorist, it can be even worse. Considering auto insurance can be relatively cheap compared to the cost of actually purchasing a vehicle, there’s absolutely no reason anyone should be driving without it. Purchasing auto insurance may seem very precautionary and even unnecessary, but it will save you a lot of pain and suffering later on.

Don’t Let the Economy Have a Bad Effect on Your Vehicle

The economy has definitely taken a turn for the bad. Prices of everything keep going up and so many people are being laid off from their jobs. This makes us want to keep more money in our wallets which is understandable. However, we still need to keep up with our responsibilities, our vehicles being one of those. It is important to not let the economy have a bad effect on your vehicle since you will not want to spend money on buying a new one.

There are many was cars on the road today that are in need of auto body repair. Many of the car owners however are putting off getting the auto body repairs because they know our economy is not doing well and are afraid to spend the extra money right now. It is important to keep in mind that not getting auto body repairs can lead to more damage or possibly having to buy a new car. Both of those things will end up costing you much more than simply repairing your vehicle when it needs it.

Most insurance companies will pay for all or most of the auto body repairs. The surprising thing is that most people pay out of pocket because it is so affordable. Another great thing about auto body repairs is that they can usually be completed within two to six hours. Which means you will not be without your vehicle for long and in most cases will not need to pay for a rental car, which will save you money and extra hassle.

Some auto body repairs that you should consider for your vehicle include paint touch up, paintless dent removal, wheel rim repair, bumper repair, auto body repairs, headlight restoration, interior repairs of all kinds and much more. All of these services can be completed at most auto reconditioning shops. You want to make sure that you find an auto reconditioning shop that produces a high quality of work so check around with a few before deciding. Most shops will give you are free estimate so you can also determine what you can afford and which shop will be best for you financially as well.

If you neglect your vehicles auto body damage it can lead to more damage. That will then lead to more money out of your pocket which is never a good thing. Also if you don’t take care of the auto body damage it will have a negative effect on your vehicle. If your vehicle is not in top conditions it will affect your vehicles resale or trade in value. Which means you will be losing more money than it would cost for the repair. So, don’t let the economy have a bad affect on your vehicles because you will pay for it later.

If your vehicle’s auto body is in need of repair find an auto body shop that can make your vehicle look great and not take too much money out of your wallet!

Tips And Tricks For Windshield Repair And Windshield Replacement

No one likes to think about a chipped or damaged windshield. This is partly due to a misconception that any damage requires a windshield to be replaced and that insurance companies will refuse to cover the cost of the job. In actuality, windshield repair is often the solution to problems and not only is it reasonably priced, it is often covered in the comprehensive portion of auto insurance.

The biggest thing to remember when you’re dealing with a damaged windshield is to get your insurance company involved as soon as possible. Informing them right away that you have some damage, as well as how the damage happened, will help get the ball rolling as far as an estimate and repair work. Many insurance companies require that you use a certain company for the replacement or that you gather estimates from a few local businesses. Understanding their requirements will smooth the way to a relatively easy process.

Chips and small cracks, up to the size of a dollar bill, are prime candidates for windshield repair. Repair jobs can be done quickly and most companies now offer mobile repair units which can come to address the problem without upsetting your schedule. The repair is done by injecting a special epoxy into the crack or chip. This epoxy is formulated to be both strong and clear so that once it dries and if buffed it is nearly impossible to see where the damage had once been. The structural integrity of your windshield is never compromised by a repair done professionally with quality products.

Windshield replacement jobs are much more complicated and this is why so many insurance and windshield companies encourage drivers to get problems repaired quickly. The entire process for a windshield replacement can actually take up to a week since the windshield usually needs to be ordered in before work can even begin. Once the new windshield has been delivered, the old windshield must be removed and all of the seals need to be clean and checked and, in some cases, entirely replaced. Once the new windshield is in place the adhesive used to mount it needs plenty of time to dry. Thus curing process can take several hours or even as long as a full day. Once the adhesive has dried the entire windshield needs to be inspected for safety and authorized by a safety professional before the customer can drive away.

There are those who say do it yourself windshield repair kits are just as good as a job done by a trained professional. In fact, these home remedies – which range from using crazy glue or nail polish to buying kits available online – are not covered by insurance and should the process go wrong or result in further damage, you will be responsible for the cost of the entire job. Additionally, these fixes do not ensure that your windshield will be as strong as it would be if treated professionally and this can place both the driver and any passengers at risk in case of accident or if the chip or crack spreads and weakens the windshield as a whole. Quick fixes may be tempting to try but it’s a gamble that can end up costing you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in windshield replacement bills.

Collision Repair: How Much Damage Is Too Much?

From minor bumps to high-speed crashes, most car accidents result in damages that require the expertise of an auto body repair shop. Collision repair isn’t always simple. Even minor accidents can cause auto body damage that is expensive and timely to repair. The type of impact and the style of the damaged car both play a role in determining how much damage has occurred.

Determining a Total Loss

Many drivers think that there’s no hope if their insurance company says that their car is ‘totaled.’ A car that is totaled is not necessarily unrepairable though. The extent of the damage has very little to do with whether or not an insurance company declares a total loss. Instead, the decision is based on the costof the collision repair in comparison to the fair market value of the car. If repairing the auto body damage will cost more than the car is worth, it is said to be totaled.

Structural Damage

Correcting damage to a vehicle’s frame is one of the most expensive types of collision repair, but undoing structural damage is not impossible. A knowledgeable auto body repair shop will generally inspect a wrecked vehicle for misalignment before anything else. If the car doesn’t meet the exact measurements of the manufacturer, advanced machines are used to pull the frame back to its original specifications.

Rear End Collisions

Depending on the speed, a car that is rear ended can suffer quite a bit of damage. Structural damage is not uncommon after a powerful rear collision. The amount of damage will also depend on the car. In a recent IIHS study, a low-speed rear end collision in a compact car with a poorly designed bumper can result in more than $3,500 in auto body damage. On the other hand, a car with dent-resistant plastic body panels can often be repaired for less than $200.

Frontal Impacts

Front-end collision repair is often more extensive than rear end damage. At higher speeds, a head-on collision can cause damage to the front bumper, the hood, the windshield, and the quarter panels. If the damage is minor, the auto body technician may choose to repair the panels rather than replace them. Unless the parts are pre-painted, the body shop will also have to match the paint color and re-spray each panel before reassembling the car.

Rollovers

A car that rolls over generally has much more auto body damage than a vehicle involved in a frontal or rear end crash. Damage to the frame is usually inevitable in a rollover. There is a possibility that every piece of the car has suffered at least minor body damage. The decision to repair a vehicle that has rolled over should be made carefully. Extensive damage like this could require additional mechanical work, as well.

Whether auto body damage appears to be major or minor, an experienced collision repair specialist should examine the car for unseen damage. Accidents can cause cosmetic damage that is fairly easy to repair, as well as frame damage or mechanical troubles that are much more costly to fix. Almost any type of collision damage can be repaired, but sometimes it is more cost efficient to scrap the vehicle.

Car Insurance – Cushion Huge Expenses and a Legal Protection

A car has become a basic need of families now-a-days. You can see many small, big, different models and companies cars rushed on the road around all the cities. We all know that a good car comes under a luxury item and no one wants to spend money on this on daily basis. Could you afford to buy a new car because one you had damaged or stolen? Yes answer is most of the people can’t. So there is a solution to protect your favorite and needed car- the car insurance.

What is car insurance?

It is a type of a contract between the car owner and insurance company. In this contract car owner pays the premium and the insurance company pays the losses or theft of car. A car is often a high expense and you want to insulate it. So insure your car and feel safe to roam around!

It repairs all types of damages

The aim of such insurance is to serve the victim. It pays to repair all types of damages such as weather damage, flood damage, fire damage and animal smashups. If your car is wrecked due to any mention damage in insurance papers, company will provide you amount for the relevant damage.

Clinches the peace of mind

Same as its spelling “insurance”- it insures peace of mind to deal with daunted bearings that completely hooked with budgeting. Unforeseen situations can happen anywhere with anyone but this type of investment keep your mind peaceful in such situations. It brings immediate relief from stress and survives in such incidents.

Bear thefts- roaming and parking is comfort

Could you purchase a new car because the one you had is pilfered? It’s difficult to bear a loss of theft of your favorite or luxury car. But you may feel recline from the fear of theft if you have insured your car. The company from where you have purchased insurance compensates you the value of car that was stolen.

Easy to excess

Car insurance is an easy and fast process to protect your car. You can purchase or renewed insurance online that is an easy and fast process. It is accessible by anyone as per the time and convenience.

Premiums and claims

Premiums and claims may different according to company’s policy. It totally depends on which type of policy you want to buy. But it is easy to pay premium because companies will provide you online facility to access all information. If you do not claim during the policy period No claim Bonus will offers you renewable policy in certain terms and conditions.

Car insurance contributes to legal, mental and financial peace which makes driving, buying or owning a car easy. It is a best way to boost broad coverage against debt you might face due to car theft or damage.

Tips on Buying Mexican Car Insurance Before Your Upcoming Trip

If you are planning on visiting Mexico either for a short trip, or an extended stay, and you will be operating a vehicle in this country; then you may want to consider investing in Mexican car insurance. There are different legal systems in place in Mexico, when compared to the United States; and some significant difference in insurance coverage’s that are offered for drivers. When buying a plan for an upcoming trip to Mexico, it is usually best to purchase a short term policy online before entering the country; to avoid any potential issues.

Research Liability Differences- One of the major differences with car insurance in Mexico compared to the United States is the difference in liability issues between the two countries. According to the civil law in Mexico; there is no liability for any type of emotional distress pain or suffering for those who are in an automobile accident. This means that insurance claims only covers property damage and bodily injury; items that are determined strictly and easily based on their actual cash value. This is important information to know, should you ever be in an accident.

Purchase Separate Legal Aid Coverage- When inside Mexico, there is no liability coverage to pay for your legal defense, should you get in an accident and need to go to court. Typically, there is an option to add legal aid coverage to your policy.

Be Aware of Mexican Accident Laws- When deciding whether or not to get Mexican car insurance; remember, if you are in an accident, the country’s law requires your vehicle to be held within the nation’s borders until all damages are paid off. With this in mind, make sure that your policy will cover the cost of bail, or add an additional coverage first.

Buy a Short Term Policy Online- Don’t wait to purchase auto insurance until you arrive in Mexico, you can purchase short term travel policies online before your trip. While you purchase your online policy; make sure you also purchase a car permit.

Collect the Proper Paperwork First- When you enter into the country, you will legally need to have both Mexican car insurance and a car permit for Mexico, especially once outside the ‘border sector’ of the country. When driving in the country, the insurance claim, title holder and driver all must be owned by the same person. In order to obtain a temporary car permit, you will need your drivers license, registration, ID, major credit card and some type of immigration form.

Consider Auto Insurance Through Your Car Rental Company- Many travelers will decide to rent a car in Mexico after they have crossed the border. Your car rental company will likely be able to offer you high quality coverage. However, if you want to get liability coverage, you will have to get this separately from a licensed provider.

Learn the Difference in Deductibles- Deductibles in the United States are different than deductibles in Mexico. Typically with auto insurance in Mexico, there are two different types of deductibles. First there is the physical damage deductible, that is usually about 2% of the value of the vehicle; with a a minimum of $500. There is also theft deductible that is usually 5% of the vehicle’s value with a minimum of $1,000. With the differences in typically deductibles; it is important for drivers to be well informed of what their deductibles will cover.

Look for Medical Evacuation and Plane Tickets Home- If you are worried about a potential accident impacting your trip; consider adding medical evacuation coverage. This will pay for air or land ambulance services. You can also add coverage to cover the cost of your plane tickets to the US or Canada, should an accident render you unable to leave.

Vehicle Repair- As a visitor to the country of Mexico, drivers will want to find out if they are allowed to repair their vehicle in their home country, whether the US or Canada. Otherwise, those who are in accidents may have to get their repairs done in Mexico. Not all insurance companies offer this service, but some who specialize in travel insurance will have this option.

Auto policies differ from country to country; but as a responsible driver, it is always smart to know your coverage options. If you should find yourself in an accident, you can feel confident knowing that your Mexican auto insurance can help keep you covered. Your insurance policy may have a number that you can call,or you can call Mexico’s version of 911 (066) in case of an accident, for assistance.