Dec 15, 2013, 7:09 PM
Going back to the OP's question about driving a Mex-plated car in the US, and ignoring the rental car issues, here's what I did last summer with our Mex-plated car.
Re: [chinagringo] Visiting the US in a Mexican Car
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1. The car is insured in Mexico with ANA Seguros.
2. Comprehensive, collision and theft coverage are included for Mexico, the US, and Canada without any time restrictions as part of the standard policy.
3. ANA's liability coverage is for Mexico only. However, they include a US$100K liability policy from National Unity Insurance of Texas, good for up to 28 days as a "tourist" in the US. To qualify, you must be a Mexican citizen or full-time resident of Mexico. Speaking to the National Unity representative "Marta", this doesn't mean having "Residente Permanente" status, but rather that:
a. you have a Mexican driver's license, and 4. I wanted a US$300K liability policy in the US. I was able to purchase a 28-day US$200K National Unity liability add-on from www.segurogringo.com. It's called "Extensión 200" and cost US$37.
b. you don't have a US residence, and
c. you are making "tourist" type visits to the US.
5. Our stay in the US was for a total of 41 days, so while in the US, I purchased a 13-day US$300K National Unity liability policy to cover us for day 29 to day 41. Cost of this policy was US$56, also purchased from www.segurogringo.com.
6. Before doing this, I contacted many US-based insurance companies. None of them were willing to insure a Mex-plated car.
7. The following caveats appear on the various National Unity policies in my file:
a. There is no coverage hereunder for vehicles principally garaged in the United States of America. 8. Policies include roadside assistance: towing, vehicle fluid delivery, battery jump start, flat tire assistance, and lock-out service.
b. No coverage provided in Mexico.
c. No coverage for commercial vehicles.
d. No coverage for drivers under 21 or drivers over 75 years of age unless specifically listed and additional premiums paid.
Since I didn't have any incidents while in the US, I can't vouch for how responsive National Unity is as a company, and please don't take this as an endorsement. It was the ONLY solution I could find for my particular needs. If someone finds other ways to have liability in the US for a Mex-plated vehicle, please add to this thread. As I mentioned earlier, I didn't need to find comprehensive, collision and theft coverage in the US because it was included in our normal policy.
I thought we might be hassled by US police because of our Michoacán plates, but that didn't happen. Crossing at Eagle Pass, the US border agent asked about the plates. When I said we lived in Mexico, that was the end of the conversation and he passed us through.