Auto Insurance (Medical below)
Note: New limits placed by the government in 2013 on maximum liability have increased considerably. $500k liability is best $100k is minimum you should have. The maximum varies from Mexican State to State, so check with your agent to see how much you really need. This has added $75 to $100 to most premiums on a 6 month policy.
Your US or Canadian insurance is usually not valid in Mexico. You do not have to buy Mexican Insurance, but it would be extremely foolish not to do so . A 3 or 6 month policy is usually the most economical. Expect to pay about $120 - $135 for each $10K insured (6 month policies). It is important to note that when you are buying Mexican Insurance, you are not dealing with the actual Insurance company, you are dealing with a US based agent. How reliable that agent is, and whether or not they will look after your interests or the companies interests, in a claim situation is very important. I have only witnessed dealings with 3 companies in this regard and that is Lewis & Lewis, Mexpro & Vagabundos. All represented the clients interests, but that does not mean they are the only ones that do so. This is also why it is important you have an English speaking person in the US who is accessible should you be involved in an accident.
Saving money if you are American
Switch your insurance to Progressive or Blue Sky. Both of these companies provide collision in Mexico, meaning you only need liabiltiy. Check their conditions.
Saving money if you are Canadian
Many Canadian Insurance companies will rebate you for the time your vehicle is out of Canada or the US, so you can in many cases, end up breaking even. This is certainly the case with ICBC in BC. (download ICBC Refund Request) Make sure you keep receipts which prove when you were iN Mexico and that you were continuosly down there for that period. Remember you may not be able to cannot cancel your insurance back home and still be eligible to purchase Mexican Insurance. This is not a problem with ICBC since it is an "after-the-fact" rebate.
Vagabundos del Mar
Vagabundos del Mar can provide insurance for our clients at better rates than most others. There is no need to be concerned about insurance until a month or 2 before your trip. Although we are tied to Vagabundos, it is up to you where you buy your insurance, and we encourage you to shop around. What is cheapest, may not be the best fit for you. You will have access to their insurance, once you join up. You must become a Vagabundos member to particitpate in our caravans, but you are not obligated to use their insurance. Please note labor rates are capped at $75 US per hour.
Lewis & Lewis
Lewis & Lewis offer a 10% discount to our caravans. They have no cap on labor rates, but it will be more expensive than Vagabundos. The choice is yours.
Some policies provide medical evacuation services. Check where they evacuate you to, especially if you are Canadian. You do not want to be evacuated to a US hospital unless you have good travel insurance.
Extending existing policies
On some of our shorter tours that run concurrent with longer ones, we allow customers to change their mind and pay the diference for the longer tour. If you are potentially in this situation, check with the insurer to make sure you can extend your policy to cover the extra time, hopefully without penalty.
Recent changes to Mexican law means everyone should carry $500,000 in liability. You may also want to check with your own insurance company to ensure they do not cover either collision or liability in Mexico. Some do. You do not want to double insure.
If you are in accident, the first call should be to your broker as you wait for the police. A good reason to have a cell phone. If you are shopping around for insurance, their availability is a consideration in your decision. You also want to check how many adjusters each company has in Mexico, do they speak English or provide an interpreter and how fast will they respond.
If you are in an accident, do not move the vehicle until the police attend. It is illegal and you will be fined (about $100), it does not matter how much traffic you are blocking.
Quite frankly your chances of an accident in Mexico are not that high. Most people tend to drive much more defensively, especially in an RV. In a caravan I think you are even safer. Using toll roads also cuts your risk down. From my observations, most accidents involve passing on blind corners, either you or the guy coming the other way. This is far too common in Mexico. You can cut your risk considerably by being aware this can occur everytime you appoach a blind corner and planning out your response or escape route. I even use my horn on some roads to make oncoming cars aware I am there.
I saw another RV'er last season with a dash cam. They are a great idea, I bought one for myself for about $30. (this one). You have to buy an SD card for it separate. An 8 gig will provide 1 hour, 16 gig, 2 hours and 32 gig ,4 hours. It overwrites the oldest recording. One of these could be invaluable in an accident that is not your fault. If it is your fault, you may want to hide it quick ( I did not just say that). Garmin has also bought out a new GPS with a webcam built into it.
Trip Interuption Insurance
You may purchase this from a number of companies, or will we sell it to you and cover you by reimbursing you the average daily rate for each day you have to cut your trip short. This includes urgent family matters, medical emergencies and severe vehicle breakdown that cause you to miss the remainder, or part of the trip. The cost is around 8% of the total trip cost. Contact us for details.
You should protect yourself with some sort of Travel Insurance. Americans need to check with their insurers for any coverage and take out appropriate travel insurance. Canadian Medicare systems will cover you for what it would cost in Canada, but please double check with them first. Medical care in Mexico is pretty cheap, although if you end up in hospital and need a major operation it can get pricey to the point Canadian Medicare will only cover a portion. I know of one person with a heart condition who was charged 10k & Canadian Medicare covered 7K of it. An option is evacuation insurance. This company appears to be the most reasonable. Whnde you purchase auto insurance,those often include some sort of evacuation costs, but that may only be applicable to injuries from a vehicle accident and make sure they will fly you to Canada, not a US city. Canadians please ensure you have coverage for transiting the US. Costs there could ruin you financially.
Since you are only transiting one other foreign coutnry, you can buy stand alone Mexican medical coverage. Check out this compnay: Novamar
Warning: When you purchase travel insurance be sure to declare every medical condition you have or have had. And I mean everything. There have been cases of claims denied because a condition was not declared, even though the problem was unrelated. Remember the insurance companies may get access to some of your medical records, you probably unwittingly sign a release for them, when you sign up. Check with your doctor as to what is written down in your record.