MONTERREY, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, Nov. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — November marks the beginning of the holiday travel planning season, and industry experts say travelers from the U.S. to Mexico who plan to drive across the border need to be aware of recent changes to the country’s temporary vehicle import permit. According to Mexico insurance industry analysis, new standardized fees implemented in June are expected to affect an estimated 3 million drivers who bring their vehicle into Mexico on business, vacation or family visits annually. In fact, over a million of those drivers are expected to cross the border during the current holiday season.
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Consulting insurance experts on Mexico’s transportation laws and requirements is a critical step before you head south of the border. Ally Financial’s Monterrey, Mexico-based ABASeguros insurance company, and Mexico insurance specialist International Insurance Group (IIG), offer several tips on what you need to know before you bring your vehicle into Mexico.
Alejandro Gonzalez Davila, chief executive officer at ABASeguros, said contacting your vehicle’s lien holder – or the company that holds the loan on a vehicle that has been financed – is a requirement for driving to the interior of Mexico that isn’t widely known.
“Drivers planning to travel into the interior of Mexico, past the commercial-free zone, must pass a government checkpoint and obtain a temporary import permit for their vehicle,” said Gonzalez Davila. “Additionally, vehicles with a lien are required to have a permission letter from the financing company that holds the contract in order to obtain the obligatory import permit.”
According to Jim Labelle, chief executive officer of IIG, the best place to start planning your trip to Mexico is with your auto insurance carrier. Most U.S. and Canadian insurance companies do not offer insurance coverage while driving in Mexico, and those that do generally provide a very limited mileage radius and/or limited coverage.
“I always recommend that travelers to Mexico get a clear understanding of what their insurance provider will and will not cover before they cross the border,” said Labelle. “Not only is their coverage in Mexico likely less than they assume, but any coverage they do have will also exclude liability insurance, which Mexican law requires be purchased from a Mexico-based company.”
Here are some important considerations travelers should make when driving in Mexico:
1. Obtain Mexican Auto Insurance Before You Travel – U.S. liability insurance policies are not valid in Mexico, which Mexican law requires be purchased from a Mexico-based company. To maintain the full protection that an auto insurance policy provides while you are in Mexico, be sure to purchase a policy for loss and liability from a specialized carrier that can provide the best advice and products for your needs.
2. Consider Purchasing Roadside Assistance Coverage – Most insurance providers that sell policies valid in Mexico also offer Roadside Assistance, which provides you with a reputable network of auto service companies in the event you have a mechanical failure.
3. Get Permission to Take Your Financed or Leased Vehicle Across the Border – The Mexican government requires drivers of financed vehicles to obtain a permission letter from the lien holder if the vehicle will be taken outside the country’s commercial-free zones. Additionally, many U.S. and Canadian banks and finance companies, including Ally, require you to notify them prior to taking your financed or leased vehicle into Mexico. Contact your lien holder to ensure you have the correct documents.
4. Limit Driving to Daylight Hours When Possible – Mexico’s open range laws make colliding with livestock a danger, especially at night. Limit driving to daylight hours when possible and know local driving customs in the region you’re traveling in: In Mexico, a blinking left signal on a vehicle traveling on a highway could indicate that it’s clear to pass, however, the same signal in an urban area generally indicates the driver is making a left turn.
Specialized personal auto insurance policies for use in Mexico are offered by ABASeguros and sold through IIG, which can be reached at www.allymexicotravel.com.
About Ally Financial
Ally Financial Inc. (formerly GMAC Inc.) is one of the world’s largest automotive financial services companies. The company offers a full suite of automotive financing products and services in key markets around the world. Ally’s other business units include mortgage operations and commercial finance, and the company’s subsidiary, Ally Bank, offers retail banking products. With approximately $182 billion in assets as of Sept. 30, 2011, Ally operates as a bank holding company. For more information, visit the Ally media site at http://media.ally.com.
A business unit of Ally Financial Inc., ABASeguros was founded in 1956 and today is a leading provider of auto and property and casualty insurance in Mexico and the 4th largest auto insurer in the country with 63 locations in 37 cities.
About International Insurance Group
International Insurance Group is an independent insurance agency providing quality protection for individuals, families and businesses. Along with home, life and business insurance products, IIG is a leading broker of international auto insurance through Ally Financial’s ABASeguros and other carriers.
SOURCE Ally Financial