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Old 01-08-2009   #1 (permalink)
lost on fifth
 
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Rental Car Insurance...I'm Totally Confused!!

Last year after contacting our credit card company, we were told that if we decline all insurance options at the rental car facility we would be covered in the case of a 'mishap'. Yet I understand that there is a mandatory insurance that Mexico requires when renting a car. Is is safe to assume that it is automatically included in the price? Is it possible that you can rent a car without the mandatory coverage? We rented a car from Avis and declined the optional insurance. However when we inquired if the mandatory insurance was on the car, the representative had no idea what we were talking about. We rented the car ($40) per day and had a great time. We are now headed back down (in only 4 weeks ) and once again I'm freaking out about the insurance. We talked to VISA and they never heard of a mandatory insurance, and got the same answer when we called Avis Headquarters.
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Old 01-08-2009   #2 (permalink)
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Hi,
Being from Canada I wasn't sure if things were different between auto insurance in Canada and the US, so I did some digging. I am an insurance agent in Canada and I know none of the insurance agencies my brokerage uses will extend coverage to cars in Mexico (rental or otherwise). I then went on the US Department of State website at

Mexico

and found this information below:

"...
Mexican insurance is required for all vehicles, including rental vehicles. Mexican auto insurance is sold in most cities and towns on both sides of the border. U.S. automobile liability insurance is not valid in Mexico, nor is most collision and comprehensive coverage issued by U.S. companies. Motor vehicle insurance is considered invalid in Mexico if the driver is found to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs...."

I'm not sure what your particular credit card company normally covers, but it seems it wouldn't work in Mexico anyways! I know my credit card will cover me in Canada and US, but practically nowhere else.

I hope this helps! Anyone else who's got actual experience should weigh in and correct me if I'm wrong.
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Old 01-08-2009   #3 (permalink)
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I'd say the easiest thing to do is not ask - just take. No, seriously! Take all the coverage you can so that when you bring that car back missing the spare (which it never had to begin with) or the dent (that was there before you took the car), you don't get hit with a nasty surprise bill charged to your credit card! Full insurance, you're covered.
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Old 01-08-2009   #4 (permalink)
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We have rented cars mostly thru Thrifty at least 3 times or more per year for the last almost 5 yrs for a week or more at a time. This question has crept up numerous times in our minds and about once/yr I reconfirm with Visa EXACTLY what their insurance covers while renting a car in Mexico, and to get them to email me that in writing.

Up until last yr, it clearly stated at Thrifty that you could decline their CDW (collision) which we always did as Visa covers it. The mandatory insurance they are probabaly talking about is the 3rd party Liability (LDW I believe). This has always been mandatory and still is....approx $11.00/day at Thrifty anyway.

Then last yr I saw the small print appeared to have changed on Thrifty's website (for mexico) that credit card insurance coverage was no longer accepted.....which prompted another call to Visa and Thrifty. They ASSURED me they would cover us as per their agreement and what was happening was that lots of the mexican rental car companies were trying to force people into purchasing their own insurance. Again I got a letter from visa to confirm it and really it was no problem at Thrifty in CUN. They even ask you if you want to decline insurance and have your CC cover it.

Last time I looked (I think) their website had changed again with this disclaimer.....but every time (last done in nov and dec) we just decline CDW, take out LDW, pay with visa, have had no incidents and carry on - todo bueno!

Last summer was even funnier....they even said 'that week' we didn't have to take out the LDW either huh? Thought that was mandatory I said - guy replied "not this week, but tomorrow it could change again!" We took it out anyway. Like everything else - inconsistent!!

Good luck tho and double check with your CC company....it all depends too on what type of card you have.
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Old 01-09-2009   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newfiegirl22 View Post

Hi,
Being from Canada I wasn't sure if things were different between auto insurance in Canada and the US, so I did some digging. I am an insurance agent in Canada and I know none of the insurance agencies my brokerage uses will extend coverage to cars in Mexico (rental or otherwise). I then went on the US Department of State website at

Mexico

and found this information below:

"...
Mexican insurance is required for all vehicles, including rental vehicles. Mexican auto insurance is sold in most cities and towns on both sides of the border. U.S. automobile liability insurance is not valid in Mexico, nor is most collision and comprehensive coverage issued by U.S. companies. Motor vehicle insurance is considered invalid in Mexico if the driver is found to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs...."

I'm not sure what your particular credit card company normally covers, but it seems it wouldn't work in Mexico anyways! I know my credit card will cover me in Canada and US, but practically nowhere else.

I hope this helps! Anyone else who's got actual experience should weigh in and correct me if I'm wrong.
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Old 01-09-2009   #6 (permalink)
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I worked as a supervisor for Avis/Budget International Car Rental Call Center.

I worked as a supervisor for Avis (Budget) International Car Rental Call Center...

We always tell our customers to check with their own insurance/cc companies to verify the coverages, however I would absolutely advise that you at least purchase the CD/LD W insurance.
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Old 01-09-2009   #7 (permalink)
añejo
 
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We always purchase the

full coverage while renting in Mexico. We have friends living in Cozumel and they call it your "stay out of jail card". It's not the damage to the car that can put you in jail, but if you injure someone or cause property damage.

We had an accident with a rental car, just damage to the car. We returned the car, no problem and the insurance we had purchased covered everything.

This is just what we do. Some people feel very confident on depending on Visa or other major credit cards.
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Old 01-09-2009   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dijo View Post
full coverage while renting in Mexico. We have friends living in Cozumel and they call it your "stay out of jail card". It's not the damage to the car that can put you in jail, but if you injure someone or cause property damage.

We had an accident with a rental car, just damage to the car. We returned the car, no problem and the insurance we had purchased covered everything.

This is just what we do. Some people feel very confident on depending on Visa or other major credit cards.
Very sound advice, I would follow that as well and never depend solely on my credit card coverage.
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