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Most tourists enter into a rental agreement thinking only of price, not the liability that can accompany renting a car. This is a very serious matter that could end up involving a lot of money, or even your personal freedoms should you be involved in an accident. Purchase the most insurance available.

You may have a credit card that covers liabilty when renting a car during your travels, show this to a Mexican police officer after an accident, and I can assure you he will only chuckle as he takes you to jail. The card may help pay damages eventually, but the only thing that will help you during the moment is the attorney for the Mexican insurance company that covers your rental policy.

When looking for a car rental company, look for one who includes full coverage insurance.


Insurance on other vehicles, people, or property

In Mexico, if you cause an accident, you will be held in jail until you can compensate the injured party. Purchase as much of this insurance as possible, with the lowest deductible possible.

Often listed as the following codes:

LI = Liability Insurance

PLI = Property Liability Insurance

ALI – Additional Liability Insurance


Medical expenses for rental car passengers

Purchase as much of this insurance as possible, with the lowest deductible possible.

Often listed as the following codes:

PAI = Personal Accident Insurance

Insurance on the rental car

Covers damage incurred to the rental car.

Often listed as the following codes:

CDW = Collision Damage Waiver

PDW = Partial Damage Waiver

Some companies include a basic version of this insurance that has a high deductible (often 10% of the vehicles value, or a base fee of $1,500 to $2,500us, depending upon type of car). If it is not included in the price, there will typically be a $15 to $20us additional charge. Take this into consideration if choosing a company based on their bargain price.

We purchase additional coverage that offers covers all damages to the auto with no deductible (although many policies will not cover broken glass or damaged tires).


Additional insurance on the rental car

We absolutely will not rent a car without full-coverage insurance. It's protection from a hefty charge for an accidental scrape, a door ding, and even rental company scams.

Often listed as the following codes:

LDW = Loss Damage Waiver

SCDW = Super Collision Damage Waiver

EPC = Extended Protection Coverage

We always purchase this insurance, and it has saved us a lot of charges over the years. Most damages were the small things inflicted by someone else while the car was parked.

Note: This insurance may not cover damage to glass or tires. Ask at the time of rental.


Theft protection

Make sure that your policy covers theft. If not, purchase supplemental coverage (usually $5 to $10us).

Often listed as the following codes:

TP = Theft Protection

Without it, you may be responsible for the entire price of the car.

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