Liability Limits in Mexico

Liability Limits in Mexico

Automobile Liability Insurance Coverage in Mexico is not available with the high Liability Limits that you may be used to "back  home" in Canada or the USA. One reason for the lower limits is that Mexico legislates the maximum that can be awarded in a the event of death and other damages resulting from an automobile accident. This may feel awkward, but that is how it works in Mexico.

Effective in 2013, the Mexico government legislated increases to those amounts and the limits vary by state. Consequently, all drivers should consider higher liability coverage for their policies. Legal coverage to provide legal assistance, an option with some policies, is essential as well. The policies issued by TioCorp Insurance includes legal coverage.

In the past, the Liability Damages imposed on an at fault driver who caused a negligent fatality in Mexico were capped at 750 days multiplied by the local Mexico Minimum Wage, and the normal $100,000 USD Liability Coverage carried by most drivers was sufficient. Now that limit has been increased to 5,000 days multiplied by the local Mexico minimum wage.

If you do not have an auto liability insurance policy at the time of an accident, and if you do not have enough cash in your pocket to pay for the damages and injuries you caused, you will go to jail and your vehicle will be impounded. That’s the law in Mexico.

If you own a foreign-plated vehicle, it is critical to understand who can drive your car in Mexico as well. Your policy does not cover everyone.

Types of Damages

There are several types of damages that could happen that may result in liability exposure in Mexico as a result of a car accident. For example...

  • Actual Damages - these are damages based on the actual value of the other vehicle, plus damages resulting from lost wages, and medical expenses for the other driver or occupants of his or her vehicle. There is no limit on these damages, so if you hit and destroy a $100,000 Mercedes and the driver losses a year of income, the damages are easily calculated by the adjuster and those are "Actual Damages" with no limit on the amount you or your insurance company will be asked to pay.
  • "Moral Damages" - These are the pain and suffering damages we are familiar with in Canada and the USA. In Mexico, filing lawsuits for this sort of damage is not easy and is not often used in the Mexican court system. The costs simply do not justify the potential awards. Lawyers will generally advise you to not go there.
  • Other Damages - In many Mexican courts, the Judge has the option of awarding extra damages if they feel it is justified by the circumstances, for example as a result of driving while intoxicated or some other contributing factor that the Judge considers to be an affront to moral or ethical standards of behavior.
Types of Liability

Most types of liability in Mexico fall into one of two categories- Civil Liability or Criminal Liability.

  • Civil Liability - This is the liability that results from a vehicle accident, for example. Launching a Civil Liability lawsuit usually is not recommended for those who are seeking damages because of the limits (below) set by the courts on what can be awarded.  Funeral expenses, damage to another person’s property, damage to another person’s vehicle, medical expenses, and Moral damages which most likely won’t go over one fourth of the total damages... all these are Civil Liability issues covered by your insurance policy
  • Criminal Liability - Criminal Liability is the liability that arises out of breaking a law or committing a criminal act. Liability Insurance does not cover Criminal Liability. In Criminal Liability cases, damage limits have also been set by the Mexican government, but your insurance Liability Coverage needs to cover the Civil Liability risk.
Civil Liability Limits 2013
             State
Limits in Pesos
Limit in USD
Aguascalientes                    0                   0
Baja California Norte      1,558,250        124,600
Baja California Sur      3,534,400        282,752
Campeche      3,534,400        282,752
Chiapas                    0                   0
Chihuahua      1,867,300        149,384
Coahuila      3,534,400        282,752
Colima         295,400          23,632
Distrito Federal (DF)      3,734,600        298,768
Durango         295,400          23,632
Estado de Mexico                   0                   0
Guanajuato     3,534,400        282,752
Gueretaro     1,246,600          99,728
Hidalgo                   0                   0
Jalisco     1,514,250        121,140
Michoacan     3,534,400        282,752
Morelos                   0                   0
Nayarit     2,650,800        212,064
Nuevo Leon                  0                   0
Oaxaca       886,200          70,896
Puebla                  0                  0
Queretaro    3,534,400       282,752
Quintana Roo       295,400         23,632
San Luis Potosi    1,181,600         94,528
Sinaloa    1,181,600         94,528
Sonora                  0                  0
Tobasco                  0                  0
Tamaulipas                  0                  0
Tlaxcala                  0                  0
Veracruz                  0                  0
Yucatan    3,534,400       282,752
Zacatecas       295,400          23632

Clients - Contact TioCorp Insurance if you want to verify your current Liability Coverage Limits.

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