Auto insurance, Mexico

Discussion in 'Living in Cancun & Riviera Maya' started by V, Apr 7, 2015.

  1. V

    V I can choose my own title Registered Member

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    As most expats do I relied on advice from other expats about auto insurance coverage when I bought my car in 2012. This led me to AXA for my car insurance. Last year I had an incident which tested this decision.

    I was involved in minor damage to property of a third party situation at Playa del Carmen. The police arrived within minutes and detained me at the scene. I felt confident of a good outcome. I was fully insured, and called the insurance company as the materials provided with the policy, and my agent, advised me to do. A short time later I was told by phone that a representative of the company was on his way, and would be there soon.

    An hour and fifty minutes passed, at which point the police said they would wait no longer. I was taken to the police station and my car was impounded.

    At the three hour mark the insurance adjuster caught up with me at the police station. He said he had been working another case.

    I was released but it took another five days to get my car out of impound. I live in Cancun so this required a roundtrip to Playa to get my car.

    What I learned from this was that, AXA has but a single adjuster working the entire territory from Playa del Carmen to Tulum, and everything in between; that until a claim is settled your car will be impounded, if the claim is for property damage only. If there are injuries involved, you will be detained (jailed) until the damage claim is settled. If the injuries are serious, you will be jailed until your trial, unless someone arranges bail for you.

    Having insurance meant nothing in terms of dealing with the claim on the spot as there was no representative present to guarantee payment of the claim, whatever that turned out to be. It meant nothing to the police, who didn't even care to see that I had insurance.

    With the realization that AXA was so under represented in the area I decided to go with another carrier, and agent. The coverage I got was twice the coverage I'd had for a price that was slightly less than what I'd paid for AXA.

    When looking for an insurance company I found two websites that may be helpful in making a decision. The first is of the Mexican Government agency that handles complaints against insurance companies. It allows you to see the number of complaints filed, by company. It is not a true indicator of problems, however, as it only records complaints that were not resolved, and the complainant was aggrieved enough to go through a formal complaint process.

    http://www.condusef.gob.mx/PDF-s/estadistica/indice-reclamacion.pdf

    And, here's a website that lets you compare coverages. https://www.autocompara.com/ExpressoAutoCompara/aseguradoras.htm#
     
  2. V

    V I can choose my own title Registered Member

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    Just one more comment for now, because it helps put it in perspective. Companies with more clients apparently put more adjusters in a given area; for example, Qualitas, a company I was told is the biggest in Mexico is said to have 12 adjusters just for the city of Cancun.

    AXA is undoubtedly a good company but the number of adjusters available becomes critical when there is an accident in which you are involved.
    _________________

    For readers from countries lying to the north of us this may all seem just a little obscure. This has to do with the very different process that is employed here when there is an accident. When the police are called they determine fault and take action against the responsible party, seizing the car, detaining the driver, and filing criminal charges in cases they feel it's warranted. If the driver is insured and the adjuster comes to the scene, which is the norm here, the adjuster is in a position to guarantee payment of the claim, obtain the release of the car, and arrange bail if necessary where the driver is being detained; otherwise, it's up to the driver to do all that, which can be very costly and time consuming.

    Not being from Mexico originally I was surprised to find that neither the aggrieved party nor the police were even interested in seeing my insurance coverage, it meaning nothing to the process without the adjuster being there.
     
  3. KassandraSaint

    KassandraSaint Newbie Registered Member

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    Hey, V.
    So what's that company you are with now? And how much are you satisfied with a new company?
    It very interesting post about AXA as I was considering them for my car and health insurance. They seem very big and serious company... But now I'm not that sure after your story with waiting for three or so hours for an agent, and possible jail outcome... Kinda sketchy...(
     
  4. V

    V I can choose my own title Registered Member

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    Hi, Kasandra, decisions about insurance companies can be difficult because we have little experience with their claims handling- you either don't need them at all, or it's critical that they be there, with little ground between.

    I have no experience with my new company so have no basis for a recommendation.

    I am aware of two claims handling situations here in Cancun with Zurich, however, one very recently, and both resulted in a prompt response by the adjuster to the scene. The first involved damage to my car by another; the second, an accident in which a friend of mine was said to be at fault and they were insured by Zurich.

    That's about it for what I can say about any given companies here. Perhaps others have experiences to relate.
     
  5. KassandraSaint

    KassandraSaint Newbie Registered Member

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    Got it, thank you a lot for your reply!)