Insurance for your Car and Vacation in Cozumel
Car Liability Insurance – One insurance expense you must take is personal liability. If you have the misfortune to injure someone locally, you will be taken to the police station to settle up the bills. No foreign insurance card will be accepted. No credit cards will be accepted. You would have to settle up everything in cash. Take the liability insurance your car company offers; most of the time it is mandatory — it’s generally $12/day. This is a necessary expense. Some car rental companies bundle this in their price. Others don’t. Be sure to ask when shopping for price.
Car Collision Insurance – The second insurance expense, which is optional, is the collision to pay for damages to the car you are renting. This is a big money-maker for local companies who seem to uniformly charge $12/day for $800 deductible and $20/day for no deductible. This can easily triple your car rental. if you use your credit card car rental insurance, you would have to settle up everything in cash, and turn in a claim when you arrive in the US. Get all the receipts with you.
Our suggestion is to get travel insurance to cover the entire trip including car rentals, and many other travel issues, for less that you pay for collision insurance alone.
We met a couple on a plane, where the husband had a clogged artery in his leg while on a cruise, they had to forfeit the rest of their cruise, pay for emergency water taxi to get them off the ship, plus the hospital bill in cash before leaving, and pay for additional first class airplane tickets back home; because there were no coach seats available – Total bill $20,000 in cash. Even if you have insurance you still will not get out of Mexico (or perhaps out of jail) until the bill is paid in Mexico. You can then claim with US insurance company back home
Option 1 – Travel Insurance – Covers the car collision, villa rental, plus much more including health and weather related vacation interruptions, such as hurricane evacuation, and emergencies, like a seriously ill family member back home, and the like type of vacation interruptions. Travel insurance covers your entire vacation for the less than the price of car collision insurance they sell you at the car rental agencies.
Check out: http://www.csatravelprotection.com
or search for “vacation insurance” on the internet.
Option2 – Your Credit Card covers the collision part of your car insurance.
Visa and Master Card car collision coverage is free. as long as you charge the rental on your credit card. Call the 800 number on the back of your credit card and verify car collision coverage in Mexico. If you carry American Express, you must sign up for their Premium Rental Protection for $19.95 per rental. Don’t assume you have it, call you credit card company and check. As mentioned earlier, you must settle all collision and liability claims before you leave the island (or perhaps out of jail) until the bill is paid in Mexico. You can then claim with US insurance company back home No matter where or what you rent, be sure to check out the car VERY CAREFULLY before you accept it. This includes things like rolling down all the windows and then rolling them back up, checking to see all the doors and the trunk locks work, etc. We don’t recommend renting a Jeep except for couples (No air, not much room for a family of 4).
You will be asked to give a credit card to secure the car rental, and the security deposit ($500-3,000 US Dollars). That’s okay, just be sure you get both credit card original slips back, especially if you pay in cash at the end.
When you’re comparing prices of cars, be sure to find out what is included in the base price. If you have insurance coverage for collision damage via your credit card or travel insurance company, you may be able to waive the collision insurance from the Cozumel rental company. This is a big money-maker for local companies who seem to uniformly charge $10/day for $800 deductible and $20 for no deductible.
Here again, as with all the companies listed here, be sure to find out the total price — including insurance — before making a decision based on price alone.