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Baja Car Rental - What Insurance?
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scottjk



Joined: 23 Aug 2004
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 9:00 am    Post subject: Baja Car Rental - What Insurance? Reply with quote

I'm renting a car in Cabo for the week and driving to La Ventana. Normally I don't get insurance when I rent cars because my American Express is suppose to take care of any problems I might have.

What, if any, additional insurance should I be purchasing? Will my State Farm policy cover damage or loss in Mexico for a rental car? What gotchas do I need to look for when renting?

Thanks

Scott
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windsrf



Joined: 01 May 1998
Posts: 162

PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A few years ago, I tried my best to avoid paying their insurance scam fees. I took documents showing that my credit card provided "full coverage" even in Mexico. What happened was the car company I'd reserved with refused to rent the car unless I took their insurance. Basically that at least doubled the cost per day, maybe more. I doubt you can avoid it, even if US-based firm says it will work.

There are some van/transport firms that will drive you wherever you wish to go that may be better deals. Especially if you just want to get from A to B and then stay at B to windsurf. Los Barriles is walkable without car, as are San Jose del Cabo and La Paz depending on what you want to do. La Ventana appeared much less so the time I drove up for the day from Vela to check out the scene there.

David
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scottjk



Joined: 23 Aug 2004
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 10:22 am    Post subject: American Express Reply with quote

I just signed up for the extended coverage options through American Express that charges $20 per rental period up to 49 days.

I'm renting through Advantage in Cabo so I hope they don't try and screw me.
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windsrf



Joined: 01 May 1998
Posts: 162

PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Please post a note when you are successful (or not)?
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kellygeygan



Joined: 10 Apr 2000
Posts: 60

PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 1:14 pm    Post subject: Re: American Express Reply with quote

scottjk wrote:
I just signed up for the extended coverage options through American Express that charges $20 per rental period up to 49 days.

I'm renting through Advantage in Cabo so I hope they don't try and screw me.


It is less expensive {and more safe}to spend your time in Maui. I stayed in Cabo 7 years ago and this was the lesson learned.Rented a car and drove to La Paz. It was over $70 a day for the car{maui was $25 at the time}. I wondered if the rental agency was gonna steal the car so I would have to replace it. The deductible was so high ,it seemed possible.You are guilty until proven innocent in Mexico so it doesnt take much for you to be guilty.My sister in law is a Mexican citizen,she will not drive into TJ since her car has Ca plates....if you have nothing to lose , go for it.
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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 5446

PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you'll find that you need to buy Mexican insurance. Your State Farm agent will most likely confirm that. If you're worried about getting swindled by the car rental outfit down in Mexico, you can always buy the Mexican insurance here in the states before flying down. It's very likely that State Farm will be able to offer it, but if not, AAA definitely does offer the policies.
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windsrf



Joined: 01 May 1998
Posts: 162

PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vagabundos del Mar is another source, particularly for the crucial liability/legal insurance to help with Mexico's "presumed guilty" Napoleonic Code legal system.

However, none of this will help if the car company refuses to recognize it and demands you buy their insurance. Also, at that point you wind up paying "twice over". Only option then is to be prepared to walk away. That might work as bargaining device, but hard to manage.
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drblanke



Joined: 02 Aug 2006
Posts: 44

PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You'll need to buy the liability insurance from the Mexican rental car company no matter what.

Now collision...

Last year, when I rented a car for a week from Europcar at La Paz airport, I was able to only buy the liability insurance and told them my Visa card would cover the car for free (which it would).

This year, when I rented a car from Europcar at La Paz airport, I *couldn't* do the reservation online without agreeing to both (liability and collision). Since it was only for 4 days, I just went along with it. I don't know if their policy has changed or just their reservation system.

If I remember, Europcar at least doesn't accept tourist insurance like Sanborns, Vagabundos, etc in lieu. It might be good to have a rider if you are really paranoid though, as Europcar's liability insurance limit is only $30,000. Don't hit anybody important Smile

FWIW, 2/2 times never a problem with Europcar La Paz. Last month's 4 day rental for a Renault Clio was $35 per day including both insurances.
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jingebritsen



Joined: 21 Aug 2002
Posts: 2292

PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2012 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for the warning. the only way tourists can make and impact is with their feet. until mexico gets its act together, i'd rather go anywhere else.
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bajaguy



Joined: 27 Dec 1999
Posts: 68

PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2012 9:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jingebritsen wrote:
thanks for the warning. the only way tourists can make and impact is with their feet. until mexico gets its act together, i'd rather go anywhere else.


Good idea. With the kiter to windsurfer ratio nearing 10/1 on the water, we need fewer tourists in La Ventana. As for the insurance issue, the only advice I would give someone coming down is you don't want to be driving without insurance and end up "sideways" with the law down here. The Mexican legal system: you are guilty until YOU prove your innocence...good luck with that without the Mexican insurance.
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