Being in an automobile accident in Mexico is a far more serious situation than having an accident at home-especially for a visiting American, as Mr. Bill Kitto readily tells us, Bill Kitto published his first-hand account of his accident and his subsequent week in the hands of the Mexican authorities in an effort to ensure all Americans driving in Mexico go prepared with all the essentials, Mexican car insurance tops his list, for reasons that will become obvious as you read his story.
Bill Kitto was not traveling for his first time in Mexico when he got into an accident near San Vincente, Mexico while driving his friend’s truck. An exceedingly cautious driver, Bill was at the wheel because road conditions were deteriorating due to an incoming rain storm, which left him at the mercy of his friend’s Mexican insurance holder. Bill and his friend were traveling at a cautious 30 MPH hour when they rounded a corner to find a Mexican military hurtling towards them partly on their side of the road. Unable to avoid the crash, the two vehicles impacted head-on left, sending the personnel scattered down an embankment and Bill and his friend into the cliff wall on the opposite side. Within minutes, the Mexican police arrive and one speeds an injured Bill away to a location unknown to him or his companion who is left standing roadside. In Mexico, there is no ‘innocent until proven guilty’-exactly the opposite.
Bill finds himself in a Mexican detention cell without any contact and without any knowledge of his fate, in part because at this point he has no way of knowing whether his friend even carried Mexican auto insurance. Hours later, guards return to take him back to the accident scene where he is at least able to reunite with his friend and his friend’s Mexican car insurance policy. In the U.S., this might mean problem solved, but in Mexico, there is much more to go through.
Bill’s complete story is long and involved-and not a little discomforting. Bill spends a week alone in a Mexican hospital trying his hardest to stay injured enough to avoid the inside of a Mexican jail; he’s at the mercy of the local government, questionable legal representatives, and muddled technology that makes what amounts to paying his way out an act in futility. There were many times when Bill was unsure if he would ever get out of the mess-if he could afford to get out of the mess.
In the end, Bill does gain his tenuous freedom, only after spending more than $28,000 US. Luckily for Bill, he was able to secure the money to secure his freedom, but many other Americans would have fallen far short. Because of the bureaucracy and dishonesty encountered in Mexico, Bill is unsure if he will ever see a return on his life’s investment.
Bill took away a few things from his experience that he strives to pass on to all Americans traveling in Mexico.
* Carry a cell or satellite phone-and learn how to dial in Mexico
* Remain in contact with family in the states that can help you
secure funds if needed and contact Mexican insurance companies as needed (because your ability will be limited)
And above all else-
* MAKE SURE YOU HAVE MEXICAN AUTO INSURANCE-with very good coverage
to cover personal injury and property damage
* Make sure the Mexican car insurance is from a reputable company
* Make sure you carry proof of Mexican Insurance in the vehicle, accessible at all times! (And if you are separated from the vehicle, take the Mexican car insurance ID cards with you!)
Bill Kitto’s long and trying ordeal proved one thing to him-money makes the Mexican world go round. Down there, they care little about where that money comes from, but whether you can pay the tab or not is what determines your innocence and ultimate freedom. Since fast access to $30,000 or better is a pipe-dream for most of us, the best way to protect yourself when driving in Mexico is to have an excellent Mexican automobile insurance policy to back you.