There is a new rule to be implemented at the Northern Border where Belizeans venturing into Mexico in their private vehicles would need to purchase third party insurance at the Mexican side. And while this move is still in its definitive stages, we spoke via telephone to Jorge Valencia of the Belize Honorary Consul in Quintana Roo to clear the misconceptions since the news brought much outrage among Belizeans.

Jorge Valencia - Belize Honorary Consul in Quintana Roo

"From last year in September, the Mexican Federal Government implemented that all vehicles using federal highways needs to have a third party insurance, it has not yet been implemented and they are still working if it still going to be implemented this month or they are going to wait a little while but that means all vehicles coming in either national vehicles or foreign vehicles have to have a third party using federal highways that means if there is a federal police and they don't have it they will be fined."

Maria Novelo - Reporter

"Where do you go to get the insurance at the border?"

Jorge Valencia - Belize Honorary Consul in Quintana Roo

"They are working if they are going to sell it at the border but I have the understanding that Atlantic Bank from Belize is selling for a Mexican insurance company."

Maria Novelo - Reporter

"And more or less what would be that fee or toll?"

Jorge Valencia - Belize Honorary Consul in Quintana Roo

"The fees, well I really don't know what the fees will be in Belize but here in Mexico what they are offering right now is not expensive like I have a 1998 a Dodge Neon and I have three offers right now and the most expensive one runs around $1500 Pesos per year."

Maria Novelo - Reporter

"So is the purchase, let's say it is implemented and I go over with my private vehicle, is the purchase is a onetime things or every time you have to pay?"

Jorge Valencia - Belize Honorary Consul in Quintana Roo

"If you are coming in the entire year it would be good for you to get a year but if you would be coming in for one they will be selling for one day also, when Mexicans go to Belize they have to pay a fumigation fee and they have to buy a third party insurance either for a day or for a month or for a year and that is by law so they cannot get away from that."  

And while it has been the norm for Mexicans to pay insurance and fumigation fees when they venture to Belize, the ratio of Belizeans visiting Chetumal cannot compare to the handful of Mexicans that make it over to Belize. So why is this move being implemented? Valencia says the reason behind the move is because Belizeans in the past have had their fair share of traffic mishaps in Quintana Roo and our insurance does not cover the losses.

Jorge Valencia - Belize Honorary Consul in Quintana Roo

"As you jump the border and you cross immigration that is a federal highway and then you get off the federal highway once you hit the round about coming from Chetumal and that is consider either a state highway or municipal highway, there are certain parts of the road that without you knowing becomes federal."

Maria Novelo - Reporter

"There is a lot of talk about Belizeans where they are thinking about boycotting going to Chetumal because of these fines and tolls?"

Jorge Valencia - Belize Honorary Consul in Quintana Roo

"It would be something very good because there is a he amount of money that leave Belize every day and gets to Chetumal it is helping you because at the same time as a motor vehicle driver if you have an accident and you don't have an insurance, we have had people that have had accidents and because they don't have wanted to pay for the damages they caused sometimes they have been in prison until their case comes up and it is very hard for them. If they have an accident the insurances takes over."    

The Federal police is still working to see if it's going to be implemented in January or further down the road. It is of note that Atlantic Bank has made arrangements with the Mexican Insurance Agency to sell the insurance in Belize. When the law comes into effect, the public will be informed of the enforcement through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


Belizean drivers now need Mexican 3rd party insurance in Mexico

Belizeans are known to frequent various areas in Mexico, such as Chetumal, Quintana Roo, Cancun, and Merida for recreation, shopping, medical treatment, among other reasons, but now, there are new requirements for those who plan to drive in these areas: Belizean motorists who are traveling to Mexico this year will need to procure Mexican 3rd party insurance for their vehicles.

The regulation was passed by Mexican authorities in September 2014, but was only enforced last month. It has drawn the ire of many local drivers, however, who view it as an additional hassle to visit our neighbors to the north.

When the media went looking for answers yesterday, Javier Aguilar, Head of Trade, Investment and Tourism Affairs at the Embassy of Mexico, explained that in the past, only Mexican motorists were required to have third party insurance, but now it has become mandatory for both Mexicans and foreigners as well.

While citing specifically what vehicles the stipulation applies to, Aguilar declared that although the third party insurance can be bought from Mexican insurance companies, it can also be bought in Belize from insurance companies that have partnerships with Mexican counterparts.

He said, "Depending on the model and year of the car, all vehicles which are 2008 and newer, they have to comply with it, and also, it depends on the value of the vehicle - if it is more than 162,000 pesos, which is around US$10,000 - if that is the value, or above that, then you will have to comply with it. The insurance must be issued by a Mexican company, but there are lots of Belizean insurance companies that have partnerships with Mexican insurance companies, so you will be able to get the insurance through these companies."

Aguilar noted that the fee also depends on how much time the motorist spends in Mexico, and shared a personal example regarding the estimated cost.

"When I buy comprehensive insurance, it usually costs me around US$35 per day, so if it's a third party insurance, I don't have the exact figure, but it should be cheaper, I believe", he mentioned, adding that he normally uses Atlantic Insurance, but there are other companies that offer similar packages.

According to Aguilar, by 2019, all vehicles which travel through Mexico will be required to have third party vehicular insurance; however, it will be implemented gradually.

While Mexicans who travel into Belizean territory beyond the Corozal Free Zone must also have insurance from Belizean companies, we were told that so far, Belizean authorities have not spoken with Mexican authorities about the alteration.