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Insurance Coverage for Off-Road

  • Insurance Coverage for Off-Road

    Posted by BajaBundo on January 13, 2023 at 4:29 pm

    Mentioned this is another discussion and decided it needed its own thread. Saw a topic on another site where they discussed how supposedly your auto insurance policy doesn’t cover you for off-road in Mexico.

    In my way of seeing things, there there are basically 4 types of driving down in Baja:

    1. Paved roads / highways
    2. Dirt roads
    3. Make your own road/trail over whatever the terrain is
    4. Off-Road Racing

    I could be wrong but I believe that exception only applies for accidents that happen in the 3rd or 4th categories and does cover you for both paved and dirt roads.

    Anybody know for sure?

    McBaja replied 1 year, 3 months ago 19 Members · 45 Replies
  • 45 Replies
  • nashsimpson

    Member
    January 13, 2023 at 4:33 pm

    That’s an interesting question and I’d like to hear the answer from Baja Bound. Are they a member here?

    • trekker

      Member
      January 14, 2023 at 12:21 pm

      I just checked and it shows them as logged in to the forum.

  • cabodream

    Member
    January 13, 2023 at 4:50 pm

    This question came up several years ago back when we were driving down instead of flying and as I seem to recall, your policy should cover you as long as you are driving on a road where street vehicles are permitted, in other words a maintained dirt road where you could be stopped for driving without a license plate, etc.

  • bajajeepers

    Member
    January 13, 2023 at 5:13 pm

    I’ve never been 100% clear on this either but the answer above does make sense. However down here in Baja, how do we know which dirt roads would be classified as covered under the insurance?

  • sawdogger

    Member
    January 13, 2023 at 5:39 pm

    I always assumed the offroad exception was for either racing or completely offroad – whether dirt or paved. Now you got me worried?!?!?

  • BajaGringo

    Organizer
    January 13, 2023 at 5:41 pm

    Hey guys, I sent a message to Geoff at Baja Bound, let’s see what he gets back to us with.

    • moto

      Member
      January 14, 2023 at 11:46 am

      Thanks Ron, it would be nice to hear it from the source instead of all this conjecture.

  • tom-lindsay

    Member
    January 13, 2023 at 6:38 pm

    We don’t go off the highway that much but occasionally do for sightseeing, taking photos, etc. Really interested in hearing the answer to this.

    • gregj

      Member
      January 14, 2023 at 9:17 am

      Same with us. Never gave this a thought until now.

  • BajaBundo

    Member
    January 14, 2023 at 10:51 am

    Hey guys, I found this:

    People are often concerned about whether or not taking their car off-roading will void their insurance. Off-roading has the potential to void your insurance. This may appear frightening, but there’s more to it than “your insurance will be voided.” Off-roading, particularly in a vehicle designed for trail use, such as a Jeep Wrangler, is unlikely to violate your insurance. However, just because off-roading does not void your insurance does not mean that any damage caused by off-roading will be covered. Your insurance will be canceled if you make certain off-road modifications to your vehicle. Because they affect the way your car works, this is the leading cause of voiding insurance.”

    https://www.way.com/blog/does-car-insurance-cover-off-road/

    That helps answer some of my questions but creates a few more. So does that mean if my truck has a 4″ lift or dual shocks, the insurance won’t cover me???

    • offroadrage

      Member
      January 14, 2023 at 11:24 am

      WTF? Guess I will have to send a photo of my truck showing my modifications along with a map of my planned driving route to my broker to see if they are going to cover me in case of a claim my next trip down south.

      • BajaBound

        Member
        January 14, 2023 at 12:22 pm

        A little clarification here…adding off road modifications to your vehicle may affect or void the warranty provided by the vehicle manufacturer, but it will not void a Mexican insurance policy. I personally have aftermarket suspension, wheels and tires on my Tundra that are factored into the value when I insure it, and it’s not an issue at all.

        • BajaBundo

          Member
          January 14, 2023 at 12:26 pm

          Excellent info – thank you very much!

        • offroadrage

          Member
          January 14, 2023 at 12:29 pm

          Thanks Geoff for the response.

  • BajaBound

    Member
    January 14, 2023 at 12:01 pm

    Hello All,

    Geoff from Baja Bound here. BajaBundo your initial post is correct. Mexican insurance will obviously cover you on paved roads and highways. Coverage still applies on most dirt roads as long as they have signage and can be easily transited in a standard 2WD vehicle. There is absolutely no coverage if you are off-road racing, making your own road or driving on rough trails. Think of it this way: If an insurance adjuster cannot reach your location in a standard 2WD vehicle because the road is too rough or impassable, then you are off-roading and coverage will not apply. Hope that helps!

    • BajaBundo

      Member
      January 14, 2023 at 12:25 pm

      Great, thanks for the confirmation – I can accept that.

    • BajaGringo

      Organizer
      January 14, 2023 at 12:32 pm

      Clear as day Geoff, thanks for helping to clarify amigo.

    • moto

      Member
      January 14, 2023 at 1:05 pm

      Thanks @BajaBound

  • DB-Baja

    Member
    January 14, 2023 at 12:04 pm

    People are often concerned about whether or not taking their car off-roading will void their insurance. Off-roading has the potential to void your insurance. This may appear frightening, but there’s more to it than “your insurance will be voided.” Off-roading, particularly in a vehicle designed for trail use, such as a Jeep Wrangler, is unlikely to violate your insurance. However, just because off-roading does not void your insurance does not mean that any damage caused by off-roading will be covered. Your insurance will be canceled if you make certain off-road modifications to your vehicle. Because they affect the way your car works, this is the leading cause of voiding insurance.

    This seems to make the most sense but I do think it would be nice to have some well defined, easy to understand guidelines as to what the off-road exclusions are?

    • BajaGringo

      Organizer
      January 14, 2023 at 12:35 pm

      Geoff just did:

      • Mexican insurance will obviously cover you on paved roads and highways.

      • Coverage still applies on most dirt roads as long as they have signage and can be easily transited in a standard 2WD vehicle.

      • There is absolutely no coverage if you are off-road racing, making your own road or driving on rough trails.

      • Think of it this way: If an insurance adjuster cannot reach your location in a standard 2WD vehicle because the road is too rough or impassable, then you are off-roading and coverage will not apply.

      • After market modifications to your vehicle are covered

  • andyp

    Member
    January 14, 2023 at 12:49 pm

    Really good to know, thanks guys.

  • bajajeepers

    Member
    January 14, 2023 at 12:59 pm

    Thanks for helping us to understand the exclusion @BajaBound but I wonder if we can get a separate policy to cover us for accidents on roads/trails that are 4WD only? Also, is the 4WD drive road exclusion only for accidents / damage or does that also exclude coverage for vehicle loss due to theft or fire on 4WD only roads and trails? TIA

    • mx-rider

      Member
      January 14, 2023 at 1:03 pm

      Great question

    • moto

      Member
      January 14, 2023 at 1:08 pm

      I think Geoff answered that:

      “There is absolutely no coverage if you are off-road racing, making your own road or driving on rough trails. Think of it this way: If an insurance adjuster cannot reach your location in a standard 2WD vehicle because the road is too rough or impassable, then you are off-roading and coverage will not apply.”

    • gregj

      Member
      January 14, 2023 at 4:49 pm

      I can understand them not providing accident/damage coverage coverage for driving truly off-road but denying fire and theft too? That doesn’t make any sense. So it only counts if your vehicle is stolen on a roadway???

      • BajaBundo

        Member
        January 14, 2023 at 6:04 pm

        Yeah, that doesn’t sound right.

    • cabodream

      Member
      January 16, 2023 at 6:52 am

      Any update from @BajaBound ???

  • wrench

    Member
    January 15, 2023 at 6:01 am

    I understand the exceptions for vehicle damage if you are driving over rough terrain but coverage for fire and theft of your vehicle should be anywhere in Baja. At least that’s the way I read it.

    • andyp

      Member
      January 16, 2023 at 12:00 pm

      Makes no sense to me either.

  • offroadrage

    Member
    January 15, 2023 at 6:32 am

    Rather than argue about it, I am going to see if I still have one of my old policies to see what it actually says about theft and location of the theft and I’ll report back.

    • gregj

      Member
      January 15, 2023 at 1:09 pm

      Why take all the fun out of a good argument where nobody really knows the answer??? 😜

  • Volcan

    Member
    January 17, 2023 at 9:54 am

    So, nobody knows for sure yet whether our insurance will cover us for theft off-road?

    • BajaBundo

      Member
      January 17, 2023 at 12:02 pm

      Nope

      • Volcan

        Member
        January 19, 2023 at 4:07 pm

        😞😞😞

  • BajaBound

    Member
    January 20, 2023 at 3:11 pm

    Hello All,

    Sorry for the delay in responding. We contacted both companies that we represent (HDI and Chubb) and were waiting to get their direct feedback on these questions.

    HDI will cover theft when a vehicle is off road. HDI will also cover losses due to fire, so long as the fire was not caused as a result of being off road. (Example: If a car overheats and catches fire due to off roading in a sand wash, it would not be covered. But if a car is parked off road and gets hit by lightning and burns to the ground, it would be covered since the loss was not caused by being off road). Chubb specifically excludes coverage for any type of loss (collision, theft or fire) that happens off road.

    Hope that helps!

    • BajaBundo

      Member
      January 20, 2023 at 3:45 pm

      Thanks Geoff, I really appreciate you getting to the bottom of this for us. It just highlights another difference between the two companies (HDI/Chubb) and why HDI is a bit more expensive. Personally it just makes HDI my only choice to use on my vehicles when in Baja. It might be good to clear that up on your @BajaBound website as I think most people believe that any comprehensive insurance policy would cover fire and theft, anywhere in Baja. In fact I searched several different Mexican auto insurance websites and not one website specifically addressed this grey area.

      • gregj

        Member
        January 21, 2023 at 6:26 am

        X2

    • blitzer

      Member
      January 21, 2023 at 1:15 pm

      That’s really helpful to know @BajaBound and thanks for taking the time to explain it. Definitely going to change the way I look at insurance for Mexico now. Previously I just assumed I was completely covered no matter what when south of the border.

    • Volcan

      Member
      January 21, 2023 at 2:14 pm

      Wow, really did not expect to hear that, but thanks for the info.

    • cabodream

      Member
      January 21, 2023 at 6:49 pm

      Thanks for the extra clarification. We never really go that far off-road anymore so this likely wouldn’t affect us but I can see how this is good-to-know info for those who do more hard core off-roading.

    • McBaja

      Member
      January 25, 2023 at 4:02 pm

      That’s really interesting information @BajaBound and it makes me wonder how many other Mexican Insurance companies also have that exclusion for theft in in remote areas?

      I know of one recent model 4×4 truck that was stolen when they broke down out in the middle of nowhere about 50-60 miles SW of Bahia de Los Angeles a few years ago. When they got back to their truck with a mechanic and parts a few days later, all they found was some broken glass from the truck and the tire tracks from whoever hauled it away.

      They tried to follow the tracks but lost the thieves when they got to the dirt road about 10 miles away. I don’t know if it was insured or if a claim was paid on it.

      This would be a really good thing to research @BajaGringo

      • BajaGringo

        Organizer
        January 25, 2023 at 4:44 pm

        It’s an interesting topic Gene and I am not sure how honest of an answer I would get from cold calling an insurance provider without actually paying for a policy. Maybe the best thing would be to ask you guys to ask your brokers the next time you buy insurance before heading south just to be sure you are indeed covered.

        The good news is that we know of at least one who definitely does and that is HDI Insurance provided by @BajaBound

  • BajaBound

    Member
    January 25, 2023 at 4:51 pm

    It would be interesting to know who else has that exclusion @McBaja

    Do you have any way of following up with the folks whose truck was stolen? It would be interesting to know how things turned out.

    • McBaja

      Member
      January 25, 2023 at 5:39 pm

      My brother and I were on on a trip south when we ran into the couple in the parking lot outside the bar at Jardines in San Quintin. We were hauling a trailer with a couple of dirt bikes and started talking with them about bringing expensive off-road toys into Mexico. They told us they had just gotten a ride into town after their 2 year old truck was stolen outside of Bahia de Los Angeles. They were waiting for a family member to show up to drive them to the station to file a police report on the theft before taking them back home to California.

      Just now called and asked my brother and he seems to remember they said they did have insurance, but he doesn’t remember them saying from who. And no idea if they covered the claim, if they did have coverage. I really hope they did as I remember them as very nice people who loved Baja and it would be a real shame to have to cover such a big loss on a truck like that out of pocket.

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