The thing I dreaded most happened: we got in a car wreck in Mexico. Since this was the first time, I was nervous and did not know what to expect. Thankfully it was a very small incident. When I was pulling out of the parking lot, I side-swiped the car parked to the left of me. The owner of the vehicle came running after me because she thought I was driving away. Later I found out that in Mexico, hit and runs are pretty frequent. I pulled back into space, dreading facing this very angry woman who was yelling in Spanish. I got out, apologized, and started speaking with her. She happened to be a former immigration officer and spoke great English. We both contacted our insurance companies, which happened to be the same company. We both took pictures of each other’s insurance and pictures of both vehicles.
Contacting Qualitas Car Insurance
I had previously printed off the PDF with the insurance cards and instructions in case of a car wreck that was sent to me by Mexinsurance, which I kept in the glove box. I called the number on the instructions and when the phone picked up, I heard automated options in Spanish and pressed “0” to get to a representative. When the representative answered, they spoke Spanish. I said “Habla Ingles,” she said, “No, un moment” (one moment), she transferred me to an English speaker. They answered the phone and immediately asked if anyone was injured to which I replied no. He asked what happened and I gave him my statement. Then he asked for information about my vehicle: make, model, year, etc… and my location. The insurance agents later told me the phone representative was supposed to text me so that I could send my exact GPS location.
*Something that differs in Mexico from the USA is that the insurance agents actually come out to the scene of the car wreck and do their own evaluations. Even though the lady I got in an accident with and I both had the same insurance, they sent out two representatives, one for me and one for her. Both representatives spoke English, so It was pretty easy to communicate.
The Insurance Adjusters
It took about an hour from the time I got off the phone with the insurance company for the adjusters to arrive to the location of the car wreck. Once they arrived they asked us what happened, to which we told them. The adjusters took pictures of the information on the side of the door, pictures of the vehicle, and pictures of where the accident damaged each vehicle. I as well as the other lady wrote a statement about what happened. The adjusters were really nice as was the lady we hit.
The adjusters had to contact the Qualitas branch in Tijuana that handles all tourist insurances for foreigners in Mexico as well as foreigners in the USA. This was the longest part of the process. The adjusters called to verify that we did indeed have insurance. It took about an hour for the Tijuana office to call back to confirm our information. In that time, we ordered some tamales and got to talk with the adjusters and the lady we hit. One of the agents even bought us all tamales from the nearby tamale stand and drove me to a nearby bathroom while we were waiting. They definitely went above and beyond what I was expecting of them.
After the 2 and a half-hour process was over, we had had lunch and made some new friends.