HISTORY AND PROFILE
Oscar Padilla was born and raised in the border town of Calexico,
California. He saw service in the U.S. Army in Europe during World War II.
In the year 1951 Padilla decided to experiment with selling tourist auto
insurance for motorists crossing the border into Mexicali, Calexico's
neighbor to the south. It was a gamble. After all, his was the first
full-service Mexican insurance office in California.
His decision in 1951 would dramatically alter the rest of his life, as
well as forever change people's routine of motoring across U.S./Mexico
Now, 50 years later, Oscar Padilla Mexican Insurance Services, Inc.
is the oldest and largest exclusive Mexican insurance service. As his
industry's pioneer, his knowledge stemming from the many years of
dedicated service to the motorist is unmatched.
His many civic community services have awarded him with the privilege of
serving on numerous boards, including Chamber of Commerce, YMCA of San
Diego County, YMCA of the USA, Boy Scouts of America, International Lions
Club and The American Cancer Society.
In 1976 President Gerald Ford appointed Oscar Padilla Alternate Delegate
to the 19th General Assembly of UNESCO, and in 1991 President George Bush
appointed him Alternate Delegate to the 45th General Assembly of the
At the request of California Governor's Ronald Reagan, George Deukmejian,
and Pete Wilson, Padilla has served as Member to the Commission of the
Californias, a commission that meets with like-representatives from Baja
California and Baja California Sur to discuss interests of mutual concern.
Throughout his personal and professional life, Oscar Padilla's name has
remained synonymous with goodwill towards his patrons, his community, and
CONTACT CUSTOMER SERVICE
Customer service at
Oscar Padilla Mexican Insurance Services, Inc. may be accessed by
means of any of the following:
800 GO OSCAR
E-Mail Customer Service
License Number: OD80645
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
contact us, and we’ll be happy to try and be of help.
In 50 years of serving motorists to Mexico, understandably, Oscar
encountered more questions than there is space for here. The following
are a brief review of the most frequently asked. If your concern is
not among these,
Can my U.S. insurance help me?
What does Mexican insurance cost?
What's covered on a Mexican auto insurance policy?
Can I buy the insurance in Mexico?
Will I go to jail if I have an accident?
What's NOT covered on a Mexican auto insurance policy?
Are claims paid in dollars?
What are some other important things to know?
Why do I need Mexican insurance?
Why do I need
Mexico has traffic laws very similar to the United States. The
application of their laws is what accounts for the differences, and
the reasons for needing Mexican insurance. The law in Mexico is based
on the Napoleonic Code where guilt prevails over the assumption of
innocence. In the U.S., the law is based on the English Common Law
where innocence prevails over the assumption of guilt. Mexico does not
have compulsory automobile insurance. The basic difference between
Mexico's and United States financial responsibility law is that anyone
involved in an accident in Mexico must have the means to respond to
damages or injuries for which they may be responsible....which in
Mexico would be in the form of either cash or a Mexican insurance
Can my U.S.
insurance help me?
Before leaving home, you should inquire if your U.S. insurance
policy will cover damage suffered by your vehicle in Mexico. If so,
ask if the policy has restrictions or limitations in this regard, such
as miles from the border, or number of days in Mexico. Once you’ve
familiarized yourself with your own auto policy and the extent of it’s
coverage in Mexico, you can then proceed to make a more qualified
decision towards your Mexican insurance needs.
Whether or not U.S. insurance policy extends coverage into Mexico,
the LIABILITY coverage on a Mexican insurance should at least
always be purchased. The Liability coverage on your U.S., or any
other non-Mexican insurance policy, is not recognized by authorities
in Mexico. Only a Mexican automobile liability policy is acceptable
evidence of financial responsibility.
What does Mexican
Since deregulation in the '80s, rates vary with each Mexican
insurance carrier. By all means, do not simply jump at the cheapest
quote, as you never know what surprises lie in wait for you later.
We speak from experience! We were previously associated with a
carrier who had a very enticing package of products, and the most
competitive rates in the market. It was "smoke and mirrors", as some
policyholders and we painfully discovered. We now associate ourselves
with a carrier, Seguros Atlas, whose profile and integrity we stand
proudly next to. Atlas rates are not the lowest, but neither is that
their objective. Their wisdom lies in knowing that strength and
credibility in this business comes from feet planted firmly in the
fertile soil of financial stability over many, many years. Seguros
Atlas has been doing so since 1942!
What's covered on a
Mexican auto insurance policy?
Contrary to the more broad coverages of a standard U.S. auto
policy, a Mexican tourist auto policy is a named peril policy. More
simply stated, exactly what is described as covered is specifically
all that is covered - nothing more and nothing less.
There are five (5) basic risks to standard Mexican tourist auto
1) Collision, Upset, and Glass Breakage
2) Fire and Total Theft
3) Property Damage Liability
4) Bodily Injury Liability
5) Medical Expenses
As an added bonus, our policies include Legal Service, Road
Assistance, Emergency Medical Evacuation, and Travel Assistance.
Can I buy the
insurance in Mexico?
It’s risky to purchase a Mexican auto insurance policy in Mexico.
First of all, you must drive your vehicle to the insurance office, and
until you reach the office you’re obviously driving without insurance.
Secondly, in the case of a dispute with your claim or your agent’s
conduct, you have no formal recourse against the agent in Mexico as
you would against the agent in the U.S. (customarily through state
regulatory agency, such as Department of Insurance).
Will I go to jail if
I have an accident?
If serious injury has not occurred, a Mexican insurance policy
might help reduce red tape and allow the motorist to be on his way
sooner rather than later, but the policy should not be construed as
your “ticket out of jail”.
Some visitors to Mexico are unable to understand why motorists are
temporarily incarcerated in Mexico following an automobile accident
where injuries or deaths occurred. In the first place, serious
injuries or deaths have been committed against innocent persons due to
someone's negligence. It is up to Mexican authorities to determine who
the negligent person is. While that investigation is in motion, all
drivers involved in the accident must be detained. Any person involved
in the commission of a crime, and I have stated that an automobile
accident in Mexico is considered in principle to be a penal offense
"Why do I need Mexican insurance?"), must be detained in a
secure place to prevent their escape. The only secure place is a
holding cell and, therefore, the motorist finds himself detained
awaiting the investigation of his involvement. A visitor, if allowed
to remain free, may likely flee for the border. This is Mexican law,
and foreign citizenship confers no special rights in Mexico.
What are some
examples of what is NOT covered on a Mexican auto insurance policy?
As important as it is to know what is covered, it is worthwhile to
also know what is NOT covered. Some of the losses and/or expenses
which are not covered include pilferage, vandalism, lodging expenses,
toll calls, and loss of wages.
Are claims paid in
At the conclusion of their investigation of an insurance claim the
Mexican insurance company settles all insurance claims in U.S. dollars
from their claims offices in Mexico.
What are some other
important things to know?
The policy is null and void if driver responsible for the accident
was under the influence of alcohol or drugs
Policy is null and void if driver does not have a valid drivers
A towed vehicle must be described on the policy, otherwise it voids
all coverage in case of an accident.
Theft of parts or accessories to the vehicle are not covered,
unless the theft of those parts or accessories was the outcome of a
total theft of the vehicle.
Should a claim be presented, the insured must declare the existence
of any other insurance with another company covering the same risk.
All claims must be reported in Mexico before insured returns to
U.S. Failing to do so subjects the claim to a denial by the Mexican
In case of total theft of the vehicle, the owner of the vehicle or
the person who had possession of the vehicle, must file an Auto Theft
report in person with Mexican authorities.
In case of an impounded vehicle, the registered owner of the
vehicle is the only one authorized to sign for it’s release, and it
must be done in person.