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  • Ahsan Malyk

The Ultimate Guide to Car Insurance in Puerto Rico

Every vehicle owner in Puerto Rico must have liability insurance in order to drive on the island's public roadways. Therefore, it is in the best interest of any existing or potential automobile owner to be somewhat knowledgeable about the rules and customs governing auto insurance in Puerto Rico, as they may differ from those on the mainland.


You should speak with an insurance agent to begin creating your package if you are a new resident of the island and anticipate needing health and renter's insurance. The following are the key points you need to be aware of while purchasing insurance in Puerto Rico:


Online vehicle insurance purchasing is not simple in Puerto Rico


Let me just say that I would love for Puerto Rico to be better electronically integrated and for consumers to have a choice before you discount this opinion because it comes from an insurance broker. The truth is that if you were able to compare prices online, you wouldn't need much advice from an insurance agent if you were only purchasing one automobile and needed to ensure that was your only piece of property.


Unfortunately, that isn't the situation right now, and in most circumstances, building a connection with an insurance agent is your best option. After all, you'll probably need more than just auto insurance at some point.


Although some businesses, like Aseguratec, are working to change this and have made significant progress in creating a better technical platform, Puerto Rico is still some distance from being able to have an entirely online experience. We work with all the major carriers in Puerto Rico, so we can offer you a fair idea of the market. If you're wanting to buy car insurance coverage, you can also get in touch with us here for a free estimate.


Attention: When purchasing an insurance policy, keep in mind that, unlike in the US, Puerto Rico does not offer 6-month auto insurance policies. Puerto Rico instead offers plans with 12-month (1-year) durations. If you're not prepared to pay $1k or more for a policy on top of whatever you're spending on the new car, this may come as some sticker shock. In addition, unlike in the US, insurance companies will not offer financing or a payment schedule.


Nevertheless, do not lose hope; you do have a few financing possibilities for your coverage. First, you have the option of financing through United Finance Corporation (not to be confused with Universal Insurance), which will pay for your coverage in full to the insurer and place you on a payment schedule. This comes with the proviso that it frequently isn't a possibility in the first year.


These insurance are generally financed within the auto loan itself if you buy a double-interest policy from the dealer, which I'll discuss further in this article. Despite how alluring this may sound, I strongly advise against selecting a double interest coverage because it may leave you gravely underinsured and offer you no savings.


What is mandatory liability insurance, and am I subject to it?


The bare minimum of insurance required by law in Puerto Rico is called "Seguro Compulsorio," sometimes known as Compulsory Liability Insurance or Universal Car Insurance in English. It is included with your "market," which is similar to licence plate tags in the US, but also serves as basic insurance. Your market serves as documentation for your mandatory insurance; as a result, if it has expired, you are without mandatory insurance coverage.


The $4,000 liability coverage for mandatory insurance was previously only provided by the ASC (Asociacion de Suscripcion Conjunta), but since a few years ago, consumers have had a wider range of options. While other businesses, like MAPFRE, provide "extended required insurance," which includes some modest upsells like extending liability coverage to $20,000, some businesses, like PointGuard, distinguish themselves by offering round-the-clock call centres.


Even if you max out all the upsells, the majority of the mandatory insurance alternatives are egregiously costly compared to the coverage they provide. A $4k limit will only cover the smallest of fender benders, which is more concerning than how expensive they are.


If I bought private insurance, how can I receive reimbursement for the required insurance?


A total of $99 of those dollars will go toward the required liability insurance when you buy your marbete. Ask your insurance agent for a "voucher" certifying that you are exempt from acquiring this mandatory insurance if you already have private insurance.


You can still call your insurance agent for the voucher and ask them how to obtain the refund retroactively if you weren't able to get the voucher in time and had to pay the $99 when you bought your marbete.


What types of automobile insurance are offered in Puerto Rico?


Compulsory Insurance is a sort of liability insurance. This coverage can be either public or private.


The bare minimum coverage required by the bank is usually double-interest auto insurance, which is commonly offered at the automobile dealership.


Full Cover - Comprehensive provides your own vehicle's coverage in addition to those of the other insurance, even if you are the one who causes the collision.


When the loan sum is greater than the value of the vehicle, gap insurance is used in conjunction with another coverage.

What is typically covered by private automobile insurance?


In Puerto Rico, auto insurance contracts frequently adhere to the US standard of 100/300. This specifically means that the policy can pay up to $100,000 in bodily injury claims from a single claimant, but it can only pay up to $300,000 overall for all claims.


No matter who is at fault or not, comprehensive insurance will pay for everything as long as the deductible, which is normally in the $500 range, is met. Additional services like coverage for rental cars and roadside assistance are frequently offered as well.


Take Away


It is great practice to let your insurance agent know when you're looking for a car so they can explain your options because the dealer will always try to sell you a double-interest car policy.


Since the car will already have a marbete and the most basic insurance when you purchase it, unlike in the US, you are not required to get insurance before you drive your car from the lot. Nevertheless, it is advised against using your vehicle to travel around with only the minimum required insurance.

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