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CAIC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Mexican company Seguros Comercial America, which is one of the biggest insurers in Mexico.
CAIC exists primarily to provide non-resident auto insurance for drivers visiting the U.S. from Mexico. The company also sells non-standard personal lines insurance to drivers in the U.S., as well as a few specialty products like insurance for Texas employers who opt out of offering workers compensation.
The company is headquartered out of Houston, Texas, and policies are sold through independent agencies. Since its inception in 1998, the company has expanded into numerous other territories, with satellite offices in several states and policies being sold throughout the South, making them easily accessible in areas close to the Mexican border.
Non-Resident Auto Insurance
The original and largest product sold by CAIC is non-resident auto insurance, also called third party auto liability insurance.
Since insurance laws differ between countries, it’s important that you obtain a policy for your destination before attempting to drive. Otherwise, your own insurance from home may not cover losses in your new destination. For example, many American insurance companies do not provide coverage in Mexico, or they offer protection only for accidents within a certain distance from the border. The same is true in reverse. For this reason, people traveling to the U.S. from Mexico need to purchase third party auto liability insurance from a company like CAIC.
The coverage offered by CAIC is temporary and meant as a supplement to your primary insurance, not as full-time auto coverage.
One benefit you can add to a CAIC policy is repatriation insurance. If an insured is the victim of accidental death in the U.S., this coverage provides for the transportation of the insured’s body back to his or her home town. This is a coverage that you also sometimes see sold with travel insurance, and it’s surprisingly important to carry since returning a body across country borders is not always an easy or straightforward process.
Non-Standard Auto Insurance
CAIC sells this coverage through its personal lines division. This is high-risk auto insurance offered to drivers who cannot obtain a regular policy at a preferred rate.
In the case of CAIC, these policies are available for U.S. drivers, including non-resident drivers and visitors. Policies offer both liability and first-party coverages like collision and comprehensive insurance, depending on your needs, budget and preferences.
Aside from auto insurance, CAIC also brokers non-subscriber insurance for Texas employers. This is sold through the partner company Maverick General Agency, which is the primary provider of non-subscriber insurance.
In brief, non-subscriber insurance acts as an alternative to workers compensation. In Texas, employers can opt out of participating in the Texas Workers Compensation program, accepting personal responsibility/risk of litigation for injured employees. These employers who opt out of workers compensation can offer voluntary benefits, aka non-subscriber insurance.
The reason a company would prefer to use non-subscriber insurance rather than workers compensation boils down to cost. In a normal workers compensation plan, the employer isn’t involved in the claim and subsequent medical care, so there is not a way to keep provider costs down. If you opt for a non-subscriber plan instead, you as the employer can have more control over what sort of care the employee receives. In some cases, employers near the border keep their costs low by using medical providers in Mexico. This is increasingly common for Texas and California businesses, and is likely what drew CAIC into this niche.
CAIC’s policies are sold through agencies, and there is not a direct sales option or an online quote request form available. There is a toll-free information line listed at 1-800-799-4896.
The main CAIC website actually acts as a portal linking to the various subsidiaries and products. The main site is predominately written in English, but the sites for individual products are written in Spanish to facilitate communication with the target audience.
On the CAICSeguros.com website, there is a listing of links to agencies and other brokers where the policies can be purchased; some of these websites do allow you to obtain a quote online, although the results are not strictly limited to CAIC policies.
To file a claim, you’ll need to navigate to the appropriate webpage for the product you carry. CAICSeguros.com offers claim information for those who have an accident in the US.
On the claim page, there is information for reporting an accident, and this will lead to a list of phone numbers that can be used for reporting a claim.
CAIC is a small niche company, and most of its marketing happens in Mexico rather than the U.S. This makes it somewhat difficult to find consumer reviews. The company does not have a Better Business Bureau listing, but it does have a Facebook profile with over 1800 “likes”.
One Yelp complaint raised an important issue. The driver from Mexico experienced vehicle failure while in Arizona, and called for roadside assistance. The company wanted to know where to tow the vehicle to, and since the tourist didn’t know any shops in the states, she could not offer a response. According to the review, the company never sent help because of this. I’d need to see more reviews to see if this problem happens more frequently, but if so, that is a major flaw against the business.
When researching CAIC, bear in mind that there’s another company with the same initials — Continental American Insurance Company. This business sells life insurance products to employers and is headquartered in South Carolina. So be sure that you’re looking at the right CAIC when reading reviews.
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CAIC services a specific niche, and it’s an important one for drivers coming to the U.S. from south of the border. However, it is not the only company that offers this – it’s a coverage offered by other auto insurers and some travel insurers. It is a good idea to research all of your options, even if you’re looking for something within a highly specific niche, to be sure you are absolutely getting the best product.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.