Finding the best travel insurance for Mexico is tricky, especially in a pandemic. All that alarmist corporate marketing makes it hard to figure out if you need Mexico travel insurance, and where to buy it without getting ripped off.
To help fellow travelers, I whipped up this no-nonsense breakdown of how I personally approach buying my travel insurance. Here’s what this post covers:
Table of Contents (click to navigate)
Right now you’re probably wondering … who is this guy?
Well, hi there, I’m Nate Hake. I’m a blogger, recovering lawyer, and full-time world traveler since 2016. 🌎I visit Mexico frequently, and my site Travel Lemming is among the most popular Mexico travel blogs. Helping travelers enjoy Mexico is what I do for a living now. It’s much more fun than legal work!
Ok, enough about me – let’s jump into the best sites:
Disclaimers: Only you can decide if a policy is right for you, and you are responsible for reading policy terms and conditions. Travel Lemming is not an insurance broker and cannot give you recommendations for your situation. Links on this page are affiliate links, which means using them gives this independent travel blog a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting our travels so we can bring you more guides!
Best Sites for Mexico Travel Insurance Quotes
Here’s a quick summary of the companies I’ve personally loved in my 5+ years of traveling around the world full time:
- ✔️ My Top Personal Choice: World Nomads
- 🔎 Best Comparison Site: TravelInsurance.com Search Tool
- 👴 Best Search Site for 70+ or Pre-Existing Medical Conditions: Insure My Trip
I found that the best travel insurance for Mexico, at least for me, was World Nomads, the same company I used to buy my annual travel insurance policy for my big trip around the world when I visited 43 countries in one year (I still get exhausted just thinking about that year!).
I like World Nomads a lot, as they have pretty good coverage and it’s easy to extend while you are in country if your plans change. But you should always be sure to price compare!
I personally almost always get travel insurance, primarily to protect against medical emergencies and evacuation. But not everyone necessarily needs to bring travel insurance to Mexico at all (it isn’t a legal requirement to have travel insurance to travel to Mexico).
So read on if you really want to dive in and figure out if it’s worth a purchase in your circumstance.
Oh, one quick aside: before you go to Mexico be sure to bookmark my top travel tips for Mexico!
Do I Need Travel Insurance for Mexico?
As of 2021, there is no legal requirement to purchase travel insurance in order to visit Mexico. No one will ask you to show proof of insurance at the border, and the Mexican government does not mandate travelers to have insurance. Many travelers nonetheless choose to buy it.
Obviously, coronavirus is a big reason. The New York Times recently ran an expose entitled “A Traveler’s Worst Nightmare: When Your Covid-19 Test Comes Back Positive,” which includes several truly tragic stories about travelers to Mexico getting caught unprepared.
No wonder then that, since the start of the pandemic, surveys show that 3x as many travelers are buying insurance as before the pandemic. In fact, Forbes recently did an article about travel insurance becoming a “Must Have Purchase” after the pandemic.
Here are popular reasons many travelers – including yours truly- choose to buy travel insurance for Mexico:
- ✈️ Trip Cancellation Protection – if covid strikes before a trip, if an airline cancels a flight, or if Mexico locks down, insurance could come in handy.
- 💉 Emergency Medical Coverage – a sad reality is that many travelers end up in hospitals in Mexico, only to find out that their USA medical polices won’t cover them.
- 🚗 Rental Car Protection – I love driving in Mexico, but I won’t lie that I worry about car accidents.
- 🚁 Emergency Evacuation – A scary one to think about, but if you need to get evacuated from Mexico, it could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
- 💻 Gear Theft Protection – Cameras, laptops, cell phones. Petty crime in Mexico is real, and all those pricey items on your Mexico packing list make tempting targets.
Those are some of the most common coverages, but every policy differs, so read the terms carefully!
Also be realistic that nothing is perfect. My favorite insurer, World Nomads, checked all of the above boxes for what I needed, but there was one big exception: their standard plan limits gear coverage to $1,000. That’s probably fine for most travelers, but isn’t great for a travel blogger who travels with a laptop, three cameras, and a drone. Still, I’ll stick with them until I find a better option.
Why I Buy Trip Insurance (And How I Compare)
Reason 1: Medical Coverage
The main reason I personally buy Mexico travel insurance is for the travel medical insurance and the evacuation coverage.
Here’s my thinking on this:
Insurance is a good deal if it protects against a financial exigency. For example, it is generally a bad deal over the long run to buy insurance for microwaves. If a microwave breaks you can afford to fix it. And since insurance companies build a profit margin into their premiums, you’ll be saving over the long term by just self-insuring for small risks like this.
On the other hand, a visit to a Mexican Emergency Room is probably something that I can’t afford to self-insure. If I suddenly need it, it could result in financial ruin. Same thing if I crash a rental car and don’t have car rental insurance, or if I pass away (dark, I know, but it happens) and can’t afford repatriation of remains.
Reason 2: Automobile Crashes Are Common in Mexico
I LOVE driving in Mexico. A rental car gives you so much freedom, and it’s a great way to explore all the many things to do in Mexico.
But guess what?
Auto accidents while abroad are very common. According to the United States Department of State’s database on American deaths abroad, the most common cause for traveler deaths abroad isn’t terrorism or murder or even covid – it’s the common car crash.
All of these can be catastrophically expensive if you end up with a huge medical bill, liability for a car wreck, or if your family needs to repatriate your remains after a tragic incident.
That’s why you should always buckle up, even on vacation and even in taxis or tour buses. And it’s why travel medical insurance, repatriation of remains coverage, and car rental insurance are the three things I personally look at when pricing out travel insurance for Mexico (or anywhere else).
How I Compare Mexico Travel Insurance Quotes
I’ve used several different travel insurance companies over the years. One really screwed me over when I got trapped in Argentina during the start of the pandemic and they refused to cover covid (I refuse to name that company because I don’t want to give them publicity).
After that incident, I’ll go back to using World Nomads becuase they are the most trusted name in the space and I’ve had a great experience using them for nearly a decade.
But, World Nomads isn’t the cheapest and sometimes it pays to comparison shop. Here’s how to comparison shop:
First, pull up TravelInsurance.com. It’s basically a search engine that, after you fill in some quick details for a quote, pulls up a comparison portal that like this:
I want to highlight 3 cool things you can do with the nifty TravelInsurance.com interface:
- See customer reviews and what % recommend each company under the brand logo.
- Narrow your search with the checkboxes on the right if you want a particular type of coverage.
- Quickly see coverages and check the “Add to Compare” box to compare two companies head-to-head.
Pretty cool right?
Mexico Safety Tips
Mexico’s Covid-19 Situation and “Stoplight” System
Mexico has been hard hit by coronavirus. The country currently ranks 3rd in the world for covid-19 deaths, and the pace of vaccinations has been slow. Mexico has a 4-tier “stoplight” system for restrictions (I know, stoplights only have 3 lights, but whatever). You can see what color the state you are visiting is using this map.
If you do choose to visit, make sure to do so responsibly and follow all public health recommendations.
Crime and Safety in Mexico
Mexico gets a bad rap in the news. With millions of visitors every year, it’s inevitable that bad things happen. And when they do, the media tends to grab on.
Nonetheless, it’s undeniable that gang and cartel violence has afflicted many parts of Mexico, including popular tourist destinations like Cancun and Acapulco. See my articles on Mexico travel safety. And always check the US State Department and UK FCDO sites for info on the latest travel warnings for Mexico.
Mexico’s 2-Tier Medical System
Mexico effectively has two medical care systems: the public one and a private one for those with their own health insurance. The public healthcare system can be quite affordable and you may be eligible for public medical insurance if you are planning to retire in Mexico on a resident visa. Read more info here.
If you’re just visiting Mexico, be aware that, while health care costs are generally cheaper in Mexico, for serious incidents the cost of care can still be very expensive.
Renting a Car in Mexico
Car rental companies typically offer full coverage policies that you can buy separately if you just need coverage for your rental (I suggest renting through Discover Car Hire, by the way, as some local operators are known to run scams).
PS – Check out my best Mexico travel tips for more helpful tips!
Here are quick answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about Mexico travel insurance:
Is travel insurance mandatory for Mexico?
Mexico doesn’t require proof of travel insurance to enter the country, no. You will, however, need insurance if you plan to drive a car in Mexico.
Will my health insurance cover me in Mexico?
Most likely not, but it depends on your health insurance company so you should call to check. Most United States insurers do not provide coverage while you are abroad, which is a major reason to buy travel insurance.
How much is travel insurance Mexico?
Your travel insurance cost will depend on a number of factors, including your age and the length of your trip. In the past, travel insurance has cost me between $2 and $4 per day.
Where can I compare Mexico travel insurance quotes?
A very useful site for comparing insurance quotes is TravelInsurance.com.
Should I buy travel insurance for Mexico?
Ultimately, it’s your choice and a question of your risk tolerance. While I do think travel insurance is overpriced, I always choose to play it safe and be insured for all the reasons I explain in this article.
What is the best Mexico travel insurance?
For all the reasons stated in this article, the best travel insurance for Mexico from the United States (or anywhere else) really depends on your situation and your risk tolerance. That’s why I suggest comparing Mexico travel insurance quotes using a search tool like this.
Does US health insurance work in Mexico?
Most likely not. Most United States health insurance providers do not cover travel overseas, but you should check with your carrier to be sure.
Is Mexico classed as USA for travel insurance?
Mexico is in North America, and thus generally not included in European travel policies.
Why is travel insurance to Mexico so expensive?
Insurance covers risk, including catastrophic risk, so that means it can be expensive. It is possible to find cheap Mexico travel insurance, but you need to be careful.
Is Mexico part of the Carribean for travel insurance?
The geographic region Mexico is classed in depends on the provider. Check with your insurer.
If you have any questions about finding travel insurance Mexico, please just drop me a line in the comments!
And before you leave the United States for Mexico, make sure you read these helpful articles to help you plan your trip:
Enjoy traveling abroad in Mexico – and be sure to stay safe!
Other travel insurance guides: