Are you thinking about whether to buy travel insurance for Mexico?
Honestly, there’s a lot of overly promotional and alarmist marketing from travel insurance companies out there.
And I really hate overly promotional alarmist marketing.
So I decided to write a quick guide – with a focus on sober information and actual facts – to help people like you figure out if you really need Mexico travel insurance or not.
Right now you’re probably wondering who I am right?
Hi, I’m Nate Hake.
I’m a travel blogger, recovering lawyer, and digital nomad from the United States who loves travel to Mexico and makes several trips to the country each year. In fact, in 2018 I even lived there for six months.
I’m the penny-pinching kind of traveler and, if you are like me you may be thinking:
Do I Need Travel Insurance for Mexico?
Let me give it to you straight:
the short answer is that it depends on your situation. Update: the pandemic has made it a real challenge to constantly update this article in response to the ever-changing situation. Instead of trying to update the whole thing, I’ve highlighted in the yellow box below the latest key points:
January 2021 Pandemic Update: While not legally required to enter Mexico, given the effect of coronavirus on Mexico travel safety, deciding to get travel insurance should be an easy call if you do choose to travel during the pandemic. The issue, however, is that many insurers have covid exclusions that make it tricky to pick the right policy. I wrote a guide to Travel Insurance During Coronavirus for a deep-dive into these issues if you want to explore in depth. If you just want a quick solution, the best covid travel medical cover I have personally found thus far is through World Nomads (note: covid cover may not apply to non-USA residents).
If you don’t have medical coverage or are doing risky activities (including driving!), I personally think it is definitely worth getting Mexico travel insurance.
But buying insurance is always a personal decision, so check out this full guide before deciding what’s best for you:
Disclosure: If you buy something through links on this page, this independent travel blog may earn a small affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting our travels so we can bring you more guides!
Summary: The Best Mexico Travel Insurance
Don’t have time to read this full guide and just want to know my personal picks for the best Mexico travel insurance?
Here’s a quick summary of the companies I’ve personally used in my years of traveling around the world:
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:
Specifically, I suggest that you go to this search site if you want to instantly get comparison quotes from dozens of companies.
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 we dive in: before you go to Mexico be sure to check out my post on Useful Travel Tips for Mexico!
When Mexico Travel Insurance Makes Sense (And When It Doesn’t)
Before talking about the best travel insurance for that Mexico trip of yours, it’s worth briefly discussing what insurance is and isn’t good for.
Insurance is a good deal if it helps guard you against a financial exigency that you couldn’t otherwise afford to cover if it occurred.
For example, it is generally a bad idea to buy insurance for household appliances like microwave ovens.
Well, if a microwave breaks you can probably 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, brain surgery is probably something that you can’t afford to self-insure. If you suddenly need it, it could result in financial ruin. That’s why health insurance is generally advisable.
Ok, enough with the lecture:
What does this have to do with buying travel insurance for Mexico?
Well, it means that I personally do not worry too much about certain types of insurance coverages that many insurers will try to sell you on when visiting Mexico.
For example, a lot of travel insurance companies will trumpet benefits like:
- Lost luggage protection
- Flight delay and cancellation protection
- Theft and personal effects coverage
But, you know what?
DON’T MISS: 33 Best Things to Do in Mexico
I think travel insurance is usually a raw deal for these things.
If a bag gets lost on your flight to Mexico City, it’s not going to result in financial ruin. If you have a delayed flight, it probably isn’t going to cost you much at all (and usually the airlines will help cover any incidental expenses).
Bottom line: I wouldn’t worry too much about having these coverages.
What people SHOULD be concerned about are risks that one can’t self-insure against. For travel to Mexico (or to Thailand, Nigeria, Georgia, or anywhere else for that matter), that probably means three things I would consider:
- Emergency medical expenses
- Repatriation of remains
- Car Rental Insurance
All of these things 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.
These are the three things I personally look at when pricing out travel insurance for Mexico (or anywhere else).
Do You Already Have Mexico Coverage?
I generally think it’s advisable to have some insurance coverage for the sort of catastrophic losses I described above.
But in some circumstances, you may already have sufficient travel insurance for Mexico without knowing it.
Here are some questions to ask yourself to find out:
First, does your health insurance back home cover you in Mexico?
Many American health insurers exclude coverage when you are abroad, but in the past, I’ve had coverage that applied to Mexico.
The best way to find out is to call your health insurance company and ask.
Second, do you have sufficient travel insurance coverage for Mexico through a credit card?
Some cards, like my Chase Sapphire Reserve card, provide limited travel insurance coverage that can help cover you for things like collision damage on an auto rental or some limited medical expenses.
Third, does your car insurance policy from back home cover rentals in Mexico?
Some do, some don’t.
(Most in the United States don’t these days).
Again, best to call to find out if you’re covered for travel to Mexico.
If you have health insurance and car insurance that applies when visiting Mexico, you may decide it doesn’t make sense to spend the money to bring travel insurance to Mexico.
Special Considerations for Buying Mexico Travel Insurance
Unlike some countries, Mexico does not list travel insurance as a requirement for entry for United States citizens.
With that said, it may still be a good idea to bring a travel insurance policy to Mexico depending on your circumstances.
Here are a few considerations to bear in mind:
- Mexico effectively has two medical care systems: a higher-end private one and a public one. The public healthcare system can be quite affordable and you may be eligible for it 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.
- 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).
Why I Personally Chose to Buy Travel Insurance for Mexico
Ultimately, I decided to shell out for the peace of mind of travel insurance for Mexico.
Well, my health insurance won’t cover me in the event of a serious incident when visiting Mexico, and I frequently rent cars to take day trips from my base in Merida.
I simply decided that saving a few extra bucks wasn’t worth the life-altering risk of a catastrophic bill.
I paid significantly less on a monthly basis for a policy than I did when I bought a multi-country policy the year before.
If you want to check out how much it would cost to get Mexico travel insurance quotes from World Nomads, you can do that directly from this little widget:
One thing to note: unfortunately, World Nomads does not cover those over the age of 70, nor will it cover claims based on pre-existing medical conditions.
Other than that, I’ve been happy with my experience with World Nomads and would certainly recommend them.
With that said, there are a bunch of travel insurance companies that will provide coverage for Mexico, so it may pay to shop around a bit.
Just use the above quote widget to get a base price to inform your shopping so you don’t overpay, and maybe also check out this nifty site that pulls quotes from dozens of companies so you can be sure to get the best deal.
FAQs About Bringing Travel Insurance to Mexico
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.
Does health insurance cover you in Mexico?
Most likely not, but it depends on your health insurance company so you should call to check. Most US 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?
TravelInsurance.com is the best comparison site I’ve found since it quickly compares policies in an easy-to-read format.
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 US (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.
If you have any questions about finding travel insurance Mexico, please just drop me a line in the comments!
And before you leave, make sure you read these helpful articles to help you plan your trip:
- Playa del Carmen Mexico (Ultimate Guide)
- Best Tours and Day Trips from Playa del Carmen
- Tulum Beach (The Ultimate Travel Guide)
Enjoy visiting Mexico!