Finding the best travel insurance for Mexico is tricky, especially in 2022.
Since I cover Mexico a ton on my travel blog, and since I used to work as a corporate insurance lawyer, readers constantly ask me about where I get my Mexico travel insurance. I even get questions from journalists and have been featured in prominent national publications discussing the future of post-pandemic insurance.
To help my readers out, I whipped up this no-nonsense breakdown of how I personally approach travel insurance when visiting Mexico.
Disclaimers: We are not insurance brokers. This post is for informational purposes only and is not insurance advice. Links on this page are affiliate links. Using them supports this independent travel blog with a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you!
Right now you’re probably wondering … who is this guy?
Well, hi there, I’m Nate Hake. I’m a travel blogger, recovering lawyer, and full-time world traveler since 2016. 🌎 I visit Mexico many times per year, and I’m proud that my site Travel Lemming is among the most popular Mexico travel blogs on the Internet. Helping travelers enjoy Mexico is what I do for a living now. It’s so much more fun than legal work!
Ok, enough about me – let’s jump into the 4 best sites I use to find quotes:
I've personally use World Nomads (here's proof) for more than 50 countries. I've tried others but always return because I think its simpler & more transparent.
Pros: Simple & flexible, balances price & quality, upfront transparency about covid (no insurer covers all covid risks, but at least they actually explain it!)
Cons: Not available to seniors 70+ in USA (or 65+ in other countries)
A search engine that fetches quotes from hundreds of companies. Great for comparison shoppers who want to really dig into details!
Pros: Compare hundreds of insurers, see customer reviews
Cons: Not as simple as World Nomads (you need to sort through a lot of detail)
This is the site to use if you can't get a quote elsewhere due to age or pre-existing conditions.
Pros: Usually finds quotes for seniors even when other sites won't offer anything past a certain age
Cons: No clearly displayed info about Covid coverages, a clunkier user experience in my opinion
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:
- ✔️ What I Buy for My Travels: World Nomads
- 🔎 Best Comparison Site: TravelInsurance.com
- 👴 Best 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 (yes, I really did that!). And, yes, I really do still use World Nomads for my own insurance (here’s proof).
Here’s why I like World Nomads: they offer reasonable and simple coverage that’s easy to extend while you are in Mexico if your plans change. There are not always the cheapest, so 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 (it is not 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 2022, 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, covid-19 is a big reason travelers get insured. 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. Many in the industry are now calling travel insurance the “must have purchase” for travel in the 2020s.
Here are popular reasons many travelers – including myself – 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, trip cancellation insurance could come in handy if you purchased the trip cancellation coverage that applies to your situation.
- 🎫 Trip Interruption Benefits – even if you manage to get to Mexico, your trip could be interrupted while you are there. If it’s for a reason covered by trip interruption coverage, you’ll be glad you opted for insurance.
- 💉 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. Emergency medical expenses can add up fast.
- 🚗 Rental Car Protection – I love driving in Mexico, but I worry about car accidents. As discussed below, they are the #1 cause of death for Americans abroad.
- 🚁 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. For this reason, I always pay attention to the medical evacuation coverage in the policy terms.
- 💻 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.
How to Find Cancel for Any Reason Coverage (CFAR) for Mexico
Travel insurance policies only cover the risks in the contract, and most policies will not cover you if you decide to cancel a trip because of fear of covid-19, an outbreak in your destination, or because of restrictions that ruin the point of your trip (I mean, who wants to go to Mexico City when bars, restaurants, and museums are closed because its stoplight is red?).
If you’re worried about these risks, you might look into what’s called “cancel for any reason” or “CFAR” coverage. Though it depends on the specific policy, you can usually make a CFAR claim for non refundable trip expenses for, well, any reason. Of course, it tends to be more significantly expensive, which is why I don’t personally use CFAR coverage.
If you do want CFAR coverage for your Mexico trip (perhaps because you have a lot of non refundable trip expenses), then note that TravelInsurance.com conveniently lets you filter your search results to include only CFAR policies. Here’s a screenshot of how to do that:
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.
This isn’t medical or insurance advice (I’m not qualified to give that), but here’s my personal thinking on the subject of travel medical insurance:
Insurance is a generally 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 and could even result in financial ruin. The same reasoning applies if I hire a car rental in Mexico, crash it, and don’t have car rental insurance. Or if I pass away (dark, I know, but it happens) and my estate can’t afford repatriation of remains to my family back in the United States.
Medical expenses are a serious consideration, and still my major motivator for getting insured. That was true before the pandemic, but it’s even more so now.
Reason 2: Automobile Crashes Are Very 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.
That 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 never drink and drive in Mexico and 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 Cheap Quotes For Mexico
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 definitely isn’t the cheapest Mexico travel insurance, and I understand why many travelers are looking for the best deal possible. Here’s how to comparison shop for cheap Mexico insurance:
What’s great about them is that they pull quotes from dozens, sometimes hundreds, of different companies – all in the matter of a few minutes. It automatically recommends a travel insurance coverage provider, and then sorts the rest by price, which makes comparisons easy.
I also want to highlight 3 other super cool things you can do with the nifty Aardy.com interface specifically:
- See Covid-19 Info in the blue boxes, which clearly layout cancellation policies, and medical insurance and evacuation limits.
- Check “Compare Plan” to pit two different companies head to head.
- Quickly see the policy document by clicking the blue link in the left corner (always read the policy!).
Pretty cool right?
Now, the downside of all that detail is that it can be overwhelming for some people. But if you’re the nerdy type who likes to dig into details, using a travel insurance comparison portal like TravelInsurance.com or Aardy.com can be a fulfilling experience.
Mexico Safety Tips
Understand Mexico’s Covid-19 Situation and “Stoplight” System
Mexico has been hard hit by coronavirus. The country currently ranks 5th in the world for covid-19 deaths. The pace of vaccinations in Mexico has been slow, in part because Mexico is one of the few countries that still won’t allow most children to get vaccinated.
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. The stoplight color is supposed to guide the extent of restrictions locally.
If you do choose to visit Mexico during the pandemic, make sure to do so responsibly and follow all public health recommendations. If nothing else, do it for your own benefit.
I recently had a vaccinated Australian friend visit me in Puerto Vallarta. Like many other travelers during the Omicron wave, he tested positive in Mexico and then had to shell out for an expensive hotel to quarantine in. Thankfully, my friend’s insurer helped defray the costs, but it was still a nightmare situation for him, and one you want to avoid.
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!
Extreme Sports in Mexico
Many of the best things to do in Mexico – like scuba diving in Cabo San Lucas, parasailing in Puerto Vallarta, or ATVing in Playa del Carmen – are classified as extreme sports for insurance coverage purposes. When I plan to participate in these, I always look for a comprehensive plan covering these specifically (if it’s not explicitly covered, it’s usually excluded).
FAQs About Insurance for Mexico Trips
Here are quick answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about Mexico travel insurance:
Is travel insurance mandatory for Mexico?
Mexico does not require proof of travel insurance to enter the country. Tourists do need insurance if they plan to drive a car in Mexico, and will likely have to pay out of pocket for medical expenses should they need to access the Mexico healthcare system.
Will my health insurance cover me in Mexico?
Most US health insurers do not provide coverage for insureds traveling in Mexico, but it depends on the health insurance company so it is advisable to call the insurer and confirm. The lack of medical coverage in Mexico is a major reason many tourists buy travel insurance for trips to Mexico.
How much is travel insurance Mexico?
The cost of travel insurance in Mexico depends on a number of factors, including your age and the length of your trip. In the past, travel insurance has personally cost me between $2 and $4 per day of my trip.
Where can I compare Mexico travel insurance quotes?
One useful site for comparing insurance quotes is Aardy.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 often overpriced, I choose to play it safe and be insured for all the reasons I explain in this article.
What is the best Mexico travel insurance?
The best travel insurance for Mexico from the United States (or anywhere else) depends on your situation and your risk tolerance. That’s why I suggest comparing Mexico travel insurance quotes using a search tool like Aardy.
Does US health insurance work in Mexico?
Most United States health insurance providers do not cover travel overseas, including to Mexico, 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 using a search tool, but it is always best to determine if the cost savings are worth the difference in coverages.
Is Mexico part of the Carribean for travel insurance?
The geographic region Mexico is classed in depends on the insurance provider. Check with your insurer to see which region falls under for your situation.
When it comes to travel insurance Mexico isn’t that different than other countries. Anytime I travel abroad, I assess my risk tolerance and almost always decide insurance is worth it. Ultimately, whether or not to insure your Mexico trip is really up to you though.
Oh, and before you leave the United States for Mexico, make sure you read these helpful articles to help you plan your trip:
Enjoy visiting Mexico – and be sure to stay safe!
You can also read my other travel insurance guides:
- Annual Multi-Trip Travel Insurance
- Canada Travel Insurance
- Thailand Travel Insurance
- Nigeria Travel Insurance
- Georgia Travel Insurance