Do I Need Travel Insurance for Mexico?

Relying on travel insurance is good idea, especially when many travel cards provide basic coverage.
Anya Kartashova
By Anya Kartashova 

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Planning a trip to Mexico? The country has a lot to offer to globetrotters: breathtaking beaches, flavorful food, and striking sights. Plus, it’s easy to get to with nonstop flights from many U.S. hubs.

Once you’ve booked your ticket, you might be wondering if you should buy travel insurance for your Mexico trip. Here's a look at whether Mexico travel insurance is required, what credit cards offer trip coverage and where else you can buy a policy if you need additional protections.

Do I need travel insurance for Mexico?

If you’re a frequent traveler, something going wrong on your travels isn't a matter of if, but a matter of when. You could experience an overnight delay, your bag might not make it to your destination or your rental car may no longer be where you parked it.

Because traveling is anything but perfect, you might consider purchasing a travel insurance policy for a variety of reasons, including:

  • To protect the upfront costs in case of a cancellation or a delay.

  • To protect yourself from a costly bill in case of an emergency medical situation.

Although travel insurance isn’t required for Mexico, many people still choose to purchase it. You’ll want to take a look at the overall trip and expenses while you consider your options.

For example, are you renting a car for a self-drive adventure? You might consider a policy that includes rental accident coverage. Is the cruise you booked out of Cozumel setting sail the day you arrive? You might want to have missed-connection coverage. Will you be traveling to Cancun during hurricane season? Look for a plan that covers inclement weather.

What are the different types of Mexican travel insurance?

Travel insurance coverage ranges from basic to extended and the limits vary. You will typically find the following types of insurance and coverage in a comprehensive travel insurance plan.

  • Accidental death and dismemberment insurance provides coverage for death or losing a limb, sight, hearing or speech as a result of an accident.

  • Baggage delay reimburses the cost of essential items paid for in the first few days of not receiving your checked bag.

  • Baggage loss reimburses the cost of your suitcase and belongings should a checked bag become lost, stolen or damaged.

  • Emergency medical evacuation and repatriation insurance provides coverage for transportation to the nearest medical facility or your home country (including the transport of remains).

  • Rental car collision damage waiver offers insurance against damage or theft of a rental car.

  • Trip cancellation reimburses prepaid nonrefundable costs if you must cancel a trip for an unforeseen covered reason, such as illness or a natural disaster (note that this doesn’t provide Cancel For Any Reason coverage).

  • Trip delay covers transportation, meals and lodging should your common carrier be delayed or you can’t return home because of quarantine.

  • Trip interruption reimburses you for unused, nonrefundable costs if the trip has to be cut short for a covered reason and you must return home.

Which credit cards offer travel insurance?

Before you decide to buy independent travel insurance for Mexico, check to see if you already have coverage provided as a benefit of one of your travel credit cards. With most cards, the coverage limits are typically lower than on a comprehensive plan, but it’s better than nothing.

The following cards provide coverage against trip delay, baggage delay or loss, travel accidents, and rental car collision damage:

Terms apply.

If you hold one of the cards above, or perhaps a different credit card, familiarize yourself with the benefits guide. You might be pleasantly surprised to know that several items of a comprehensive travel insurance plan are included as long as you pay for the trip with that credit card.

One of the most valuable perks is collision damage insurance for a rental car. However — and we can’t stress this enough — beware that the rental car collision damage waiver included with the cards above doesn’t cover the liability insurance that car rental companies in Mexico require.

You might be surprised to arrive at the rental car counter after having reserved an inexpensive vehicle only to be hit with an astronomical fee on top of the bill. Before you yell at the agent, know that the charge is legitimate as this coverage is required by law. Either obtain the required coverage before arriving in Mexico or pay for a liability plan from the rental company.

Where can you purchase more coverage?

Although trip insurance that comes with travel rewards credit cards is good to have, you might notice that some of the coverage limits aren’t particularly high. If you feel like you need better travel insurance for Mexico, consider investing in a comprehensive independent policy.

Travel insurance marketplaces, like InsureMyTrip, Squaremouth orTravelGuard can help you find trip coverage, compare quotes and narrow down a plan for your needs and at your price point. Travel insurance providers include AXA Assistance, Battleface, GoReady, IMG, Seven Corners, Trawick International, Nationwide and more.

Depending on the plan, you can get coverage for trip cancellation and interruption, baggage delay or loss, rental car collision damage waiver, emergency medical insurance and emergency medical evacuation coverage. You might even get COVID-19 coverage with some plans, so make sure to read over each plan’s terms carefully.

With travel insurance marketplace tools, you can filter quote results based on what you want the policy to cover, including coronavirus pandemic, quarantine extension or pre-existing conditions.

It’s worth noting that general travel insurance doesn’t cover extreme sports like scuba diving, so if you plan on diving in the cenotes of Yucatan Peninsula or at Land’s End in Cabo San Lucas, consider purchasing scuba diving insurance from DiveAssure, Divers Alert Network or World Nomads.

Final thoughts on buying travel insurance for Mexico

Travel insurance can help put your mind at ease in case something goes wrong on your trip. Although you don’t have to buy travel insurance for Mexico, you might give the idea a second thought as you never know what can happen abroad. Luckily, many credit cards provide some basic coverage, and if you need more protection, you can always purchase a comprehensive plan that fits your needs.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2024, including those best for:

Cards for Travel Insurance from our Partners
Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card

on Chase's website

Chase Sapphire Reserve®
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate


Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Travel℠ immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.


Intro offer


Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,125 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

on Chase's website

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate


5x on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases.


Intro offer


Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's over $900 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

on Chase's website

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate


Earn 2X points on Southwest® purchases. Earn 2X points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare. Earn 2X points on internet, cable, and phone services, and select streaming. Earn 1X points on all other purchases.


Intro offer


Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

See more cards
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