Do I Need Travel Insurance for Mexico?
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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 Mexico 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.
» Learn more: Is travel insurance worth it?
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:
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.
» Learn more: The best travel credit cards right now
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.
If you want to buy 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 2023, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card