Purchasing the Right Travel Insurance for Mexico
Travel insurance is a must for anyone leaving their home country or, in many cases, even leaving their home province/state. Finding the right travel insurance for Mexico will depend on what kind of coverage you’re looking for, where you’re from and where in Mexico you’re going, a very important and often overlooked factor. In this article we’ll cover:
Types of Travel Insurance Coverage for Mexico
The term ‘travel insurance’ is fairly general and in most cases you’ll need to specify what you’d like coverage for when purchasing insurance for travel to Mexico. Listed below are the primary options offered by most insurance companies. Usually you can choose just one or a combination but always read the fine print to know exactly what is covered, as it varies from company to company.
Covers or reimburses medical expenses up to a certain amount in case of emergency. Extreme sports and activities are not always covered by emergency medical plans. Depending on the emergency the insurance company may wish to fly the patient back to their home country for medical attention. In this case, transportation costs should be covered by the insurer. Once back in their home country the travel insurance will no longer cover medical expenses.
Covers or reimburses expenses incurred after unexpected cancellations or delays in travel plans. There are often many stipulations with this coverage such as how many hours the trip was delayed or reasons for cancellation. For example, many insurers will not cover a cancelled trip because of civil unrest if there was already a ‘do not travel’ advisory when the trip was booked. On the other hand, most will cover costs for a trip cancelled because of a change in travel advisory from ‘safe’ to ‘do not travel’.
Check your country’s government travel advisories for Mexico before purchasing insurance for your trip. If unsure about whether you’ll be covered, call the insurance company before purchasing.
The earlier you purchase this type of coverage, the more likely you are to be covered in the case that your trip is cancelled. Some companies even require this coverage be purchased within 24 hours of the initial trip deposit.
Lost, Stolen or Damaged Luggage
Reimburses expenses for essential purchases in the case of lost luggage or covers personal items lost, stolen or damaged in travel. Check the single article limit before purchasing, as many insurance policies have a maximum of a few hundred dollars, which is not enough to cover most cameras, phones or computers.
Never check luggage with valuable items such as cameras, computers, or jewellery. Always keep your valuable items with you on flights, buses and trains.
How to Find the Best Travel Insurance for Mexico
Everyone should ensure they have Emergency Medical Insurance for any trip they take outside their country but whether or not you purchase Trip Cancellation or Lost Luggage Insurance is up to you.
There are many insurance companies and each one has multiple plans available so it can be tough to know which to choose. Here are a few questions you should answer before purchasing your travel insurance for Mexico.
- Do you or anyone you’re purchasing insurance for have a pre-existing medical condition?
Pre-existing conditions are the number one reason claims are denied. Some insurance companies will exclude coverage for any pre-existing conditions. Others will provide coverage if the condition has been stable for a certain amount of time but you usually need to purchase the insurance immediately after booking the trip.
What constitutes a pre-existing condition can also be confusing and differ from company to company. It can be as simple as a broken arm or as complicated as a heart condition.
- Will you need to pay a deductible/excess for any claims? How much?
Many companies will offer plans with varying deductibles and for an extra few dollars upfront, you may save yourself a $100 deductible later.
- What are the most expensive items you’ll be travelling with (i.e. camera, computer, phone, sports equipment, jewellery, etc.)? Do you want insurance for these? Can you travel without these?
The single article limit with most insurance policies is too low to cover these items and an additional insurance policy will likely be needed.
If you have home insurance it’s possible that it will cover the items you plan to travel with. Definitely give them a call or check your policy before leaving.
- Do you plan to participate in any (extreme) activities?
This can include but is not limited to scuba diving (often greater than 30 m), skydiving, bungee jumping, hang-gliding, mountain climbing and rock climbing. Even if you plan to take part in non-extreme sports, such as golf, you may need additional coverage.
- Will you be renting a vehicle during your travels?
Some travel insurance companies offer car renters insurance as an add-on and it may be cheaper than what you’d pay with the rental car company.
- Are you purchasing insurance for anyone over 50?
All insurance companies will ask the age of those travelling but with many companies premiums increase for those over the age of 50.
- How much will the trip cost before you depart?
Include the cost of flights, hotels, pre-paid tours, etc. When looking for insurance quotes you’ll be asked to enter this amount if you want trip cancellation coverage. If you choose not to purchase trip cancellation insurance just enter $0 in the ‘Trip Cost’ field when getting quotes.
- Will you be travelling to the U.S. or Canada?
Some insurance companies will provide coverage for a short layover in either country but if you’ll be spending any extended time in either country expect to pay a higher premium for your travel insurance.
Once you’ve answered the questions above you should have a better idea of what you’d like covered and what to look for in an insurance provider.
Travel insurance for Copper Canyon and Other Travel Advisory Regions
Considering there are travel advisories for the Copper Canyon region (Chihuahua and Sinaloa) it’s important to know what kind of coverage you can expect when in this area.
To find out more about safety concerns in the Copper Canyon click here.
There are stipulations in many insurance policies with regards to coverage in areas with travel advisories. At the time of writing this, the Canadian and American governments have “avoid non-essential travel” advisories for the Copper Canyon region.
Check your government travel advisory page for Mexico by clicking on your country below or visiting your government website.
If you’ve already purchased insurance take a very close look at your policy or call them to determine whether this may affect coverage.
Due to these government travel advisories, an insurance company may deny any claims for injury or illness while in the affected areas, even if unrelated to the travel advisory reason. It’s best not to take the risk and find a company that will provide coverage regardless of the advisory.
I called my insurance company to find out what kind of coverage I can expect and was told that it would be dealt with on a case-by-case basis and it’s likely they won’t cover expenses incurred while I’m in an area with a travel advisory, such as the Copper Canyon. As a result, I’ve found alternative coverage for when I travel in that region.
I did some research to find companies that, at the time of writing this, will provide coverage in the Copper Canyon. I mention them below in the next section, Country of Residence.
Country of Residence
Insurance costs and coverage vary depending on your country of residence so click on your country below to see specific companies.
This site contains some affiliate links. Making a purchase through an affiliate link does not affect prices but I’ll make a small commission. Income from these links helps me continue to grow the site and keep it up to date.
Canadian Residents – Travel Insurance for Mexico
For my travels throughout most of Mexico and as a Canadian with provincial health care coverage I find I get the best prices for Emergency Medical Insurance through Travel Cuts. I’ve only ever made one claim, and it was small, but the process was very easy and fast. They’re my go-to when I’m buying medical coverage only, however, they do offer trip cancellation insurance as well.
For travel in the Copper Canyon, a region with a travel advisory for Canadians, I prefer to use Blue Cross, as they don’t mention stipulations with regards to travel advisories in their policies. Always double-check the fine print before you purchase.
To compare quotes from different insurers use Kanetix and find a provider that suits your budget and needs.
Many credit card companies offer varying travel insurance options either already included with your card or at an additional fee. Check with your credit card company to see what they offer and what’s covered.
Regardless of which provider you choose make sure you read the policy carefully to know exactly what you’re covered for.
U.K. Residents – Travel Insurance for Mexico
Aviva is a big name in UK insurance and they’re a safe bet when it comes to travel insurance too. They keep things simple with a single plan and optional add-ons depending on what you want to be covered for, like lost baggage, or trip cancellation. They’re not the cheapest but they have good reviews within the industry and better medical coverage than some of the cheaper plans.
Once again, it’s important to read the fine print to be sure that you’re covered for what you need.
U.S. Residents – Travel Insurance for Mexico
Allianz Global Assistance provides American travellers with a multitude of plans to choose from with good prices. Under certain circumstances they’ll also cover pre-existing medical conditions.
I like Allianz Global Assistance because they provide insurance for Travel Cuts in Canada, which is the insurance I always purchase for myself. I’ve made a small claim in the past and required multiple refunds when returning from trips ahead of schedule and they’ve always been quick and easy to work with.
Allianz is great if you’re NOT travelling to a region for which the U.S. has issued a travel advisory. If that’s the case for you then click here to find the plan that works best for you. And don’t forget to read the fine print to ensure you’ll be covered for everything you need.
However, for travel to the Copper Canyon, or any region of Mexico with a travel advisory, RoamRight is a better choice. They provide a few different travel insurance plans and will cover pre-existing medical conditions under certain circumstances (one of which is paying for the insurance within 24 hours of your first trip deposit, and insuring all trip costs).
RoamRight policies don’t contain any stipulations with regards to travel advisories so you’re much more likely to be covered for unexpected medical expenses.
It’s underwritten by Arch Insurance Company, which has a very good credit rating. You can click here to get a quote from RoamRight. Always read the fine print in the policy before making a purchase.
Tips to Prevent a Denied Claim
Whatever company you choose to buy your travel insurance for Mexico from, it’s important to know how to make a claim before you leave for your trip. Otherwise you may risk having your claim denied.
The first thing to do is read the literature that comes with your policy as each company has their own procedure. Next, follow these tips to help avoid issues if you ever need to make a claim.
Keep all your receipts for flights, hotels and tours. If you need to buy essentials because of lost or delayed luggage, make sure you keep all of the receipts.
If your luggage is delayed or lost, have the airline provide written proof of the situation.
Have your travel insurance contact information handy so you or someone else can call if you’re in need of medical help. Some insurers need to pre-approve an expense and failure to call before getting treatment may result in a reduced reimbursement. Many companies will also help you find a health care professional nearby.
Know beforehand whether your insurer will pay any medical provider directly or if they only guarantee payment, in which case you may need to pay fees out of pocket and provide receipts to the insurance company for reimbursement. Calling the insurance company prior to seeking treatment can help avoid these out of pockets payments.
Know what circumstances count as a trip cancellation in your policy. If it’s not in the policy it won’t be covered.
Ensure you’ve acknowledged any pre-existing medical conditions prior to purchase. Otherwise, any expenses related to a pre-existing condition are unlikely to be covered by your travel insurance.
It’s unlikely that any medical costs will be covered or reimbursed if they are the result of an injury while intoxicated.
If travelling to a region where your government has issued a travel advisory, be sure that your insurance company will still provide coverage. Check the policy for exclusions or give them a call.
Choosing and purchasing your travel insurance for Mexico may seem like a chore but it does bring peace of mind and is well worth a small investment of time and money.