Mexico Travel Insurance Review
Mexico is a fascinating country, and shares a massive land border with the USA. It has thousands of miles of coastline, with some truly pristine beaches. To the East, we find the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea. To the West, the Gulf of California and North Pacific Ocean. Mexico City is one of the largest in the world – it has a greater population than many countries. Mexico and the USA have a long history together, so it is not surprising that Mexico is one of the most popular destinations for US travelers. Having decided to head to Mexico, travelers should consider our Mexico Travel Insurance Review.
Travel Insurance to Mexico – Introduction
Travel insurance to Mexico makes great sense for almost all travelers. Trip insurance is an affordable cover for unforeseen expenses on a vacation or business trip. Travel protection typically offers cover for medical emergencies. It covers trip cancellation, trip interruption and baggage loss. It provides compensation for accidental death and dismemberment, or flight accident. Car rental insurance can be supplemented.
The most common claim is when a traveler needs to cancel a trip due to an unforeseen illness of the insured’s traveling companions or family members.
Medical Travel Insurance has a higher claim rate for illness or injury for children and seniors.
Mexican Travel Insurance – Top 20 Reasons to Purchase
- You need to cancel your trip and be refunded.
- Your flight is cancelled.
- You miss your flight connection.
- A terrorism event occurs at your destination.
- US Medicare does not provide cover overseas.
- Your rental car gets damaged.
- Your bags are lost or stolen.
- Your bags are delayed.
- You get sick whilst on your vacation.
- If you get injured whilst on your trip.
- You prefer to choose your own hospital and be fully refunded.
- If you need to be medically evacuated home.
- You lost your passport.
- Your travel company goes bankrupt.
- You have a free-look period and can cancel anyway for a refund.
- If you want to Cancel for Any Reason and be partially refunded.
- You want Cancel for Work cover for a full refund.
- If you worry about being made redundant.
- You need an assistance service whilst abroad.
- Coverage costs are affordable.
Mexican Travel Insurance – US State Department Advice
US Medicare does not provide cover overseas. Mexico is no exception. The State Department recommends that any health insurance plan provides cover overseas.
State strongly recommends supplemental insurance of the type found in a comprehensive travel insurance plan.
Mexican Travel – US State Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)
What is STEP?
The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a free service that allows U.S. citizens traveling or living abroad to enroll with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.
Benefits of enrolling in STEP:
- Receive the latest safety and security information for your destination country, helping you make informed decisions about your travel plans.
- Help the U.S. Embassy contact you in an emergency, whether natural disaster, civil unrest, or family emergency.
- Help family and friends get in touch with you in an emergency.
When you enroll in STEP, you will automatically receive the most current information we have about your destination country, including:
- Security and Emergency Message updates from the U.S. Embassy
- Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts
STEP - Stay Connected
Enrolling in STEP will help the U.S. Embassy to contact you and provide assistance to you in an emergency. The information you provide in STEP will make it easier for consular officers at U.S. embassies and consulates around the world to contact you and your loved ones during an emergency — including situations where your family or friends in the U.S. are having difficulty contacting you with important news.
STEP - Stay Safe
We believe that a well-informed traveler is a safer traveler. US State consular officers around the world compile Country Specific Information, Travel Alerts, Travel Warnings, fact sheets and emergency messages to provide you with timely and accurate information about every country where you may travel.
US State include reports on risks and security threats so that you can make informed decisions about your travel plans and activities.
Is Travel Insurance Mandatory for Travel to Mexico?
Travel insurance is not mandatory for visitors to Mexico. However, it is highly unlikely that any home health insurance will be valid for Mexican travel. It is essential to confirm with your current health care insurer the level of support, if any, that will be provided in Mexico.
Foreigners are generally not entitled to Mexican public health care. The cost of private hospitals and physicians in Mexico is high. The Canadian government advises its own citizens that health care costs are higher in Mexico than in Canada.
A private hospital will require a guarantee of funding before any treatment begins. Moreover, a patient will not be released from care until any invoices are fully settled.
Travelers are strongly recommended to purchase medical travel insurance. This should cover, as a minimum:
- Medical Evacuation
- Pre-Existing Medical Condition
- Pregnancy, if needed
Other than in major tourist centers, hospitals in Mexico are not generally equipped to cope with serious emergencies.
Recommended Travel Insurance Cover Levels
Our recommendation is that no less than $100k of Emergency Travel Medical Insurance is purchased. Many Mexican private hospitals are world-class. The Mexican health care system is not free to visitors.
Mexican Health Care - Free Cover?
The majority of health care in Mexico is run by the Mexican government. There are two system - IMSS or Seguro Popular. IMSS is for people below retirement age. Seguro Popular is for people over retirement age and the poor.
With both systems, the government owns the facilities and also employs the people working there.
IMSS is funded by Mexican employers. A Mexican employer is required to pay for their workers' IMSS. The payments are small and depend on age. For a young person, the premium can be under $100 per year, rising to about $300 per year at age 60. A Mexican permanent resident can join IMSS for the same yearly rate that employers pay. However, there are some restrictions on the first two years of the policy. After that everything is covered and there is no deductible or co-pay.
Note that this IMSS public health care system is not available to non-residents.
Seguro Popular is free for those residents over 60 years old. Seguro Popular has its own clinics and hospitals similar to IMSS.
Note that travelers and Mexican non-residents do not qualify for this free Seguro Popular service.
Purchasing Emergency Medical Travel Insurance
We strongly recommend purchasing Mexican Medical Travel Insurance prior to arrival in Mexico. Do not wait to arrive in Mexico before attempting to purchase cover. We know of no US insurers who will sell a policy after arrival on a trip. As such, the traveler will need to navigate the local market for a policy. Our view is that it is preferable to buy travel medical insurance prior to arrival in Mexico. Travelers will get the best Mexican Travel Insurance this way.
US travel insurance carriers are only interested in the state of residence of a policyholder, not their nationality. The state of residence must be accurately stated during the insurance application process. In the event that a group of travelers are resident in different US states, then separate Mexican trip insurance applications must be made.
Traveler over 80
There seems to have developed a myth that when a traveler turns 80 he cannot be insured any more. This is not the case. We have multiple insurance policies available from our carriers for our senior travelers.
Baggage Loss and Delay
We know that airlines do their best to keep travelers and baggage together. Yet, every year, countless pieces of luggage go missing. Baggage cover is embedded into each comprehensive policy. It will go some way to compensating for a delay or loss of baggage.
However, if at all possible we would prefer not to lose our bags in the first place. So, follow our advice below to ensure you and your bags are kept together.
Never Lose Luggage in Mexico
Carry valuables with you.
Most airlines have a carry-on allowance. Even if you are checking a bag into the hold of the aircraft, it may make sense to use a carry-on as well. Many business travelers will ensure that they always have basic necessities with them in order to carry out their meetings. A suit, change of clothes, wash bag, and a set of shoes. These are small enough to be carried comfortably in a carry-on.
Make your case visible.
Your case probably looks exactly the same as all the other cases out there. Mexico has massive airports, with vast numbers of travelers arriving on each flight. Try to distinguish your bag from another, using tags, wraps or cords.
Pick your bag from the correct luggage carousel.
Mexico City has large numbers of aircraft arriving from the USA every hour. Some of those aircraft are arriving from the same city. Do make sure that the baggage carousel where you are waiting for your bag is the correct one for your exact flight. Many times, a Mexican traveler has not lost a bag, but is standing in the wrong part of the baggage claim.
Place identification inside and outside the bag.
If a bag is lost, baggage control in any of the Mexican airports will try to register the lost bag when found. They need your name and address, and will hope to see it on the outside of the case. If the tag has been torn off, the bag will be opened. So, make sure that you have ID inside the case. We always leave a number of business cards in the inner pockets of our cases for this exact reason. This way, our telephone and email contacts are available to allow us to be contacted.
Mexican Travel Insurance – Family Cover
It is perfectly acceptable to purchase Mexican trip insurance as a family. Some policies include children under 18 at no additional cost. So, it can be much more cost-effective to purchase as a family group in this case. Just remember that a family does need to all reside in the same state. If not, the applications will need to be split up into those who reside in the same states.
Travel Insurance – Pre-Existing Condition
It is quite normal that travelers have some form of Pre-Existing Medical Condition. This is a medical condition, sickness or injury:
- that existed prior to effective date of insurance coverage
- where the insured exhibited signs or symptoms
- where the insured received or required treatment or consultation.
In other words, you were sick before you took out the insurance. Ordinarily, pre-existing conditions are excluded from travel medical insurance cover.
Travel Insurance – Pre-Existing Condition Waiver
Now we know what a pre-existing condition is. So, we can determine how to get a waiver, so that cover can be put back in place. We need to know if the traveler is ‘stable’ over a ‘look-back period’.
Stable means that the medical condition has not worsened. The look-back period is the length of time that we wish to see a stable condition.
So, imagine a policy with a look-back period of 180 days and a traveler with a heart condition. The traveler has not had any changes in medication. His symptoms have not worsened in the 180 days prior to the date of insurance cover. In this case, a waiver can be granted. Cover can be put in place for the pre-existing medical condition.
Sometimes when looking for cheap Mexican Travel Insurance it can be easy to overlook fundamentals. A low-cost policy that does not offer the cover you need is of little use. Some of our carriers have only 60 days' look-back on their travel medical insurance plans. If this plan ends up being a little more expensive, but offers cover, it is of great value.
Travel Insurance – Pre-Existing Medical Condition – Time-Sensitive
We have identified what a pre-existing condition is. We have seen that the medical condition needs to be stable over a look-back period. But in order to ensure that this medical cover is in place when we book our Mexican Medical Travel Insurance, we must book the policy quickly.
All US travel insurers have a time-sensitive period after an initial trip deposit. During this period (from two to 21 days, depending on the policy) a traveler must have put his travel insurance policy in place. If not, additional benefits that would ordinarily be included in the policy will not be active.
A pre-existing medical condition waiver is a time-sensitive benefit in any policy. It is essential that travelers to Mexico get their policy in place as soon after initial trip deposit as possible. So many travelers end up with less than ideal cover simply because they did not get their Mexican Travel Insurance in place soon enough.
Trip Protection – Cancel for Work Reason – Time-Sensitive
Cancel for Work Reasons Travel Insurance is available for travelers to Mexico. It is a more expensive form of cover. However, it does offer additional protections. Policies differ, but the best will protect if an employer cancels a vacation or makes an employee redundant. Most airline flight insurance policies have very weak Cancel for Work Reason cover. As such, it is strongly advised to check the policy document.
Trip Insurance – Cancel for Any Reason – Time-Sensitive
Some travelers to Mexico wish to have the flexibility to cancel their travel plans without any reason at all, yet still receive compensation. This type of cover is called Cancel for Any Reason Trip Protection.
Carriers who offer this service include it in their most comprehensive travel plans. It is not a low-cost travel insurance option.
However, it can pay out up to 75% of non-refundable costs to a traveler in the event of a cancellation without reason. We think that this is a very strong benefit for those whose plans are likely to change.
Note that this is also a time-sensitive benefit. So, the policy needs to be put in place very soon after initial trip deposit.
Additionally, any cancellation needs to take place with at least 48 hours' notice in order for the cover to function.
Buy Travel Insurance to Mexico – AARDY
AARDY is a Travel Insurance Marketplace. We offer a range of different Mexican Travel Insurance plans for customers traveling from the USA to Mexico. We are licensed in all 50 states, and DC. Our trip Insurance carriers are some of the most respected in the USA.
Travel Insurance Comparison – Will I Pay More Buying Travel Insurance from a Comparison Website?
The US has anti-discriminatory insurance pricing legislation. This means that we can guarantee that you will not find the same plan at a lower price. Even if you go direct to the insurer. We think that the best travel insurance to Mexico is the one that covers your needs at the lowest cost.