Travel insurance for trips to Mexico

Written by Holly Johnson / December 15, 2022
Reviewed by Kara McGinley
Fact checked by Heidi Gollub

Key points

  • The average cost of travel insurance for an eight-day trip to Mexico is $157.
  • Comprehensive travel insurance for Mexico should include coverage for trip cancellation, trip delay, trip interruption, travel medical, emergency medical evacuation and baggage loss.
  • “Cancel for any reason” and “interruption for any reason” upgrades offer greater flexibility if you want to cancel or end your trip to Mexico early.

Mexico is incredibly diverse, both in terms of geography and cultural makeup. It’s brimming with places to visit, from historic cities like Mexico City and Mérida to popular beach destinations like Puerto Vallarta and Playa del Carmen.

Before you buy travel insurance for Mexico, consider the type of trip you’re planning. If your plans involve nothing more than drinking a cold Pacifico on the beach, a travel insurance plan with basic coverage may be sufficient. But if you want to hike in the mountains or go scuba diving, a more comprehensive travel insurance policy would be a good idea. 

Inside this article

  1. Buying travel insurance for Mexico
  2. Trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance
  3. "Cancel for any reason" coverage
  4. Trip delay insurance
  5. "Interruption for any reason" coverage
  6. Travel medical insurance
  7. Emergency medical evacuation
  8. Baggage insurance
  9. Frequently asked questions

Buying travel insurance for Mexico

The average cost of travel insurance for trips to Mexico is $157, according to data from Squaremouth, a travel insurance comparison provider. This is for an average trip length of eight days and an average trip cost of $2,837. 

In general, you can expect travel insurance to cost 5% to 6% of your total trip expenses. 

A comprehensive travel insurance plan for Mexico will bundle together several types of coverage, from trip cancellation insurance to travel medical insurance. Here we’ll discuss common coverage options and the fine print you should watch for. 

Trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance

Trip cancellation insurance can refund 100% of your prepaid, nonrefundable travel expenses if you need to cancel your trip, as long as it’s for a reason listed in your travel insurance policy.

Trip interruption insurance can reimburse up to 150% of lost prepaid costs. This benefit covers not only the cost of changing your flights to depart early—or buying a new, one-way ticket—but can also refund any prepaid, nonrefundable bookings you miss by cutting your trip short.

Common reasons covered by trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance include:

  • Serious illness, injury or death of you, your traveling companion or a family member

  • Natural disaster that leaves your home or your destination in Mexico uninhabitable

  • Severe weather or strike that causes a cancellation or delay with an airline or cruise line

  • Unexpected loss of your job

  • Legal obligation such as jury duty or being required to appear as a witness

"Cancel for any reason" coverage

If you want the ability to cancel your trip for any reason, beyond those listed in your travel insurance policy, you might consider a “cancel for any reason” (CFAR) upgrade. 

CFAR coverage is an add-on to travel insurance plans that will increase your cost by about 50%. You can typically only purchase CFAR coverage within 15 days of making your first trip deposit.  

While you can cancel your trip for any reason with CFAR, you must do so at least 48 hours before departure. And when you file a claim, you’ll only be reimbursed 50% or 75% of your prepaid travel expenses, depending on your policy.

Trip delay insurance

Trip delay insurance can reimburse you for incidental travel expenses if a travel delay causes you to incur additional expenses. 

"If a storm grounds your flight on the way to or from vacation, trip delay benefits may cover incidental costs, such as meals and even a hotel room," says travel expert Joe Cortez, who works with Squaremouth.

Travel delay coverage usually has a waiting period before you can make a claim. This may be six or 12 hours, depending on your plan. 

You will also likely have a daily coverage limit and a maximum coverage limit. For example, this could be $150 in additional charges a day, up to $600 total, per person.

"Interruption for any reason" coverage

Some travel insurance companies also offer an “interruption for any reason” (IFAR) upgrade. This coverage is similar to CFAR. 

IFAR coverage lets you end your trip early for any reason and get reimbursed for a portion of your prepaid, nonrefundable travel expenses. Buying this upgrade will typically add 3% to 10% to the cost of your travel insurance.

If you decide to cut your trip short, IFAR coverage usually reimburses up to 75% of prepaid travel expenses. You may have to be a certain number of hours into your trip before you can call it quits and expect to get a refund. This waiting period might be 48 or 72 hours, depending on your policy.

Travel medical insurance

Travel medical insurance is crucial for trips to Mexico. 

"Your American health insurance likely won’t follow you across the border, so make sure your travel insurance policy covers emergency medical costs in Mexico,” said Christina Tunnah, a spokesperson for World Nomads, a travel insurance company.

When shopping for travel insurance for Mexico, check to make sure plans cover the types of activities you’re planning. Some travel insurance plans exclude adventure sports or require you to purchase add-on coverage for high-risk activities. 

Tunnah says that in World Nomads’ most recent site survey, U.S.-based travelers who were planning trips to Mexico identified adventure activity cover (30%) and emergency assistance support (26%) as their "most important benefits."

 “Our policies cover more than 150 activities, including scuba diving, snorkeling and even swimming with whale sharks, which are all popular activities in Mexico," she says.

Squaremouth recommends you buy a plan with at least $50,000 in travel medical insurance, but there are plans that offer coverage of up to $500,000.

Emergency medical evacuation

While travel medical coverage is important for trips to Mexico, Carol Mueller of Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection says it's just as important to have a travel insurance plan that includes adequate emergency medical and medical evacuation coverage. This coverage can pay for emergency transportation in a helicopter, a plane or other modes of transportation if you become sick or injured in a remote area.

Choosing a plan that includes emergency medical evacuation can ensure you get transportation to the nearest adequate medical facility, even if that means getting evacuated back to the States, adds Mueller.

Because emergency medical evacuation is so expensive, limits on this coverage can be up to $500,000 or more. Squaremouth recommends you buy a travel insurance plan that has at least $100,000 in medical evacuation coverage.

Baggage insurance

Baggage loss covers your personal belongings if they are lost, stolen or damaged, up to your policy limits. 

Tunnah says that lost luggage claims tend to be more common in Mexico than in other destinations. 

Read your policy to know what is covered, your coverage limits and any exclusions. Baggage loss is secondary insurance, which means if the airline loses your bag, you’ll have to file a claim with the airline first. 

Baggage delay coveragecan reimburse you for incidental travel expenses when your bags are temporarily delayed and you wind up paying for clothing and other essentials. This coverage typically has a waiting period, such as six,12 or even 24 hours before it begins. And it will have coverage limits, such as $200 per person.

Frequently asked questions

How much does travel insurance cost for Mexico?

The average cost of travel insurance for an 8-day trip to Mexico is $157, per recent data from Squaremouth. This is for an average trip cost of $2,837.

What kind of travel insurance do I need for an all-inclusive resort?
Do I need travel medical insurance for Mexico?

About the Authors

Holly Johnson

Holly Johnson

Holly D. Johnson is a personal finance expert and award-winning writer who covers a variety of insurance topics as well as general personal finance. In addition to her articles in Forbes, Holly is a featured author for CNN Underscored, Bankrate, Consumer Affairs and other notable publications. Johnson is also the founder of finance website Club Thrifty and the co-author of "Zero Down Your Debt: Reclaim Your Income and Build a Life You’ll Love."

Full bio
 Kara McGinley

Kara McGinley

I am the deputy editor of insurance and an experienced journalist and editor. My work and insights have been featured in MSN, Lifehacker, Kiplinger, Propertycasualty360 and more.

Full bio
Heidi Gollub

Heidi Gollub

Heidi Gollub is the lead editor of insurance. She was previously the assistant managing editor over insurance for U.S. News & World Report.

Full bio

Related Content