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Mexico Travel, Health and Safety

Mexico is a diverse, dynamic country with a thriving tourist economy. From the beautiful sandy beaches of Baja California Sur to the thriving metropolitan capital of Mexico City, millions of Americans take a trip to Mexico each year for rest, relaxation, and an epic vacation.

In fact, travel to Mexico from the U.S. reached an all-time high of nearly 40 million in 2019, before the pandemic set in.

Despite its status as one of the world’s leading vacation destinations and home to numerous UNESCO World Heritage Sights, some travelers understandably want to know more about Mexico’s reputation regarding travel safety before they decide to book their trip.

There are numerous things to take into account when assessing travel safety in Mexico. The answer to the question: “Is Mexico safe?” can include health concerns, potential political instability, and the rates of violent crime and theft.

Travelers who are planning to buy travel insurance prior to their trip may want to know what types of additional coverage may be necessary given the risk profile on the ground.

The best approach is to do your research, while not getting too obsessed with trying to find a perfectly safe destination. Travel, and indeed life itself, always involves a certain amount of risk, and your best asset to ensuring your safety and security abroad is a healthy amount of common sense.

So let’s take a look at some of the more pertinent health and safety information for people planning on traveling to Mexico.

Is it safe to travel to Mexico?

So, should you go to Mexico right now? Whether or not it’s safe to visit will depend greatly on which parts of Mexico you are visiting during the course of your trip. The U.S. Department of State has previously deemed Mexico at a “Level Three” in its travel advisory system. This means travelers should “reconsider travel” if possible.

However, it’s important to know that these advisories change often, and to remember that not all parts of the country bear the same level of risk. According to the U.S. Department of State, Americans will face a different level of risk and danger depending on which state of Mexico they are traveling to. In Mexican states where there is an elevated risk of crime and kidnapping, there may be a Level Four advisory, meaning Do Not Travel.

This Level Four designation is due to the fact that crime and kidnapping are common in these areas due to organized criminal activity, gang related violence, and drug cartels. Unfortunately, drug related violence is common in Mexico.

Popular tourist destinations that have fallen under this level four warning in the past include Acapulco, which is located in the state of Guerrero. The tourist-heavy town of Sayulita, located in the state of Nayarit, has been given a Level Three warning in the past, meaning Americans should “reconsider travel.”

Keep in mind that the State Department also warns that in these high risk areas, “the U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in many areas of Mexico, as travel by U.S. government employees to certain areas is prohibited or restricted,” to limit the risks posed by criminal groups.

There are, however, other parts of Mexico where less caution may be warranted. Mexico has entire regions and states whose economies depend heavily on tourism. Those areas where the visitor economy is the source of many people’s livelihoods will generally be more hospitable and welcoming to tourists than areas where foreign visitors rarely go.

In addition, the presence of law enforcement is generally more robust in tourist destinations. The tourist-heavy states of Baja California Sur, Quintana Roo, Oaxaca, and Mexico City contain popular tourist destinations including the capital city (Mexico City), Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, Tulum, Cancun, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, Oaxaca, and Todos Santos.

In all of these destinations, it’s wise to exercise increased caution no matter what the current warning level is.

Safety tips for Mexico

In general, there are plenty of ways to increase your odds of staying safe in Mexico. As is true anywhere you visit in the world, common sense and being aware of your surroundings at all times go a long way towards ensuring your safety.

Other safety tips for traveling in Mexico include:
  • don’t flaunt expensive items or cash to avoid petty theft or petty crime
  • exercise extreme caution at ATMs and banks
  • be careful when out drinking at nightlife spots or casinos. Always keep your drink in front of you and never accept drinks from strangers
  • keep your doors locked at your hotel or vacation rental
  • don’t drive or go out alone at night
  • stick with reputable and licensed taxi drivers and cab companies
  • be especially aware of your surroundings on public transport. Buses especially can get very crowded in places like Mexico City, which make it easy for ‘bump and run’ pickpocketing tactics

For women, avoiding walking alone at night is especially important to decrease the risk of sexual assault. As always, listening to the advice of your local guides, concierge, or accommodation provider when it comes to local safety measures, is always wise.

When it comes to health and safety, you’ll also want to adhere to best practice regarding eating and drinking in regions where sanitation may be subpar. Drink bottled water, avoid ice cubes, wash your hands thoroughly before each meal, and avoid eating any raw vegetables and/or fruit that cannot be peeled. These measures make it less likely you’ll be exposed to food or water-borne illness.

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PRE-EXISTING MEDICAL CONDITION

Pre-Existing Medical Condition means an illness, disease, or other condition during the 180 day period immediately prior to the date Your coverage is effective :
  1. received or received a recommendation for a test, examination, or medical treatment for a condition which first manifested itself, worsened or became acute, or had symptoms which would have prompted a reasonable person to seek diagnosis, care or treatment; or
  2. took or received a prescription for drugs or medicine. Item (2) of this definition does not apply to a condition which is treated or controlled solely through the taking of prescription drugs or medicine and remains treated or controlled without any adjustment or change in the required prescription throughout the 180 day period before coverage is effective under this policy.
  3. required a change in prescribed medication. Change in prescribed medication means the dosage or frequency of a medication has been reduced, increased, stopped and/or new medications have been prescribed due to the worsening of an underlying condition that is being treated with the medication, unless the change is:
    1. between a brand name and a generic medication with comparable dosage; or
    2. an adjustment to insulin or anti-coagulant dosage.
If you, or someone you are traveling with, has a Pre-Existing Medical Condition, you can still buy a policy from us but there is no cover for any claim arising directly or indirectly from that condition.

PRE-EXISTING MEDICAL CONDITION

Any Medical Condition that, within the last 12 months, required any:

  • surgery, inpatient or outpatient treatment, referrals or investigations of any sort. This includes being on any waiting list, taking any prescription medication, tablets or required medical treatment (This will not apply to common colds, flu or contraceptive medication);
  • medical advice or treatment for any respiratory condition relating to the lungs or breathing;
  • medical advice or treatment for any heart, stroke or diabetic condition;

Hypertension or high cholesterol controlled by 1 prescription drug only and where the dosage has not been changed within the last 12 months will not be considered a pre-existing medical condition

Coverages Available:

*not all coverages are available in all states
Travel Protection Benefits Limits
Trip Cancellation 100% of trip cost (up to a maximum of $20,000)
Single Occupancy Up to trip cost
Cancel for Any Reason Up to 75% of trip cost Up to 50% of trip costs in FL(CFAR not available to NY residents)
Trip Interruption 150% of trip cost
Delay Package
Trip Delay
Maximum $200 per day up to $2,500
Missed Connection Maximum of $1,000 per covered trip
Baggage Package – Excess
Baggage and Personal Effects $2,500 $100 Deductible
Baggage Delay $100 per day up to a maximum of $500
Travel Medical Package – Excess AK, CO, ID, ND, NH – Primary
Travel Medical Expense – Adventure sports included $100,000 $50,000 in NH $50 Deductible
Emergency Dental $750
Emergency Evacuation and Repatriation of Remains Up to $500,000
Up to $1,000,000 in NH
Accidental Death & Dismemberment $100,000 or $250,000 or $500,000
Pet Medical Package
Pet Medical Expense Up to $2,000 $100 Deductible
Pet Return Up to $500
Rental Vehicle Damage – Primary Up to $35,000 per rented vehicle- Primary $250 Deductible for loss greater than $2,000
Vacation Rental Damage $1,500 or $3,000 or $5,000

Travel Medical Insurance

Some benefits are subject to an excess (aka, the deductible, or what you have to pay before we pay), as stated in the Policy Schedule, and are per Policy Period.

Benefits Limits
Cancellation and Curtailment 5,000
Emergency Medical Expenses, Evacuation and Repatriation of Mortal Remains 10,000,000 (excess 250 or 50)
Hospital Benefit 25 per day, maximum 100
Personal Accident up to 250,000
Baggage Loss or Delay up to 5,000 (excess 250 or 50)
Personal Money and Passport, limited to 250 in respect of cash 500 (excess 250 or 50)
Personal Liability 500,000
Travel Delay 500
Optional Benefits Limits
Business Extension up to 1,000 (excess 100)
Winter Sports (Ski Equipment) up to 750 (excess 50 or 100)

Travel Medical Insurance

Some benefits are subject to an excess (aka, the deductible, or what you have to pay before we pay), as stated in the Policy Schedule, and are per Policy Period.

Benefits Limits
Trip Interruption 2,000
Emergency Medical Expenses, Evacuation and Repatriation of Mortal Remains 10,000,000 (excess 250)
Hospital Benefit 25 per day, maximum 100
Personal Accident up to 5,000
Baggage Loss or Delay up to 2,000 (excess 250 or 50)
Personal Money and Passport, limited to 250 in respect of cash 500 (excess 250) *** Limited to 250 in respect of cash
Personal Liability 500,000
Optional Benefits Limits
Business Extension up to 1,000 (excess 100)
Winter Sports (Ski Equipment) up to 750 (excess 50 or 100)
Personal Accident up to 250,000
Baggage up to 10,000

Travel Medical Insurance

Some benefits are subject to an excess (aka, the deductible, or what you have to pay before we pay), as stated in the Policy Schedule, and are per Policy Period.

Benefits Limits
Cancellation up to $20,000
Trip Interruption $1,000
Medical and Emergency Expenses $5,000,000 (deductible $250)
Hospital Benefit $25 per day, maximum $100
Personal Accident up to $50,000
Baggage $2,000 (deductible $250)
Personal Money and Passport, limited to $250 in respect of cash $500 (deductible $250)
Personal Liability $500,000
Optional Benefits Limits
Business Extension up to $1,000 (deductible $100)
Winter Sports (Ski Equipment) up to $750 (deductible $50 or $100)

Travel Medical Insurance

Some benefits are subject to an excess (aka, the deductible, or what you have to pay before we pay), as stated in the Policy Schedule, and are per Policy Period.

Benefits Limits
Cancellation and Curtailment 5,000
Emergency Medical Expenses, Evacuation and Repatriation of Mortal Remains 10,000,000 (excess 250 or 50)
Hospital Benefit 25 per day, maximum 100
Personal Accident up to 250,000
Baggage Loss or Delay up to 5,000 (excess 250 or 50)
Personal Money and Passport, limited to 250 in respect of cash 500 (excess 250 or 50)
Personal Liability 500,000
Travel Delay 500
Optional Benefits Limits
Business Extension up to 1,000 (excess 100)
Winter Sports (Ski Equipment) up to 750 (excess 50 or 100)