Adventure awaits you in Mexico; but before you get there, you should consider taking out a comprehensive travel insurance plan, to cover you for any mishaps while you travel.
How am I covered by travel insurance in Mexico?
Cancelled or delayed flights: Travel insurance will cover most costs involved if your flight is delayed or cancelled for any reason. If a natural disaster occurs in Mexico before you have left Australia, resulting in the need to cancel your trip – depending on your cover, your travel insurance should cover most of the costs involved in refunding you for pre-booked flights, accommodation, or day-trips. The same applies to a situation where you need to cancel your trip due to medical reasons, or a family emergency. When you buy your travel insurance, check that these are all included benefits.
Lost or stolen belongings and travel documents: When traveling, there is always a chance of your belongings going missing, or being stolen. Your insurer will cover most of the costs involved if your personal belongings or travel documents are lost or stolen. This would include emergency items required, if necessary.
Lost or delayed luggage: Luggage can at times, be delayed through your airline, or even lost – your travel insurance will cover most of the costs involved in replacing your items, or providing for emergency items, while you wait.
Medical emergencies: Medical assistance can be required at any time, when traveling. You could fall ill from food poisoning, or pick up a virus in the new environment. You may need to be rushed to hospital if you are involved in an accident of any kind. Your travel insurance should cover the costs of most medical bills while you are in Mexico. However, doctors and hospitals in Mexico do not generally like to work with travel insurance, and will ask for payment upfront, before proceeding with any treatment or procedures. You will need to be able to cover these costs, and request reimbursement from your travel insurer at a later stage. You may also need to be medically evacuated to a nearby country for proper medical care – should it not be available in Mexico – so check if you are covered by your insurer for any kind of medical evacuations.
Road travel costs: When driving in Mexico, you are twice as likely to be killed in a road accident, than in Australia. You need to ensure that your travel insurance covers you for any excess if you are involved in an accident in a rented vehicle. Always obey the local traffic laws, and wear a seatbelt at all times. You can drive in Mexico with a valid Australian drivers license, together with an International Driving Permit (IDP), which must be obtained in Australia before you depart.
24/7 emergency assist: Some insurers will offer 24/7 emergency assistance, if you are in trouble at any time in Mexico. Check if your insurer offers this as part of your plan.
You can read more about what cover is available for you, through our four insurers.
How am I not covered by travel insurance in Mexico?
Motorbikes/scooters/quad bikes: Your travel insurance might not cover you for any accidents involved when riding a motorbike, scooter, or quad bike. This may need to be added as extra cover to your insurance if you are planning on using one of these vehicles in Mexico.
Negligent behaviour: Loss, theft, or medical assistance arising from negligent behaviour while in Mexico, might not be covered by your insurer. This would include leaving your belongings unattended, or in an unlocked car or hotel room, behaving recklessly when consuming drugs or alcohol, resulting in a medical emergency, or damage to property, or other people. Always remain vigilant and be aware of your surroundings, and act in accordance with the laws of Mexico.
Pre-existing medical conditions: Not all pre-existing medical conditions, if any, are covered by travel insurance. You will need to declare any conditions to your insurer beforehand, and check what you are covered for. You might need to take out extra cover for any conditions you are currently receiving treatment for.
Natural disasters: Mexico is subject to severe weather conditions and natural disasters, such as earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, and active volcanoes. If there is advance warning against a natural disaster in Mexico, before you travel – you might not be covered for any damages, or medical requirements, if you are subject to natural disaster conditions. Keep an eye on the news, and sign up for alerts and updates for Mexico, through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). You can also keep an eye on the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System (GDACS) for current activity in and around Mexico.
High-risk activities: Some activities might not be covered by travel insurance in Mexico. These could include, white-water rafting, scuba diving, ATV exploring, shark diving, a guided trek through a jungle, hot-air ballooning, or hiking up a volcano. Check with your insurer for which activities you are covered for, and if you require extra insurance.
Travel safety tips for Mexico
Crime in Mexico: Serious crimes are a great concern in Mexico, with sexual assault, armed robbery, kidnapping, drug-related crimes, carjackings, and murder, being top of the list. Petty crimes are high in tourist locations, airports, hotels, bus stations, and on public transport. There are allegations of police involvement in kidnappings, and other crimes – but you should still always go straight to a police station if you suspect criminal behaviour. People posing as policemen are also involved in serious crimes.
To remain safe in Mexico:
- Avoid traveling at night, especially on highways, or outside of major cities.
- Carry only small amounts of cash on you, at all times – and pay attention to people watching you at ATMs or money-exchange stations. Only use ATMs inside a mall or bank.
- Don’t travel with flashy jewellery, or belongings – where possible, leave cameras, tablets, mobile phones, passports, and jewellery at home, or in your hotel room.
- Use only official taxis and public transport – never catch a lift with a stranger.
- Never accept food or drinks from people you don’t know, and watch your drinks closely for spiking.
- Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Don’t accept anything from strangers.
- Stay within tourist locations where possible. Don’t venture into secluded, or dimly-lit areas.
Staying healthy: There are many insect-borne, or food/drink borne diseases in Mexico, which include, malaria, the zika virus, dengue fever, hepatitis, typhoid disease, and tuberculosis. Many of these diseases can be avoided by taking the relevant precautions.
- Take measures to avoid insect bites by lathering with a mosquito repellant, and wearing long, loosely-fitted, and light clothing.
- Boil all drinking water beforehand, or drink only bottled water bought from a shop.
- Avoid eating undercooked, or raw food.
- Only eat at restaurants where you are aware of the way your food has been prepared.
- Don’t accept ice cubes in your drink.
- Avoid unprotected sex.
Extreme weather conditions: Should you be subject to natural disasters while in Mexico, you need to follows the locals guidance for staying safe.
- Familiarise yourself with exit points at your hotel or accommodation.
- Identify your local shelter, to get to for safety.
- Take official warnings seriously, and do not wait to be told what to do – evacuate immediately if there are any signs of danger.
- Move to higher ground if you suspect an earthquake, tsunami, or hurricane.
- Stay away from areas where active volcanoes are known to be unpredictable.
Civil unrest and protests: Mexico is subject to protests, demonstrations, and striking throughout the country. These events can turn violent, with deaths being reported in the past, and road blockades and congestion can occur. Avoid areas where protests are happening, and avoid any large public gatherings. Listen to official warning at all times.
Road safety: Travel with caution on Mexican roads. The roads can be unsafe, especially in rural areas – where pedestrians, and livestock can appear out of nowhere. Street signs and lighting are poor. Vehicles don’t generally stop for pedestrians, or indicate which way they are turning – and intersections can be scary, with vehicles coming from all directions. Familiarise yourself with local road laws, to avoid receiving penalties. Keep windows and doors locked at all times, and if you are involved in a roadside robbery or carjacking – never resist the criminals – give them what they want.
Travel etiquette when visiting Mexico
Family is everything: Mexicans generally have large families, and respect their families above all else. They are known for their family gatherings, and hosting parties. They love to welcome new visitors, and make them feel at home – hospitality is their strong point.
Respect the local cultures and religions: A vast majority of Mexicans practice Catholicism, however, some Mexicans have included Mayan elements into their religion. Most of the Mexican culture revolves around their religious values and the church, and this should be respected at all times.
Learn some Spanish: Spanish is spoken by the majority of Mexicans, with English widely understood and spoken around Mexico. You will most likely get away with speaking English, but learning a few Spanish words and phrases will take you a long way in earning their respect, and getting you where you need to be, a lot quicker.
Mexican food: The food in Mexico mainly consists of tortillas, tacos, corn, beans, and spices. Rice is also a staple diet for the Mexicans. You will battle in Mexico if these food choices do not tickle your tastebuds.
Spanish holidays and celebrations: Mexicans are big on celebrating, with celebratory events sometimes continuing for days. Events like the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, The Day of the Dead, and Independence Day, are all huge events in Mexico, and are often celebrated with carnivals, lighting of candles, and street parties. You may battle to get to where you need to be during these events.
|Australian Consulate, Cancun
Avenida Nader #28, tercer piso (third floor)
Popol Na Corporate Offices
Manzana 1 Supermanzana 2
Cancun, Quintana Roo
Phone: (52 998) 898 1900 x 213
|Australian Embassy, Mexico City
Ruben Dario #55
Corner of Campos Eliseos, Polanco
Colonia Bosque de Chapultepec
11580 Mexico DF Mexico
Phone: (52 55) 1101 2200
Fax: (52 55) 1101 2201
|Emergency phone numbers
All medical, fire, or criminal issues:
|24-hour Australian Consular Emergency Helpline
1300 555 135
+61 2 6261 3305
+61 421 269 080
We also offer insurance for other destinations such as Paris