Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) is warning against any non-essential travel to Mexico’s northern border states. You need to pay attention, because if you’re injured or worse, due to the rampant drug violence in the area, your travel insurance may not be able to protect you.
Most travel insurance policies state that if you travel into an area that DFAIT has declared a “Non-Essential” or “No Travel Zone.” segments of your coverage may be invalidated. If that declaration is made only after you are already in the designated area, you will be advised to leave and some policies may give you a certain time frame to get out. But it the warning is posted before you travel, change your plan and Stay Out. If you’re planning travel into such restricted areas, know what the limitations are: this goes not only for Mexico, but much of the Middle East, North Africa, and parts of Asia.
Mexico is a particularly sensitive area because for years, Winter Texans and Arizona snowbirds have enjoyed brief cross border lunch, shopping, or sightseeing trips into Mexico. But with the Mexican drug wars now out of control, and with many of the Mexican state and police forces actually working with the drug cartels, your life is literally at risk if you cross into border cities such a Matamoros or Reynosa or even further into the interior, such as Acapulco. But it is the northern border states, from the Pacific to the Gulf of Mexico, that is considered the most dangerous, area not only by DFAIT, but by the U.S. Department of State and the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office. You can check out their advisories off out homepage as well.
Your travel insurance is a valuable safety net for any out-of-country trips. Don’t punch a hole in that net by taking needless risks.