Choose Only the Insurance You Need
The only legal insurance company in the country is the Instituto Nacional de Seguros (INS) which is totally owned by the government. That means that by law no one else can sell insurance in Costa Rica. But nothing can keep you from buying insurance abroad to cover your Costa Rican assets. It's advisable that you buy your insurance from a certified agent. He will give you a better deal, better advice and help you in circumstances where much red tape is otherwise involved.
Being a monopoly, INS is one of the most solid insurance organizations in Latin America. Internationally, it reinsures a considerable percentage of the risk. All of the policies have deductibles which are generally set by the Institute. On most types of policies the deductibles average 20% per claim. All insured values are in local currency colons. As the currency is devaluated on a daily basis, it's advisable to check your values periodically.
Home Owner's Fire and Natural Disaster Policy
Costa Ricans are not too keen on insuring their car or house but this attitude is gradually changing. Through the Institute you can cover your house - it alone or with its contents. Most local policy holders prefer to pay their insurance either semi-annually or every three months. You save more by paying annually. There are four types of coverage:
"A" (basic coverage) includes fire and lightning.
"B" includes wind, cyclone, hurricane, explosions, smoke, and falling objects.
"C" includes landslides and floods
"D" includes earthquakes and tremors.
The rate to be paid is on a yearly basis for the four types of insurance. The amount is based on the estimated cost of rebuilding and does not include the value of the land, only that of the house.
This type of insurance is only on the vehicle. It covers the vehicle as long as the person has a valid license and was doing the driving when the accident occurred. In Costa Rica auto insurance is obligatory and paid yearly but it provides such a small amount of coverage that supplementary coverage is recommended. The minimum one must have in order to feel somewhat secure is liability coverage.