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Guanacaste, Costa Rica by Joseph Emanuelli

Real information and stories from Guanacaste , Costa Rica. Presneted by a long time expat living and working in Costa Rica
Insurance in Costa Rica

There are many types of Insurance available in Costa Rica from Home Owners, Liability, Car, Health and Life, 

Since the enactment of CAFTA, the Central American Free Trade Agreement, which was enacted in in 2008, the country of Costa Rica was required to open up the insurance market to other companies along with other monopolies that had to be dismantled

Prior to CAFTA, there was only 1 insurance agency in Costa Rica INS, Instituto Nacional de Seguros , which is basically a government run agency but separate.  It is the only government backed insurance agency in the country. You could work with any of the hundreds of agents that worked for them as the rates were the same it just depended on the service you would get. Some of the agents were actually quoting higher priced rats than other, the difference when into their pockets as extra commission. So it was important to find a trust worthy individual.

The gambit of all insurance options are available here in Costa Rica, from home owners , to health, to auto, boat and motorcycle, to liability and more.

Now there are more options to choose from and independent brokers that can offer you the best rats at the coverage that works for you from different companies.

One thing I have learned over the years of living here is to get comparable rates from different agents from different companies. One thing to remember when getting home owners insurance is when the agent asks you what you paid for the house, you need to stop and think about it for a minute or already have a number in mind.

Here are my reasons; you finally made the dream come true and purchased the house in Costa Rica, but you also purchased the land under it. The land is going nowhere but the house could. So do not over valuate the property or you paying more than you have to.

What I did was bring a builder over to my place and paid him, $100 bucks and a six pack of beer to give me a good and honest total cost summary of what it would cost to rebuild my home exactly as it is at current prices. Then I took that number and added 15% to it to cover any unexpected things and really looked at what I have in the house for the contents part of the home insurance. This saved me almost $300 per year in insurance cost.  If you just purchased a lot and you built a home you know the cost already.

Car Insurance here in Costa Rica is really affordable, let me tell you why. I only have liability insurance on my car in the event I do something stupid and cause an accident so the issuance will take care of the other guy. That’s all I carry, no collision, no theft. Way you may ask, it is simple to get good body work done here is more than 60% cheaper than in the US or Canada. The body shop guys don’t charge $100 bucks per hour and the quality of the work is amazing, I know I have had some done more than once. As far as the theft of the car, well that another story, as the company will wait almost 6-8 months to pay it off as it can take that long to find the car. If it is found it could take another 6-8 months to get it back especially if it was found by the police or the OIJ (the equivalent of the US FBI)

Health Insurance all depends on you, if you are in good shape and don’t smoke and don’t have major pre-existing condition it can be quite affordable.  The great thing about Costa Rica is the Quality of private health services. As an example I recently had 4 crowns and 2 root canals done and it was only $1990.00. I had a 3 day fully body examination meeting with a cardiologists, nutritionists, urologist, had a stress test, colonoscopy, full body scan, EKG, blood tests out the wazoo and other tests I have no Idea what they were looking for nor could I even say and the entire thing cost me $2,500.00 US. I told a friend about this in the US and he said just the colonoscopy and blood tests would have cost more.

So if you are interested in learning about your options for insurance in Costa Rica just send me a note and I will direct you to a reliable broker that can handle all your insurance needs.

Posted: Friday, October 25, 2013 2:47 PM by Joseph A. Emanuelli

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