Chapter 10: Insurance posted by on July 4, 2012
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INS Insurance  By law, insurance was a state run monopoly here in Costa Rica for many years. The insurance market has been slow to open, so they are still almost the only game in town for some insurance.

However, as the new players get up and running, their services will eventually broaden. But for now, they are still the biggest game in town.

Property and Casualty insurance, including Auto, come to mind as the main categories where they still have an almost absolute monopoly.  While outside companies have entered here a little in these categories, you are on your own if they don’t pay a claim.   So, despite the problems in dealing with INS, if you want these types of policies, it’s better to deal with them.


Other types of insurance, though, like health, disability, and life (which include IRA’s, self directed annuities, regular annuities, etc.) are easy to obtain and manage from outside the country.  We recommend these types of policies unless for some over riding reason you just have to deal with INS.  But be warned, INS has many traps set so that they don’t have to pay all or any of your claims.  And they don’t necessarily advise you of the rules in advance, which is why it is advisable to buy your INS insurance through an agent you can trust and who speaks English.  You should ask the agent to explain everything in detail.


To add an extra layer of protection, you might consider taking any contracts or policy forms to a knowledgeable, trustworthy lawyer before you hand over any money.  The lawyer just might explain to you some “surprises” the agent “forgot” to mention.


International policies



You can sign up for some insurance with companies outside the country perfectly legally, because the paperwork is officially “executed” from outside the country.  We have located a good broker working out of Miami to work with, and he can help you with most of your needs below.  He can get you both US (domestic) policies or the offshore/international ones.  We generally recommend the non US based policies as they usually have lower premiums, and, especially with the investment types of annuities and other such products, you can get them denominated in either British Pounds or Euros.  Below are some sample offerings:



International Health Insurance.  Must reside outside home country for at least 6 month out of the year.  Major medical plan has worldwide coverage and protection.  Available for individuals and groups (above 3; discount amount depends on size of group).  Business coverage available outside Costa Rica.  Doesn’t generally require a full physical or exam.  These policies are much cheaper than the US variety, and backed by a major Global insurance company.  Clients have reported no problems whatsoever using this policy around the world. 


International Travel Health Insurance.  Has limits starting at 50K to 1 M.  Can be bought on a daily, monthly, up to yearly basis.  Very good policy for those who are out of their home country less than 6 months and thus don’t qualify for the above plan.


Life Insurance  Individual insurance and even mortgage insurance. 


Term Life  Return of premium policies are available.


Investment policies  Equity index annuities – participate in the gains, but no losses.  Mutual fund like products, most are annuities.  Same guarantee against loss.  Variable annuity does participate in gains and losses of the funds.


IRA Rollovers are available.


Disability policy.  Individuals and groups and coverage for an entire business.


Specialty Products such as kidnap and ransom.  Inquire for special needs.



All of the above and more are available from a reliable broker working out of Miami.  For more information, please fill out our contact form, explaining something about your situation and what type of insurance you would like.  We will then explain to you your options for getting the kind of coverage you need at the best possible price from a reputable company with a solid track record and a reputation for doing what it says it will do.



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