For up to the minute quotes Email us 24/7
 at Tico Travel Reservations

Costa Rica Car Rental Insurance Information


Car rentals with Tico Travel also come with surf racks when needed, a/c and CD player. Most vehicles have a standard transmission. Automatic transmissions can be requested for certain vehicles for free or sometimes a small additional fee if available. Infant car seats can also be requested for an additional charge. Call your Tico Travel agent at 1-800-493-8426 for more information when booking about our special arrangements with the individual car rental agencies we use.

Here is a brief overview of the Costa Rica Car Rental Insurance and how it works:

Auto insurance in Costa Rica is mostly run by the INS (Instituto Nacional de Seguros). Liability insurance from the INS is mandated by law, but provides only minimal coverage. Rental agencies offer supplemental programs that cover deductibles and contingencies other than a simple traffic accident.

The cost of insurance can approach or exceed the cost of renting. There are three types:

Required by Law ”TPL, SLI, SLC or API” Liability Insurance from the INS is required regardless of your policies at home or the claims of your titanium credit card. The cost ranges depending on the vehicle. This insurace does not cover your rental car at all, only damages to other people, their cars, or property. Unless you purchase supplements, or have documented coverage from your credit card you are still responsible for all damages to the rental vehicle.

Optional ”CDW or SLDW” Collision Damage Waivers are a supplement underwritten by the rental company to reduce your liability for your rental car to the deductable amount only in the case of an accident. The cost varies depending on the company and vehicle. You are still responsible for all losses or damages in the case of negligence, vandalism, road damage, or theft.

This insurance may be replaced by your home auto insurance policy or credit card coverage. Check before you rent, and get it in writing. Some credit card companies have exclusions specifically against Latin American rentals. Some rental companies do not allow you to waive this insurance regardless of other coverage. They are noted in the rate table.

Optional: Zero Deductible - These extra policies are intended to reduce your liability when combined with SLI and CDW. For example, if the trunk is damaged by thieves while they steal your luggage you will be held responsible for the damage unless you have purchased a third level of insurance. The cost varies depending on the fine print and vehicle.

These insurances may be replaced by your home auto insurance policy or credit card coverage. Check before you leave home, and get it in writing. Some credit card companies have exclusions specifically against Latin American rentals.

Other costs of renting a car in Costa Rica.

Gas—Cars returned with less than a full tank of gas will be refueled at your expense. The price of gas from the rental companies can be up to twice the cost at a service station. Government License Plate Fee— $1 per day, rarely included in quoted rates but with Tico Travel they are included. Airport Concourse Fee—There is a 12% airport concourse tax added to the cost of any car picked up at Juan Santamaría. The Car companies all know this and will make arrangements to help you avoid it. If you arrive late and plan to stay in the area (do not drive at night), take a taxi to your hotel and have the car delivered the next morning (often free of charge and saves you a day of rental). If you arrive early and want to get on the road, the car companies have off airport pickup locations a few minutes away.

Secure Parking ”Recommended. Never leave anything in the car!

Damages ”Unless you purchase all of the above insurance or your credit card covers it, you are responsible for damage done by potholes, vandals, thieves, falling trees, high tide, army ants, spilled food, and any other imaginable occurrence other than a traffic accident involving another party.


Costa Rica Hotel La Sirena
Costa Rica Coffee from Calusa Coffee Roasters
Travel Insurance
Photography Tours