Do I need travel insurance for Costa Rica?
The Costa Rican government previously required unvaccinated travelers to show proof of at least $50,000 in medical coverage, plus coverage for any travel delays and lodging required by the COVID-19 quarantine, as conditions for entering the country. Nevertheless, Costa Rica removed these travel restrictions for US citizens and permanent residents on or after April 1, 2022. Non-US residents may face additional entry requirements and restrictions based on their immunization status and country of origin.
While you are not required to have travel insurance for Costa Rica, purchasing a policy can still be a good idea. The following trip cancellation insurance options are some popular options for Costa Rican travelers.
Cancel coverage for any reason
Most travel insurance policies include trip cancellation Coverage that reimburses you for all or most of your travel expenses if you are forced to cancel your travel plans.
However, travel insurance will not provide you with a refund for any reason. When you purchase travel insurance coverage, you will be provided with an acceptable list of situations in which you can cancel your trip and claim reimbursement for travel and accommodation expenses. Some commonly covered cancellation reasons include the following:
- Court ordered appointments (such as bond hearings or jury duty)
- Death of a family member
- Death of a fellow traveler
- military orders
Cancellation for Any Reason (CFAR) insurance expands your travel insurance to provide refunds for a broader range of circumstances. With few exceptions, CFAR insurance upgrades allow you to claim a partial refund when you need to cancel your trip, no matter the reason. CFAR insurance is more expensive than standard travel insurance, but can offer more benefits than typical policy inclusions.
Equipment Theft Protection
If you’re like most US travelers, you probably have a few valuables with you when you travel. From expensive electronics like digital cameras and portable gaming systems, to priceless documents like your passport, Equipment Theft Protection can help you reimburse for items lost or stolen while traveling.
While most travel insurance policies include equipment theft protection as a standard policy inclusion, check coverage limitations. For example, your policy may include a clause stating that only $300 of your equipment theft protection can be used to recover jewelry-related losses. You should also check your homeowner’s insurance policy before purchasing equipment theft insurance, as you may already have some protection against theft, even when traveling abroad.
Emergency Medical Insurance and Emergency Medical Evacuation
Costa Rica is a developing country, with a large percentage of the population living in poverty. This means that when you visit more rural parts of the country, you may not have immediate access to the quality and level of medical care that you are used to as a resident of the United States. While your health insurance may cover care at a local hospital in an emergency, some situations may require you to travel long distances to receive proper care.
Emergency medical insurance and emergency medical evacuation coverage can help you cover the costs of local medical care and evacuation if you must be transported outside of Costa Rica to receive proper care. If you are living with a serious, long-term medical condition, you may want to purchase this coverage to supplement your health insurance policy.
Rental Car Protection
If you plan to drive a rental car in Costa Rica, it may not be covered by your standard car insurance. Even if you have the minimum state-required auto insurance in the United States, you may not have collision coverage that will compensate you for damage to your vehicle. If you get into an accident abroad and don’t buy rental car insurance, you could be left with thousands of dollars in repair bills, not to mention medical bills for anyone you injure.
Rental car coverage helps cover the cost of damage you cause to your rental car or someone else’s property in the event of an accident. While you shouldn’t rent a car without insurance (especially in another country), you may already have this coverage if you have a major credit card. So check your current coverage before you buy.
trip cancellation insurance
Trip cancellation insurance reimburses you for non-refundable travel expenses if you are forced to cancel your trip. Some items that may qualify for a refund include flight costs, hotel expenses, and any tour tickets you have booked that are non-refundable.
You will need to provide proof of a qualifying reason to cancel your trip if you want to use your benefits. For example, if you need to cancel a vacation due to the death of a family member, you may need to provide a copy of an obituary or funeral pamphlet before you can claim your refund. If you can think of a foreseeable event that could cause you to cancel your trip, your policy probably won’t cover it. If you need the freedom to claim reimbursement for travel expenses no matter the reason, consider investing in cancellation for any reason (CFAR) insurance.