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Rental car insurances

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Brisbane
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Rental car insurances

We are coming to Costa Rica next year, and intend hiring a vehicle for 2 weeks. So far our rental investigations have indicated confusing insurance requirements. We have been unable to compare the TOTAL cost of rental plus insurance from various companies. Can anyone advice on what insurances are recommended and/or necessary?

Nowhere
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for Playa Samara
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1. Re: Rental car insurances

The only one that is required is the mandatory SLI that covers damages to third-party property (somebody else's car, house, horse, etc. that gets damaged in an accident that you caused).

Most people recommend that you get a Loss-Damage-Waiver as well. The LDW covers damages to the rental car itself. Some credit cards will provide such coverages. However, if you opt to use your cc, be aware that you will still be required to place a substantial deposit on your card and that, should you incur damages to the car, you will be charged those damages to your card and will then have to try and get the money back from your cc company.

If you purchase LDW through the rental company, your deposit will be substantially smaller and there will be a whole lot less hassle, should there be damages. On the downside, you'll be paying for something that your cc company provides for free (should your card offer this benefit - which you need to verify).

Here are some threads that discuss this in more detail:

tripadvisor.ca/ShowTopic-g291982-i813-k36205…

tripadvisor.ca/…28337036

tripadvisor.ca/ShowTopic-g291982-i813-k39662…

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g291982-i813-k5478…

Edited: 8:43 pm, September 28, 2012
Brisbane
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2. Re: Rental car insurances

Thanks for your reply Framptonain. I have now read the treads you recommended, and am just as confused. The fact that whether the liability insurance is mandatory or not does not matter to me. I am having difficulty finding out the difference between "basic insurance" and 'supplimantal liability"

The "basic" seems very limited in items they cover, and limits.

I wish to be covered, but even asking some Companies to detail the costs, deductable, and what is covered, I only get half answers. It appears the rental companies are trying to keep this information hidden to confuse, and APPEAR compeditive. Even when I ask for TOTAL costs, including full insurance, I cannot get a straight reply. From some international sites, I cannot find any insurance options, except them saying insurance will be charged upon pickup.

Slovenia
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3. Re: Rental car insurances

The insurance is really not so complicated as the rental companies tried to present. In Costa Rica you have two types of insurances;

First is so called "third party liability" (TPL, SLI) which covers the damages to others involved in an accident where you are at fault. This one is mandatory, and no other insurance scheme can cover it. It should cost between 10 - 20 US$ per day.

Second is the one that all rental companies are offering, and covers the damages to rental car (CDW, LDW). This one can be declined but as framptonian said then you will be hit with a hefty deposit on your C/C. In case of any damage you are obliged to pay for it on site and then asking the reimbursement from whoever give you the insurance in first place.

Deductible is a term used in connection with second type insurance. It says how much is the maximum amount you are obliged to pay for a damage on the rental car. This can be avoided by buying Zero deductible insurance, but always if you get a CDW from the rental company.

One thing that US traveller to abroad are interested in (and not so much the European ones, since our legal systems are different) is the amount you are covered in the first type of insurance. In case of an accident, at your fault, will you be covered for potential civil law suits by the person you made damage to? In what amount? Are there maximum amounts that a court is allowed to grant in such cases? That are the questions I have no answer for.

Nowhere
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for Playa Samara
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4. Re: Rental car insurances

I suppose that the issue arises because not all companies use the same terminology. Since you are asking for detail, I hope that you are not getting even more confused. As Xelas already mentioned, it's really not that difficult.

In my experience, it makes no difference whether rental companies call it "basic" insurance, SPI, or TPI. In essence, these are all terms that describe the same insurance - the one you cannot decline and must purchase. The degree of coverage tends to be the same - because insurance is generally issued through a state-run agency. They don't write individual insurance coverages for each rental company - it's basically the same coverage that EVERY car in Costa Rica has.

The only variation you can find is related to "extra" insurance you can purchase. This "extra" insurance may reduce your deductible, or t may cover damage to tires and/or glass, etc. These extras usually apply to the damages to the rental car itself (or injuries to yourself and your passengers) but have little to do with damages to third-party property. Thus, whatever "extra" you can purchase from a given rental company can vary, depending on the company.

Another issue you are probably running into has to do with the way some companies quote their prices. Some include the mandatory insurance, others do not. As you so aptly noticed, some companies do so in order to appear more competitive.

Companies can be a little reluctant to give detailed answers because the actual costs that you will be charged depend on the vehicle you receive (not necessarily the one you reserved - although both cars should, ideally, be within the same category).

Finally, you need to be aware that all these car rental companies are franchises. As a result, most international sites are unable to provide you with details. Mostly, the sites are not familiar with Costa Rica's somewhat unique insurance system. Some will claim that they know, but most people find out once they are in Costa Rica, that the guys at the international site really had no idea.

You see, in much of the world, car insurance is applied to the driver (or the insurance holder). In Costa Rica, car insurance is applied to vehicles. Thus, in much of the rest of the world, when you purchase insurance, you can essentially drive ANY vehicle and be insured without every having to worry about it.

In Costa Rica, you would need to purchase insurance for every vehicle that you want to drive. Of course, all vehicles here are required to have insurance, and thus, this is usually not an issue.

Add that insurance is generally issued by a state monopoly, and international sites quick lack any knowledge of applicable law.

Nowhere
Destination Expert
for Playa Samara
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5. Re: Rental car insurances

Alas, let me give you some more detail:

Every car that is registered in Costa Rica automatically receives a "basic" insurance coverage that is included in the registration fee. Even though all cars have this "basic" coverage, you (that means every car owner) still need to purchase liability insurance on top of this basic coverage.

It is possible that some rental car companies mean the very basic, automatic, coverage when they talk about insurance. Thus, they may call the additional (yet mandatory) insurance Supplemental (hence SLI for Supplemental Liability Insurance).

Unfortunately, making this distinction complicates the matter unnecessarily because it leaves renters under the impression that their car rental already includes insurance and that they are "forced" by the rental agency to purchase the supplemental insurance.

This, of course, is NOT the case. You MUST purchase the SLI/TPI - as you already read in other threads.

In other words, rental agencies who quote you the "basic" insurance without the SLI/TPI are misleading (whether on purpose or for the sake of transparency I cannot say).

This would explain why you would find "basic" insurance to cover much less and have much lower limits.

Does this make sense?

Brisbane
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6. Re: Rental car insurances

Many thanks xelas for your response, it's now becoming much clearer....as clear as mud :-) :-) but I do understand the system better now.

Slovenia
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
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7. Re: Rental car insurances

Hmmm, Princess, let's try it this way; this is a link to a rental car company that does not hide any charges or fees. I have rented from them twice and final price was always same as first offer: http://www.wild-rider.com/car-rental-rates/ Now compare other offers with these prices and you will have a good orientation about what is included and what is not included. For your peace of mind get also Zero deductible and that is as much cover as you can have in Costa Rica. Above all, do drive carefully and slow, and at the end of your travel all discussions about car insurance will be meaningless. And from my personal point of view: money paid for insurance, and not used, is the best money spent on any travel!

San Jose, Costa Rica
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8. Re: Rental car insurances

If what you want is a straight price call Dollar or Usafe, do not book on line, call them!!! my contact name in Dollar is Luis hoteles@dollarcostarica, he is the best! he will explain to you step by step how insurance works in CR...

9. Re: Rental car insurances

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