Insurance, Deposits, Credit Card Programs and Taxes
1. Third Party Liability (TPL) - Mandatory
This protection provides the customer or authorized persons listed on the rental agreement, liability coverage to third parties for bodily injury, including death, and eighty percent (80%) of third party property damage resulting from a car accident during the rental period. The customer is responsible for a twenty percent (20%) deductible.
- personal injuries of individuals outside the rented vehicle of up to ₡150 million or about USD280,000 (at approximately 536 Colones per USD1.00), and
- damages to third party property to a maximum of USD280,000 with a twenty percent (20%) deductible.
TPL coverage is mandatory in Costa Rica and, if alternate coverage cannot be validated, acceptance of TPL will be a condition of rental.
The Third Party Liability fee and deposit is based on the car category. Please see the chart for exact amounts:
|Standard 4x4 -
Full Size 4x4
|Passenger Van 4x2 -
2. Full Third Party Liability (Full TPL) — Optional & Included in FCI
Poas Rent A Car offers a Full Third Party Liability which covers the remaining twenty percent (20%) deductible for third party property damage. TPL is a requirement for this coverage as well as a condition for rental. The charge for this is an additional USD5 per day, for a total charge of USD17 to USD25 (USD12–USD20 + USD5) per day.
Additional Insurance Needs Explained:
CDW is a protection option that exempts the customer from Poas Rent A Car's right to charge for such occurrences.
Declining CDW: The renter is responsible for any loss or damage to the rental vehicle.
Taking CDW: Poas provides the renter and authorized drivers with two options to cap the financial responsibility for loss of, or damage to, the rental vehicle through the purchase of Collision Damage Waiver (CDW).
In order to decline CDW coverage, the renter must show official, written proof of credit card CDW coverage including the credit card number and customer’s name, prior to the start of the rental or at the counter when taking the car. Failure to do so, means CDW will be added to the rental agreement.
Customers with CDW coverage through their credit card provider should be aware of any restrictions in place; including car category limitations, rental duration coverage and other varying rental factors.
Should a claim become necessary, the renter’s credit card (if applicable) is liable for one hundred percent (100%) of damages to and/or theft of the vehicle. Furthermore, it is also the customer’s responsibility to submit and follow through on the claim. The credit card company has the responsibility to reimburse the customer, so expect to pay upfront for any and all expenses. This is primarily why many customers with credit card coverage opt for in-house CDW.
Deposits for declining in-house CDW are either USD2,000 for Sedan, Intermediate, Standard, and Full-Size categories or USD2,500 for Premium models. These amounts will be placed on the renter’s credit card for the duration of the rental.
Full cover insurance is unavailable if there are drivers on the rental agreement between 18 to 21 years and the Basic CDW deductible is doubled (USD2000). Failure to list any driver (including those who are between 18 to 21 year old) nullifies insurance coverage, thus making the renter fully financially responsible for any and all damages
3. Basic CDW — Optional
Basic CDW limits the liability due to vehicle damages resulting from a collision and/or theft from USD950 to USD1500 (depending on the category of the rented vehicle) deductible, except in the case of negligence (see below). The cost for this waiver is a fixed rate of USD8 per day, regardless of the vehicle model. This protection does not cover damage to accessories such as tires, radio, antenna and windshield.
4. FULL THIRD PART LIABILITY — Optional
Extended TPL limits the liability as a result of vehicle damages and/or theft to Zero deductible. The renter is exempt from any costs of damages caused to third parties, except in the case of negligence (see below). This extends the USD12, USD15, USD18 or USD20 Base TPL to also include the USD5 Full Third Party Liability (Full TPL)
5. Full Coverage Insurance (FCI) — Optional
For your safety and comfort, Poas Rent A Car offers this protection to absolve the customer from the financial responsibility caused by an accident, theft, or total loss, except in the case of negligence (see below). FCI eliminates the deductible and includes the USD5 Full Third Party Liability (Full TPL) and the USD6 Accessories Protection Insurance (API). The daily rate for this insurance alone is USD21 per day, regardless of vehicle model.
To select this coverage, the customer will need to also purchase TPL (USD12–USD20) and in-house CDW (USD8) for a total cost between USD41 and USD49 per day, depending on make and model of rented vehicle. Regardless of vehicle category, there is a USD100 rental deposit.
Accessories Protection Insurance (API) — Included in FCI
This additional protection covers anything normally installed standard equipment — the windshield, windows, tires, rims, antennas, sound system, tire changing tools, etc. against breakage and theft, but not negligence (see below). These items are not covered under any other waiver option. This choice is only available when the CDW option is selected and its USD6 per day charge also included on FCI price.
Depending on the insurance option chosen, the deposit amounts placed on the renter’s credit card will vary.
- Third Party Liability (TPL): USD2,000
- Basic Collision Damage Waiver: USD950
- Full Cover Insurance: USD100
In all cases, the credit card will not be charged until the renter picks up the vehicle. The hold will be refunded upon the vehicle’s safe return within the following 72 to 96 working hours.
Credit Card Insurance Programs
We accept most credit card rent-a-car protection plans. Many of these plans insure the rented vehicle against Damage and Theft (CDW), but may not protect against Third Party Liability (TPL).
Please ensure that your credit card CDW covers:
- The selected car class category (van, SUV, etc.)
- additional drivers
- rental period (some underwriters limit the number of rental days)
- restrictions on where the vehicle may be driven
Since each underwriter features proprietary terms, we strongly suggest asking your credit card company for details about CDW in regards to their insurance protection plan for car rentals in Costa Rica. If you decide to use your credit card as the provider of CDW coverage, the deposit for the rented vehicle is USD2,000. Please note that this does not limit charges made in the case of damage to USD2,00, as the car rental company has the right to charge for the full costs of all and nay damages. (note, clarifying that this amount does not mean that it will work as a top in case of damages to the rental vehicle, the rental car company can charge the total cost of damages even if they exceed the USD2000).
Using an insurance program provided by some types of gold or platinum credit cards is an advantage since these credit cards often cover small scratches, dents as well as the entire rented vehicle in case of collision or theft.
Click the links for more info on VISA, MasterCard and American Express Rental Auto Protection Plans. We also suggest calling the phone number on the back of your card to inquire about the availability and respective terms and conditions that may apply.
Check out Credit Cards & Rental Car Insurance for some great informational charts covering the rental car programs from VISA, MasterCard, American Express and Discover.
Note Regarding Additionals & Car Keys
Additionals, not to be confused with Accessories, are items that are not standard equipment, including, but not limited to: cell phones, GPS devices, roof racks, child seating, ice chests and car keys. The renter is responsible for any damage, theft or negligence of these items. Replacement fees will be determined on a case by case basis. No insurance covers this items.
Rental Car Insurance Invalidity
The Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) will be void and the renter will be held one hundred percent (100%) responsible for all damages (mechanical/electrical, interior, exterior and underside) caused to the vehicle if:
- The driver is not authorized by Poas Rent A Car to operate the vehicle.
- The driver is under the influence of alcohol and/or illegal substances.
- The driver operates the vehicle contrary to the laws of Costa Rica.
- The driver does not provide an accident report from the local authorities.
- The vehicle undergoes misuse or negligence, such as, but not limited to: hitting obstacles on the road, driving on roads in poor condition and/or driving in, through or over rivers, estuaries and beaches.
- CDW does NOT cover damage to tires, sound system, windows, roof rack, underside or interior of vehicle except in cases of collisions or theft of vehicle (as outlined above).
- CDW does not cover tow truck service or vehicle recovery in the case of an accident or overturning of the vehicle.
- License Plate Fee (LPF): This is a tax on all vehicles, collected by the local tax law enforcement agency (Ministerio de Hacienda). This cost averages out to be USD1.20 per day per car.