I would like to share with you and perhaps your readers an occurrence on my January trip to Costa Rica. I rented a car in Quepos and asked for ALL insurance available, full coverage. I had heard that driving is challenging in Costa Rica and not to take chances on coverage. Economy Rent a Car told me that because I had extra coverage on my visa [signature] card I was completely covered. I made them double check this and I was assured that I was fully covered.
I drove to La Fortuna and even got lost with the GPS I had rented but the drive was spectacular. The next day I was having lunch on my way to the Arenal volcano area, enjoying a superb spaghetti carbonara and was informed someone had smashed into my rental car in the parking lot. It especially irritated me as the carbonara was fantastic. I went out to the parking lot. A pick up truck had rammed into my car, backing out of his space. The driver was obviously drunk and I tried to get somebody to call the police. I was told that the driver would pay for the damage as he was “rico”. I still tried to get the restaurant to call the police, but they told me the police would never come and not to worry… I believe they were friends with the driver, a regular customer at the bar. By then the pick up left the scene, but I had his licence plate. He was drunk and would have been jailed by strict Costa Rican law, if I could have managed to get the police to come to the scene.
Evidently there is only one insurance company in Costa Rica and the drivers can get coverage with it or go without and be responsible for any damaged they cause. It can take a long time to for an adjuster to come to a scene, I was told. I called the rental company and they said not to worry, I was fully covered with my Visa card. I asked for another car and they sent one promptly from San Jose. I worried the rest of the trip about a nightmare scenario of huge costs and out of service charges not being covered.
Upon arrival at home when I was charged for the repairs[only $614], I made my claim with Visa, got the necessary documents e mailed to me from Economy Rent a Car and waited a few days and got an e mail that the full claim was going to be paid.
I have rented 3 cars since and don’t worry any more about being fully covered although some states do require special insurance not covered, New Hampshire being one of them.
Happy travels and hoping no one interrupts your gourmet meal with a wreck.
Michael a travelholic and foodie.
Nice ending to a frustrating story. Glad it all worked out OK. It does matter which credit card you pay with. Sounds like Visa was the right one in this circumstance.