The state insurer, the Instituto Nacional de Seguros (INS) says it plans to invest just over US$12 million in the construction of nine workshops in different areas of the country to review and evaluate insured vehicle for repairs.

Founded in 1924, the Instituto Nacional de Seguros (INS) operated as a state-owned monopoly until 2008, when Costa Rica’s insurance market was opened up.

The cost of the nine workshops, called Red de Centros de Inspección de Daños (CID) – Damage Inspection Centers Network – will be built in different parts of the country.

In the Greater Metropolitan Area of San Jose (GAM) they will be in Pavas, Curridabat, Alajuela, Heredia and Cartago. Around the country, workshops will be located in Liberia (Guanacaste), Perez Zeledon, Esparza (Puntarenas) and Guapiles (Limon).

The INS says the decision follows a report by the “Estudio de Capacidad para Reapertura de Rampas de Valoración” done in June 2016.

The study called for 20 centers, however, the Contraloria General de Republica (CGR) – Comptroller’s Office – only authorized nine.

The INS explained construction will be of prefabricated modules and contracts will be “turnkey”, the winning bidders responsible for the design, construction, equipment and including obtaining all permits from the relevant authorities.

The winning contract must also deliver all the buildings simultaneously for a probably complete date of June 30, 2018, according to the INS.

However, the project may suffer delays given that the INS has to still acquire land in Alajuela, Cartago, Heredia and Guanacaste.

The INS is an autonomous institution. Created in October 30, 1924 with the aim of meeting the protection needs of Costa Rican society. In addition to selling insurance, it has managed the Fire Department, health services and has joined a network of medical facilities throughout the country.

For 84 years the INS had a monopoly on all insurance in the country. In 2008, President Oscar Arias signed into law a bill opening the country´s insurance industry to private competition.

Today, the INS continues as a state insurer. In addition to providing insurance coverage, it is also mandate to provide the obligatory insurance and the collection of the annual vehicular circulation permit, the Marchamo.