A guideline by the state insurance company, the Instituto Nacional de Seguros (INS), telling its adjusters to avoid “dangerous” areas and a person complaining about the mail carrier refusing to deliver mail to the home were the triggers for the Ombudsman’s office, the Defensoría de los Habitantes, to request the INS and the Correos de Costa Rica and other public institutions, to submit their criteria for the “denial of service”.
According to the INS, it bases its action on article 24 of the Seguro de Voluntario de Automóviles (SVA) – voluntary vehicle insurance coverage – that ensures the safety of staff that includes adjusters, tow truck operators and others who provide services to insured.
The state insurer explains that customer is not prejudiced, for it will reimburse the insured for any service directly contracted to third parties in the event the INS cannot provide. The INS explains that customers are given instructions by the operator on how to proceed in the event it cannot provide a service, as is the case in rural areas or areas where the INS does not have a local provider.
At Correos (Post Office), general manager Mauricio Rojas, explains that mail carriers have been victims of theft, citing statistics indicating a theft of an average of 9.3 motorcycles a year in “risky sectors”.
On June 6, 2012 the post office circulated a notice – Circular GO-05-44-2012 – in which it identified 76 areas across the country deemed risky and where “no se reparta nada” (nothing will be distributed), affecting some 70,061 people.
Although the fire department (Bomberos) is not refusing services in risky areas, it does report that in the last five years, it has been a victim of them of items like chain saws and air bags, among other items, in the 17,315 emergencies it attended in risky areas.