(QCOSTARICA) The Instituto Nacional de Seguros (INS) said Saturday it is working on a new insurance policy for travelers, with lower coverage, “which may mean a decrease in price.”
INS Executive President Róger Arias announced in a press release on August 1 that the recently launched policy will be reviewed.
“Our only interest is to contribute to the revival of tourism, providing protection to foreigners who visit the country and avoid, to the extent possible, the saturation of public health centers,” said Arias.
— INS_CR Seguros (@INS_CR) August 1, 2020
This new policy will have to go through regulatory approval before the insurance company provides further details.
The INS reaction is presented in a context in the tourism sector warned that the first policy launched by that entity to the market is very expensive and will become a barrier for international travelers to decide to travel to Costa Rica.
In addition, Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado, on Friday asked the ministers of Tourism, Gustavo Segura, and of the Economy, Industry and Commerce (MEIC), Victoria Hernández, to search for options for international policies, with coverage for the COVID- 19, that can be authorized in Costa Rica.
On Saturday, August 1, the country reopened the international airports to the entry of tourists from the European Union (EU), Great Britain and Canada. But apart from the strong sanitary control requirements, such as having a negative COVID test and fill out the health form, it requires the purchase the costly INS insurance.
“We, as a country, should be facilitators, but the INS insurance what it does is make the product (Costa Rica trip) more expensive; it doesn’t make sense and the only thing it does is make the country more expensive in the face of a very complicated situation that we have,” said Javier Pacheco, president of the Costa Rican Chamber of Hotels (CCH)
For his part, Rubén Acón, president of the National Chamber of Tourism (Canatur), said they cannot be happy until see and analyze the new INS product.
Acón added that he has information to the effect that the insurance egulator, the General Superintendence of Insurance (Sugese), is analyzing the approval of two other products from international insurers.
“This is also positive news, but equally, he said, nothing can be said until the policies are approved and released,” stated Acón.
For both Pacheco and Acón, the tourism sector and public in general, the way the INS handled the policy issue is a mistake.
From the comments on social networks and emails received by the Q on our article, many agree on the requirement of insurance for tourists, but there are already products for international travel and the idea would for Costa Rica to recognize those who have coverage against the disease and not be required to purchase the INS policy.