Car Rental Insurance

Can I decline insurance when I rent a car in Costa Rica?

Decline Insurance on your car rental

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Many clients often ask if they can decline insurance while renting a car in order to avoid the extra cost. This is why we wanted to explain in detail how insurance and coverages work and what are the terms and conditions.

What insurance options are available to me?

As you can see below, Adobe Rent a Car offers 3 different types of insurance options. One of them is mandatory, but you can opt in or out of the other two coverages.

  •  Primary Liability Insurance (PLI)
  •  Car Protection (LDW)
  •  Extended Protection (SPP)

Primary Liability Insurance (PLI)

PLI or liability insurance is always mandatory as per Costa Rican laws. Basically, it cannot be declined. This type of insurance has a deductible of 20% for third party damages with a minimum of $250.

PLI will cover you in the event that you cause damage to a physical person as well as damage a third party property. In the case of third party personal damage or death, the deductible is $0.

If you take Extended Protection (SPP), the liability coverage will increase from $100,000 to 4 million dollars. Also, the damages to the third party vehicle will be ZERO.

Car Protection (LDW)

LDW or car protection covers damages to the rented car. If you take LDW and you have an accident, you only have to pay up to $1,000 for the deductible, regardless of the damage to the vehicle. The daily cost for a small sedan is just $4, $6 for SUVs and $8 for premium SUVs.

LDW can be declined if you have a credit card that covers the rented vehicle during the rental period. If you decline insurance coverage, and for instance, the vehicle has a total loss, you are responsible for the full cost of the vehicle when you return the vehicle to Adobe Rent a Car. Later on, you’ll need to submit your claim to your insurance carrier to get reimbursed.

How can I decline LDW?

If you wish to decline insurance you must provide a document from the credit card company stating that you are fully covered in Costa Rica as well as the type of car you have selected and the type of roads you will transit. Send us this document in advance and run it by our reservations manager to ensure it’s valid to decline insurance.

Credit cards don’t usually cover every country abroad, certain types of cars or certain type of roads. It’s important that you read the fine print and verify this with your credit card first.

Important: Please note that credit cards require that you pay the total cost of your rental service with the same credit card you’ll use to decline LDW insurance.

What happens if I have an accident?

We will provide you with all the appropriate documentation for you to take it to your insurance carrier and claim the money afterwards. Make sure you read all their terms and conditions thoroughly to understand what’s covered and what isn’t.

We also recommend you contact your insurance company directly to get proper explanation of your insurance coverage ahead of time.

If you want to decline insurance, it’s no problem, you just need to be aware that any damage to the car needs to be paid in full by the time you return the car to Adobe. Be prepared to pay up to the full cost of the car in case the car is declared as a total loss.

How does Extended Protection or Plan (SPP) work?

Most people like to have Extended Protection or Supplementary Protection Plan (SPP). This is because they don’t like to think about paying anything extra if they have an accident or having to deal with their insurance carrier later on.

To be 100% protected you need to take all 3 insurances. You must take the Liability Insurance, Car Protection and Extended Protection (SPP). Extended protection waives any deductible from LDW and PLI, so if anything that happens to the car or to a third party you will be fully covered, with a ZERO deductible, both in third party damages, as well as damages to the vehicle.

If you wish to decline Car Protection, you can still get Extended Protection on your Primary Liability Insurance (PLI). Although you are still responsible for any damages to the rented car, your deductible for any third party damages will be $0.

Coverage Exclusions

The waivers, insurances and coverages will not apply in the following cases:

  1.  When the driver has any incident and is under the influence of alcohol, drugs*.
  2.   Fail to report the accident to Adobe Rent a Car immediately after the event takes place.
  3.   When the vehicle suffers damages and the driver is not authorized/inscribed in the rental contract.
  4.   Damages of any type caused by driving thru rivers, lakes, beaches, mangroves, flooded roads or off-road (i.e. where do not exist an official road, example: Cross-country).
  5.   Failure to comply with legal and claim process with the insurance company, as, but not limited to:
    • Report the accident to the Transit Police
    • Report the accident and fill the claim of the Insurance Company
    • Comply with any other requirement of the legal process

*Drivers taking any type of drug or medication are not allowed to drive a car. This includes antihistamine and any type of drug that causes drowsiness, lack of reflexes or affects driver’s capabilities.

In case of an accident, you need to get in touch with us immediately at 2542-4800 during office hours or call 2542-4888 after office hours.

Can I decline LDW and get Extended Protection?

If you decide to decline LDW coverage but do take Extended Protection (SPP), SPP will only cover the portion of Liability insurance, not car protection, hence, you are still not fully covered.

In this case, if you get Extended Protection, the coverage will be greater for Primary Liability Insurance increasing from $100,000 per accident to up to $4 million with Extended Protection and you will have a $0 deductible. However, if you take Extended Protection but decline LDW there is no coverage to any damage to the vehicle.

What happens if I have an accident and need to leave the country?

You must provide Adobe with:

  • A report in a preset format
  • Complete any requested procedures
  • Give us a power of attorney to continue with the process when you leave the country.

The law allows you to leave the country with no problem as long as you complete all the required paperwork.

If you have more questions on how to decline insurance, please feel free to contact us. Send an email to or call 1 (855) 861-1250 (8 am-5 pm Central Time), we will happy to help.


0 thoughts on “Can I decline insurance when I rent a car in Costa Rica?

  1. Monica C Sanders says:

    My husband and I live in Atenas as legal residents. We own a VW Beetle and it’s insured
    with Costa Rican state run insurance. We are considering a trip to the beach and want to
    travel in a larger rental vehicle. Would my Costa Rican policy cover any of the insurance needed
    for my rental vehicle? Please, when you have a minute, advise to my email.
    Monica and Rodney

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