Costa Rica Travel Insurance – Stay Protected

Costa Rica is a paradise vacation destination, but unfortunately, that does not mean that travel plans will always go perfectly smoothly.

Throughout our years of living in Costa Rica, we have dealt with a few different incidents in which we were super thankful that we had travel insurance to cover us for an unexpected illness, injury, and even last-minute changes to travel plans.

With Coronavirus being an ever-evolving issue we believe it is more important than ever to purchase coverage for your trip.

Insurance Requirements for Vaccinated Travelers

As of now, travel insurance is not required for travelers who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or anyone under 18 (even if unvaccinated).

However, that does not mean that you shouldn’t purchase it for traveling to Costa Rica. 

If you get coronavirus while in the country, insurance will help cover any changes you need to make to your travel plans as well as your extended hotel stay in Costa Rica if you need to quarantine.

Insurance Requirements for Unvaccinated Travelers

Currently, travel insurance is required for unvaccinated travelers to enter Costa Rica. 
The travel insurance policy needs to state:

– Person’s name.

– Validity of the effective policy during your visit to Costa Rica.

– Guarantee of coverage for medical expenses in cases of pandemic disease COVID 19 in Costa Rica, for at least USD $50,000 USD.

– Minimum coverage of USD $2,000 for extended lodging expenses due to quarantine. 

Proof of this travel insurance must be uploaded into the health pass form that all travelers must complete before entering the country.

You will then receive a QR code that can be scanned by the Border Control agents when you enter the country.  

Please view our Coronavirus Guide for more info on current COVID restrictions in Costa Rica. 

Trawick International Travel Insurance

There are several Costa Rican companies that offer coverage to travelers vacationing in Costa Rica. These are

Grupo INS

Sagicor

BlueCross BlueShield

However, we have found that international plans are typically more affordable and have better coverage for travel days.

The only downside to an international plan is that you will usually have to pay for medical treatment out of pocket and then submit your receipts for reimbursement.

The best option that we have found is Trawick International.

Plans for United States Travelers

There are two plan options for United States residents.

Both meet the minimum entry requirements for Costa Rica as an unvaccinated tourist.

Trawick is frequently used by travelers to Costa Rica, so you can rest assured that Border Control is familiar with them and if you are unvaccinated their plans will be recognized as minimum coverage to enter the country.

Safe Travelers Explorer Plan

  • Comprehensive Trip Cancellation Coverage
  • Valid for US Residents and US Citizens
  • Up to $50,000 in Emergency Medical Coverage
  • $200,000 of Emergency Evacuation Coverage
  • Includes minimum coverage of $2,000 for potential accommodations/lodging expenses ($150 per day).
  • Baggage Coverage $750 (Per Article Limit of $200)
  • Baggage Delay $200 (8 hours or more)
  • For trip cost up to $100,000 per person

This is the cheapest plan that Trawick offers which will cover you for COVID. You can find out more detailed info on the Explorer plan here.

Safe Travelers Voyager Plan

  • Up to $250,000 in Emergency Medical Coverage
  • $1,000,000 of Emergency Evacuation Coverage
  • For trip costs up to $100,000 per person
  • Coverage for Pre-Existing Medical Conditions on plans purchased prior to or with Final Trip Payment
  • Primary Medical Coverage
  • Baggage Coverage $2,500 (Per Article Limit $300)
  • Baggage Delay $600 (8 hours or more)
  • Includes minimum coverage of $2,000 for potential accommodations/lodging expenses
  • Optional Travel Delay Increases up to $7,000

You can find out more detailed info on the Voyager plan here.

Which Plan Should You Choose?

For most of you, the Safe Travelers Explorer should be enough coverage.

This will cover you for $150 per day in lodging, up to $2,000 if you get COVID and need to change your plans. It will also cover 100% of your trip cancellation due to their qualifying issues. This list includes cancellations due to COVID. 

The nice thing about Safe Travelers Voyager is that it covers the cancellation of your trip for any reason. 

We usually purchase the Safe Travelers Voyager plan because we often travel with expensive camera equipment. We of course bring this with us in our carry-on, but if it is stolen in a hotel we want to be protected.

The Voyager plan covers up to $2,500 in baggage whereas the Safe Travelers Explorer only covers $750. 

Plans for Travelers from Other Countries

Both of these plans meet the minimum requirements for unvaccinated travelers to visit Costa Rica.

Safe Travelers International Cost Savers

​​COVID-19 EXPENSES are covered and treated as any other sickness Medical Expenses including hospitalization- up to the selected  Policy Maximum choices $50,000, $100.000, $250,000, $500,000, $1,000,000

Deductible choices – $0, $50, $100, $250, $500, $1,000, $2,500, $5,000

Trip Delay – $2,000 ($150 a day) included for quarantine related lodging

Trip Interruption: $7,500 per policy period

Lost Baggage: $1,000

Emergency Medical Evacuation: 100% up to $2,000,000

Repatriation of Remains: 100% up to $1,000,000

Emergency Reunion: $15,000

Lost Baggage: $1,000

24-Hour Accidental Death and Dismemberment: $25,000

Optional AD&D Upgrades: to $50,000, $100,000, $250,000 or $500,000

24/7 Emergency Worldwide Assistance:  provided by On Call International 

For more info, please click here.

Safe Travelers International

​​COVID-19 EXPENSES are covered and treated as any other sickness 

Medical Expenses – up to the selected  Policy Maximum

Deductible choices – $0, $50, $100, $250, $500, $1,000, $2,500, $5,000

Trip Delay – $2,000 included  Optional upgrades: to $4,000 and $7,000

Trip Interruption: $7,500 per policy period

Emergency Medical Evacuation: 100% up to $2,000,000

Repatriation of Remains: 100% up to $1,000,000

Emergency Reunion: $15,000

24-Hour Accidental Death and Dismemberment: $25,000 Optional AD&D Upgrades: to $50,000, $100,000, $250,000 or $500,000

24/7 Emergency Worldwide Assistance:  provided by On Call International 

For more info, please click here.

Why Trawick?

Trawick is one of the very few travel insurance companies which provide coverage for COVID at a very fair price.

We have personally used Trawick and had a great experience, but before we recommended them to you we asked many other Costa Rica travelers about their experiences as well.

Everyone we have asked (including people who have gotten COVID while in Costa Rica and had to quarantine) said that they had a great experience using Trawick

They had no problems being reimbursed for their costs related to medical care and extended stays.
So, we feel confident in suggesting them to you.  

Book Your Travel Insurance

We suggest booking your travel insurance a few weeks before your trip to make sure everything is all set before you travel.

If you are ready to book, you can click here to get a quote.

Note: We have partnered with Trawick on an affiliate basis. That means that we will receive a small percentage if you book through our link. This is never at any cost to you and allows us to keep producing content on Costa Rica travel. Keep in mind that we genuinely believe Trawick is your best option for travel insurance to Costa Rica at this time.

Testing Positive for COVID in Costa Rica

If you test positive for COVID while in Costa Rica you will receive a Sanitary Order from the government. This states that you must quarantine for seven to ten days until you are clear of COVID.

If this happens to you we suggest finding a nice place on VRBO preferably with a private pool and good wifi connection.

Your plan from Trawick will cover you for a minimum (could be more depending on your plan) $150 a day in accommodations if you test positive.

If you experience bad symptoms and think that you need to see a doctor you can call the phone number 1322 for the Costa Rican Coronavirus hotline. Operators speak English and can direct you to the nearest doctor or hospital.

If it is an emergency, dial 9-1-1.

For more information check out our complete guide to COVID in Costa Rica.

Common Reasons to Use Travel Insurance in Costa Rica

Injury

Keep in mind that Costa Rica is a foreign country and things aren’t always regulated the way you might be used to.

For example, at a waterfall, you may see a sign that says “Slippery When Wet” rather than an area actually being blocked off. Just use your best judgment in these situations.

Also, Costa Rica is a country made for adventure. You may find yourself taking on activities which you’ve never participated in before. This obviously makes you more susceptible to injury.

One of the most common emails we get from injured people is actually about severe sunburns. Keep in mind that Costa Rica is close to the Equator. The UV index is super high. Even when it might not be extremely hot out and you are not sitting in the sun you can still get badly sunburned.

If you need tips for protecting yourself from the sun we have a full guide to the sun in Costa Rica.

Illness

You never know when you will come down with an illness. The most common illnesses we hear about from visitors are stomach problems and common colds or flu.

Keep in mind that you may not be used to the food here. When possible, always eat at reputable restaurants and drink bottled water. 

In general, tap water is perfectly fine to drink throughout the country, but if you would like to be cautious just drink bottled water.

I have to admit, there are plenty of poisonous animals or animals that can injure you in Costa Rica. The odds of something happening to you are low, but you never know.

The most common animal-related problem tends to be from mosquito bites. It is possible to get Dengue or Zika. Learn all about how to protect yourself in our Costa Rica mosquito guide.

When hiking please wear shoes instead of sandals and if going off main trails always wear clothes that cover you.

If you do get bit by a snake, spider etc. call 9-1-1 immediately to receive quick treatment.

Stolen or Lost Property

Besides health-related problems, some travel insurance plans also cover lost or stolen items. Costa Rica is pretty safe, but petty crime does occasionally happen. It is nice to know that if something does happen to your gear, travel insurance will cover it.

We have a guide to staying safe in Costa Rica if you would like more info about protecting yourself from crimes.

Delays on Travel Days

One of the many perks of having travel insurance is the coverage for the days you are traveling to and from your destination.
Travel insurance often covers things such as delayed or lost luggage as well as flight delays and your accommodations if you need to spend the night somewhere.

Where to Go if Ill in Costa Rica

Pharmacies

In Costa Rica it is possible to get treated for minor illnesses and injuries at pharmacies. Pharmacies can provide minor medical care for things such as sunburns, colds, stomach problems etc. They can also provide you with prescription medicines that you would usually need to go to the doctor to get a prescription for in other countries.

You will have no problem finding a pharmacy in almost every town in Costa Rica.

Doctors Offices

Most towns have at least one doctor’s office. We suggest going here if the pharmacist can not help you or your illness/ injury is a bit more severe. A doctor can better access the situation and help decide if it is necessary for you to go to a hospital.

Hospitals

There are hospitals located in some of the main cities throughout the country but the major ones are in San Jose. For life-threatening injuries, you will likely be transferred to San Jose. 

If you need to seek medical treatment in a Costa Rica hospital, you can expect very professional, well-trained doctors. 

In fact, we’ve found that many even speak English.

Car Rental Insurance

In Costa Rica, you can not use most travel insurance plans for car rental coverage. There are two mandatory types of mandatory rental car insurance here. 

One (Liability Protection) needs to be purchased by every person driving in Costa Rica. The other mandatory insurance (Car Protection) also needs to be purchased by law. 

However, if your credit card company covers you for Car Protection in Costa Rica you can void the car protection, depending on which car company you rent with.

We highly suggest renting your car with Adobe. They are our go-to car rental company because they are completely upfront with their costs and are just an all-around amazing company.

Adobe does not bundle the Liability and Car Protection together. So, if your credit card will cover you for car protection you will not need to pay for it.

Adobe has given us a 10% discount plus other great perks to pass on to you. You can find out more here.

adobe car

Final Travel Insurance Tips

  • Keep in mind that travel insurance does not typically cover pre-existing conditions. It is not possible to use travel insurance to deal with previous health issues.
  • Costa Rica is a popular medical tourism destination. Although travel insurance is not likely to cover you for these procedures, if you would like to get any plastic surgery or dental work done that is not covered by your insurance at home, it may be a lot cheaper in Costa Rica.
  • There are private and public hospitals in Costa Rica. For serious issues we suggest going to CIMA in the Escazu area of San Jose. This hospital is also the most popular medical tourism facility.
  • If you have trouble communicating in Spanish with a medical professional, ask if they have anybody around who can speak English. If not, the Google Translate app is always a lifesaver. There is a “Conversation” feature that allows you to speak and have your words translated into Spanish.
  • You do not need to bring a printed out copy of your travel insurance with you to Costa Rica, but if you have a printer it never hurts to have a hard copy just in case.
  • If you use your travel insurance, don’t forget to submit your claim to get your money back!

If you have any questions about travel insurance please leave them in the commet section below. We are always happy to help you out! Also, if you have used Trawick while in Costa Rica we would love to hear about your experience to help future travelers.

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About Us

We’re Thomas (the German) and Sarah (the US-er).

We met in Virginia, moved to Germany, and now live in sunny Costa Rica. It was a spontaneous decision to move here, but it was the best decision!

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2 Responses

  1. Hello,
    I looked up the Nomad travel insurance and it states at the Link you give in the last paragraph (Link: https://www.worldnomads.com/eu/help/insurance/recent-events/coronavirus-faqs) that Covid-19 related incidents are actually not covered.
    “Unfortunately there’s no cover for any travel impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19) under this policy as it is not designed to cover expenses which are directly or indirectly caused by such an event. ”

    Maybe that only applies to european travellers, but for me your information was quite misleading, no bad intents on your behalf expected. Still, you might want to double check this article.

    Kind Regards
    Ferdinand

    1. Thank you Ferdinand!
      World Nomads hadn’t covered for COVID, and then they did, and now apparently they don’t again.
      So, thank you for letting me know so I can update this.
      Sorry for the confusion!
      Best Regards,
      Sarah

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