Insurance services in Costa Rica
The Costa Rican insurance market has grown rapidly, since the sector was opened to private competition, a little over three years ago. Total insurance sales last year totaled $794 million, double the amount of premiums sold in 2005. Aside from the entry into the market of ten new firms, which compete with the state-owned Instituto Nacional de Seguros, an additional five companies have applied for registration.
Changing conditions are producing demand for new services, both locally and from foreign providers.
On an international basis, the increase in value of the insurance sector is creating a market for reinsurance, from companies in other countries.
Meanwhile, growth in medical tourism offers opportunities for international insurers, as well as corporations with self-funded health-care programs.
At the local level, an underserved area involves intermediaries, mainly independent brokers, who are licensed to sell policies to individuals and corporations.
During the period of the state monopoly, consumers bought policies exclusively from agents of the INS. With the advent of competition, there is a growing market for brokerage services. Nevertheless, only a handful of such operations currently exists.
- International insurers
- Corporate medical tourism
- Independent brokerages