The nation’s insurance regulator approved an increase in the obligatory vehicle insurance just hours before motorists could begin paying the road tax. The action was not a surprise because an increase had been sought.
The Superintendencia General de Seguros raised the amount for passenger cars from 11,677 colons to 15,903 colons. That’s about 36.2 percent in a year when the inflation rate of the colon has been far less.
Other types of vehicles faced similar increases. Taxis went from 26,966 to 53,018 colons, about 43.4 percent.
The regulating agency said that the new rates were based on studies done by the Instituto Nacional de Seguros, probably the major player in the national insurance market. For the premium, which is included in the marchamo or road tax payment, the motorist received 6 million colons in coverage, about $12,000. This mainly is for death, personal injury and hospitalization. Most expats purchase additional insurance.
Over the preceding three years, the rates actually have decreased, the insurance agency said in a release.
The marchamo has to be paid by Dec. 31 or motorists run the risk of a traffic ticket and late penalties. The tax is represented by a sticker on the windshield.