An international company that provides assistance to travelers is really selling insurance and must register with Costa Rican authorities, the Tribunal Contencioso Administrativo y Civil de Hacienda has decided.
The firm is known here as Servicios de Asistencia al Viajero Internacional S.A. with the trade name Assist-Card. The decision was in favor of the Superintendencia General de Seguros.
Assist-Card is all over the world offering all sorts of assistance to travelers, including medical help.
The company offered assistance to foreigners visiting here and to Costa Ricans traveling in foreign lands.
Tomás Soley Pérez, the head of the insurance regulatory agency, said that the case was a precedent to clear up what type of firms that affect the consumer should be covered by the insurance regulations. Many foreign firms offer insurance coverage within Costa Rica via the Internet.