From 1924 to 2008, insurance was a state monopoly. Although this scheme was useful to the country and society in the twentieth century, it was impossible to continue in this way in a globalized market. Costa Rica suffered from a lack of modernization and diversification of the insurance market, and especially the absence of a regulatory agency.
Esteban Carranza reviews the historical development of the market Who's Who legal .
Following the approval of DR CAFTA by Congress, the country was finally forced to open this market, therby adopting a statute regulating the insurance market, the 8653 Act, on the first of July 2008, which came into effect in August of the same year.
This is how SUGESE, the Superintendent of Insurance was born.
The general rule in Costa Rica is that any insurer, reinsurer, producer, service provider or external provider that carries out or wants to carry out insurance business activities must follow a process to be approved by SUGESE. The requirements depend on the type of institution and country of origin.
After Panama, Costa Rica has the largest insurance market in Central America. There are 11 domestic and foreign licensed companies. 5 more are in the process of obtaining a license. In 2011, the value of policies sold amounted to $794 million, an increase of 6% compared to the $744 million in 2010.
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Before September, the Costa Rican Insurance Institute plans to offer insurance pension contracts.
The institution is preparing a series of products to send to the Insurance Superintendence (SUGESE) for approval, explained José Angel Villalobos.
“An Insurance Pension Contract is a different way of acquiring a pension”, reported newspaper Prensa Libre.
Oceánica de Seguros, founded on Venezuelan capital, is the tenth insurance company to be incorporated into the Costa Rican market after its de-monopolization in 2008.
The superintendent of insurance, Javier Cascante, said the company, which is the eleventh to join the insurance market after its opening, will have a joint operating license, for personal and general policies.
Pan American Life Insurance was finally authorized by the Insurance Superintendence to operate in the country.
The company will sell individual life and health insurance, as well as group life, accident and health insurance. One of its core products is a policy for large medical costs, which will allow individuals to get expensive health care both in Costa Rica and abroad.
The company called BCR Seguros (Insurance) will function as an agent, that is, it will sell policies from various insurance companies.
This way, the BCR plans to make the most of the opening of the insurance market.
Presently the bank only sells policies from the National Insurance Institute (INS).