The Guide to Costa Rica Travel Insurance

An adventurous trip to Costa Rica might call for a more thorough travel insurance policy.
Carissa Rawson
By Carissa Rawson 
Edited by Meg Lee

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Thinking about heading to Costa Rica? This sunny destination is a popular option for many travelers due to its flight connections and easy entry. But if you’re planning a trip to this Central American destination, you may be wondering whether it’s worth it to get Costa Rica travel insurance.

Travel insurance can provide coverage and peace of mind when things go awry, so take a look at travel insurance for Costa Rica, what to know and your options for acquiring a policy.

How travel insurance works

Travel insurance is a must-have for many travelers, especially those who may have uncertainty about their trip. There's a multitude of different travel insurance policies, covering everything from lost baggage to emergency medical evacuation.

Here are some of the more common types of travel insurance to consider for Costa Rica trips:

While it’s not necessary or required to get travel insurance for Costa Rica, it may be something worth looking into, especially if your travel plans aren’t locked in. Cancel for Any Reason insurance, for example, allows you to cancel and recoup large portions of any nonrefundable costs paid for your trip.

Other types of Costa Rica travel insurance you may want to consider include health insurance, emergency medical insurance and insurance that covers COVID-19 quarantine. There is no one specific Costa Rica COVID-19 travel insurance, so you’ll want to double-check that any policy you’re purchasing includes coverage for this illness.

Do you need travel insurance for Costa Rica?

Whether you decide to acquire travel insurance for Costa Rica is a personal decision. That being said, you’ll want to consider your travel plans and any room for error when choosing to buy travel insurance.

If, for example, you’ve booked a direct flight to San Jose (SJO) and have a transfer already arranged to your all-inclusive hotel, travel insurance may not be something you necessarily require. This is especially true if your credit card already provides coverage and you don’t intend to leave the resort.

However, if you’ve decided on a treehouse Airbnb and driving a rental car down a dirt road, travel insurance might be a smart option.

Which credit cards offer Costa Rica travel insurance?

Whether you decide to get travel insurance in Costa Rica or before your trip even begins, you may be covered without knowing it. Many of today’s major travel credit cards offer some level of travel insurance.

The types of insurance included on these cards run the gamut, with rental car insurance, emergency medical insurance, trip interruption insurance and more. Here are a few of the more popular credit cards that offer complimentary travel insurance:

Terms apply.

You’ll want to check with your card provider to see types of benefits it offers. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, for example, is well-known due to its primary rental car insurance.

This means that if you decline the insurance offered by the rental company and charge the full amount to your card, Chase will be the first-line payee in the event you get into an accident. This can be extremely valuable since it prevents claims from going to your personal insurance.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Even if you’ve chosen to book travel with points, using your eligible credit card to pay for the taxes and fees of your trip will activate the trip insurance benefits.

Another strong contender for credit card travel insurance is the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, which provides rental car insurance, travel and emergency assistive services, trip cancellation and interruption insurance, travel accident insurance, trip delay reimbursement, and lost luggage reimbursement. As mentioned above, all of this is offered at no cost to the cardholder; you’ll simply need to ensure that you’ve charged your purchases to your card.

Other ways to get travel insurance

Although your credit card may offer travel insurance, it may be that you don’t feel the benefits are enough (or perhaps it’s missing the type you’re looking for). In that case, you may want to purchase a supplemental policy for your Costa Rica trip.

There aren’t any Costa Rica travel insurance requirements, so the type and limits of your policy will be something you can decide for yourself. Before you purchase coverage, however, do yourself a favor and check quotes from a variety of different companies.

A good website for this is Square Mouth, which will compare multiple policies at once for you to peruse. One benefit of a website such as this includes the ability to narrow down your search according to your preferences.

Say that you hold the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and will be using it for most of your travel insurance needs. However, the benefit maximum that this card offers for emergency medical is just $2,500, which won’t cover much if you get seriously ill or end up quarantined.

In this case, you may be looking for supplemental health insurance that will cover these gaps. Consult our most recent analysis of the Best Travel Insurance Companies to get a head start on picking a plan.

Costa Rica travel insurance, recapped

Plans can abruptly change no matter when you travel, which can mean that travel insurance is a good idea. This can be especially true for Costa Rica if you’re looking at an adventurous vacation rather than suntanning at a resort.

If this is the case, be sure to check out a variety of insurance providers to be sure that they’ve got you covered, no matter your needs.

Booking travel with a credit card that provides complimentary travel insurance can be a smart money move. This way, you’ll have your bases covered without needing to lift a finger.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2024, including those best for:

Cards for Travel Insurance from our Partners
Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card

on Chase's website

Chase Sapphire Reserve®
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate


Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases


Intro offer


Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

on Chase's website

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate


5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases.


Intro offer


Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

on Chase's website

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate


Earn 2X points on Southwest® purchases. Earn 2X points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare. Earn 2X points on internet, cable, and phone services, and select streaming. Earn 1X points on all other purchases.


Intro offer


Limited-time offer: Earn Companion Pass® good through 2/28/25 plus 30,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

See more cards
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