San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Auto insurance policy to offer drinkers a safe ride home

In an attempt to reduce drunk driving, Costa Rica´s National Insurance Institute (INS) has added a clause to three automobile insurance policies to provide policy holders a ride home in the event they have overindulged. All a driver has to do is call.

Known as the “Designated Driver and Designated Taxi” benefit, INS offers all insured automobile members under polices A, C, D and G a phone number to call if they feel unable to operate a vehicle due to alcohol consumption. When a call is made to the INS number 800-800-8001, a designated driver or taxi will arrive to take the insured motorist to his or her desired destination. The service is free of charge under the policy and is offered 365 days a year, 24 hours a day.

But the designated driver service carries limitations. According to INS, policy owners with automobiles that are up to 6 years old can call upon a designated driver as many as three times per year. Policy owners with 6- to 20-year-old automobiles are permitted only one designated driver per year. The benefit does not apply to cars over 20 years old that weigh over 5,000 kilograms, are used for something other than personal or personal-business use or have a capacity over 15 people.

INS also indicated that the designated driver or taxi must be coordinated at least two hours before pick-up and will transport the insured member only to his or her requested destination, with no stops or change of address permitted.  

INS also emphasized that the benefit should not be perceived as “condoning the conduct” of drivers under the influence, but as a method of prevention and social responsibility to decrease the possibility of accidents and deaths caused by drivers under the effects of alcohol.

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