INS Designated Driver, Taxi Program Fights DUIs

January 22, 2010

In an attempt to reduce the number of drunk driving incidents, Costa Rica’s National Insurance Institute (INS) has added to three of its automobile insurance policies a clause allowing for policyholders to call for a ride home if they have overindulged. 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 are 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, policyholders 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 more than 5,000 kilograms, are used for something other than personal or personal-business use or have a capacity of more than 15 people.

INS also said that the designated driver or taxi must be called at least two hours before pick-up time and will transport the insured person only to his or her requested destination, with no stops or changes 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.

–Adam Williams

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