**This is a repost of mine to save me time; please don't flag as spam.**
We had to make a claim on our last trip, the first time in many years of driving rental cars in Costa Rica (we visit at least annually). Basically you can sign up for free for Am Ex's "Premium Car Rental Coverage" program, then are charged $24.95 when a car rental is charged to your Am Ex - you must decline the CDW - giving you coverage for 42 consecutive days. It doesn't cover liability, but per their site covers:
-Up to $100,000 of primary coverage for damage or theft of a Rental Car.
-Up to $100,000 of Accidental Death or Dismemberment coverage ($250,000 for California Residents).***
-Up to $15,000 for excess medical expenses per person.
-Up to $5,000 for excess personal property coverage ($15,000 for Florida Residents).
Though we have used a variety of companies before and never had issues, I went ahead and researched on TripAdvisor who was currently recommended and who to avoid, and narrowed it down to the following companies (we ended up choosing Dollar):
Renting on 10/20/13 for 15 days:
-Dollar - Grand Vitarra Auto $590
-Vamos - Mitsubishi Sport $720 (after 20% discount)
-Wild Rider - Daihatsu BeGo $718
-Maphache - Daihatsu BeGo $718
-Service - Grand Vitarra $599
As for what happened... We were driving down the main freeway on the Pacific coast on 10/24/13, getting ready to make a left-hand turn onto the road to our rental property, when a semi-truck going the opposite direction spit up a large rock, which hit the windshield and cracked it. Unfortunately it was too big to do a crack repair and needed to be replaced completely.
Once we got to our rental property we looked up the process for filing a claim, which ended up being pretty easy. I called Am Ex (vs using the online form on their website) so I could ask some questions, and was given a claim number. The next day we visited the local police and asked them to fill out a report (per Am Ex's instructions); it was helpful have a Tico as a husband, because they thought we were a little crazy and he had to basically write out what we needed the "report" to say, which they then signed (that we came in to report the damage, our account of the event, etc). The gist of the issue is they don't do accident reports like here in the States; the reports they make are used for documenting accidents between cars, or when you are wanting to go after the other guy for the cost of repairs (which was impossible, given the situation), etc. It was actually a kind of funny - no letterhead, just a handwritten note by the officer with his name at the bottom. They did log it in their official logbook, but wouldn't let us take a picture of that (I did inform Am Ex that said logbook existed, should they want to call and verify). And of course we also called Dollar to notate our account.
Upon return of the car everything went smoothly. They have a document that estimates the cost for various repairs, and they gave us a copy to keep. They charged us for the car rental and for the estimated repair, the latter of which American Express said we could call in to "challenge" until the case was processed if we wanted to, but I'll admit I forgot to do so.
Anyway, we took pictures of everything - the windshield, the police report, the car registration, the rental agreement, the receipts, the estimate from Dollar - and uploaded it to Am Ex's site once back home. We received regular emails from Am Ex updating us on the status, and on 11/15/13 - less than a month later - we were notified of the credit to our account.
All in all an excellent experience, both from Dollar and from American Express. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend both to anyone.
Hope that helps everyone!