Only the government's National Insurance Institute (Instituto Nacional de Seguros), founded in 1924, may write insurance in Costa Rica. It handles all types of insurance, the most important being life, fire, automobile, and workers' compensation. One of the more popular features of life insurance policies is that the holder may borrow up to the full face value of the policy after paying premiums for only two years. In 1996, the insurance monopoly was reformed to allow private agents to sell policies, while the INS continued to hold all underwriting rights. The INS does, however, reinsure its risks with private, foreign insurers.