By Ken Kollwitz
Are you prepared for a dive accident, travel disaster, loss of gear or a flooded camera? I know insurance is a necessary EVIL, but sometimes you only need it once to make it worthwhile. There is insurance for dive accident/medical problems, travel insurance, theft or loss of gear and flooded camera equipment. Some companies like DAN have policies for all and some are specific to one thing. There is Divers Alert Network (DAN), DiveAssure, PADI, NAUI, Divers Equipment Protection Program (DEPP), Access America and many more. For dive accident/medical and travel the Channel Islands Dive ASdventures recommends DiveAssure. Check them out using the link on the home page.
They have several single and family policies. DiveAssure is also a primary insurance, where DAN is a secondary insurance. Also DiveAssure compared to DAN has much higher coverage limits. Both DiveAssure and DAN are under AIG Insurance. The great thing about DiveAssure is they probably have the best dive travel insurance. There Diamond plans are the only plans to cover you for a tropical storm and there plans are yearly plans unlike all the others that are per trip. This can be very cost effective for people that do several dive trips a year.
If you get any of the DiveAssure plans, you can upgrade to another higher plan or add more family members at any time. I have just dive accident/ medical insurance for myself and before a trip I will upgrade it to cover the travel portion. I have been in contact with DiveAssure quite a bit and they are very helpful and will answer any specific questions you have.
Now for DAN, I had my insurance for years thru DAN, But with the better coverage and the great dive travel plans DiveAssure has they now have my business. I do still support and donate to DAN every year and I do have a basic (non medical) membership thru DAN as I like the Dive Alert network magazine very much. The other thing that comes with the DAN basic membership that DiveAssure does not have yet is a non-medical emergency hotline, which I have used. DAN also has travel insurance (per trip) and dive equipment insurance.
For dive equipment I use DEPP. With DEPP, you make a list of what you want covered, pay for the coverage and if any thing not on your list is stolen or lost it is not covered, it is also the same for DAN. The items you want covered must be on the list, so you really want to have important things on the list. A little light, knife or other small item is probably not worth covering.
There is also other travel insurance for any type of travel, but like most, it is a per trip only policy. It is Access America and you can check them out at www.accessamerica.com. You should also check the fine print on any homeowner’s policy or better yet, call them with some specific scenarios to see if you are covered. Renters and homeowner’s policy are also different. Believe me, I know this from experience; do not assume you are covered for everything or anything. If you do you will probably regret it. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Ken