Whether traveling to an exotic dive location far from home or diving only a few miles from home, diving accidents can happen. Diving accidents such as decompression illness (the bends), over-expansion injuries, ear problems, or any other type of diving malady can all result in medical treatment and in severe cases require medical transport to a hospital or medical facility. A diving accident can involve major medical and related expenses, all of which you’re responsible for unless you have proper insurance. The expense of hyperbaric treatment for decompression sickness can run from $5,000 to over $10,000 and many times, more than one treatment is required to solve the problem. Transportation to a medical facility via aircraft can also run thousands of dollars.
Diving insurance can be a lifesaver, literally. Decompression illness or an over-expansion injury requires prompt and immediate treatment. With the proper diving insurance, you can receive medical evacuation, prompt help from your insurance agency, and the ability to contact medical personnel 24/7/365 to answer questions and lend assistance. It goes without saying, knowing you have insurance and help to count on if something were to happen, especially when traveling to a foreign country is priceless and can be the difference between life and death.
The insurance and assistance programs that are offered by companies like DiveAssure, PADI, and DAN as well as several others are designed specifically for divers, and give you full coverage in case of a diving accident. Every dive insurance company has different policies and different levels of policies, meaning the “fine print” and limitations of each policy should be thoroughly reviewed prior to purchasing a protection plan. Knowing the details and limitations of each company’s policy can greatly help you to make the right decision for your needs. The following are a list of policy categories that you should pay close attention to:
· The plans level of coverage
· Benefit maximums, limits, and coverage
· What isn’t covered by the plan
· Depth and breathing gas limitations
· Additional insurance coverages that may be included in the plan
· Costs of each plan (annual fees, membership fees, etc.)
· Whether primary care insurance is required or not
· Does the plan pay upfront or do you have to pay upfront and be reimbursed afterwards
Comparing these items as well as other key elements of an insurance policy is a must if you want to make sure you get the coverage you require. Take your time researching each plan and always read the small print because your life may depend on it someday.