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Dive Accident Coverage Vs. Medical & Travel Insurance: Do You Need Both?

It is true that some medical and travel insurance include cover for diving injuries. However, divers who have tried to go this route soon discover that it is not easy to work with a medical or travel insurance when trying to organise an emergency evacuation for a diving injury. That is simply not the time to discover that your medical or travel insurance is not able to assist you in getting the most appropriate treatment or advice. Their convenient 0800 toll-free number doesn’t work in remote dive destinations , working your way through a multi-prompt menu from a cell phone is not what you need in a crisis. Also, getting documented authorisations takes time and nearly all private emergency service providers now insist on a written Guarantee of Payment (GOP) before responding. That is not surprising given that most aeromedical evacuations in Africa come in at R200 000 or more and even evacuations by ambulance approach R20 000 plus when advanced life support services are involved. Evacuations are costly. Recompression, on the other hand, is not that expensive in Africa. In the rest of the World, it may set you back about R100 000, but in South Africa the cost is usually under R20 000 unless multiple treatments are needed. However, if evacuation and hospitalisation are called for, the costs can be very high.

As a DAN member, all these concerns disappear. One number and you have all the help and cover you need for a diving emergency. The travel and medical benefits are an added bonus, but don’t tear up your medical and travel insurance card just yet. So, should a diver have a medical and travel insurance or be a DAN member? A diver should have both!

Three Reasons Why Divers Join DAN?

Call & Assist


Most divers realise that diving is an adventure sport that may result in injuries as such they want the peace of mind that, in case of a diving emergency, there is a 24-hour hotline to call with membership benefits for the medical services they will need.

Cost Saving

DAN membership is not expensive by most standards. Diving medical advice is offered free of charge and is available 24/7/365. Membership benefits are secondary to any primary medical insurance and include diving medical and travel related cover that are also extremely affordable and very competitive. DAN members also have access to discounts on safety and educational materials.

Culture of Care

Many divers like being part of an organisation that is so obviously committed towards their safety. Apart from being available as a diving emergency and diving-medical-information line, DAN is always actively campaigning for safety, initiating and supporting safety initiatives, and finding practical ways to make diving safer and more enjoyable.

DAN is a very personal organisation. Callers quickly learn that DAN is not an “institution”; it is a living and vibrant organisation. In many ways, DAN members feel that they are becoming part of a “family” who look out for one another “divers helping divers” as we always like to say.

So, many divers just seem to like the idea of being part of something worthwhile and they are willing to give up some of their discretionary income to be a part of it.

That being said, it is also common knowledge that DAN offers top-rated services and has an exceptional network of experienced diving medical professionals. One call to the DAN hotline and divers find themselves talking to a professional diving doctor who “speaks their language”. This is truly something special. With access to so many likeminded people, DAN is able to arrange evacuation by land, sea or sky if required and help injured divers gain access to specialised medical treatment facilities such as recompression chambers.

In a nutshell! DAN members help support a 24-hour hotline. This hotline offers access to specialists trained in diving medicine and is freely available to members with a diving-related query. The DAN hotline can be called 24/7/365 by a member worldwide in the event of a dive emergency. DAN membership subscription contributes towards the 24-hour emergency and information line. The emergency and diving-medical-information line is freely available to DAN members. So members can call for medical advice on any topic to do with diving or ask to be referred to a health professional knowledgeable in diving medicine.

So Why Join DAN?

When you support DAN, you support the organisation’s ongoing efforts to reduce dive injuries and improve first response and medical treatment. One hundred percent of DAN’s profits are reinvested in research, medical services and programs that make diving safer for all divers. As a diver, you need DAN and DAN needs you.

DAN offers comprehensive plans that provide protection and peace-of-mind in the event of a dive accident for far less than the cost of an unplanned event.

DAN’s dive accident cover plans are recognised worldwide providing secondary coverage of up to R900,000 and paying 100% of eligible expenses.

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