DAN vs DiveAssure: What U Need to Know Before Buying Dive Insurance

Getting yourself insured as a scuba diver is sure as hell one of the things that you can do to ensure that you are covered when shit hits the fan. Most divers, even as a newbie in their journey as a scuba diver, would have thought better to be insured.

The following are some key features that you want to be aware of before making a commitment on the insurance.

1. Price
The number one factor that affects your purchase decision, of course. What are the costs payable upfront? But costs aren’t everything. Lower costs might mean less coverage perhaps? Cheaper is not necessarily better, in most cases, especially not when you are paying for a product that might help to save your life.

2.Coverage for Medical Expenditures / Evacuation

Why medical expenditures/evacuation? These two components are the most costly in the worst case scenario when an accident happens. Medical expenditures usually involve hyperbaric chamber treatments, which usually costs a few thousand dollars. Evacuation by air or land costs even more. Dive destinations are usually not the most populated areas, to begin with.


3.Diving Trip Cancellations/Interruptions
One of the more common scenarios. As much as we hope for a perfect holiday, sometimes things do not go as planned. With the changes and unpredictability in weather nowadays, there is no guarantee that the weather conditions would be perfect on your dive holiday. Missing a few dives during the trip is alright, but when it is an entire cancellation because of unforeseeable circumstances such as volcanic eruptions or other natural disasters, political turbulence etc, the losses could be hefty. Certain airlines in more remote places are also indeed more susceptible to missing or delayed baggage.

4.Coverage for Depth
Most diving insurances cover up to 30 meters of depth limit for accidents, as that is the recreational diving depth limit. If you are a technical diver or has some specialties like deep/wreck dives, look out for the coverage for depth limits when purchasing an insurance, especially if you are looking to progress further in doing technical diving.


5.Coverage for travel-related situations
With the unpredictability of weather nowadays, there is no guarantee that the weather conditions would be perfect on your dive holiday. Perhaps a trip is not canceled, but you might miss a few dives during the trip? Travel-related situations like loss of personal items, baggage delays etc.

6.Coverage for liveaboard trips
Liveaboard trips usually demand a longer duration and further distance of travel. Boats, unlike resorts, face the uncertainties of nature. For example, engine breakdown, and many other various reasons that could curtail a liveaboard trip that was planned maybe up to a year in advance.

7. Primary vs Secondary Insurance
“Primary insurance” means that your insurer will pay directly to service providers (i.e. air ambulance, hospital, recompression chamber etc.), or reimburse you in full for your payments made by you, disregard any other insurance you may have, which may or may not cover the incident. With a policy that is not primary processing your claim may take a long time and you may be required to finance evacuation/medical bills, which can run tens of thousands of dollars high. Additionally, a diving related claim can have an effect on your personal health insurance record.

We will be doing an anatomy on two of the most popular insurances on the market - Divers Alert Network (DAN) and DiveAssure. To have a fair comparison of prices, I will compare the DAN Preferred Plus (Annual) vs DiveAssure Dive & Travel Plus (Annual), the most comprehensive plan offered by each insurer.


DAN Preferred Plus Dive & Travel Plus
AUD284/annum USD299/annum

How DAN works? DAN requires one to join as a member first (AUD 75/year). This will provide access to medical assistance, evacuation facilities. (NOTE: access but not coverage!!). To be eligible for coverage, you need to subscribe to an additional plan, Master Plan (AUD 95 /year), Preferred Plan (AUD149/year), Preferred Plus (AUD 209/year).

How DiveAssure works? Just sign up and you are insured.

Round 1:
DAN 1 DiveAssure 0

2. Coverage for Medical Expenditures / Evacuation

DAN’s ceiling for coverage is USD 250,000 versus DiveAssure USD 500,000.

Round 2:
DAN 0 DiveAssure 1

3. Diving Trip Cancellations / Interruptions

DAN USD5,000 vs DiveAssure up to USD 15,000

Round 3:
DAN 0 DiveAssure 1

4.Coverage for Depth

DAN No Limit vs DiveAssure No Limit.

Round 4:
DAN 1 DiveAssure 1

5. Coverage for travel-related situations
In addition to Medical Expenditures / Evacuation & Diving Trip Cancellations / Interruptions, DiveAssure covers the following for their Dive & Travel Plus plans.

  • Lost diving days due to inclement weather up to USD 100 per day (max 5 days)
  • Travel related coverage such as lost money/documents (up to USD 500), missed connections (up to USD 1,000), loss of passport (up to USD 250), ATM theft (up to USD 500), travel delay (up to USD 1,000), Full LOB coverage for various reasons (NOTE: LOB coverage is only available for “Dive & Travel Plus” Plan, if you are do not plan to go on any LOB trips, “Dive & Travel” Plan would suffice at a cheaper price at approximately USD193 per annum, which is also cheaper.)

Round 5:
DAN 0 DiveAssure 1

6. Coverage for liveaboard trips 
Only DiveAssure's Dive & Travel Plus has liveaboard coverage in the market currently.

Round 6:
DAN 0 DiveAssure 1

7. Primary vs Secondary Insurance
All Diveassure programs are primary. Only Diveassure travel programs offer PRIMARY dive travel and other travel insurance benefits. The DAN levels of insurance are a secondary coverage and pay up to 100 percent of reasonable and customary costs of all remaining eligible expenses after any other coverage you may have.

Round 7:
DAN 0 DiveAssure 1

Final Results:
DAN 2 DiveAssure 7

If you are a frequent traveler with multi-trips including non-diving trips, it seems like DiveAssure has it covered too. Both insurers have different plans to cater to different travel needs. In our opinion, it seems to be a much better bet for DiveAssure with it being a primary insurance, meaning I do not have to fork out large sums of money from my own pocket first if anything happens since payments are made directly to service providers!

Finally, we wish you safe and smooth travels and hope you’d never have to activate your insurance. If you do, however, we hope you’ve picked the right partner!

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