The cost of a dive accident can easily surpass R200,000. That’s why it’s smart to protect yourself. Even the most experienced divers face risks such as coral scrapes and marine envenomations. And if a more serious incident like decompression illness occurs, emergency transportation costs and medical treatments can add up quickly.
It is true that some primary medical 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 primary medical insurance when trying to organise an emergency evacuation for a diving injury. That is simply not the time to discover that your primary medical 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 Zanzibar and even in South Africa, 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. 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 primary medical insuarnce card just yet. So, should a diver have primary medical insurance or be a DAN member? A diver should be both!