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September 1998 Vol. 13, No. 9   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Comments on Diver's Insurance

from the September, 1998 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

In the March, 1998, issue of Undercurrent, we evaluated trip cancellation and interruption insurance, noting that it's expensive coverage that isn't applicable in many situations the traveling diver encounters.

Reader Jim Breakell of England wrote to let us know how much insurance companies screw American divers -- and how much it costs to live in a litigious society. He reports that the cost of similar insurance in England is $142 for a $7500 trip cancellation policy that also includes substantial medical, accidental death, and liability coverage (absent from most U.S. policies), along with the usual baggage loss and delay and trip cancellation and interruption coverage. Compare $142 to U.S. premiums for $7500 in coverage, which range from about $300 (CSA), $400 (TravelSafe), to $600+ (Access America, TravelGuard).

And, to show you how insurance companies continue to beat up on us, Paul Panayotatos found a twist in the fine print of at least one cancellation/interruption policy: apparently your parents are not considered "immediate family members" if they do not reside in the U.S. or Canada on the date of the application. He reports:

"I took a trip to Cozumel with my wife and signed up for cancellation/interruption insurance with The Travelers. Between the two of us we share three parents that are over eighty. My mother-in-law became hospitalized and my wife had to scramble to get back from Cozumel and then fly to Greece where all our parents still live. On contacting the insurance company I was referred to the contract that I never bothered to read before where it states that for the purposes of the contract immediate family members are not immediate if they do not reside in the U.S! In other words, I had been buying useless insurance from The Travelers all these years.

"On the bright side, Apple of Dive Paradise consented to reimburse us for the unused part of the dive package and I eventually received a check from Tropical Adventures for the unused dives, although the package was really non-reimbursable. The next time I choose cancellation insurance I will call and tell them exactly my specifics and what I want the coverage for before I blow 5% of the trip cost on useless insurance."

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