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April 2002 Vol. 28, No. 4   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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DAN Faces Off with DEPP on Dive Equipment Insurance

from the April, 2002 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

In November, the Divers Alert Network cast its everwidening insurance net to create a policy to cover dive gear and cameras. Termed the “ Dive Equipment Insurance Program,” it offers coverage to DAN members who are residents of 48 states (Sorry, Alaska and South Dakota). Effective worldwide, the policy insures against loss or damage to just about any equipment divers might be wearing or using.

Premiums are based on the total declared value. They require serial numbers at the time of enrollment for any item insured for more than $2500. They cover items to the declared amount; they pay the lesser of the cost of replacing or restoring the equipment to its condition at the time of the loss. With H2O, a $100 deductible is standard unless the claim is for water damage; then it’s the greater of 10 percent of the claim or $250. Low-value items such as gloves, booties, knives, dive bags, camera filters, etc., may be declared as “Miscellaneous Equipment” at an aggregate amount up to $500.

How does the H2O coverage compare with DEPP (Dive Equipment Protection Plan), a program thoroughly reviewed in our September 2001 issue? The most striking difference is that the DAN plan sends you a check based on the cost of restoring or replacing your loss. Duncan Jones, an administrator of the H2O plan, told Undercurrent. “This supports the important relationship between the diver and his local dive shop.” On the other hand, DEPP, at its option, will either repair or replace your gear. Don’t expect to see any money.

There is a large variance in the basic coverage and the corresponding premium, under each plan. The minimum premium with H2O is $100 and covers up to $6,667 worth of gear. DEPP carries a minimum premium of $30 to insure up to $2,000 worth of equipment. There is a four percent surcharge on equipment valued at more than $5,000. Standard deductible amounts are $25 for DEPP and $100 for H2O. If you want to insure photographic gear, note that each plan differs and you’ll need to compare the costs and benefits. H2O’s deductible for flooding covers all camera accessories, while the DEPP policy says that if the camera itself, the lens, and the strobe are flooded, you’ll pay the deductible on each.

If you have bad luggage karma, DEPP enrollment includes $150 in reimbursement for rental gear needed due missing baggage. H2O makes no such provision. Fine print in DEPP’s policy states that to be insurable, dive watches must be designed for and exclusively used for diving and dive-related activities. They limit benefits for dive watches to $500. Your Rolex Oyster is not likely to make the cut. H2O does not have this limitation.

In our review of the DEPP policy in September 2001, we found that nearly all divers were satisfied with the speed and substance of DEPP’s claim handling. Of course, it’s too early to tell how satisfied divers are with the DAN policy. You can find additional details on H2O at or call DAN at 1-800-446-2671 or 1-919-684-2948. For DEPP, go to or call 760-674-9655 or 888-678-4096.

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