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February 2013    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 39, No. 2   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Why DEPP Has Been Giving the Silent Treatment to Divers

from the February, 2013 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Whenever we write about dive equipment insurance,. we always get a few reader complaints about the leading provider, Dive Equipment Protection Plan (DEPP) and its slow handling of complaints. The latest we received was from reader Pec Indman (San Jose, CA) who says DEPP has been giving him the silent treatment. "DEPP is not responding to claims. I've been insured by DEPP for many years and have filed claims successfully in the past. But when I had a camera flood in November, I e-mailed, left phone messages and sent faxes, but have not had any response. Since I paid via credit card, I may have some recourse, and am pursuing that avenue for now."

We sent Indman's e-mail to Deane W. Lehrmitt, CEO of Innovation Programs Group, Inc., broker for the DEPP program for clarification, and she sent us this reply: "In a sense, he is not wrong. We suffered a total and complete systems failure on November 16 that was not restored fully until December 26. During that time, we could not access customer information, send or retrieve email, access the Internet or retrieve any of our saved documents. We operate off of a dedicated server for our system, and that server was the piece that was affected by the failure. So while it seemed we were non-responsive, it was not because we chose to ignore our customers."

Lehrmitt says the system has been restored, and DEPP is up and running again. But more than five weeks worth of system shutdown for a company handling insurance claims and storing important information? Unheard of in any 21st century business. Buying technology that runs smoothly and doesn't take weeks to recover should be one area where DEPP spends your policy payments, don't you think?

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