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July 2003 Vol. 18, No. 7   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Chamber Insurance It Isnít

from the July, 2003 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

If a Cozumel dive operator collects a dollar from you to buy "Cozumel Chamber Insurance," don't ever expect to use it. It's not insurance.

Heidi Piccolo, R.N., Manager Hiperbarica de Cozumel (HDC), and Mauricio Moreno, Manager, SSS/Buceo Medico Mexicano chamber, told us that "dollar insurance" only ensures that the latter facility will accept your regular insurance coverage for chamber treatments rather than request cash up front. If you have no insurance, you will be immediately responsible for the bill. Further, your dollar insurance pays not a peso. In fact, Hiperbarica de Cozumel does not participate in dollar insurance, considering it a "disservice and misleading." HDC may require cash up front, no matter whether you have "dollar insurance."

Several shops themselves are confused regarding dollar insurance. For example, a large, long-established and reputable shop said: "We consider this 'secondary coverage'; the net effect is it helps cover deductibles. I know that for my contribution per diver I get an adequate facility and treatment of my clients without prior consideration of finances, but what a client receives in exchange for the buck I pay in their name is fuzzy."

Some divers who only dive Cozumel don't carry insurance because they believe their dollar-a-dive insurance covers them. They may be in for a rude surprise. Don't dive Cozumel without a bona fide dive accident policy.

That said, a dollar from divers helps keep the chamber operating. See it as a donation.

-- Doc Vikingo

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