They say you never need insurance until you need it!
Last year, I planned a scuba diving trip to the Galapagos on a liveaboard. Before I began my trip, I learned the Ecuadorian government imposed a new visitor requirement. It was compulsory for foreign travelers to possess international health insurance while traveling in the country. Our dive travel agent also strongly advised us to obtain travel insurance that included trip cancelations, baggage, and medical protection.
Since the primary reason for visiting the Galapagos was to dive the remote islands of Wolf & Darwin, I needed to find travel insurance that also covered scuba diving related accidents, hyperbaric chamber, and general medical insurance that met Ecuadorian standards.
I search the web and found a company called Dive Assure. Dive Assure met the requirements I was seeking and covered the following:
- Scuba Diving Accidents
- Hyperbaric Chamber
- General International Medical Insurance
- Travel Insurance
- Specific Coverage for Dive Liveaboards (Liveaboard Rider)
I contact Dive Assure and the nice sales representative went through the plans they offered and provided me with a reasonable quote based on my needs. I reviewed the documents/contracts provided by Dive Assure which covered my requirements completely. And within in a few days I purchased a multi-trip plan.
Dive Assure offers both single-trip and multi-trip travel insurance. Since I had a few international dive trips planned during the year, the multi-trip policy made sense and was also very affordable. Additionally, Dive Assure offers specific travel insurance for dive liveaboards. The liveaboard rider is a unique feature I couldn’t find in normal travel insurance. It covered scenarios specific to liveaboard trips such as:
Trip Cancellations Due To:
- Trip cancellation coverage due to a missed connection resulting in missing the liveaboard or additional cost to join it.
- Trip cancellation coverage for missing liveaboard departure due to airline delays.
Lost Diving Days Due To:
- Medical inability to dive.
- Weather conditions not enabling diving/sailing.
- Diving accident to other passenger on boat causing the boat to abort planned diving.
- Expenses not reimbursed by the tour operator for default /mechanical breakdown to air supply.
- Financial default of the liveaboard operating company, or tour operator
When You Need Travel Insurance – My Claim:
I didn’t really think I needed dive travel insurance or even would use the insurance until one trip later when my initial flight from Barbados was delayed which caused me to miss my connecting flight in Miami. Unfortunately, the connecting flight I missed was the last flight to NYC that evening. Although it was a short 8-9 hour delay it would require me to either stay/sleep in the airport or find an airport hotel. The airline would not provide accommodations since the delay was less than 12 hours. My credit card company also refused my claim citing the delay was less than 12 hours.
I called Dive Assure and they said my policy covered me in this situation. The Dive Assure representative sent me the claim form and offered assistance if I need help filling out the claim forms. I booked an airport hotel for the night. A few days later I filed the claim. And in less than 2 weeks I received a check that covered my hotel and incidentals while in transit in Miami.
I’m glad I purchased dive & travel insurance from Dive Assure because you never know when you need it, until you need it!