Friday, August 19, 2005

Be sure you have the right dive accident insurance!

Divernet News, dateline 13 August 2005
Diver faces £40,000 bill for treatment

A holidaying Briton could face a medical treatment bill of some £40,000 after suffering decompression illness off Marsa Alam, in the Egyptian Red Sea.

The diver's holiday insurer is refusing to meet treatment costs because, it says, the diver broke a requirement of his insurance policy.

Anthony Allen, from Solihull, carried out a dive to 49.5m, a depth confirmed by his tour company. The dive is reported to have been carried out correctly, in terms of profile requirements stipulated by his diving computer.

Despite this the 68-year-old, a PADI Advanced Open Water diver, suffered major 'Type II' decompression illness. He is hospitalised for recompression treatment that could last for several weeks.

In Britain, Allen's family has put in a claim to the insurer, LloydsTSB, only for it to be rejected because, says the company, Allen exceeded a depth limit of 30m imposed by his policy.

The family are pursuing the claim, saying that documentation in Egypt cites dehydration as the cause of the DCI. They believe the depth to which Allen dived is irrelevant.

LloydsTSB has stated that its own information from doctors treating Allen is that his illness is "directly related to him participating in a dive to that depth". But it added: "Should any additional medical evidence come to light we would of course reassess the situation."