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Divers Alert Network: Who are they and why you need to know them.

Matt Everett   Apr 12, 2023

Who is DAN? What do they do? Why are they important? Where do I get dive insurance? These
are questions we hear all the time from new and experienced divers alike. Whether you just
finished your open water certification or have years of experience under your belt, Divers Alert
Network (DAN) is an organization that all divers should be familiar with.

DAN is an acronym that stands for Divers Alert Network, and they are the most well respected
and recognized diver safety organization in the world. For over 40 years, DAN has pioneered
diver health and safety research and is one of the major forces driving Decompression Illness
(DCI) research. Their findings have saved many lives through their promotion of emergency
oxygen training as well as dive related First Aid and CPR. DAN is also partnered with the
Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) who works to establish guidelines for diving
safely with medical conditions such as diabetes.

“DAN helps divers in need of medical emergency assistance and promotes dive safety
through research, education, products, and services”. (DAN Mission Statement)

Those services range from emergency hotlines to non-emergency hotlines, to dive accident
insurance, to accident reports and analyses, to emergency response supplies, and much more.
Let’s take a look at the history of DAN before we move into the services they offer.


DAN began as the National Dive Accident Network (NaDAN) in 1980 with a goal of
creating an around the clock emergency hotline for divers to access medical professionals with
dive medicine training and experience. Once the initial grant funding ended 3 years after the
creation of NaDAN, the organization transitioned into a membership-based organization to
continue funding their emergency hotline and started calling themselves DAN. In 1987, DAN
took a big step and began offering the first dive accident insurance program. This insurance
program has greatly expanded over the years and offers coverage at several different price points.
Today, DAN is the most trusted non-profit in the diving industry, and they continue to help
divers in as many ways as possible.



So you might be asking yourself, “ok cool, I know what DAN is now. But why is
that important to me?” Well in our opinion, DAN is important to every diver no matter their
experience level or age. DAN’s dive accident insurance is what makes them a must have for
divers. Most health, life, or travel insurance policies do not cover scuba diving because they
consider scuba diving to be hazardous or dangerous. The same is true for many sports or
activities such as skydiving, moped/motorcycle driving, piloting a plane, going horseback riding,
or off-roading. That is where DAN comes in: not only do they offer dive accident insurance
policies, but they also know dive medicine. After a dive accident, divers often need to stick up
for themselves and strongly communicate to medical staff that what occurred was a dive accident
to ensure they are treated properly. By calling DAN’s hotline (active 24/7), their medical
professionals (who are specifically trained in dive medicine and how to respond to dive
accidents) can walk you or the medical staff treating you through the correct procedures to best
treat the incident. Most medical professionals at hospitals are not familiar with dive medicine
and DAN does an excellent job communicating with them to ensure proper treatment.

DAN Emergency Hotline: 1-919-684-9111

DAN Customer Service Center: 1-919-684-2948 (general inquiries: option 1)

Not only is their hotline helpful but so are their insurance policies. As mentioned before, most
insurance policies will not cover diving accidents but DAN offers 3 different levels of coverage.
Check out their current policy coverages here on their website and click on compare coverage:

Insurance policies require a DAN membership which starts at $40/year. There are 3 different
plan options offered by DAN: Master, Preferred, and Guardian (in order of increasing coverage).
The best part of DAN insurance is that it works no matter where you are. Are you diving locally
here in Massachusetts? You are covered! Are you traveling to the Caribbean next month to go
diving? You are covered! Their policies also extend much further than just in the water while
diving: they offer coverage on lost equipment, extra transportation/ accommodations after an
accident, and even non-diving accidents while outside your home country! For how much you
are covered, we consider DAN membership and insurance to be essential for any diver to
properly protect themselves from any adverse situation that may arise. Besides the dive accident
insurance, they also offer trip or travel insurance to cover you for non-dive related medical
issues, trip cancellation or interruption, baggage loss or delays, as well as ID theft during a trip.


One of our favorite parts of DAN is their Incident Insights. After an
accident or incident has occurred, divers can submit their situation to DAN and one of their
professionals will reply with their thoughts on the situation and the response that occurred. We
find these case studies to be fascinating; they range from entry level certification divers all the
way to advanced technical divers. Reading through the incident reports allows you to learn and
reflect on the situation and recognize what went wrong and when. Check out the Incident
Insights here on their website:

DAN has a great wealth of resources and knowledge to share on their website. They have
information about returning to diving after having Covid-19, how to disinfect scuba equipment,
how to return to diving safely after an extended period of inactivity, and much more. They offer
dive specific first aid and oxygen provider training to anyone interested.

Lastly, if you do decide to purchase insurance through DAN, we recommend checking out their
“DAN Tags”. They cost only $20 and are customizable with your name, policy number, date of
birth, medical information such as allergies, and an emergency contact. It prominently displays
the DAN emergency hotline number and is very simple to attach onto your BCD. They are a
great way to ensure your medical information and insurance policy are physically attached to you
at all times while in the water.


For any additional questions or information about DAN, please refer to their website: 


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