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Old 02-23-2012
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Emergency Medical Insurance While Cruising.

There's an interesting article in the latest Alert Diver Magazine that talks about a Canadian cruising couple. The wife falls and hits her head very badly aboard their boat, which was sailing from Cartagena to Roatan. The couple sailed into Providencia, Colombia for medical assistance.
The injury turned out to be quite serious.
The couple, who are also divers, are covered by DAN (Divers Alert Network) - which is (or so I thought) insurance to cover diving-related injuries, evacuations etc. DAN covered the expenses for the medical treatment etc.
I have been covered by DAN for my diving for years. I had no idea that it might also cover me in other circumstances. I guess I should read the fine print on my policy!
Although I don't expect to require DAN coverage in my usual sailing area, it might cover evacuation and treatment in more remote areas.
It might be of interest for sailors cruising away from their usual coverage areas to look into this.
Granted Alert Diver is a magazine published by DAN, so there might be some marketing going on in the article. It appeared legitimate to me.
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Old 02-23-2012
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DAN insurance is a fantastic value, and in my opinion everyone cruising should have DAN coverage. There are two reasons. First is their coverage for evacuation to back home in case of a serious problem. That's pretty obvious, and the reason most purchase coverage.
The other reason is subtle. DAN is run by and for divers. Not by business men. Most of the time a call for assistance will be answered by a fellow DAN member, who is also a physician, not an insurance clerk interested mostly in the insurance companies bottom line. Most DAN responders have extensive experience traveling to distant places. These guys are experienced physicians, most with old time clinical morals, and most have seen all sorts of unusual problems in unusual places.
They usually will know if there is a local physician skilled in your problem, and who he is. And if you are better treated by the guy with local skills, or are better off being brought home.
There is a true saying in medicine that if you hear hoof beats outside your window, you ought to think about horses, not zebras. If I get a report of a stampede in north Yellowstone, and a serious injury however, I am going to think about Bison, and call Jeff who sees two or three buffalo gorings a year.
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