Questions about the insurance coverage
The pressure chamber costs are covered for an unlimited amount worldwide (i.e. even within your home country).
No, this is not a condition for benefits to be paid out under our dive card. However, we naturally recommend every diver to regularly undergo a diving fitness examination for his own safety.
Our recommendation: At the latest every 2 years, resp. for persons over 40 years of age or younger than 18 years > every year.
No, not at all. The fact that every person can be insured means that even disabled divers with higher care levels can use the dive card services. By doing so, we would like to encourage disabled divers and comply with the General Equality Law.
The dive card travel insurance is valid for the first 56 days of every trip to a foreign country (= 8 weeks). If you return to your home country, you will again be covered for 56 days for your next trip.
Most of the hyperbaric chambers in the well-known diving areas are familiar with aqua med, and so once a valid dive card is presented, there are no problems in terms of billing.
Should however any doubts arise after all, please let us know straight away. We shall then contact the hyperbaric chamber and send them a statement confirming the existence of a direct billing facility. The hyperbaric chamber can then bill for its services directly with us. If a hyperbaric chamber insists on immediate payment, we are able to process this through our company credit card. In addition to this, we have in some countries partner companies who then deal with the processing of the payment on our behalf.
In some countries, e.g. in Egypt, additional insurance policies covering hyperbaric chamber costs are offered locally, or else donations are sought towards the operation of local hyperbaric chambers.
These requests are sometimes so inartfully worded that they give the impression that you are not insured locally unless you purchase an additional insurance or make a donation. This is of course factually wrong. The diving accident insurance provided under the dive card is valid worldwide, irrespective of local conditions. A diving base can require its guests to be insured against hyperbaric chamber costs (and this is of course reasonable). It becomes somewhat suspect however when the diving base dictates which insurance this should be.
Even a donation to support the local hyperbaric chambers is of course voluntary and is not a precondition for receiving insurance benefits under the dive card. (We are unfortunately unable to reimburse such a donation.)
In the Balearic Islands (Majorca, Menorca, Ibiza), there is in fact a requirement for the payment of a compulsory hyperbaric chamber fee ("Licencia de Buceo"), a fee which every diver has to pay. This goes to fund the 24-hour availability of the chamber. If you present a valid aqua med dive card, however, you can receive a discount on the annual fee for the Licencia de Buceo: Link
Which services are provided by the Personal liability insurance for divers that is included in the dive card? How does the processing work?
All the dive cards include a Personal liability insurance for divers. This service includes protection against liability claims (e.g. compensation claims) whilst diving as well as during the preparation for the dive and the post-dive period. This personal liability insurance is an obligation in some countries (e.g. in Spain). As a dive card possessor you comply even with this legal requirement.
To examine your entitlement to benefit, please contact us immediately and send us a detailed description of the happenings. Afterwards we will pass the case to our insurance partner for the handling.
As a diving instructor, are my diving students included in the insurance provided under my dive card professional? What does the liability insurance cover?
The diving instructors' liability insurance available under the dive card professional covers you as the diving instructor against any claims for damages. For the insurance to operate, the damage must have been caused by you. If you e.g. injure a student during training, the latter may seek damages from you and bring action against you.
By implication, this means that if the student injures himself, and you cannot be blamed for this, this would not be covered under your dive card professional. In this case, the student would need his own insurance.
Yes, a diving student registered via Student Protect for a beginners' course by a dive card professional owner can also be taught by another diving instructor. The only condition is that the other diving instructor also has an active dive card professional. If that is the case, the student only has to be registered once by one of the instructors and not by every single instructor. The general conditions and services for Student Protect apply: www.aqua-med.eu/en/products/dive-card-professional/student-protect/
It is a fact that insurance policies normally only cover “necessary” treatments. If, for example, you break a bone, it must be put in plaster. However, it is often much more sensible to treat the injury with an operation. After consultation with aqua med, also the latter is covered.
With regards to the hotel costs: the pressure chamber therapy abroad is usually ambulant, i.e. you continue to stay in a hotel during pressure chamber treatment, which is not normally paid for. These costs are also borne by us during a diving accident.
Psychiatric emergency therapy can become important if, for example, you develop side effects to malaria medication. These can trigger psychoses. This kind of treatment is normally not included in the insurance conditions, but with us, you’ll also be on the safe side in this situation.
To receive insurance benefits under the dive card, there is no requirement for aqua med to be informed beforehand. We are also more than happy for you to deal with simple claims yourself, provided there are no language problems and unless you have run out of travel money. Before we can reimburse your expenditure, we shall then need the original receipts by post, medical reports (if available), evidence of the duration of the trip (e.g. a copy of the flight ticket) and information on any other insurance which might be in existence.
Before receiving treatment when travelling abroad in Europe, you should present your insurance card (European Health Insurance Card, EHIC). Several European service providers can bill for their services directly through your insurance card. Should however you yourself incur expenditure when travelling abroad in Europe, because of the social insurance agreement which exists in Europe, you must initially submit such expenditure to your health insurance scheme. The latter will assume at least part of the costs. You can submit any remaining costs to us, accompanied by the original statement of account from the health insurance scheme.
But you can of course also call our medical hotline at any time for cases which are thought to be harmless or should you have any medical questions or problems.
In more complex cases, especially high-cost ones or where hyperbaric chamber or hospital treatment seems to be required, we recommend in all cases that you contact our hotline physicians. They will coordinate the treatment in consultation with the local physicians, will help if there are any language problems and will, if need be, organise your return home. The costs are then billed directly to aqua med.
We have been working with hyperbaric chambers worldwide for over 15 years and maintain good relations with many of them. In all this time we have never had to end collaboration with one of these chambers. A professional treatment of our customers as well as keeping within the internationally common cost structure are the basis for a collaboration.
Unfortunately, one hyperbaric chamber in Larnaca in Cyprus does not meet these basic requirements. We have received invoices with questionable indications from this treatment centre on numerous occasions. The sum of these invoices was several times higher than European standards. For comparison: A common hyperbaric chamber treatment after an accident costs on average 4,000 € while this hyperbaric chamber charges around 20,000 € without any reasonable explanation. Other medical assistances for diving have also noticed this. Talks and negotiations regarding this issue have unfortunately not been successful for years.
From this point on, we will therefore not refer customers to this chamber and might not pay invoices issued by it (see also §6.2 in the General Insurance Conditions: “Treatments in clinics whose invoices we have excluded from reimbursement for significant reasons are not insured.“).
For your safety, we have of course intensified our collaboration with alternative hyperbaric chambers on Cyprus that guarantee professional treatment (and even have direct access to a hospital).
If you have a diving accident on Cyprus, we would therefore ask you to call our emergency hotline immediately so we can coordinate any further treatment the best way possible.