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Diving after 70? Insured with DAN? Better read this, SERIOUSLY!!!

While reading the most recent issue of DAN’s Alert Diver magazine, I happened to read a letter in the “Letters from Members” section about diving after 70.  In the letter a dive operation refused to let a guest, who was over 70, dive! Since I’m well over 70 and have been diving recently, I was shocked to say the least.

The response to the letter from DAN’s president and CEO, Bill Ziffle, stated DAN was not consulted and had nothing to do with the restriction but that a dive operation can create and enforce any restriction they wish.  He went on to state, “DAN does not currently enforce age restrictions with our membership or dive accident insurance”.  He further stated that an individual’s dive fitness should be determined based on health and physical fitness rather than their age.

But this gave me pause and I wrote DAN to find out exactly what was their policy.  What I learned is important for all divers over 70.

But before I begin I want to state that DAN was completely transparent, forthcoming, and helpful in assisting me to learn more.

While DAN does not currently enforce an age restriction, in DAN’s Member Handbook (page 14) under Policy Termination item #3 states; that the policy terminates on…

(3) the Policy Anniversary coinciding with or next following the date of the Insured Person’s 70th birthday unless the Company has granted the Insured Person a written exemption which allows them to be an Insured Person after age 70;
Obtaining an exemption is super easy!  Simply write and ask for one.

In our back and forth email conversation, which Bill kindly is kindly allowing me to quote, he states

“I understand you have some concerns about DAN’s coverage for you due to the 70-year age restriction in the policy.

Please know that we have been trying to get this changed for quite some time, with limited success to date. As a result, DAN issues the waiver letter to assure members/insureds that they are covered after age 70. I just turned 70 myself, so the coverage is also important to me.

DAN does cover those over 70 in all the DAN regions. If the policy has an age limit, DAN will waive that limit and pay any claims. DAN has never denied a claim due to a member’s age.

I hope this alleviates your concerns.”

Thanks Bill, this is exactly what I needed to hear.

But Bill does say regarding the letter that “It’s better to have it and not need it.  It’s one thing to say you were told you were good but having a signed letter from the CEO is better”!

I agree and now my wife and I both have the letter.  So far all you “silverback divers”, I suggest getting one for yourself.

****NOTE: Apparently there are now numerous resorts denying service to divers over 70.  So, before you plan a dive holiday I suggest you also contact the resort/liveaboard you plan to book with and ask them specifically about their policy.  Some resorts aren’t posting age restrictions on their websites, better to know before you go!

Again I want to thank Bill and Nathalie Judkins (DAN’s Director of Membership and Insurance Services), for their assistance.


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