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July 2018    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 33, No. 7   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Tulsa Diver Bent in Cozumel Gets Insurance Shock

from the July, 2018 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

The real test of any insurance policy comes when it's necessary to file a claim, as Tulsa diver Dewayne Givens recently discovered . On a diving trip to Cozumel with his wife to celebrate their 24th wedding anniversary, Dewayne, a diving instructor, got a bends hit on his sixth dive of the trip and became paralyzed from the waist down . He was rushed to the Cozumel chamber at the local hospital to undergo recompression therapy.

After the treatment, his insurance carrier, Community Care, balked at giving the hospital a guarantee for the $22,000 hyperbaric treatment . The hospital told Givens that he and his wife might be prevented from leaving Mexico if they did not pay their bill, in effect holding the couple hostage thanks to the inaction of their insurers . They had to stay an extra four days in Mexico, though we don't know if it was because of the length of hyperbaric treatment or because of their insurer's procrastination.

Unwilling to sit passively by, they contacted their Tulsa TV station, KRH-TV 2 and their Works For You problem-solving-service, and within 45 minutes, their insurance company ponied up all but $1,200 . They paid up and headed home.

The Givenses learned that separate travel insurance might have solved this without hassle, especially diver-oriented insurance such as that offered by DAN (the Divers Alert Network), which understands diving problems.

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