Diver's Equipment Protection Program (DEPP) - Buyer Beware

Discussion in 'Underwater Photography' started by NWGratefulDiver, Jun 5, 2012.

  1. NWGratefulDiver

    NWGratefulDiver Mental toss flycoon ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives:
    Location: Pugetropolis
    43,946
    25,046
    113
    I think these people are fraudulant.

    In January I renewed a policy I've been carrying for three years with them ... just prior to leaving for a trip to the Maldives. During that trip, I flooded my camera. Upon returning home, I processed a claim for that flood. I did everything they asked me to do ... then the waiting began. After two months with no response, I emailed Dixie, asking to cancel my policy, since it was obvious they weren't going to honor the claim. I got a reply in late April, stating that the check for my claim had been cut, and would be mailed out the following week ... but that if I wanted to cancel my policy they would do so.

    That was more than a month ago. I've neither received the check for my claim, nor a rebate for the remaining nine months on a policy I had paid for and cancelled.

    My recommendation for those of you who are using DEPP for flood insurance ... or for anyone considering to do so ... is to look elsewhere. These people don't operate in good faith.

    ... Bob (Grateful Diver)
     
  2. Allen Herron

    Allen Herron Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: South Jersey
    105
    7
    18
    Actually, I have had 3 flooded camera claims with them over the last 6 years including last may. They are slow but they have always come through.
     
  3. NWGratefulDiver

    NWGratefulDiver Mental toss flycoon ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives:
    Location: Pugetropolis
    43,946
    25,046
    113
    Compare that to my homeowner's insurance ... Traveler's. Two weeks ago someone broke into my car and stole several thousand dollars worth of equipment. I contacted Traveler's on Wednesday ... by the following Monday I had a check for the claim in my possession.

    ... Bob (Grateful Diver)
     
    Jax likes this.
  4. Doubler

    Doubler Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives:
    Location: Bremerton, WA
    1,606
    311
    0
    Bob,
    I'm with you. I bought a new housing and sent them an email requesting info on adding it to my policy. Two months later it was time to renew, as I had not received any correspondence I sent them a cancellation notice. Got a response with in 10 minutes. I am now with the DAN associated company. You are not the first to complain and deservedly so. We spend good money on this coverage.
     
    Jax likes this.
  5. NWGratefulDiver

    NWGratefulDiver Mental toss flycoon ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives:
    Location: Pugetropolis
    43,946
    25,046
    113
    Well, according to Dixie, they cancelled my policy as I asked. But they never refunded my premium ... so now I have neither coverage nor money.

    This was my last correspondence from them ... dated May 2 ... five weeks ago ...

    Your claim was sent to underwriting 4/17/12. The funds were received 4/30/12 for distribution. Your check will be issued 5/4/12. I will send your e-mail to the appropriate person for cancellation.

    DEPP Customer Service

    Obviously, the check was not issued when Dixie said it would be ...

    ... Bob (Grateful Diver)
     
  6. Cave Diver

    Cave Diver Moderator Staff Member

    17,882
    2,483
    0
    This might be why:

    Quoted from this thread: http://www.scubaboard.com/forums/underwater-photography/372138-so-much-depp-insurance.html

    Might want to have a look at this one as well: http://www.scubaboard.com/forums/basic-scuba-discussions/345517-help-depp-claim.html
     
  7. NWGratefulDiver

    NWGratefulDiver Mental toss flycoon ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives:
    Location: Pugetropolis
    43,946
    25,046
    113
    So in other words, I paid a year's premium for three months worth of coverage on a claim they won't pay.

    Sounds like a sweet deal for the insurance company ... these folks deserve to go out of business.

    ... Bob (Grateful Diver)
     
  8. drbill

    drbill The Lorax for the Kelp Forest

    # of Dives:
    Location: Santa Catalina Island, CA
    20,732
    3,299
    113
    I'm still waiting for a check on a claim I submitted a year ago when my two dive computers and other gear was stolen.

    I just checked my e-mails from DEPP/AWRY and found that they said they were cutting a check back in March (which I don't ever remember seeing) and extending my insurance a year because of their error in paying the claim timely. I sent them an e-mail asking where the check was. Even the USPS usually isn't THAT slow in delivering mail, even to the island.
     
  9. ilee1990

    ilee1990 Guest

    Well, I have filed 2 claims in the past and both were paid very quickly. I just filed another one last week for a flooded canister light. Sent them the repair estimte from Dive Rite. No response from Dixie. I've sent 2 followup emails asking how long before I hear back--no response. I just sent another email telling her that I have been reading about their poor customer service and lack of claim payment. Asked her to respond and basically threatened to contact my lawyer if the same thing that happened to Dr Bill happens to me ( I didn't name him). The difference is that I am giving them another week, not 6mos - 1yr. I will probably go through the Better Business Bureau first. I've had very good success in the past with them.

    Hmmm...How many people do you need for a class action lawsuit anyway? I'm concerned because my premium, which I just renewed in April, runs about $550/yr. That's a significant amount of money to lose. I can't use DAN since I am a resident of Alaska and they don't cover us here.
     
  10. Doubler

    Doubler Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives:
    Location: Bremerton, WA
    1,606
    311
    0
    It is a DAN advertised/associated company and not DAN. I'd drop them and email and ask if they cover Alaska. They were cheaper too.
     
  11. BurhanMuntasser

    BurhanMuntasser NAUI Instructor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Nomad
    2,239
    368
    83
    What good alternatives are there to DEPP besides home insurance?
     
  12. Utila Simon

    Utila Simon Nassau Grouper

    127
    7
    0
    Dear Bob, you are in good company.
    My story is that I suffered an insured loss back in April 2011. I made a claim from Belize where I was working at the time. I didnt send the paperwork by courier so of course they "didnt receive it" so I made the declaration, got it notorised again and sent it by fedex this time. Then the fun really started. They do not have a telephone line so you cannot call, you have to email. I averaged 3-4 emails before i got a response and usually at least 3-4 weeks wait each time. Dixie bulls**ts you and leads you on and when you reach just the right level of stress they pass you on to the Broker, Deane, who is the voice of reason and sends a lengthy email about how its all the consumers fault that they are slow to pay. Then he bulls**ts you around for a few months too. They appear to comunicate with each other by email and you get the impression that he works for a different company (IPG) , but as they are married this is clearly crap too and they almost certainly run this little scam from their home.
    I eventually got approved for my claim in October last year. They did no investigation, asked for no proof and I thought this strange. but then of course they had no intention of paying!
    Its now July 2012 and still nothing. they no longer make any pretence of their intention to pay. they do not respond to me and I am pretty pissed.
    My claim is worth $3500 and I intend to do what I can to get my money.
    I work as a Cruise Director on a liveaboard so each and every week I tell my story to the photographers who come on the boat, my intention is to cost them as much lost premium as I can. I have already persuaded two of their existing customers to switch to H20 insurance through DAN at renewal time.
    Also, one of the guests on my boat works as a Private Investigator and he is working on it for me, for free. I will keep you updated on what happens... he already has some information on them that maybe they would prefer I didnt.
    Another of my recent guests is in the Insurance business and knows the Insurance Commissioner for Kentucky and promised to do what he can to help.
    I suggest you:
    1) Contact the Kentucky State Insurance Regulator/Commissioner (I forget their proper name, but its easy to find). make a complaint, it might help, but it might not.
    2) Do not stop emailing- do not give up
    3) Spread the word to everyone you meet in the diving world
    Best
    Simon
     
  13. Warren_L

    Warren_L Tech Diver

    # of Dives:
    Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    3,093
    48
    38
    I did not renew my policy when it expired at the beginning of the year, primarily because of all the negative reports. I had a policy with them for 8 years, and about 3 years ago I started sensing problems. Just odd things like my emails not getting through, and phone calls not being returned. Though things got sorted out, there were more and more stories of legitimate claims being denied or stories of "cheque's in the mail". Anyway, I figured there's no point in having a policy if I can't be at all confident they will pay if I need them to. Plus when I inquired about adding a pricey piece of camera gear to my policy, they had to re-insure it at 20% of the cost, which at that rate, I'm better off self-insuring. Anyway, too many warning signs, so I said adios DEPP.
     
  14. Utila Simon

    Utila Simon Nassau Grouper

    127
    7
    0
    Dear all who have had problems with DEPP...
    I am have just submitted 20 plus pages to the Kentucky Insurance Commissioners Office in support of my official complaint and would appreciate a 1 paragraph from you by private message explaining the nature of your problem with DEPP, whether they have paid you, how long it has/had been going on and your impression of dealing with the Lehrmitts.
    If you would do this asap, like yesterday, I would appreciate it. Of course I will be happy to pass on the result of my complaint including the guy at the Commissioners office's contact details.
    Kind regards to all
    Simon
     
    drbill likes this.
  15. ScubaSteve

    ScubaSteve Wow.....what a DB

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Acton, Ontario
    23,388
    4,411
    0
    It would be nice for an insurance company to be set straight. For too long they (and not just DEPP) have been able to live by their own rules and interpret events and words as they see fit to best suit their needs. I for one do not have DEPP insurance but do hope they suffer financially for all their failures to their paying customers.
     
  16. drbill

    drbill The Lorax for the Kelp Forest

    # of Dives:
    Location: Santa Catalina Island, CA
    20,732
    3,299
    113
    DEPP has really angered me as well. A year ago June two of my dive computers and other assorted dive gear was stolen by someone here on Catalina. I filed a claim with DEPP and they requested the police report which I sent them. Last winter they claimed the check would be in the mail shortly. It never arrived. I contacted them again and was told they would re-cut the check and extend my insurance for another year as compensation for the delay. It is now October and the promised check has not arrived. These people are charlatans IMHO.
     
  17. nimoh

    nimoh Public Safety Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Rochester, MN
    3,457
    1,679
    113
    I think I should start my own dive equipment insurance company. $500 for a lifetime policy, I could probably realize a sizeable profit before word gets out that I have no intention of paying any claims :)
     
    Angry Turtle likes this.
  18. awap

    awap Giant Squid

    # of Dives:
    Location: Central TX
    14,267
    3,346
    113
    I think I have figured out how they can afford to give away a FREE year of insurance coverage.:rofl3:
     
    vladimir likes this.
  19. longipalmus

    longipalmus Angel Fish

    # of Dives:
    Location: Britanny France, Red Sea, Seychelles, North sea
    12
    0
    0
    Back in 2006, I was working at the time on a liveaboard in the southern Red Sea and also doing tek diving. Starting a 100 m trimix dive( bubble check, etc) at 40 m bubbles started coming out my video housing...result: Housing and camcorder totally flooded.

    To be honest after 2 years fighting with Depp I dropped.

    the nature of my problem with DEPP,

    In 2006 I filled a claim for my flooded equipment. leaving abroad, our correspondence was mostly trough e-mails ( also mostly one way).
    - I called and faxed many times, twice Sandy Hall hanged up on me
    -e-mails, most got no answer
    -sent registered letter that came back to sender

    Sandy Hall- Depp came up with all kind of different things, they could not process my claim without ...:

    - having me to go to an official Sony dealer, so they could do an estimate to fix the camcorder. No need to tell that in South Egypt, Sony official dealers are based in every camel shop... with one free day a week, impossible to go to Cairo (600 km-one way)
    I had to wait to return to Europe on my yearly leave, to get this gear checked by the original shop it was purchased from. They threw the "dead" camcorder in their garbage bin in front of me and another witness.As for the housing they sent it to the original manufacturer for an estimate.
    - This shop provided me with two estimates invoices sent over by regular mail and e-mail to Depp, The prices where nearly the new prices for new items as camcorder wasn't to be fixed and fixing the housing with new parts and labour wasn't worth it compared to a new one.
    - Sandy Hall argued the shop estimates, even as Serial numbers where identical as on original proof (invoice ) of purchased;
    -Then she argued that the repair estimates wasn't in English...they had to let it translate...
    - Then she argued The VAT (valued added tax)...

    Tired of dealing with her I contacted a legal advisor who did contact them

    whether they have paid me, =Never
    My last contact trough the legal advisor with Depp - Deane Lehrmitt back in 2008
    They wrote they send a cheque which I never received(of course).
    When I asked to which address it was send, it wasn't the right one.
    I provided another address where to send it. The last e-mail was :
    - where did you send the cheque and have you done that ?
    and never replied...

    how long it has/had been going on
    over 2 years .Still pending..

    impression of dealing with the Lehrmitts.

    A scam. They avoid to pay but are happy to get money in.

    we're talking about 3339 us$.

    No need to say, this video equipment was also part of my business, so not using it to sell dvd's to customers was also another money loss.

    I still have most e-mails from Depp (saved in raw-format) espacially the most important saying they will send a cheque.

    My apologies for my English , you understood I'm not native

    in fact they took advantage of me living far away (in Egypt- France -Seychelles).

    No doubt that if there was a chance if could pop up in their office they would have handled me with a little more respect.

    ps: I posted a looooong time ago on this same forum about my experience. some of my post have been erased by moderators for duplicates (ok, i'm sorry but I was angry). I remember this guy DocVikingo guy(medical moderator) replying, sending me pm's to take the p**ss and telling me what a fool I was and nearly a liar.
    Well honnestly It seems I 'm not the only one then.
     
  20. drbill

    drbill The Lorax for the Kelp Forest

    # of Dives:
    Location: Santa Catalina Island, CA
    20,732
    3,299
    113
    I think you're right... that certainly hadn't escaped me and means I'm currently uninsured. Fortunately I have the e-mail saying they "extended" my policy and will take them to court if I have a claim during that period.
     

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