Required International Medical Insurance
IFS requires that all participants in our programs have international medical insurance. Some medical insurance plans provide international coverage, but many do not. Make sure to check with your healthcare provider to confirm that your plan includes international coverage, medical evacuation, and major medical benefits.
If your plan does not provide international coverage, you can check the plans provided by MEDEX Assistance, HCC Medical Insurance Services, HTH Travel Insurance, or the International Student Identity Card (ISIC). The Department of State has also provided a comprehensive list we encourage you to review. These options should provide adequate individual coverage. Group coverage is also available for academic institutions with groups of 20 or more.
Optional Travel Insurance
IFS suggests that participants purchase travel insurance that covers trip expenses such as natural disasters, travel delays, and emergencies. Hurricane season in the Bahamas lasts from June to the end of November. Groups visiting during this time frame should strongly consider the additional coverage. If your group will be in the Bahamas during hurricane season, the National Weather Service can provide further insight or any necessary precaution at www.nws.noaa.gov.
Medical and Travel Insurance Combined
Two of the international medical insurance options listed in this post also offer international travel insurance. The International Student Identity Card (or International Youth Travel Card or International Teacher Identity Card) can save students, teachers, and overseas visitors money on travel insurance plans and other discounts or benefits. All cards issued in the U.S. come with international travel insurance. Learn more here: https://www.myisic.com/insurance/. StudentSecure coverage from HCC Medical Insurance Services, LLC is another good option for internationally traveling students to protect against unexpected expenses. This coverage is available for secondary school and college students or researchers. Learn more here: https://www.hccmis.com/student-secure-insurance/index.php.
The IFS policy states that deposits and fees are non-refundable, and IFS will not be held responsible for trip cancellations. If IFS cancels a trip due to natural disasters or other emergencies, your group may be eligible for a partial refund. Please see the group leader agreement form for more information on the IFS payment/refund policies.
Forfar Field Station is located in a very rural area and the nearest hospital and hyperbaric pressure chamber are located in Nassau. In a dive emergency, every second counts and life-flight transportation will likely need to be used. Most health insurance and/or travel insurance policies do not cover diving accidents. The policies that do cover dive accidents usually provide minimal reimbursement and if there is an accident, you will be responsible for the majority (if not all) of the related fees and charges.
For certified divers who plan to dive at Forfar Field Station, dive insurance is not required but is strongly encouraged. If you are receiving any dive certifications at Forfar, then dive insurance is required.
We recommend that all divers purchase DAN diving insurance prior to their trip to the field station. DAN offers a low cost and highly respected dive insurance policy that is regarded as the gold standard among divers. DAN has over 250,000 active members and over 30 years of experience helping divers. Annual plans start as low as $35 per individual and $55 per family (prices are subject to change). DAN Benefits include $100,000 Medical Evacuation, TravelAssist, and a 24/7 Emergency Hotline. Other dive insurance providers include World Nomads and Dive Assure.
While we do not anticipate you will have a need for dive insurance at Forfar because our number one goal is safety, diving is an inherently risky activity and accidents can happen. It is better to have the insurance and not need it than to be without it when you do.
If you are uncertain about purchasing international medical, travel, or dive insurance, please contact our office. We are happy to provide additional assistance to help determine the best coverage for your personal and group needs during your time at Forfar.
Please note: we do not endorse any of the plans mentioned above, they are just some options available to you.