When you’re heading off on your next diving trip there’s something you don’t want to leave home without.
We’re talking about dive insurance.
Although it’s not specifically a dive insurance company, we love World Nomads.
As a well-established travel insurance company, they provide fantastic travel insurance policies that include surprisingly extensive (and affordable!) coverage for several sports, including scuba diving.
So it’s great value for money!
But if you’d like to learn a little more about your options, we’ve assembled this guide to help you better understand:
- What dive insurance is
- Why it’s recommended
- How to choose the best option for you
What Is Dive Insurance?
Dive insurance protects you against the unpredictable expenses of a potential scuba diving accident.
In general, dive insurance will cover the cost of any medical treatments, hyperbaric therapy, or emergency evacuation you may need.
More comprehensive dive insurance policies can also include cover for your dive gear, lost diving days, and much more.
Why Do I Need Dive Insurance?
Here’s the deal:
Medical emergencies as a result of diving are extremely rare. But when they do happen, they get very expensive, very fast. We all like to think that it’ll never happen to us.
But what if it does?
If you’re not insured, you’ll have to pay upfront for any treatment you need, which for most of us would be a big problem.
We’re not just talking about the big accidents.
Even small accidents can add up quickly. Hospital bills, extended accommodation, and rebooked flights home can lead to a very big credit card bill.
With serious diving emergencies, fast and effective treatment can mean the difference between a temporary and permanent disability.
Or even life and death.
Is Normal Travel Insurance Enough?
Scuba diving is not always covered by general travel insurance.
Even if it is, the coverage is generally basic and not adequate enough to fully cover you in a diving emergency.
Medical emergencies in diving need specialized care and should be treated by experts in the field.
Dive insurance companies provide 24/7 support from qualified dive physicians. The majority of travel or health insurance companies are often not able to offer the same expertise or special considerations that diving emergencies require.
That being said, there are a handful of travel insurance companies, such as World Nomads, that are able to offer a good level of coverage and support for recreational scuba diving. It’s also important to note that there are specific requirements for the coverage to apply and very much depend on the plan you choose.
Keep reading for more details on requirements and what to look for when choosing a plan.
Dive insurance is a must-have for anyone jetting off to explore their next dive destination. With good dive insurance, you can fully enjoy every dive, knowing you’re covered for the worst-case scenario.
Don’t get in the water without it.
Now you’re convinced that dive insurance is a good idea; let’s help you pick the right policy.
Picking A Dive Insurance Policy
Choosing dive insurance is not the most exciting part of planning your dive trip.
Or the simplest.
There’s a lot of jargon and fine print to wade your way through. But, because we care about you, we’ve put together a guide to help you pick your dive insurance.
First, let’s look at the criteria you need to consider when comparing dive insurance policies.
How Comprehensive Is The Coverage?
Look at the exclusions, aka the fine print.
There are a lot of variations between what is and what isn’t covered, and to what extent.
Is the coverage adequate enough to cover the most expensive treatments? Some policies are unlimited but others have upper financial limits on recompression therapy and emergency evacuation.
These can be the most expensive part of a diving accident. Make sure these are either unlimited or very large sums (think several hundred thousands of dollars).
Check that your dive insurance covers any extra accommodation or travel you may need as a result of your accident.
It’s not unusual for an injured diver to need to spend a week or more recovering abroad before being fit to travel home.
Are There Any Depth Or Gas Limits?
Double-check that the specific type of diving you plan to do is covered. Many basic dive insurance policies will only cover you when diving on air up to a depth of 30m.
But what if you’re planning to dive with nitrox?
Or explore deeper than 30m?
If you are a certified wreck or cave diver then you may also need extra coverage for these activities.
Remember your insurance will only cover you for diving activities that you’re trained in. If you exceed your certification limits or fail to follow safety standards, you may find that your policy will not cover you in an
Are There Any Travel Time Restrictions?
It’s quite common for an insurance policy to cover you for a year, but only for trips of 90 days or less.
So, if you’re heading off on a world round trip you may find yourself out of cover.
Some have other restrictions on the number of diving days covered. If you’re only planning a one-off dive trip, you can also get short term coverage.
Direct Payment To The Treatment Facility Vs. Reimbursement
Direct payment is much better. You will receive treatment immediately without worrying about finding the money upfront.
Plus you’ll avoid the hassle of making claims and potentially waiting a long time for reimbursement.
What Extras Do You Want To Be Included With Your Dive Insurance?
Most dive insurance companies will offer the option to add travel insurance to your package. This means you’ll be covered for any other non-diving emergencies that can occur during your trip.
Trip Cancellation Or Interruption
Some dive insurance packages will provide you with reimbursement for unforeseen factors that affect your diving trip. For example, if an illness or bad weather prevents you from traveling or diving.
If you have your own scuba gear, then equipment coverage is a smart idea. All those toys are very expensive.
Other extras that you can add to your dive insurance package include professional liability insurance, transportation for family members, and even extra cover for unforeseen scenarios specific to liveaboards.
If I’m Taking A Course, Do I Still Need Dive Insurance?
For recreational diving courses, you sometimes have the option to purchase dive insurance for a small cost from the dive center.
This will cover you throughout the duration of the course. However, this is not always available so it’s best to contact the dive center ahead of time to confirm if this is possible.
Where Can I Get Dive Insurance?
World Nomads is a general travel insurance company that also provides fantastic coverage for ‘riskier’ activities such as scuba diving.
They offer a variety of different plans depending on what you plan to do. It’s a great option for travelers looking to do some diving during their trip.
World Nomads general travel insurance with extended coverage plus gear protection provides great coverage for all scuba diving emergencies and equipment mishaps.
As with any insurance policy, there are specific requirements that must be met for the coverage to apply and depend on the plan you choose.
So double-check that you have added the extended coverage option and that you meet the requirements for your scuba diving activities to be covered.
What we love
- Straightforward signup
- Great pricing
- Very well known
- Claim process can be a little slow
- No dive specific medical hotline
- Permanent residence needed for US customers
Dive Assure are experts in diving-related emergencies and hyperbaric medical procedures offering extensive dive and travel insurance worldwide. Their tiered packages provide options for every diver, with no gas or depth limits on any packages.
Higher tiered packages give you higher financial limits on emergency travel expenses, lost dive gear, etc.
Dive Assure provides direct payment to your treatment facility as well as 24/7 access to dive physicians via their emergency hotline.
With over 30 years of experience in diving accidents, DAN is probably the most famous provider of dive insurance.
DAN offers 3 different tiered plans with a range of add ons available including; equipment cover, public liability, and general travel insurance.
There are no mileage restrictions on any plans and the upper-tiers offer unlimited medical and hyperbaric expenses.
A 24/7 emergency hotline with trained dive physicians is available to all DAN members.
Still Confused About Which Dive Insurance To Buy?
- What level of cover do you want?
- And how often do you plan to travel and dive?
Then remember to read all the small details:
- Are there any limitations on the coverage?
- Are you happy with those limitations?
- Can you add any extras you want covered?
- Do they provide 24/7 emergency support?
- Do they have expertise in diving related emergencies?
If you can answer yes to all of the above then you’re good to go!
While the price is important, it’s much more important that you’re properly covered.
Dive insurance is a small expense that can, in the long run, not only save you from an enormous medical bill but can also save your life.
Whether you decide to buy dive insurance or not is completely up to you. But you now have the knowledge to find the best dive insurance to suit your needs!
Do you have dive insurance already? What plan did you go for?