Whether the words “scuba diving” make you squeal with delight or send chills of terror through your spine, two things are very certain; 1. It can be dangerous 2. Insurance companies know this. We all know that insurance companies are notorious for providing exclusions to your coverage in fine print, so whether you are a regular diver or going on a dive vacation for the first time, you’ll want to make sure you have some sort of coverage specifically for scuba diving.
Scuba diving is up there on the list of activities that insurance companies consider to be high risk. I’m guessing it falls somewhere between sky diving and jumping the Grand Canyon on a motorcycle. Because of this, scuba divers are charged higher premiums for health insurance, and much higher for life insurance. Often, these kinds of activities are things that insurances want you to make them aware of up front and so will not cover you if you have an accident. You may wonder how they can justify doing this, but keep in mind that they’re insurance companies; they can do pretty much whatever they want.
Make Friends with DAN or PADI
If your health insurance provider simply will not cover diving related accidents, or if you are a diver with no insurance (really not recommended), you may want to look into a membership with organizations like the Divers Alert Network (DAN). They offer certain types of supplemental coverage as a part of your membership with them. If you are a dive instructor, the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) may be worth looking into for the coverage that they can provide their members. The gravity of the problem in such instances always seems to lie with inadequate funds. The last time I’d been to the dentists’, like expected, he still was crying about how his Dental Debt Collection Agency was giving him a hard time. Hence, it’s always good to have yourself insured.
Make sure you completely understand the coverage, because just like all insurances, there are certain stipulations. The plans often have different “levels” available which offer coverage to only the diver, or the diver and immediate family members. There are even circumstances with these plans where your incident will only be covered if it takes place above a certain depth.
A Few Others to Consider…
One other option you can consider for diving insurance is the Divers Security Agency, or DSI. They don’t require a membership or certification, but their plans can be a little restrictive. They have different plan options and you are able to choose one or a combination or all of them depending on your needs. The limiting factor? You will only be covered if your incident happens at less than 120 feet deep; probably not the best option for the fearless fanatic.
The plan that we personally have found to be a step ahead of the rest is offered by DiveSafe. They cover any and all accidents at any depth using any type of breathing equipment. Of course, this is insurance so you can expect that you will pay a pretty penny for it.
They Offer WHAT?
One of the perks to doing your homework when it comes to insurance is finding that things you never dreamed would be covered can and will be if you find the right plan. DiveAssure is one company that not only covers accident, death, and rescue expenses, but other expenses as well. Say you’ve planned your dive trip, it’s paid for and something happens at the last minute that makes it so you can no longer go (or this is the excuse you use when you chicken out), DiveAssure and plans like it will fully reimburse any expenses that you incurred. Not only that, but if any of your equipment gets lost or stolen, coverage is provided for that as well.
Just in Case…
Insurance is one of those things that most of us pay for all our lives while hoping we will never actually need it. And while that is certainly the hope when it comes to scuba diving, it’s best to be as prepared as possible so that you are covered in case the unthinkable happens; you don’t want to add debt to tragedy.