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scuba diving insurance

When you’re heading off on your next diving trip there’s something you don’t want to leave home without.

We’re not talking about your mask, your dive computer or even your first aid kit.

We’re talking about dive insurance. For most of you, World Nomads is going to be your best option.

If you’d like to learn about other options, we’ve assembled a guide helping you understand:

  • What dive insurance is
  • Why it’s recommended
  • How to choose the best option for you

Let’s get started.

Comparison

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Price Established Countries
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dive assure
Price Established Countries
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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:

Diving is a very safe sport. According to PADI, there’s just under 1,100 scuba related ER visits per year.

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?

helicopt diver evacuation

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.

Emergency evacuations and recompression therapy can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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 Travel Insurance Enough?

travel insurance

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.

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

Free Dive Gili Site

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
emergency.

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 Included In Your Dive Insurance?

Travel 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.

Dive Equipment

camera gear

If you have your own scuba gear, then equipment coverage is a smart idea. All those toys are very expensive.

Plus if they’re lost, damaged or stolen, you’ll want them to be properly insured. Very extensive insurance policies will even cover a flooded underwater camera!

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?

We’ve put together a few of the most widely recognized insurance companies who offer specialized coverage for scuba diving.

The exact coverage and costs vary massively depending on your country of origin and the country in which you will be diving. So, it’s best to get a quote direct from the provider.

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 extensive coverage for all scuba diving emergencies and equipment mishaps.

Pros
  • Straightforward signup
  • Great pricing
  • Very well known
Cons
  • Claim process can be slow
  • Permanent residence needed for US customers

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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.

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With over 30 years of experience in diving accidents, DAN is probably the most famous provider of dive insurance.

They also offer a wealth of diving medical resources and educational opportunities. Endorsed by PADI, Divers Alert Network is a popular choice amongst both recreational and professional divers.

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.

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Still confused about which dive insurance?

Dive insurance is as vital as your mask, computer and air. So, it’s worth taking a little bit of time to find the right policy for you.

First decide:

  • 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the best dive insurance for divers from the UK?

If you’re from the UK, all of the options above will work for you!

Conclusion

Dive insurance is a small expense which 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?