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Dive Insurance, What Should I Know Before Buying One?

dive insurance

Dive insurance is an extra precaution for the safety of divers.

Travel medical insurance is limited because it generally does not cover the risks associated with diving.

In this article, we will see:

1. Why Do We Need Diving Insurance?

The technical evolution in diving has allowed us to increase safety levels and has made it a highly successful recreational sport. However, it is not without risks. For this reason, diving insurance is not only necessary but mandatory in many countries.

In these locations, the centers will not allow you to scuba dive if you do not present proof of having diving insurance, your certification card, and medical clearance.

In addition, many insurance companies consider diving an “extreme sport”.  For that reason, many travel policies or personal medical insurances do not cover scuba diver needs.

Although the risk of decompression sickness, barotrauma, or gas embolism is negligible in recreational diving, yes, facing medical expenses during an emergency would be a serious economic problem.

For example, according to DAN, the cost of hyperbaric chamber treatments can range from $330 to $1,000 per hour, plus medication costs and doctor’s fees.

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2. Types of Diving Insurance

2. A. Diving insurance according to the time they cover

 •  Weekend diving insurance. This diving insurance covers only 48 hours. It does not have to be Saturday and Sunday. It is insurance for sporadic divers, who do one or two dives a year and do not want anything more extensive.

•    Safe to dive for a week. Ideal for those diving vacations that you allow yourself once a year, but only if you limit your diving experiences to that. Fewer and fewer agencies offer them.

•    Insurance for diving within the same month. This insurance lasts for 30 consecutive days. It will cover your diving trip and all the dives you make within that month.

•    Insurance for scuba diving all year round. This type of diving insurance is chosen by people who really love this sport. They do not limit themselves to a few sporadic dives during their vacations but dive whenever they have the opportunity and throughout the year.

2.B. Types of diving insurance according to the person they cover

•    Insurance for sport divers. These insurances cover recreational, technical, and free divers whether they dive in their country of origin or abroad.

•     Insurance for diving courses. Although the diving centers and instructors are insured, the divers should also have their own insurance during the diving courses.

•     Insurance for PRO divers. Ideal for Divemasters and Diving Instructors

•     Insurance for commercial divers. This is job accident insurance.

•     Insurance for diving centers. They are focused on covering the civil liability of the dive center and its legal defense

2.C. Diving insurance according to the claims payment form

·       Reimbursement insurance. Medical centers have to charge in advance to treat you in many countries. This implies that the diver must advance the money for the treatment costs, and then the insurance reimburses the amount later. Beware, this is a tremendous inconvenience if you do not have that money!

·       Direct payment insurance. Direct payment insurance takes care of the bill at the time.

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3. What Does Insurance for Scuba Diving Cover?

The specifics of dive insurance coverage will vary from company to company, which is why we always advise scuba divers to check the details before purchasing insurance. The most important points in the case of insurance for sports divers are:

  • The cost of transportation from the dive site to the hospital or hyperbaric chamber
  • Medical expenses and attendance time.
  • Travel expenses after a diving accident
  • Lost, stolen, or damaged equipment
  • Permanent or partial disability.
  • Repatriation in case of death

Also, look at the limitations of your diving insurance. For example, age, there are insurances that do not cover people over 70 years, nor do they cover divers who have previous illnesses such as diabetes or asthma, even if they have a medical certificate to dive up to date.

4. Diver Insurance Companies with The Best Reputation on The Market

According to Forbes magazine, the best insurers are DAN, Dive Assure, and World Nomads.


–      They are specialists in this type of diving.

–       They offer global and local coverage

–       All depths and gas mixtures

–       Three policy levels.

–      Annual coverage.

–      DAN membership is required before you can purchase dive accident insurance.

Dive Assure

–     Insurance company specialized in diving.

–     No limits on gas mixtures or depth

–     Two levels of policies

–     Annual coverage

World nomads

–     They are travel insurance with diving coverage.

–     Two levels of policies depending on the level of certification

–      Your insurance covers a maximum of 180 days.

–      Prices vary according to age, country of origin, destination, and the state of health of the diver.

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5. What Dive Insurance Do I Choose?

Take these three variables into account and put them in this order to decide which diving insurance to buy:

  1. The time you want to cover.
  2. Coverage. (Time of medical attention, displacements, civil responsibility)
  3. Price.

When you compare the price of diving insurance, do it taking into account the two previous points. A last important detail, read the small print of your diving insurance.