Fact: recreational scuba has a 'relatively' low serious incident rate. Nonetheless, a range of unpredictable factors can increase the likelihood of having a diving accident.
So, if you're asking yourself 'do I need dive insurance' this guide explains why some kind of safety insurance for scuba divers should be part of the checklist.
Even if you have primary medical coverage, many policies exclude scuba diving as being a 'hazardous recreational activity'.
As a result, those that do provide cover for medical costs might:
Furthermore, some dive insurance packages may fail to provide you with adequate cover when traveling overseas.
In many countries, it is a legal requirement for divers to have suitable insurance cover. It will either be a short-term policy or some kind of annual coverage.
The common causes of serious dive accidents include swimming in murky water, fighting strong ocean currents, and equipment failure. But, by far the most common reason to need insurance cover is when 'diver mistakes' occur.
Put another way:
Scuba is not classed as a dangerous sport - per se. But, you can also include errors such as poor judgment, inadequate preparation, a lack of proper training, and equipment use.
Our team at Private Scuba encourages all participants in the industry to get personal insurance cover. Moreover, using safe diving techniques help to reduce the frequency of such incidents. Our safety tips include:
That said, scuba accidents do not happen on a regular basis. The annual figures of injury reports and scuba diving deaths per year are comparatively low.
Prudent divers will always use good judgment, conduct proper pre-dive planning, perform the basic safety checks, and buy comprehensive scuba accident insurance.
Having recompression treatment in a hyperbaric chamber is expensive. Furthermore, it is not always immediately available - depending on the remoteness of many worldwide diving destinations.
In some of the most severe incidents, it may be necessary to use an air ambulance to get the patient to proper hospital care. As a result, the final journey home could escalate the costs in excess of $100,000.
There is no shortage of companies that offer dive accident insurance for scuba divers. In fact, most of them have an easy online signup facility (details below).
This part is important:
Scuba diving insurance may not be necessary in all circumstances. But, to be effective and adequate, the coverage needs to be appropriate for the type of diving you anticipate doing and for the area that you will travel to.
Furthermore, it is worth checking how well equipped are the boats that you may be using and whether there is re-compression treatment available in your chosen destination.
Will there be oxygen on board and would it be enough to cover the journey back to shore (e.g. before reaching land-based EMS)?
In the main, most reputable operators have emergency oxygen supplies and well stocked first aid kits on board. They also have trained staff capable of administering it to someone in need.
There is no substitution for proper planning and the prevention of diving accidents. Combined with safe practices, participants will benefit from professional training in rescue techniques and emergency medical treatment.
Important: Another section explains how to create and operate the PADI Emergency Action Plan as part of your scuba education.
The DAN Dive Accident Insurance Program protects divers against a range of unpredictable expenses. As a result, members who join the Divers Alert Network (DAN) get access to several different insurance plans.
DAN single trip plans provide vital cover while on a scuba vacation. So, being insured means you can avoid having unforeseen diving incidents completely ruin your holiday.
It is not uncommon for divers to take multiple dive trips throughout the year. DAN's annual insurance plan covers:
You will be investing a lot of time and money when purchasing dive gear (especially camera equipment). Despite not being able to avoid certain types of accidents, you can protect your gear with DAN.
If you are planning on becoming a dive professional you will most likely need to be insured. You can also customize the plan with a technical diving endorsement and excess liability coverage.
Another section explains how to start a scuba diving business in greater detail. But, most insurance plans for commercial enterprises will include:
The Divers Alert Network is a non-profit making insurance company that offers basic injury insurance to professional liability coverage.
Their dive insurance policies cover worldwide scuba travel, equipment loss, and accident health and safety (including repatriation). DAN diving insurance price starts from $30 per person per year.
DAN Emergency Hotline (+1-919-684-9111).
Despite being inherently safe, diving accidents happen. But, you can protect yourself and your equipment should you have a bad day.
Note: Visit the Scuba Diving Travel Medical Insurance website for feature rich and cost effective packages.
Enjoyed the read thanks! I wasn't sure about scuba insurance because I only make a few dives a year. But, this article emphasizes how expensive treatment can be if things go wrong under water.
Note: We welcome your comments and questions. Please contact our dive professional 'Scuba Steve' for a speedy and personal reply.