Believe it or not, life insurance does tend to differ when it comes to scuba divers.
This is due to that fact that extreme sports such as scuba diving do carry risk.
Life insurance for scuba divers varies incredibly depending on many factors, and if you don’t use the right life insurance company based on your specific diving habits, the result can be unnecessary higher premiums.
The key is finding an insurance company that works well with scuba divers to get a better premium and policy.
Risk Factors Associated with Scuba Diving
One of the reasons that finding life insurance for scuba divers is so complicated is due to the fact that there are so many variables that can affect policies, premiums and fees. Medical conditions can easily be sorted out and classified by severity, treatment, whether or not the condition has been diagnosed as terminal and more. High-risk activities such as scuba diving are harder to classify because it depends mostly on how the diver intends to do the activity. Though it is a complicated matter, there are certain ways to gauge the risk.
How Deep Do You Dive?
Depth is one of the main concerns with insurance companies. The deeper that you dive into the water, the less chance that you have of surviving if anything goes wrong. This is why many insurance companies have a limit on how deep you can dive in open water. For example, ING (now known an Voya) limits dives to 100 feet underwater while staying in open water. If you intend on going any further than that, you will have to pay additional fees for every extra 100 feet that is traveled.
How Often Do You Dive?
Frequency is also a matter of note because the risk increases with an increased amount of frequency. If scuba diving is a hobby that you do whenever you have vacation days, your risk is less than that of someone who dives every weekend.
Some carries place a limit on how many dives equals a hobby. This is not an issue where you want to skimp on reporting how many times you usually dive. If the carrier limits hobby diving to 10 or 12 dives, and you’ve gone on an average of 15-20 and something happens, the carrier might not completely pay out your claim.
Purpose of the Dives
Your insurance plan can differ depending on whether you go diving as a hobby or if you do it for commercial matters. It’s important to offer this information to get the best plan for your needs.
If you disclose that you take money for diving than your rate will increase, because of how many dives you will be doing. Also, commercial diving is tied to timelines, and schedules diving for work equals a higher risk of death or a major accident compared to those who are diving in shallow waters as a weekend hobby.
Scuba diving certification shows that you have proven to a professional diving instructor that you are a responsible and knowledgeable diver who does everything in their power to stay safe while diving. Certification can sometimes allow you to get better rates and fewer extra fees because it shows that you are safer and more responsible than the usual diver without certification.
If you report that you do scuba dive as a hobby and do not hold any certifications, it will be a red flag for the carrier, and most likely will lead to a declined application.
We suggest getting a license from any of the 6 main scuba diving certification companies out there like, Professional Scuba Association International or Scuba Schools International.
Types of Scuba Dives
The type of diving that you usually do, intend on doing or have done in the past also has a bearing on your insurance policy. Open water diving is the most common type of diving and is seen as the safest because there are few obstacles to get in your way in the event of a problem.
However, it’s also common for divers to explore caves and shipwrecks and to dive into icy waters. These types of diving are seen as riskier due to the number of obstacles and dangers that a diver can run into while underwater. Showing that you have done those types of dives safely in the past can also show that you are fairly safe and experienced in the water.
Should I Tell the Carrier that I Scuba Dive?
We hear this questions from clients time to time, and while we understand you don’t want to over pay for you policy, it’s best to be on the safe side.
If you keep things, especially risky habits or hobbies, from the life insurance carrier then you expose yourself to having a claim go unpaid. This would be a drastic mistake.
The main purpose of having coverage is to protect your family in the event something was to happen to you while you’re on a scuba trip or not. If you’re upfront and honest with them you know for sure that claim will be paid out.
How do I get the Best Policy?
There are options for scuba divers to purchase a policy through specialized companies like the Divers Alert Network. There is a time a place for these plans, and our suggestion is to use it as a supplemental life insurance policy in conjunction with a traditional term or whole life policy.
Life Insurance Plans like the DAN only cover accidents and deaths if they occur while specifically doing a scuba diving related action. So if you leave the ocean, or lake and pass away in a car accident on the way home, you won’t be covered.
The best course of action for scuba divers looking for life insurance is to get a quote from a reputable independent agency (like ours) who can find the best policy for your needs at an affordable price. Once we personally learn of your diving experience, types of dives, how deep you dive, certification, and how many times a year you go scuba diving, we can tell you exactly which company and which policy would be best suited for you. With so many companies and policies out there with differing premiums and rules, the benefits of getting a custom-made quote from an independent agent are immense.
In many cases you can get Preferred Plus rates (the best possible rates) as a scuba diver. You can compare life insurance rates using the online quote tool on this page, call us at 888-552-6159, or fill out the form on this page for a customized quote.