Before entering the water, check that you have your diving insurance in order.
To practice diving in most places it is mandatory to have a valid diving insurance, in addition to the basic qualification issued by a federation, and a medical examination that guarantees that we are suitable for the practice of this sport, with an antiquity of less than two years since the expedition by an approved physician.
But we should not think about diving insurance as an additional cost that we have to pay to practice our favorite sport. Diving is a risky activity, and any eventuality can imply a significant outlay, both economic and personal, that we can not always cope with.
In addition, if we add to this the aggravating circumstance that it occurs in a foreign country, the costs can be triggered alarmingly.
Although as in all insurance, the best thing that can happen to us is not having to use it, today we have many options in the market to adjust coverages and prices to our real needs.
Prior considerations when hiring our diving insurance
The first thing we have to know are the coverages with which we will count. Almost standard, our diving insurance will have basic liability and accident coverage, which will solve many headaches in advance.
Civil liability is focused on covering any possible negative impact that our activity may have on the marine environment, on other goods or properties of third parties, or on other people. For its part, the accident coverage guarantees that we do not incur certain health and transportation costs related to any mishap we may have while diving.
Additionally, diving insurance may include disability or death coverage, designed to offer certain guarantees in the event of a serious accident that prevents us from performing a subsequent work activity. Nobody likes to think about it, but perhaps it should be covered in this sense, even if it is one of the coverages that can have the greatest impact on the final price of insurance.
In most diving centers we won't be allowes to go to the water if we do not have the diving insurance in order, apart from the other documentation, which is equally important and complementary.
We can hire a diving insurance without having the valid medical certification, but bear in mind that in the event of any mishap caused by our health, the insurance company will not be held responsible. Think of a heart problem underwater, for example.
Fundamentally, we have two types of insurance: those that are oriented to commercial diving, and those that are aimed at recreational diving (either as an amateur or as recreational diving professional). We will analyze content and differences of each of the options.
Commercial diving insurances
Commercial diving insurance is focused on responding to the needs of professional divers.
Due to the very nature of its activity, the risk in the practice of professional diving is much greater, since the sea bottom times are different from those of scuba diving, and the depth does not depend on a choice of the professional, as well as the materials manipulate, or work to be performed under water.
There are many insurers that cover the professional diver. Before hiring, we must make sure that our specific activity is covered. It is very important that we verify that the nature of the worksthat we are going to carry out are taken into account within the coverage of the policy.
And it is that within commercial diving, depending on this activity, the inherent risks can vary a lot.
It is not the same as a professional diver who directs his activity to the communication or realization of documentaries, or one who is dedicated to carrying out scientific works, to others who perform underwater repair work, for example.
We must also consider whether the amounts covered are sufficient for the work we are going to carry out, as well as the geographical scope in which we are going to perform them.
With all of them we can contact through internet to obtain a personalized budget according to our needs.
As we have already mentioned, it is convenient to receive the budget with the conditions and coverage, and to check if they fit our needs as professional divers.
This way we will be sure that we are not paying for something that we will never need, but that we are not doing without the necessary coverages for us.
And if your needs change, because you are going to perform a different job than the one covered, or because you are going to do it in another geographical area, do not stop contacting the insurance company to extend your policy.
Scuba diving insurance
In the world of recreational diving insurances there are so not many options, but there are some variations that we should consider when contracting our policy.
Type of recreational diving
As in professional diving, we must always check that the type of diving we are going to perform is covered, both by the materials we are going to consider, and the depth.
For example, there are specific policies to cover underwater fishing activity. Normally all policies cover scuba diving, freediving and snorkeling, but it is always best to check before hiring.
Transfers in case of accident
It is important that you cover all the necessary transfers in case of an accident, as well as the treatments in hyperbaric chamber. If not, think for a moment about the problem that can involve paying for an urgent transfer by helicopter to the nearest hyperbaric chamber in case of a serious mishap.
Periods of coverage
In almost all the insurance companies that offer diving insurance, it is common to be able to contract insurance with different coverage periods. If we are regular divers, we will usually hire you for one year, renewing the policy upon expiration. But if we are casual divers, we can make the insurance contract for a month, for a weekend, or even for a day.
And think about the combinations of all of them. That is to say, I can count on an annual basic insurance, and when making a diving trip abroad, I want to expand coverage with a weekend, weekly or monthly insurance.
In this sense, it is very common for diving centers to have agreements and direct connection with some insurance companies, being able to manage insurance on the fly when hiring dives.
Modality of coverage of medical expenses
One of the fundamental aspects to take into account when contracting our policy is the medical expenses coverage system. Above all we have to check if it is the refund method. This implies if, before any contingency, we must anticipate the related medical expenses. That is, if our policy is for reimbursement, in the case that we need to incur medical expenses derived from the practice of diving, we will have to face these expenses with our resources. Later they will be reimbursed by our insurer, previous justification of the invoices paid. Without a doubt, depending on the situation, anticipating such expenses can be a problem, especially if they include transfers and other urgent expenses.
As you imagine, all these characteristics (activity, scope of coverage, term, reimbursement, etc.) have repercussions on the final price of the policy.
Some insurance companies that offer scuba diving insurance
Let's mention some of the options we have for our recreational insurance:
It offers different types of coverage according to our needs; You can combine scope of coverage, with the nature of the benefits; One of the points in favor of Aqua med insurance is that it allows you to store your medical information, such as your blood group or other special features.
In this way, in the event of an accident, the attention will be much more directed and will be more effective, by informing the staff that you attend to any related information.
DAN (Divers Alert Network)
International organization specialized in the safety of divers. Among its many activities, research highlights, so that their coverage and professionals will always be up to date with the latest developments in terms of security.
Already mentioned when discussing commercial diving insurance, Segursub is one of the companies that offers the best and widest coverage, with a high quality-price ratio.
AxaSub has all the guarantees of Axa, an insurance group of proven experience and solidity in the market. It has several modalities depending on the coverages for disability and accident that we want to have. In contrast, in their insurance medical expenses are usually reimbursement.
In all cases, it is important not to let ourselves be guided by the insurance price, and to review all the coverage we are hiring.
Complementary insurance: diving equipment and diving trip insurance
As a complement to your personal diving insurance, you should think about yourscuba diving equipment.
Many of the aforementioned companies offer the possibility of securing our equipment in the face of any contingency that may occur, both in the displacement and in the development of our activity.
This is a great advantage, above all because we are covering any eventuality that may arise when moving our material.
In the same way, companies can offer the coverage of any diving trip insurance.
In short, having a good diving insurance goes far beyond complying with current legislation. A diving insurance can solve many problems, both in terms of safety in the course of the dives, and eventualities that may arise out of the water with our trip or equipment.
And how can it be otherwise, we wish you never have to use any of the coverages contracted in your diving insurance.