Many people opt to take a course to learn to dive because they have a vacation to a warm water destination planned and want to get certified to dive before travelling. This is a great idea, but regardless of whether you are a newly certified diver or very experienced, it is not uncommon to overlook the importance of scuba dive travel insurance.
1. Read the fine print of any travel insurance
Most people are aware that when they are travelling overseas that they should carry some insurance for their own financial safety. What many don’t know is that many policies have exceptions for activities like scuba diving. Which means that if you unfortunately do incur an injury while diving, or even between dives (such as slipping on the boat and breaking a wrist) that you are not covered, regardless as to whether or not the injury or illness is directly diving related.
It is entirely possible to carry additional insurance to cover you specifically in case of scuba diving related injuries and illnesses as well as anything the happens on a dive vacation. This scuba dive travel insurance is generally quite inexpensive and can end up saving you thousands in medical fees.
2. Insure your dive gear and your trip
Travel insurance will often offer coverage or partial coverage in case of a cancelled trip on the end of the operator or airline or sometimes in case of an injury or illness the traveller experiences prior to departure that may lead to the cancellation of a trip entirely. Check your policies and see if such coverage is included or available for an additional cost.
Additionally, your dive gear is valuable and can be difficult or impossible to fit in carry-on luggage. Lost or stolen luggage can result in substantial loss financially if it includes all your diving equipment. This is definitely a possible upgrade to some insurance policies and well worth the extra cost.
3. Be aware of the specifics of your dive activities
While some insurance policies will cover recreational scuba diving, many will not. If you have travel insurance already, possibly provided by an employer or educational institution then read your policy carefully for any exclusions. If you need scuba diving travel insurance the safest, most reliable bet is DAN (Divers Alert Network). DAN not only insures the full gamut of diving-related accidents, but has optional gear coverage as well. DAN also has a global response network for diving accidents and can help coordinate emergency evacuation and care in some remote regions.
No matter where you are travelling to it is a genuinely prudent idea to carry insurance and if you are diving, do not underestimate the value of dive insurance. If you are a Canadian, remember that this applies not only to overseas travel, but also whenever you make a diving excursion south of the border, even if you are only making a day trip to the USA.
Also, keep in mind that even if a policy covers you for recreational diving activities, if you plan to dive in any way beyond this definition you may not be covered. This means any overhead diving like cave, cavern or wreck diving as well as any technical diving activities.
Diving is a really unique way to add to your vacation experience and we want to make sure you do it safely and keep yourself protected. Diving can create some of the most unforgettable vacation memories, if you have had this experience why don’t you share with us.