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Scuba diving travel insurance

Affordable cover for your diving holiday

Scuba diving is a fun way to explore the sea, and the right travel insurance policy will help protect you and your belongings against holiday mishaps

By Mehdi Punjwani

Published: 12 January 2021

Looking for travel insurance?

Oceans cover around 70% of the planet, and scuba diving is an exhilarating way to explore some of these dizzying depths. Depending on where you go you might get glimpses of dramatic coral reefs, marine wildlife or ruins from centuries gone by.

However, even learning to dive requires expensive equipment – and journeying into the deep blue sea comes with a range of risks to both your health and belongings. Whether you’re a seasoned diver or a keen beginner, you can benefit from having the right policy to protect yourself and your possessions – so you can focus on enjoying your holiday.

What travel insurance do I need for scuba diving?

If you’re planning a scuba diving trip, you’ll likely need a policy designed specifically for scuba divers, or water sports or adventure sports in general if scuba diving isn’t the only activity you have planned. These insurance products provide an extra level of cover for your trip, where a standard travel policy might not cover you.

Why do I need scuba diving insurance?

You’ll need a specialist policy as scuba diving trips have more  risk than a basic beach or city holiday – there are potential health-related dangers as well as expensive equipment that could be damaged or lost.

This all means that the likelihood you’ll make a claim for medical expenses on your policy is higher – so insurers will require you to take out extra cover, usually at higher cost, in order to accept the risk.

Do I need to tell my insurer that I’m scuba diving?

You should always be honest with your insurer about any high-risk activities you’ll be getting up to on your holiday. If you don’t declare activities like scuba diving and something does go wrong while you’re away – for example, if you need medical treatment because of an injury you sustained or if you lose an expensive piece of equipment – you’ll almost certainly not be able to claim.

This could leave you out of pocket – both for the cover you’ve paid for that you now can’t use, and the cost of the thing you’d usually claim for. Medical costs are high across the world, often rising in to the thousands, making a solid travel insurance policy important in protecting yourself and your wallet.

What will a scuba diving insurance policy cover me for?

The level of cover you’ll get will depend on your insurer as well as your level of experience (insurers are unlikely to cover you for diving at levels you aren’t qualified for), but generally speaking you should look out for the following:

  • Diving to a specific depth: Insurers will usually offer policies that cover you to dive to a certain depth, for example 50m, as standard
  • Types of diving: Your scuba diving policy may include cover for related activities such as shark diving or mixed-gas diving
  • Diving equipment: Diving usually involves an array of expensive equipment, so ensure your policy includes cover for items you carry like dive watches and computers, diving suits, tanks, cylinders and more
  • Emergency medical cover: As mentioned above diving can carry certain risks, so you should also look for insurance that covers you for search and rescue, and hyperbaric chamber treatment if you need it
  • Unable to dive: If you can’t go scuba diving due to adverse weather conditions or an injury or illness you’ll be able to claim for the cost of cancelling your excursion

What else will I be covered for?

Aside from the scuba diving-specific cover listed above, you should also aim to get the same protection offered by a standard travel insurance policy, including:

  • Baggage and belongings, including cash and important documents up to an agreed limit, if your items are lost, damaged or stolen
  • Medical costs, if you need to receive treatment for illness or injury while on holiday – but keep in mind you must declare all pre-existing conditions or you’ll risk voiding your cover
  • Repatriation, or transport to bring you back to the UK in an emergency
  • Personal liability if you’re at fault for an incident that occurs while on holiday, or legal cover if you aren’t at fault
  • Cancellation, curtailment and holiday disruption so you can claim for reimbursement for your holiday plans if things don’t go to plan

Will I be covered for any other water sports?

If you take out a policy for scuba diving, you may be covered for a range of other water or extreme sports – it will depend on your insurer and the type of policy you take out. Other sports you might be insured to take part in include:

  • Snorkelling
  • Surfing
  • Jet skiing
  • Sailing
  • Parasailing
  • Kayaking

You should ask your insurer for a complete list so you know exactly what you’ll be able to get up to on your trip.

What if I decide to go scuba diving when I’m already abroad?

If you haven’t factored in for riskier sports and activities when you book your holiday but the mood suddenly takes you, you can try calling your insurer directly to ask them if you can increase your cover.

You may also be able to take out a separate policy to cover you for the day – it’s worth looking around and comparing your choices. Certain reputable scuba-diving companies might offer their own insurance policies – but don’t rely on this, especially in less developed nations.

If this isn’t an option, your alternatives would be to scuba dive without insurance – which could end up becoming expensive if you don’t have the right cover in place – or save the dive for another day.

Can I go scuba diving if I have pre-existing conditions?

If you have a pre-existing medical condition you should check with your doctor or GP before booking a scuba diving holiday, as you may not be able to. However if you do get medical clearance, you should then declare these conditions when you take out a travel insurance policy.

Will I be covered for scuba diving if I have pre-existing conditions?

Whether or not an insurer will cover you for scuba diving if you have a pre-existing condition will depend on how comfortable they are with the risk – but if your GP says you’ll be able to then it shouldn’t be a major issue.

However you should remember that if you do have a pre-existing condition you’ll likely need to pay more for travel insurance either way – and if you don’t declare these conditions you’ll likely invalidate your policy, so you won’t be able to claim if you do need medical treatment.

Compare travel insurance quotes

When you’ve booked your scuba diving trip, you can find affordable travel insurance when you compare quotes with MoneySuperMarket. Just tell us a little about yourself, your travel plans and the cover you need, and we’ll search the market for a list of deals that meet your requirements.

You’ll be able to compare policies by the overall cost of cover, the level of protection you’ll get and the excess you’ll need to pay to make a claim. Once you find the one you want, just click through to the provider to finalise your purchase.