What Scuba Divers Should Know About Life Insurance

By Michael Horbal - Updated on 07/06/2023

This scuba dive life insurance article will show you how to find your best life insurance rate.

Scuba Dive Life Insurance Overview

Life insurance for scuba is based on:

  • Your experience
  • Certifications
  • Maximum dive depths
  • Types of dives you participate in

Life insurance underwriting will ask you the following:

  • When did you learn to dive?
  • What scuba diving certifications do you hold?
  • Are you a member of a scuba diving club?
  • How many dives per year do you average?
  • What is the average time you spend underwater per dive?
  • Where do you dive – Lakes, oceans, rivers, etc?
  • What is the maximum depth you dive to?
  • Do you dive alone?
  • Have you ever had decompression sickness?
  • How many dives are:
    • 75′ deep or less?
    • 76-100′ deep?
    • 101 – 130′ deep?
    • Greater than 130′ deep?
  • Do you participate in wreck diving, cave diving, ice diving or high altitude diving?
  • Future Dive Plans:
    • Any dive trips planned for the next 12 months?
    • Where will you be diving?
    • What depths will you be diving to?

A diver supplement in addition to the application.

Life Insurance Based on Dive Depth

Life insurers use a number of factors to determine your best life insurance rate, including your average dive depths.

Dive Depths Less Than 75′

If your average scuba dive depth is less than 75′,

There are many life insurance companies that will make their very best rate classes available to you if you qualify otherwise.

Dive Depths 76′ – 100′

We still have a number of life insurers that offer their best rate classes,

But some companies have limitations such as no more than 10 dives per year.

Dive Depths 101′-120′

While it’s possible to get a “preferred” rate, most insurers start to add flat extras to your life insurance policy.

Something we’re asked about is certification dives.

If you dive beyond 100′ for the certification only,

But your regular activity is limited to 100′ or less thereafter, the right companies won’t penalize you.

Dive Depths Beyond 120′

All life insurance companies add a flat extra charge when you start diving beyond 120′.

The amount of the flat extra varies by company, but you can expect the flat to add $250 – $1,000 per every $100,000 of coverage.

You have the experience and required certifications for these depths, otherwise, you will be penalized or declined.

Dive Depths Greater than 150′

It’s not often that we encounter divers going to this depth.

We do have a life insurance company that will consider a $250 per $100,000 flat extra up to 250′ depth.

You have to have the experience and advanced certifications for these depths.

Scuba Diver Certifications

Open Water Diver Life Insurance
The Open Water Diver certification is the most popular scuba diving course offered.

There are a number of organizations that offer scuba training and open water certification.

These include PADI and other certification courses.

It can’t be said enough that scuba divers who dive beyond their certification levels and training,

Represent an additional risk to life insurance companies.

Coincidentally, the biggest cause of diver deaths is not the diving itself,

But of underlying high-risk health conditions such as heart problems.

The maximum depth allowed for the Open Water Diver certification is 60 feet,

And the depth for the Advanced Open Water Diver (AOWD) certification is 100 feet.

The good news is that the vast majority of open water divers rarely dive beyond 100′ depth,

With many diving no deeper than 60 feet.

Wreck Diver Life Insurance

The type of wreck diving you participate in matters to underwriters.

Non-Penetration Wreck Dives – The scuba diver swims near or over the wreck but does not enter the wreck.

Non-penetration wreck dives follow the same underwriting rules as open water diving.

Limited Penetration Wreck Dives – The scuba diver penetrates the wreck, but only to the extent where there is still natural light available.

The general rule is that once you enter a wreck, life insurers are going to add a flat extra charge to your life insurance.

Full Penetration Wreck Dives – Full penetration wreck dives are technical dives. You must have the proper experience.

The key is to find the life insurers that offer “preferred rates” with a flat extra vs. companies that will assign “standard rate” with a flat extra.

Cave Diver Life Insurance

Cave diving represents less than 10% of all fatalities but is of greater concern to underwriters than open water diving.

If you participate in cavern diving, a flat extra will be added to your life insurance policy.

If you have completed additional certifications for cavern dives,

Let us know as we may be able to use that towards minimizing any additional ratings.

Scuba Summary

Scuba diving when properly trained is readily insurable.

Working with us will ensure that you get to the best life insurance company based on your experience.

Please take a few minutes to complete your quote request today for a free, no-pressure, no-obligation life insurance quote.

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