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Life Insurance for Scuba Divers
If you dive a hundred feet under the water with scuba gear, does that mean you have a high risk lifestyle? In life insurance terms, it may. Scuba diving is considered an adventure sport in the insurance industry, and while you probably know a lot of people who have engaged in the sport safely, life insurance companies may still charge scuba divers higher premiums if they are placed in the high risk life insurance category. That is why scuba diving is ranked as one of the top dangerous hobbies life insurance companies hate.
Finding life insurance for scuba divers can be a difficult task, but doesn't have to be. You may even qualify for life insurance with no medical exam. It all comes down to choosing the right company.
How risky is scuba diving?
Realistically, scuba diving really isn’t that dangerous. In fact, estimates say that only 1 in every 211,000 dives results in a fatality. A woman is more likely to die during childbirth than scuba diving.
While it’s not likely that someone will die while scuba diving, there are certain factors that can increase the risk. Chances are that a life insurance company will ask you whether or not you’re a scuba diver before they issue a policy. But who actually constitutes as “a scuba diver”? Does strapping on the oxygen tank and diving in once a year during the family vacation make you “a scuba diver”? Most insurance companies recognize that there are variables, and will use some discernment before hiking up the cost of your policy.
What questions do life insurance companies ask scuba divers before issuing a policy?
In order to assess how risky your scuba diving actually is, an insurance company will likely ask you some basic questions. This will help them to determine what kind, if any, premium should be added. You may be asked any or all of the following:
- Are you a professional or semi-professional diver?
- How many times a year do you dive?
- What is the average depth that you dive? What is your deepest dive?
- What kind of environment do you dive in? Do you dive in typical touristy diving locations, or do you seek out adventures like cave and salvage diving?
- What kind of certifications do you possess?
Using these metrics, an insurance company will classify your risk level. If you only dive in open water while on vacation, your risks are extremely low, and thus your premium will probably only raise a nominal amount, if at all. If you are a professional diver and dive frequently, then your life insurance expenses are probably going up by a few hundred dollars a year, depending on your coverage plan.
What if I don't tell the insurance company about my scuba diving?
It's not a good idea. Lying on your life insurance application about scuba diving habits is not only fraud—it could void your coverage. With the contestability period clause, a standard on all life insurance contracts, the insurance company is allowed to investigate your death within the first two years of your contract to see if you misrepresented the facts on your application. If you lied about scuba diving and died in a scuba accident, your insurance company could deny your beneficiary the payout.
If you feel confident you won't become a scuba fatality statistic, you can always buy a policy without diving coverage. This essentially means you don’t pay extra because you’re a diver, but your policy is only good so long as you don’t die during a dive. It's less coverage, but it could be more affordable if you're worried about high premiums because of your scuba diving.
What is the best life insurance company for scuba divers?
Not all insurance companies are created equal, and that even applies to how they insure (or don’t insure) scuba divers. Some insurance companies may refuse to insure a diver who isn’t certified, while others may have more flexible options for professional divers. When you are shopping for a life insurance policy, it is important to keep your profession, lifestyle, and risk factors in mind so that you can get the best possible life insurance policy for the best possible rate. What’s good for your friend may not be good for you.
If you would like to learn more about the best types of life insurance policies and which is ideally suited for your life as a leisure or professional scuba diver, call a licensed agent for help. They can quote multiple companies so you don't get stuck with a bad policy or high premiums.