Whether you are an avid scuba diver or just someone who dives only once a year whilst on holiday, you need to be sure you have the proper scuba insurance in place to protect you in the event of an emergency abroad. If your regular policy does not cover scuba diving activities and accidents, you need to purchase a separate scuba diving insurance plan, to be sure that you will be financially covered if anything happens to you while you are on your trip.
If you are planning to travel abroad, you should first check to see if your home insurance plan includes any provision for travel coverage. If it does not (as is most often the case) you should definitely make it a point to purchase a travel insurance policy to keep you covered in the event of an emergency while on holiday. Another option before booking an independent policy is also to check your credit card and which cover is included. The situation though tends to be that the cover you often get on your card will NOT be sufficient to cover you for extreme sports, i.e. sports which can include diving.
You need to ensure that whatever cover you do travel with, that the cover extends specifically to protect you for scuba diving. This should be stated and confirmed in writing so that it can give you peace of mind and allows you to fully enjoy your scuba trip without any worries. Insurers can be very specific in what they will pay out for when it comes to some sports.
Many countries such as Belize for example have made it mandatory that divers have proper insurance. Some dive centers in Belize and other popular water sports location, offer dive insurance for their guests. This is also common in countries such as Cuba and Egypt but you really are advised to be sure of the situation before departing for the trip.
Your scuba diving insurance policy should cover emergency evacuation costs in addition to basic hospital expenses. In the event of an emergency during a dive, you may need to be airlifted to the nearest medical centre. If your policy does not cover the expense of transporting you to a medical centre or hospital, you will be financially responsible for this expensive service. Another reason to ensure you have this specialists cover in place before you leave for your trip is that you will be able to feel secure knowing that your diving equipment will be covered as well if it gets stolen. It will not be the first time a divers return home without their gear.
Choose a policy that will cover even the most expensive scuba diving accident expenses. The lower the coverage, the cheaper your insurance will be, but the more likely it is that you will be held responsible for some or most of the costs of your emergency treatment. Therefore, go for the highest coverage limit that you can afford in order to be sure that all of your treatment will be covered, especially if you need services such as hyperbaric chamber treatments and evacuations.
Before you agree to purchase a policy of this type, be sure to read through all of the fine print and requirements for coverage.
If you do not follow these rules, you might invalidate your policy, so do read the small print.
You may think that you do not need extra specialists add-on cover if you already have a personal medical insurance policy, but this may not be the case after all. Some medical insurance companies view water sports as a reckless and unnecessary activity. If your insurance provider considers scuba diving a risky endeavour, it will not cover the medical expenses you incur if you are involved in a scuba diving accident.
Also, if your medical insurance does not cover you when you travel abroad, you definitely cannot expect it to cover your scuba diving emergency costs. Therefore, if you are an avid diver, it is necessary to choose medical coverage that will cover scuba diving accidents, even if you have to pay an extra fee for them to do so, and also be certain that you will be covered while abroad. Otherwise, you will have to purchase separate policies to make sure you will be covered.