Scuba Diving Travel Insurances: The Definitive Guide

antoine fruchard Antoine Fruchard  updated on March 30, 2020

You are crazy about scuba diving and you are about to plan scuba diving holidays to practice your favorite sport? You would like to find travel insurance that is tailored for your activity in case something goes wrong?

You’ve come at the right place.

In the below guide, we will tell you everything you need to know about scuba diving travel insurance: what does it cover exactly, which policy you should go for, how much does it cost and other tips.

Stay tuned! 

What is scuba diving travel insurance?

You are planning a super fancy scuba-diving trip in Ecuador exploring coast reefs, wrecks and drifts. You should definitely get scuba diving travel cover.
Scuba diving will provide you with cover tailored for your water activities.

You must know that in Europe only, around 15 000 injuries are registered each year and are due to water sport activities.

There are two ways to purchase scuba-diving travel insurance:

  • you apply for a standard single or annual multi-trip policy and pay for a scuba-diving cover add-on
  • you purchase your travel insurance policy with scuba-diving included as standard.

Note that most insurers will include amateur scuba-diving up to 30 meters and under the supervision of a licenced instructor as a low risk activity and therefore include it as standard in their travel insurance policies (providing you have valid PADI). If you’d like to dive deeper, or alone, you will need to pay extra fees.

Why do you need travel insurance for scuba diving?

Getting travel insurance for your scuba diving trip is vital.

Just to show you how important applying for travel insurance is, here are a few examples of what an unfortunate and unexpected event might cost you during your scuba diving travel:

What you will need to pay without scuba diving travel insuranceWhat you will need to pay with scuba diving travel insurance
My scuba gear and dive equipment has been lost during the flight£800£0 
I need to cancel my diving trip because of medical condition£5,000 – £10,000
(real cost of trip)
£0
until trip cancellation limit is reached (check carefully cancellation reasons allowed)
I am in danger at sea and need air rescue£3600£0
(if planned in policy)
I got injured whilde diving and need to stay at the hospital £30,000
(if not covered by European Health Insurance Card)
£0
until medical expense limit is reached
Expenses you may face during your scuba diving holidays if not covered by travel insurance

Depending on your destination, you may already have some financial assistance either with European Health Insurance Card (if your scuba diving trip is in Europe) or with healthcare cooperation systems between countries for example UK and Australia or New-Zealand. Note that your EHIC will only cover medical treatment in public hospital (you won’t be covered for any air ambulance, surgery in private hospitals etc.). It can’t be seen as a substitute for travel insurance.

Compare best scuba diving holiday insurance

To find the right cover for your scuba diving travel, you will need to explore the different options you have. You’ll have to answer a series of questions such as:

  • what exactly you’d like to get covered for 
  • the length of your stay
  • the destination
  • how much are you planning to dive etc. 

We’ve came up with a non-exhaustive list of travel insurers that cover scuba diving breaks abroad as standard or as option:

InsurerPriceOur reviewsSee offer
logo world first£18,37
  • Scuba- diving included in standard in travel insurance plan up to 30m
  • If you’d like to go deeper, you will need to mention it and pay an extra- charge (amount will depend if you are alone or not)
  • Medical expenses up to £10M and 24/7 assistance
  • Scuba- diving travel insurance not available for professionals
  • Possibility to apply 12 months in advance
  • UK- based customer service and claim team
  • Reimburse within 14 days
Get quote
logo travel insurance 4 medical 2£18,67
  • Surfing included in standard travel insurance plan
  • Not available for professionnals
  • UK based- call center and 24/7 assistance team
  • Provides cover for people up to 100 years old
  • Provides all travel insurance types with 3 level of protection
Get quote
logo insure and go£18,95
  • A leader in providing all kinds of sport travel insurance plans
  • Water sports such as surfing, swimming, water- skiing, rafting grade 1 to 4, windsurfing, snorkelling, scuba- diving max 30m included in standard policies
  • Water sports such as kite- surfing, from grade 5 rafting or scuba- diving at more than 30m are not covered
  • Water sports insurance not available for professionals
Meet a local agent
logo explorer travel insurance£22,14
  • Water sports such as scuba- diving up to 30 meters covered as standard in regular travel insurance policies (providing you have your PADI)
  • Extra medical excess up to £250 or £400 depending on cover for scuba diving up to 40 meters with personal accident cover reduced by 50%
  • Standard compensation: £25000 personal accident, £10M medical, £2M personal liability
  • Only covers recreational sports (professional practice of a sport is not covered)
  • Dedicated customer service according to reviews
Get quote
logo staysure24.12
  • Scuba- divers will be covered in standard policies up to 18m (for PADI Open Water), up to 20m (for PADI Ocean Diver), up to 30m (for PADI Advanced Open Water)
  • You will not be covered if you travel by air within 24h of practicing scuba diving
  • No limit in medical expenses and repatriation under comprehensive travel insurance cover
  • Very easy and clear 100% online quote system
Meet a local agent
Scuba diving travel insurances comparison

Prices above are for a 7 days single trip to Europe with scuba diving cover for a 30 years old people.

What does scuba diving travel insurance cover?

Travel insurance for scuba diving holidays should include:

  • specific cover for your sport activity
  • must-have features you need in any travel insurance.

If scuba diving is included as standard in your travel insurance policy, carefully check limits and excess amounts that you will get / need to pay in case of claim.

Specific scuba diving cover that you could get

Travel insurances for scuba-diver usually include:

Scuba diving cover optionsAverage amount
Scuba gear and dive equipment (dive reserves, wet suits etc.)Depends on personal belongings cover
Any injuries made to yourself divingDepends on medical expense cover terms and conditions
Scuba diving trip cancellationDepends on trip cancellation cover terms and conditions
Medical evacuation at seeDepends on medical expense cover terms and conditions
Non-refundable diving course feesDepends on trip interruption cover terms and conditions
Specific cover for scuba diving travel insurance

Note that if you injure someone else during your sport practice, you may not be covered unless it is clearly mentioned in your policy booklet.

Must-have features your scuba diving travel insurance should cover

CompensationAverage amountGood to know
Medical expensesFrom £5M to £10M
(depending on your medical situation and your destination)
  • Injury due to my sport practice included
  • Stays in private hospitals included
  • Pay for medical fees upfront
  • Accompanying person fees (extra travel, accomodation, car rental)
  • 24/7 free-of-charge and UK-based assistance landline available
  • Overseas assistance
RepatriationReal fees
  • Transportation mode included (by alternative schedule flight or by air ambulance)
  • Repatriation under the supervision of a nurse or a doctor
Trip cancellation / curtailment£5000 – £10000
(depending on your destination)
  • As standard or as option
  • List of valid reasons for cancellation (e.g. scuba diving competition postponed)
Baggage or personal belongingsMinimum of £1500 limit
  • Valid for return transportation or entire stay
  • Receipts of belongings needed
  • Limit by valuable item
  • Sport equipment (wet suit, diving reserves) covered as standard or as option
Missed departure, delay Minimum £500 limit (minimum £200 limit for delay)
  • All justified reasons to qualify for compensation?
  • Number of hours of delay to qualify for compensation
Personal liabilityAverage £2 million limit 
  • Limit by article or valuable
  • Don’t focus on overall limit only
Legal expensesAverage £15000 limit
  • Lawyer appointment fees included
Must-have features of travel insurance

Always carefully check the age limit and compensation amounts as well as deductibles you’ll have to pay in case you need to make a claim. For medical expenses, always get your insurer to accept them before paying if you need to advance fees.

As nice-to-have features, you may want to get in addition to your scuba diving travel insurance included features:

  • business trip insurance
  • emergency dental treatment
  • loss of passport or documentation
  • gadget cover
  • Schedule Airline Failure (at least £1500)
  • money and cash cover.

Can I get scuba diving travel cover if I have pre-existing medical conditions?

Of course you can. 

The best option would be to purchase a pre-existing medical condition travel insurance tailored for your holidays, and add a scuba diving cover option if not included as standard.

If you purchase scuba diving travel insurance or any other insurance without disclosing your medical condition, that is called “fronting”. Your claim can be invalidated by your insurer, such as your entire travel insurance policy.

Can scuba diving travel insurance be included if I purchase an annual multi-trip or a single trip policy?

Short answer: yes, it can be.

Scuba diving, as many other sports, can be included as standard or purchase as extras on both single and annual multi-trip travel insurance policies. 

You will need to specifically dig into insurers policy booklets to see which activities are covered as standard. 

As a reminder:

Travel insurance typeExplanation
Single trip insuranceThese travel insurance policies are for one-off holidays. 
You will be covered from the start of the journey until the end.
You can decide the number of days you want to be covered for. 
Annual multi-trip insuranceThese policies are made for frequent scuba-diver going away for scuba diving holidays several times a year. 
You would need to check whether it is more competitive to buy two or three single trip insurance policies or an annual multi-trip policy.
Types of scuba diving travel insurance policies

Do I need to buy specific scuba diving travel insurance?

It depends on the travel insurance policy you purchased. This will be clearly outlined in your policy booklet.

If you haven’t bought your scuba diving travel cover yet, we would advise you to go for an insurer providing specific cover for scuba diving equipment, competition etc. either as standard or as full option for an extra fee.

How much does scuba diving travel insurance cost?

You will find below indicate travel insurance price including scuba diving cover:

Age rangeSingle trip to Europe*Annual multi-trip to Europe
18 – 35£13,87£38,64
36 – 54£18,99£18,99
55+£23,66£23,66
Scuba diving travel insurance price

*Quotes above are for a 7 days scuba diving holidays.

It is, however, quite difficult to give precise ranges of how much a travel insurance will cost for you as prices are based on a wide range of criteria. It will mainly depend on:

  • How often will you dive
  • If you are going on single scuba diving trip or annual multi_trips
  • If you purchase other upgrades in addition to your scuba diving cover such as gadget cover
  • If your teen has pre-existing medical conditions
  • The duration and destination of your stay
  • The financial limits you’d like to get in case of a claim
  • The excess amount you’re willing to pay.

What else should I check before purchasing my scuba diving travel cover?

While shopping around for sport_name holiday insurance, always pay attention to:

  • The compensation amounts you will get for each claim (especially personal belongings compensation limit if scuba diving is included as standard in your policy)
  • The deductible amounts you’ll have to pay in case of claim (don’t forget that extreme sports or hazardous activities lovers often need to pay extra medical excess if they got injured whilst practicing their sport) – opt for excess waiver cover if you are practicing adventurous sports
  • The exclusions you may have in your policy
  • The claim process (100% online? How many days do you have to make a claim?)
  • The maximum duration of each trip included as standard (at least 31 days)
  • The upper age limit (if you are a senior travelling).
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