Best life insurance companies for scuba divers in 2022

Recreational scuba diving won’t impact your life insurance policy, but habitual or professional scuba divers will have to pay a flat extra on top of their premium.

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Nupur Gambhir

Nupur Gambhir

Senior Editor & Licensed Life Insurance Expert

Nupur Gambhir is a licensed life, health, and disability insurance expert and a former senior editor at Policygenius. Her insurance expertise has been featured in Bloomberg News, Forbes Advisor, CNET, Fortune, Slate, Real Simple, Lifehacker, The Financial Gym, and the end-of-life planning service Cake.

Updated|3 min read

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In addition to your age, gender, and overall health, life insurance companies use your hobbies to determine how risky you are to insure. Technical scuba divers can expect to pay more for life insurance.

If you scuba dive recreationally on vacation, there won’t be any impact on your life insurance rates unless you have other health considerations that might put you at greater risk when diving. However, rescue or salvage divers may have to pay an extra fee on top of their life insurance premiums. Insurers assess your risk as a scuba diver based on how often you scuba dive, where you scuba dive, and the types of dives you perform.

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Best life insurance companies for scuba divers

Technical scuba divers can get the most competitive policies from the following Policygenius partner insurers: 

Here's how all the top life insurance companies determine scuba diving risk:

Company

Best possible classification

Depth allowance (in feet)

AIG

Preferred Plus

100

Banner

Preferred Plus

100

Brighthouse

Preferred Plus

100

Lincoln

Preferred Plus

100

Mutual of Omaha

Preferred

100

Pacific Life

Preferred Plus

100

Protective

Standard

75

Prudential

Preferred Plus

100

SBLI

Standard

75

Symetra

N/A

N/A

Transamerica

Preferred Plus

100

N/A indicates that applicants are unlikely to qualify for a Preferred classification with this insurer.

Methodology: Based on underwriting data provided by Policygenius’ 11 partner insurers as of December 2021.

Your lifestyle choices are just one of the factors that impact your life insurance rates. Insurance underwriters will also take your age, medical history, and family history into account to determine your coverage eligibility.

How much more do scuba divers pay for life insurance?

Only technical scuba divers should expect to pay more for life insurance, with some exceptions for other underlying health conditions. The additional cost will either be higher than normal premiums or will be tacked on as a flat extra fee, which is a fixed fee that is added onto the premium. For example, you may be charged a flat extra of $2.50 for every $1,000 in coverage you buy. In this example, if you purchase a $500,000 policy, you will pay $1,250 annually on top of your premiums. 

Factors such as certifications, how frequently you go scuba diving, and how deep you dive have the most impact on the health classification you receive.

Health conditions and scuba diving 

Insurers might offer you less competitive rates for scuba diving on vacation if you have a medical condition that could be heightened by participating in the underwater sport. For example, if have a heart condition that could be triggered by diving, then you may have to pay higher premiums. 

Avoiding the flat extra 

If you’re subject to a flat extra due to your scuba diving activity, you can avoid the costly fee by adding a hazardous sports exclusion rider to your policy. This rider isn’t commonly available across life insurance companies — it’s usually added onto travel insurance or travel medical plans — and only a select few insurers offer the rider. 

Working with an insurer that offers this rider may seem like a no-brainer, but it may not always be your best option. The rider itself costs money, and the insurer may not necessarily offer you the most competitive coverage for your profile. 

Skirting a flat extra with an exclusion rider also means your beneficiaries will not receive the death benefit payment if you die while diving. Talk to your licensed agent or broker about your policy options as a technical scuba diver.

How insurance companies underwrite scuba divers

If you scuba dive, insurance companies will ask you a range of questions to determine your life insurance rates. You will be asked to disclose: 

  1. What type of scuba diving do you do? Recreational divers will get better rates than professional divers.

  2. Where do you scuba dive? Open water scuba diving is viewed more favorably than other types of diving, such as wreck, cave, or ice diving.

  3. How many times do you scuba dive annually? Insurers use this information to determine if you scuba dive recreationally or habitually. Most will offer higher premiums if you go 10 or more times a year, though this varies with each insurer.

  4. Are you scuba certified? There are three scuba certification options: Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI), National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI), or Scuba Schools International (SSI).

  5. How deep do you dive? Many insurers will charge a flat extra if you go to depths beyond 100 feet, though some have more flexible dive limits.

  6. Do you dive alone? Diving alone is riskier to insurers than diving with a partner.

  7. Do you dive for pay? This won’t necessarily increase your rates, but there will be follow-up questions to determine how dangerous your work is. 

You should be completely honest about all of these details during the life insurance application process to avoid life insurance fraud.

How to get the best premium if you’re a scuba diver

Life insurance isn’t one size fits all, and getting the most competitive rates requires finding an insurer that is specialized toward your needs. You can get the best life insurance rates for your profile by working with a life insurance broker like Policygenius. Policygenius’ independent agents compare quotes from multiple insurers to find you the best coverage and premiums for your medical profile and lifestyle choices.

Author

Senior Editor & Licensed Life Insurance Expert

Nupur Gambhir

Senior Editor & Licensed Life Insurance Expert

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Nupur Gambhir is a licensed life, health, and disability insurance expert and a former senior editor at Policygenius. Her insurance expertise has been featured in Bloomberg News, Forbes Advisor, CNET, Fortune, Slate, Real Simple, Lifehacker, The Financial Gym, and the end-of-life planning service Cake.

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