More on Life Insurance
Life Insurance Reviews
Life insurance overview
Best Life Insurance Companies
Best life insurance companies
Largest life insurance companies
Life insurance and coronavirus (COVID-19)
Life insurance for chronic illness
Life insurance with pre-existing conditions
Life insurance for cancer
Life insurance for high cholesterol
Life insurance for sleep apnea
Life insurance for high blood pressure
Life insurance for HIV-positive
Life insurance for overweight people
Life insurance for people who have lost weight
Life insurance for recovering alcoholics
Life insurance and family history
Life insurance for diabetics
Life insurance for people with depression
Life insurance for Millennials
Life insurance for Generation X-ers
Life insurance for Baby Boomers
Life insurance for seniors
Life insurance for scuba divers
Life insurance for skydivers
Do cyclists pay less for life insurance?
Life insurance rate for vegans
Do runners get cheaper life insurance rates?
Life Insurance for Families
Life insurance for families
Life insurance for your parents
How much life insurance do parents need?
Life insurance for women
Life insurance for spouses
Life insurance for children
Life insurance for young adults
Life insurance for graduate students
Life insurance for college students
Life insurance during pregnancy
Life insurance for new parents
Life insurance for single parents
Life insurance for people with disabilities
Life insurance for special needs children
Life insurance for transgender people
Life insurance policy on someone else
Life insurance for nursing home residents
Life Insurance for Smokers
Life Insurance for Other Shoppers
Life insurance for visa & green card holders
Life insurance for high-net-worth individuals
Life insurance for felons
Life Insurance Company Reviews & Comparisons
Life insurance company reviews & comparisons
AAA life insurance review
AIG life insurance review
Banner Life insurance review
Brighthouse Financial life insurance review
Costco life insurance review
Fidelity Life insurance review
Guardian life insurance review
Gerber life insurance review
Globe Life insurance review
John Hancock life insurance review
Liberty Mutual life insurance review
Lincoln Financial life insurance review
MassMutual life insurance review
Mutual of Omaha life insurance review
Pacific Life insurance review
Principal life insurance review
Protective life insurance review
Prudential life insurance review
SBLI life insurance review
State Farm life insurance review
Transamerica life insurance review
Many scuba divers overestimate how much their hobby will affect insurance premiums. Find out how much life insurance for scuba divers really costs.
Published May 16, 2018
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Risky hobbies like scuba diving can increase the cost of life insurance
How often you dive and how deep you dive are important to insurers
Different insurers treat scuba diving differently, and shopping around can help you save money
As many as 1.2 million people go scuba diving regularly, with that number growing every year. They describe it as magical, surprising, and, above all, fun.
But scuba divers who are shopping for life insurance are frustrated by the perception that life insurance companies see their hobby as risky. The annual fatality rate for divers is relatively low when compared to the death rates for heart disease or traffic. Why do life insurance companies see scuba divers as riskier than other applicants?
In reality, not all life insurance companies see scuba diving as risky. Just like consumers overestimate the cost of life insurance by nearly three times, many scuba divers overestimate how much their hobby will affect insurance premiums.
Do you only dive on vacation or do you dive every other week? Are you always diving with a certified buddy in open water or are you searching for treasure in the Florida Keys? The details matter: insurance companies don’t see all forms of diving as equally risky, and they'll determine the risk - and how much to charge you - differently.
To help you get a quick idea of whether or not your diving habits will affect your life insurance premiums, we created this flowchart that will match you with one of our three diver personas. All of these personas are based on a 35-year-old male with no health problems. Note that age and health factors will change your quotes.
Before we go further: most insurance companies won’t even consider covering you if you’re not a certified diver. If you’re not certified, they may cover you if you always dive with someone who is certified. Even if you are certified, your insurance company may stipulate that you always dive with a certified diving buddy.
Besides that, here's what life insurance companies want to know about your scuba diving habits:
1) Are you diving for pay? This is the first question underwriters will ask you because it has the most complicated answer. There are lot of different kinds of diving for pay, and doing it doesn’t necessarily mean your premiums will increase. If you’re currently diving for pay in any form, be prepared for a lot of follow-up questions.
2) How many times do you dive per year? Most insurance companies don’t have a limit for how many times you can dive per year. Insurance companies that do limit you usually put the limit between ten and twenty dives per year. Others limit you to dives that occur while you are on vacation. Some have loose limits that are open to interpretation, like "only a few" per year.
Our recommendation is to pick an insurance company with either a specific, named limit or no limit at all. We also recommend that you stay away from companies with vague limitations. Not only will it be harder to get an accurate quote from these companies before you apply, but if you break one of these vague rules without realizing it, you can end up invalidating your policy.
3) How deep do you usually dive and what’s your maximum depth?
In general, the deeper you dive, the more you’re going to pay. Most insurance companies have a depth limit, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go deeper. If you normally dive deeper than a company’s depth limit, there is usually a flat fee of $2.50 to $5 per month per $1000 of coverage.
If the insurance company doesn’t offer a way to get around the depth limit, it’s better to look for a different policy with more flexible depth limit.
4 & 5) Do you dive in overhead environments (cave, wrecks, ice, salvage, etc.)? Do you dive outside of the recreational norm (rescue diving, etc.)?
We grouped these two questions together because they both result in you paying the highest premiums for your life insurance policies. You probably know if you dive in an overhead environment, but you not might be aware if one of your activities is outside of the recreational norm. Some examples of non-norm activities include free diving, spear fishing, and photography below 100 feet.
Work with an independent broker or agent to find the best premiums. An independent agent, like PolicyGenius, can compare quotes from a wide variety of different life insurance providers in order to find the cheapest premiums. An independent agent will also know more about how individual insurers deal with activities outside of the recreational norm, making sure that no matter what kind of diving you do, you’ll always get the best premiums.
This is important advice for any insurance policy application, but it bears repeating: do not lie on your life insurance application. You might be tempted to lie about how deep you dive or about some of your riskier behavior in order to avoid higher premiums. But if the insurance company finds out you’ve lied to them, the consequences are much worse than paying a few bucks. At best, they’ll just take the premiums you owe them out of your death benefit. At worst, they’ll cancel the entire policy. And let’s say you told your insurance company that you never dive below 100’ and then you die at 130’? They can refuse to pay the benefit, leaving your loved ones high and dry.
You can also buy a life insurance without diving coverage, avoiding the premium bump. Currently only Principal offers this, but if you’re interested in this option, you should tell your agent or broker. They can run quotes with and without diving coverage so you can more accurately compare prices.
It depends. Specialized insurance products, like the plans offered by the Diving Alert Network, can be great for divers. Specialized insurance for divers is tailored specifically to the kind of medical costs that affect divers and can provide extra benefits like covering lost diving equipment and lost transportation costs.
Though specialized insurance is great for covering diving related accidents, be aware of what it doesn’t cover. DAN’s insurance plan doesn’t cover any accidents or illnesses not caused by a diving related accident. Get into a car accident on the way to your next diving trip? DAN’s plan won’t cover that.
Specialized insurance plans are best seen as an supplementary insurance product that you buy in addition to a generic insurance policy. You can buy a life insurance policy from Principal with something called a "diving exclusion rider," which means the policy will cover everything except diving and your diving activities will not affect your premium.
Still need help? Find the best life insurance company for you.
Colin Lalley is the Associate Director of SEO Content at Policygenius in New York City. His writing on insurance and personal finance has appeared on Betterment, Inc, Credit Sesame, and the Council for Disability Awareness. Colin has a degree in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Was this article helpful?