Divers – Scuba Diving for Occupation or Recreation

The ability to actually obtain life insurance is unlikely to be affected by diving however there are a few things to consider which could affect the price.

Scuba diving as an occupation and scuba diving for recreation can both be assessed by insurance companies in similar ways but they also have certain key differences.

Recreational scuba divers are not required to be highly qualified in order to participate whereas people who dive for a living must possess certain credentials and keep their expertise current.

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Recreational scuba diving is assessed by life insurance companies based on:

1/ The qualifications held by the diver
2/ Number of dives per year
3/ Maximum depth of dives
4/ Type of apparatus used (air or mixed gas)
5/ Location of dives
6/ Type of diving (open water, caves, wrecks etc.)

The depth and frequency of recreational dives can result in a ‘loading’ being applied to a policy.

Wreck and cave diving is also considered higher risk than open water diving.

Diving as a hazardous occupation could be assessed on the following:

1/ Qualifications held by the diver
2/ Training and experience
3/ Number of dives
4/ Depth of dives
5/ Type of work involved (cable laying, maintenance, construction etc.)
6/ Use of explosives
7/ Location of dives (offshore, UK, overseas etc.)

Life insurance companies assess diving as an occupation differently from one another and while some may consider all of the above, some are quite satisfied to just know the qualifications and type of work involved.

Deeper dives may require specialist equipment and qualifications due to greater risks and these can be reflected in the price of life cover.

Using heavy machinery or guiding heavy cables can also pose a greater risk and result in a higher price being paid for insurance.

Someone who is very well qualified and very well trained could potentially avoid a higher premium compared to someone with less experience however this information may not be asked in an application but it can be volunteered and could save a great deal of money over the life of a policy (£5/month = £1500 over 25 years). A broker would be best placed to help in this instance and using a broker will not increase the cost. Most brokers do not charge anything for their services.

Insurance companies assess cases differently so it makes sense to research the market or speak with a specialist adviser with experience and access to a wide variety of insurers.