What happens when it all goes wrong?
It can happen that the best trained and experienced diver who sticks to their limits, has their equipment serviced regularly, keeps fit and constantly practices their skills sometimes has that unfortunate accident. So what steps can we all take to ensure that financial worries do not exasperate the situation?
Insurance is one of those things in life that we buy, but that we hope we never have to use. It really only proves to be of benefit when something has gone wrong.
The important message to take from this is to make sure in advance that any insurance you have will adequately cover you for your intended activity should the worst happen. If it does not adequately cover you, then you need to take out alternative cover.
Insurance cover is designed to compensate the person taking out a policy for losses arising from certain risks covered by the policy. There are a wide range of specific risks covered by different diving insurance policies and whilst there is no one coverall policy for diving risks it is important to ensure that you adequately cover yourself for the relevant risks to safeguard against your loss.
As a member of BSAC you have a TPL cover which covers you for legal costs and compensation awards arising from claims made against you for your negligence. It is not an "Accident", "Travel" or "Dive Equipment" Insurance. You should insure these risks yourself with an appropriate insurer.
When taking out travel insurance you should ensure that it will cover you for diving to the limits of your qualification. If the policy has a depth limit stipulated then you should both ensure that you dive within such depth limits but also check that the policy allows for inadvertently exceeding such limits where this does not impact on the incident and also allows for exceeding limits in attempts to provide assistance to another diver. You should also check that cover will pay for any medical treatment and possible early repatriation costs and if appropriate for the early return of your partner as well.
The Life insurance industry has a poor understanding of the implications of diving and the tendency is for policies to be significantly penalised for any type of diving and especially for certain types of diving. The important thing to do is shop around. Fortunately there are a number of insurers who are starting to develop products specifically for divers and hopefully this market will grow.Please note: since this article was written BSAC has forged a relationship with Scuba Financial Services to offer specialist life insurance cover for BSAC members.
Diving and related equipment represents a substantial investment for most divers and unless you can afford to replace it all you should ensure it is adequately protected. Some house contents insurance may provide some cover but this is unlikely to cover the equipment whilst ‘in use’ or for ‘emergency jettison’. For Photographic and video equipment you should also consider cover for accidental flooding.
Think SAFE - Dive SAFE