Choosing the best diving insurance package for you – that is, the one that best suits the kind of trip you’re going on and fully covers all the types of scuba dives you’ll be doing – is no simple task.
Whilst the overall service of most dive accident insurance companies remains the same; that is, coverage of medical bills following dive accidents – there are some big differences between packages offered by different scuba divers insurance companies.
For example, one diving insurance company might only insure you to dive up to a certain depth, whereas another will cover you regardless of how deep you dive and also insure you for special types of dives like cave diving and shark cage diving.
Some scuba dive insurance companies also offer travel insurance, which you would otherwise have to purchase separately. Others include coverage for lost days of diving or even extra adventure activities.
But guess what? There’s no such thing as a perfect scuba insurance plan and no single diving insurance company offers all the extra perks so far mentioned.
This article is not designed to steer you towards any one particular scuba dive insurance, although we do give our all time favourite option at the end.
More importantly though, this page is about summarising the major differences between what we consider to be the hands down best diving insurance companies of all time.
We’ll be looking at the different packages offered by each scuba insurance company, describing their unique perks, comparing prices and evaluating real life customer reviews.
The mission: to discover the best diving insurance company of all time – for you. Let’s dive in:
World Nomads are an extremely popular travel insurance company that offer all inclusive packages that not only cover travel but also provide insurance for over 200 adventure activities, including scuba diving.
This is extremely convenient because whereas with a diving only insurance plan, you have to get travel insurance separately, with World Nomads it’s all rolled into one – this saves money, time and means you only have to communicate with a single insurance company as a posse to two.
It’s also insanely useful to get coverage for extra adventure activities; including – but not limited to, various watersports that you’re likely to have the chance to do whilst staying at a diving resort or on a liveaboard. Only World Nomads have this perk!
A team of “global citizens, customer advocates and creative storytellers”, World Nomads have been around since 2002 and now operate in over 130 different countries. They are extremely well respected among the traveller community, not only for their affordability, reliable customer service and great deals, but also their attitude.
That’s because in addition to insurance, World Nomads are frequently involved in overseas charitable world and promoting responsible, sustainable and compassionate travel.
They have just two packages available. Let’s take a look at what World Nomads’ Scuba Diving Travel Insurance covers:
A unique perk of insurance with World Nomads is that you also get coverage for over 200 other adventure activities. Let’s take a quick look at just a few of the extra activities you also get coverage on:
Most of the 200+ adventure activities are covered under the Standard Plan although a few fall under the Explorer Plan. Getting coverage for water sports is particularly useful as there is a very high probability you will have the chance to do some of these whilst staying at a dive resort or on a liveaboard.
Additional adventure activities coverage is unique to World Nomads – no other scuba diving travel insurance company offers this extremely handy perk, making World Nomads an obvious choice for anyone who plans to do more than just scuba dive on their trip. It’s for this very reason that I always get my scuba diving insurance with World Nomads.
Prices do vary, depending on your age, home country, any underlying medical conditions and where you are traveling. The above figures would apply to the the average for a 30 year old New York resident traveling to Thailand and Indonesia.
You will be provided with the exact cost relevant to your trip when you apply for a quote…which you can do by filling out the box below:
Ok so we’ve looked at World Nomads as a travel insurance company: what they cover; their overall ethos and the unique characteristics of their insurance plan.
But before you decide whether or not to purchase scuba diving travel insurance from them, let’s take a look at some real life customer reviews. Overall, the feedback is very positive – although there is no such as thing as a perfect insurance company (or any company for that matter!).
You can take a look at dozens of customer reviews for World Nomads by checking out their Facebook or head to Trust Pilot for even more. Alternately, take a look at the screenshots below showing several reviews that I feel best reflect the general attitude towards World Nomads:
Beloved by high end travellers and scruffy backpackers alike, World Nomads are an extremely well respected travel insurance company that also offer scuba diving insurance at a capacity that will suit all styles of recreational scuba diver.
In addition to this, they are the only diving insurance brand to offer coverage for many other adventure activities to, including a number of water sports that you’re likely to have access to during your scuba diving holiday.
With the Explorer Package being less than $200 a year, World Nomads are highly affordable, although are still a little more pricey than the likes of Dive Assure (about $50 more on average) and DAN (about $70 more on average).
Generally, World Nomads offer excellent customer service. Whilst there are sometimes complaints from customers about having to a long time before receiving a claim, this is usually not the case! It may happen to you, but most customer reviews suggest that this is a rarity rather and not the norm. I’ve personally never had any issues.
Another thing I really like about World Nomads is their active involvement and promotion of responsible tourism and their overseas charitable work. When you sign up for one of their packages there is the option to support their charitable work through a small donation, if you feel so inclined!
All in all, World Nomads is one of the best diving insurance plans currently available – they have been for some time and from the looks of it will continue to be, long in to the future!
World Nomads are my favourite scuba diving insurance option both because of their responsible tourism promoting attitude and because their insurance package is the best for anyone who enjoys other adventure activities to.
Dive Assure are a primary insurance company that offer diving insurance as well as standard travel insurance.
In some ways, this makes DiveAssure similar to World Nomads; however whereas World Nomads are a travel insurance company first and a scuba dive insurance company second, with Dive Assure the reverse is true as they primarily deal with dive accident insurance and provide travel insurance as a secondary benefit.
Dive Assure provide direct payment to your treatment facility in addition to 24/7 access to dive physicians though their emergency hotline.
Ok, so far this is all sounding fairly similar to World Nomads (although unlike World Nomads, DiveAssure don’t cover you for extra adventure activities!). However, Dive Assure do offer a wider variety of packages than World Nomads – some of which have perks that are unique to DiveAssure.
Furthermore, DiveAssure offer not just annual but also single trip insurance. Whoa! Single Trip Insurance? Game Changer.
But before we delve into that, let’s start by looking at the two standard package options for diving insurance with DiveAssure: Gold and Platinum. With each of these – unlike with World Nomads, there are no gas or depth limits meaning your insurance applies regardless.
There’s little difference between these two packages, besides the fact that the more expensive platinum option gives you higher financial expenses on emergency expenses, lost gear etc. Here’s a breakdown of DiveAssure’s two major scuba diving packages:
Now, in addition to their scuba diving only packages Dive Assure also offer travel insurance which includes some very cool and unique scuba diving related coverage, namely compensation for lost diving days due to medical inability to dive or weather. You won’t find this benefit with World Nomads or Divers Alert Network!
You can get single trip insurance in three tiers: standard, deluxe and elite. Multi-trip insurance is only available as the deluxe tier. Single Trip Insurance also offers a higher maximum payout on the main insurance zones like emergency medical expenses and evacuation than the gold and platinum options. Let’s take a look at the single trip insurance packages:
Other Packages Available:
Prices vary according to age, country of origin, underlying medical conditions and country being travelled to. The above prices are an example for a 30 year old New York resident travelling to dive outside the USA.
As you can see, Dive Assure are a fair bit cheaper than World Nomads – the Gold option being $51 less than World Nomads’ Standard Plan at $130 and the Platinum option being $61 less than World Nomads $190 Explorer Plan. Personally I feel this is a fairly negligible difference but of course every dollar saved counts.
At the end of the day, if you want insurance on extra adventure activities, World Nomads is definitely worth the extra bit of cash as it would cost far more to insure extra activities separately. But if all you are going to do is scuba dive, then you’ll do well with Dive Assure.
As for the pricing regarding single trip insurance, this varies significantly according to where you’re going, for how long, you’re age etc. You can request a price quote right here.
Several Dive Assure reviews do raise a couple of flags for this diving insurance company. The first of these is that Dive Assure are less well known than the likes of World Nomads or Divers Alert Network – this is evident by the fact that there are significantly less Dive Assure reviews.
Furthermore, although there are some very positive reviews – enough to show that Dive Assure please the majority of their customers and can rival World Nomads or DAN, there have also been a number of complaints. These are typically with regards to customers being frustrated after finding it hard to receive some types of claim.
For this reason, it’s extremely important that you do read the fine print and go over the full coverage system for whichever plan you choose. I would strongly recommend that you ask as many questions as you need to make sure you’re 100% clear on the kinds of claims you can and can’t make with Dive Assure.
On the other hand, we can tell by looking at other Dive Assure reviews that many customers have found them reliable and easy to use; as well as having great customer service.
At the end of the day, no one can tell exactly what kind of experience you will have with any diving insurance company. It comes down to many factors like the type of claim you’re trying to make, the staff you end up with and the dive insurances current policies to name a few.
But from the customer feedback for Dive Assure, what we can tell is that they are well enough organised to give you a good chance for a positive experience – but this is not guaranteed and you may not get one! In fairness, this general rule of thumb applies to any scuba dive insurance company, piece of gear, diving holiday or otherwise.
Don’t get sucked too deep into it and go with what your gut tells you. We wouldn’t be reviewing Dive Assure if we did not think they were one of the best diving insurance options out there.
What I really like about Dive Assure is that they are the only scuba diving insurance plan where you can get recompensed for lost days of diving due to illness or weather.
Plus, like World Nomads, yet unlike DAN, Dive Assure also offer travel insurance. That said, you do have to pay extra to get travel insurance and diving insurance, unlike with World Nomads where these are both automatically rolled into whatever package you choose.
Whilst World Nomads automatically includes liveaboards in their diving insurance packages, with Dive Assure this is an optional extra, although again it does include the benefit of coverage for lost days of diving, which is unique to DiveAssure.
It’s also worth noting that you don’t get coverage for other extreme activities with Dive Assure (or DAN for that matter), like you do with World Nomads.
That said, DiveAssure are quite a bit cheaper than World Nomads (though not as cheap as DAN!), so if you’re not planning on any extra adventure activities, then there’s a strong incentive to choose them. They’re also the only scuba dive insurance company where you can get insured for single trips which is extremely handy!
Finally, there are no gas or depth limits with Dive Assure and you get a higher max payout for lost, damaged or stolen gear than with World Nomads. Feeling ready to discover more about DiveAssure? Click the box below – or keep reading to discover the third and final best diving insurance company, known as DAN (Divers Alert Network).
Divers Alert Network (also known as DAN) are undeniably the most famous scuba diving insurance provider in the world, having over 30 years of experience. Endorsed by PADI, they are a popular choice among both recreational and professional divers alike.
DAN offer a wealth of diving medical resources and educational opportunities. Perhaps the most well known of these is the 24/7 DAN Emergency Hotline which – a phone service that is always ready to help and advice scuba divers who are in need.
If this sounds familiar from your PADI rescue diver course that’s because it should do! Calling the DAN Emergency Hotline for advice and information is one of the standard procedures when getting further help for a diver whose suffered an accident.
Divers Alert Network also offer a wide variety of non emergency resources including the DAN Information Line, medical FAQ’s, online seminars, articles, video lectures and more. Whilst World Nomads and Dive Assure do both offer 24/7 customer service, the sheer amount of resources by DAN trumps both these other two diving insurance branches.
You do have to be a member of DAN to use their insurance programme at a small additional charge, but having a membership comes with many extra benefits including TravelAssist, Alert Diver magazine, WorldCue Planner and access to industry leading insurance products.
As well as this and perhaps somewhat surprisingly, DAN offer the cheapest scuba dive insurance out there, even when you include the additional fee of a membership. Sound too good to be true? Let’s take a closer look at what DAN actually cover you for.
As you can see from the screenshot above, DAN offer insurance for named water sports – whilst this is not as all encompassing as the 200+ adventure activities automatically insured with World Nomads; but is still pretty decent!
You don’t get any coverage on lost days of diving due to weather or illness, which is only exclusive to Dive Assure.
As for the maximum payout re medical expenses with DAN – it’s not as high as that of World Nomads – however, it is as high as Dive Assure, barring the Elite Single Trip Option with DiveAssure. The Preferred and Guardian Options offer a higher financial coverage of diving equipment than that of any World Nomads or Dive Assure packages.
If all of these comparisons are starting to get jumbled around in your head – don’t worry! At the end of this DAN review, we summarise all the major differences between World Nomads, DiveAssure and DAN in an easy comparison table. The above information is just a summary of the main takeaway points regarding DAN’s scuba dive insurance packages.
Do bare in mind that to get DAN scuba insurance you have to purchase a membership also. Individual membership is currently $35 (annual).
So, the combined cost of individual annual membership and each package is:
Neither World Nomads nor Dive Assure offer diving insurance packages that are as cheap as the “Master” or “Preferred” Packages of DAN. But DAN’s “Guardian” Package is the hands down most expensive dive insurance option out there!
In addition to insuring scuba diving gear within DAN’s main insurance plans, you can also insure your individual pieces of scuba diving gear separately, in order to have a higher overall financial payout on scuba gear.
DAN’s “preferred” and “guardian” packages have a higher financial payout on gear than that of World Nomads or Dive Assure.
Divers Alert Network offer the most affordable divers insurance packages of all time. That said; you’ll have to pay for travel insurance separately, which might actually mean that the all inclusive diving and travel package with World Nomads is the cheapest overall route to go down.
However, unlike World Nomads – DAN’s insurance plans don’t have any depth limit, making them suitable for recreational divers and professional ones. There’s also heaps of extra perks that comes with being a DAN member, namely access to an immense pool of knowledge particularly with regards to diver safety as well as being part of a huge scuba diving orientated community.
Although DAN do not insure you for 200+ adventure activities like World Nomads, you do get the option to insure yourself for extra named water sports with DAN at an extra cost. However, there is no means of coverage for diving days lost due to weather or illness like you can get with DiveAssure.
So when asking the question: Is Dan Insurance Worth it, You should strongly consider what it is that you want. If you’re a pro level diver, require access to a wide pool of knowledge and you’re trying to save money then DAN could be a great bet for you.
If however, you want to get coverage for lost days of diving and/or insurance for a single trip, you’d be better of with DiveAssure, whereas if you want to get involved in many extra adventure activities and also get great travel insurance, you should probably go for World Nomads.
|WORLD NOMADS||DIVE ASSURE||DIVERS ALERT NETWORK|
|Depth Insured to||30 – 40m (98 – 131 ft)||NO LIMIT||NO LIMIT|
|Emergency Medical Treatment||$6,101,125 – $12,200,000||$150,000 – $250,000 (annual) |
$150,000 – $2,000,000 (single)
|$125,000 – $500,000|
|Trip Cancellation||$3,660 – $7,320||$15,000 (single only)||NO|
|Lost, Stolen or Damaged Gear||$1,120 – $2,240||$4000 (annual only)||$1000 – $5000|
|Travel Insurance||YES (included in all packages)||YES (extra cost)||NO|
|Other Adventure Activites||YES: 180 to 200+ (included in all packages)||NO||Named Water Sports (extra cost)|
|Lost Days Diving||NO||$100/500 – $250/1000 per day/total (single only)||NO|
|Price||$130 -$190||$79 – $129||$42 – $117.75|
|Single Trip Option||NO||YES||NO|
When it comes to choosing the best diving insurance for you, it’s a smart move to take some time to carefully consider what it is that you want, your priorities and the kind of scuba insurance package you’re looking for.
Now, you could bash your skull against a metaphorical brick wall trying to work all of that our for the next half an hour…or you could simply use the guide below:
You’ll want to make sure that the diving insurance you pick is enough to cover the most expensive treatments. Whilst some policies are unlimited, others have upper financial limits on recompression therapy and emergency evacuation.
If there is an upper limit for emergency medical treatment, you’ll definitely want it to be several hundred thousands of dollars. Fortunately, all of the diving insurance companies presented in this article match that criteria.
Where you will find some considerable variation however, is the upper financial limit for coverage of lost, stolen or damaged gear. Only you’ll know the price your full scuba kit adds up to!
Whereas some scuba diving insurance companies do not have depth or gas limits, others; do have a gas and depth limit – beyond which you’re not insured. Recreational diving does not exceed 40 meters – and is usually under 30 meters. However, pro level divers may go much deeper. If you’re not sure, you can ask your dive centre, resort or liveaboard the maximum depth to which you will be diving.
Special types of scuba mission such as cave diving, wreck diving and cavern diving are not always covered in a scuba diving insurance policies overall plan – you may need to get coverage for these as an additional add on.
Again, it’s down to you asses the types of dive you’ll be doing, read the fine print of your preferred scuba diving insurance company – and make sure you splash out the extra cash for any special types of dive you’re doing if they aren’t covered in that companies standard plan.
You’ll find that most scuba diving insurance policies are on an annual basis and cover you for all and any trips you take during this period. However, other plans are for a single trip and/or have limits for the number of diving days covered. How to be sure? Once again – after you’ve got your quote for the specific trip/s your taking, check that small print!
Where possible, it’s always better to get direct payment. This way, you’ll receive treatment straight away without having to worry about finding the money upfront.
Plus, you’ll also avoid the hassle of making claims and potentially having to wait an insanely long time for that reimbursement.
Liveaboard or dive resort? Single trip or several over a year?? Few days or lifespan!? Is this recreational, professional or commercial diving? There’s different insurance package options for all of these scenarios with most of the best dive insurance companies. Make sure you read the fine print and select the best option for you.
Sometimes, with recreational scuba diving courses: you get the option to purchase dive insurance for a small cost from the dive centre.
However, this is not always available so if it’s something you are interested in, do make sure to contact the dive centre ahead of time to see if it’s even possible!
Chances are high that if you’re going scuba diving and looking for insurance, you’re about to go some place new – congratulations and bon voyage! Now what this does mean is that you’ll need more than just scuba diving insurance!
You’ll also need travel insurance to cover you for accidents and illnesses sustained outside of scuba diving, lost baggage, extra activities, etc.
Now, whilst the Diving Insurance Package for World Nomads also includes a stellar travel insurance piece as part of the deal…with DiveAssure you need to purchase travel insurance as an optional extra. With DAN, travel insurance is not currently available meaning you’ll have to purchase it from a separate company that specialise in travel insurance.
If you’re the adventurous sort and you’re looking to indulge in other sports, adventure activities or general hard-core shit – just like you did for the scuba diving, you’ll need to get insurance for this to as it won’t be covered by standard travel insurance.
World Nomads insurance covers you for over 200 adventure activities, meaning they are the best option for anyone getting ready to participate in extra adventure activities.
Do bare in mind that before you write off any extra adventure activities, there’s a good chance that at any dive resort or liveaboard you will get the chance to indulge in water sports like kayaking, wakeboarding, paragliding etc. All of these will require insurance of their own to cover any injuries sustained whilst participating in them.
If you have you’re own scuba diving gear then you already know how expensive that shit is. You’ll definitely want to get it covered in case it gets lost, stolen or damaged throughout your trip.
Only you know the final price tally of your scuba gear. Whilst all the diving insurance companies featured in this article offer some monetary compensation for lost, stolen or damaged gear – it may be an idea to insure separate pieces of scuba gear if what you have is a lot more expensive than the financial limit for gear in your insurance plan.
Some dive insurance companies provide you with a reimbursement for unforeseen factors that affect your diving trip. The extent and circumstances to which this can apply vary. For example, DiveAssure is the only one that offers coverage for diving days lost due to weather or illness.
Bada – bing, bada – splash! Looks like you just finished this leviathan article telling you everything you need to know about the best diving insurance. Take pride in that- this bad boy’s over 6000 words long!
But understand that it needed to be in; order to truly review, evaluate and explain the three best scuba dive insurance companies out there, whilst providing and assessing customer feedback and providing easy to understand comparative info.
By now, you’ll know what you’ll know what specs to consider when choosing the best diving insurance for you and you’ll understand the major types of deal and package available. All that remains now is for you to make the choice. I don’t believe in telling people what to do, so the choice is yours!
But I will tell you a little secret…. my favourite diving insurance company – the one that I always use, is World Nomads because of their responsible tourism friendly attitude and all the extra adventure activities they give you insurance for.
Make the choice, take the call! Pick your diving insurance company and have an incredible trip. Go on – pull the trigger on your metaphorical decision making speargun. I dare ya…