Main Menu
Join Undercurrent on Facebook

The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975 | |
For Divers since 1975
The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
"Best of the Web: scuba tips no other
source dares to publish" -- Forbes
November 2012    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 38, No. 11   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
What's this?

Life Insurance for Scuba Divers

what 14 of the top insurance companies are offering

from the November, 2012 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

If you've had a difficult time getting a good rate on a life-insurance policy because you let on that you're a scuba diver, you're not alone. What's considered risky can vary by company. For instance, some will rate you negatively if you dive too frequently for their taste. But by shopping around, you may find a company that doesn't penalize for diving. Insurance companies will often change their criteria annually to be competitive.

Jeff Root, an independent life insurance agent in Lake Forest, CA ( ), says that when he has scuba-diving customers contacting him about obtaining life insurance, he asks them these questions:

  • What's your average number of dives per year?
  • What's the average depth of your dives, and what's your deepest dive?
  • Are you diving in overhead environments (caves, shipwrecks, ice)?
  • Do you do any rescue diving or diving for pay?
  • What are your certifications?

Then he references the answers across all the top-rated life insurance companies to see which carrier will look most favorably at their diving.

On a recent blog post on his website ( ), Root posted 15 of the top insurance companies' scuba diving underwriting summaries, and let us publish them here.

You'll notice in the "Notes" column the frequent mention of a "flat extra." That's a charge insurance companies use to handle higher than standard mortality risks (you have cancer, you work in a dangerous occupation or, apparently, you're a scuba diver). The flat extra can be temporary, say for five years, or it can be permanent. A flat extra is an additional cost added to the price of a policy. Flat extras are expressed as a cost per thousand dollars of coverage, and they typically range between $2.50 and $15.00 per thousand. So say you bought a $100,000 policy and were given a flat extra of $2.50 per thousand. That would add an additional $250 cost to your policy.

Carrier Best Class Available Max # of Dives Annually Max Depth Allowed Notes
American General Preferred Plus 10 100 feet Open water, no penetration diving; PADI-certified or dive with guide
AXA Preferred Elite No max listed 100 feet 76-100 ft. can get Preferred Elite, but with a $2.50 flat extra. Penetration diving at $7.50 flat extra
Banner Life Preferred Plus Not strictly defined 75 feet Certification and frequency are different between Standard and Preferred
Fidelity Standard Vacation only 100 feet

Plus. $2.50 flat extra for beyond 75 ft.

No medical exam required.

Genworth Preferred Best No stated max 100 feet If no participation in a year or more, no flat extra applies; beyond 125 feet and penetration diving are $2.50 flat extra
ING Super Preferred No limit 100 feet Must be formally trained with a basic or better certification; 100 to 130 feet requires flat extra
Lincoln Financial Super Preferred No max stated 100 feet Must be certified
MetLife Standard Plus No max 100 feet Formally trained and always accom- -panied; dives past 100 feet add a $2.50-$3.50 flat extra
Minnesota Life Preferred Select No limit 100 feet Limited to lakes, rivers, pits/quarries and coastal waters.
Mutual of Omaha Preferred Plus 19 100 feet Must be certified; 100-130 feet is $3.50 flat extra; if less than 10 dives per year, it's $5 flat extra. Cave diving is $2.50-$5 flat extra.
Protective Select Preferred Individual consideration 75 feet

Lakes, rivers, pits and coastal waters.
Must be certified & accompanied. 100-foot-plus diving is $2.50-plus flat extra

Prudential Preferred No limit 100 feet 101-130 feet ok at Preferred with advanced certificate and 10+ dives/year
SBLI Preferred Plus 10 75 feet Penetration diving and diving beyond 100 feet is $2.50-plus flat extra
Transamerica Preferred Plus No Max 75 feet Preferred up to 100 feet; 101 to 250 feet is a $2.50-$5 flat extra; 250-plus feet is a $7.50-$10 flat extra


I want to get all the stories! Tell me how I can become an Undercurrent Online Member and get online access to all the articles of Undercurrent as well as thousands of first hand reports on dive operations world-wide

Find in  

| Home | Online Members Area | My Account | Login | Join |
| Travel Index | Dive Resort & Liveaboard Reviews | Featured Reports | Recent Issues | Back Issues |
| Dive Gear Index | Health/Safety Index | Environment & Misc. Index | Seasonal Planner | Blogs | Free Articles | Book Picks | News |
| Special Offers | RSS | FAQ | About Us | Contact Us | Links |

Copyright © 1996-2024 Undercurrent (
3020 Bridgeway, Ste 102, Sausalito, Ca 94965
All rights reserved.