Do I need a scuba diving insurance?

Last weekend I was at the birthday party of my favorite niece and I was talking with one of my uncles who is also a passionate scuba diver. Big difference between us he loves to dive fresh water and I'm a salty lover. At this birthday party he was telling me he had taken an extra insurance for scuba diving. This peeked my interest because globally we 'Dutchies' are the second most insured people you'll ever going to meet (The Swiss are the number one). So what has DAN (Divers Alert Network) which my own insurance company doesn't have?

You're probably thinking right now how people can be over insured. Well as it seems we Dutch love our insurances and have an insurance for almost anything. In some cases we are double or even triple insured. Just to give some examples of basic insurances we have:

  • Liability insurance
  • Health insurance
  • Car insurance
  • Travel insurance (global and including medical)
  • Insurance for the contents of your house (example when there is a fire)
  • Insurance for being able to cancel my holiday in certain circumstances
  • Insurance for legal counsel
  • Funeral insurance (morbid but practical)

Sooo... With all these kind of insurances you would say at least one of them also covers my medical expenses in the possible case of a scuba diving accident. I took on the challenge and did some research in to my own insurances and what Dan offers.

DAN (Divers Alert Network)
"Your primary medical insurance may exclude scuba diving as a hazardous recreational activity and/or may not provide coverage when you are traveling out of the country." This is one of the main reasons described by DAN to take a scuba diving insurance. And don't get me wrong! I'm not debating the need for an insurance, I'm only checking in which way my own insurances cover what DAN offers. Below is a printscreen of the DAN website.

My research
Despite looking reasonable simple it took quite some time to check if what DAN offers is included in my own insurances. I love to scuba dive any change I get in the Netherlands and abroad. This means I have to check if I'm insured in the Netherlands and if I'm insured when on holiday. This meant checking three different insurances: health insurance, travel insurance and the medical addition to my travel insurance. Fun isn't it!

After a certain amount of irritating time, OK I'll be honest, after an hour of fruitless checking my insurance policies I gave up and just checked with my insurance company through Facebook. The most interesting part was if hyperbaric chamber treatment would be in my basic insurance.

The answer was that I was insured for everything with my basic health insurance for scuba diving in the Netherlands, including hyperbaric chamber treatment. When abroad I would need a travel insurance, including the medical addition. Luckily I already have those insurances :)

It's good to know that, as a true Dutchie befits, I'm totally insured! When having a scuba diving accident at least I don't have to be worrying about expenses and all.

Do I need a scuba diving insurance?
This question is less easily answered. As you've read above I'm insured with already existing insurances, so I don't need an insurance specifically for scuba diving. However I'm also aware that the Dutch do have a lot of insurances and this isn't the case in other countries. You'll have to check personally what you're insured for and what not (for example the hyperbaric chamber treatment). Then you can decide yourself if an extra insurance is needed or preferred.

!Important Note!:
The situation described above is within the Netherlands. Insurance policies differ per country and may even differ per company within the Netherlands. Always check with your own insurance company if you are insured for possible medical treatment you need in the possible case of a scuba diving accident.

For the Dutch readers. I'm insured with the insurance company 'Interpolis'. The answer they gave me was that hyperbaric treatment is covered in your health insurance.

More information:
- Insurances at DAN
- Funny article about Dutch insurances from 'Stuff that Dutch people like'

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