Snorkeling and scuba diving are two of the most popular vacation activities for tourists, especially in tropical locations. Snorkelers and divers get the opportunity to experience life below the waters surfaceseeing everything from sea turtles and vibrant coral to sharks and shipwrecks! As fascinating and thrilling as these activities can be, however, there are always certain risks that come with taking a plunge into the great blue unknown.
It is estimated that one million people worldwide become scuba certified each year. In 2017 alone, more than 8 million people snorkeled in the United States. As the popularity of these activities increases, though, so do accidents. Between 2006 and 2016, more than 1,100 scuba- and snorkeling-related deaths were reported by the Divers Alert Network. From injuries and medical evacuation to unexpected cancellation of your dream dive trip, a comprehensive travel insurance plan with a hazardous sports rider can help to ensure that youre covered for the unexpected.
Does Travel Insurance Cover Snorkeling and Scuba Diving?
Scuba diving is not typically covered by most travel insurance. Usually, an optional add on for hazardous sports will be required to be covered for diving. Additionally, there are limitations and restrictions for each plan, usually related to the depth of the dive and level of certified instructor supervision. Recreational snorkeling is covered by most travel insurance plans, but whether youre snorkeling or diving, be sure to read your policy details closely before grabbing your flippers and jumping in the water.
Tips for Snorkeling and Scuba DivingWhile you're on your adventure, be sure to keep in mind a few things:
- Before going diving, you will need to either take a safety course with a tour company or get scuba certified through a licensed dive school. Snorkeling does not require certification, but it is smart to review the best safety practices before leaving land.
- Unless you are a very experienced diver, always dive with licensed instructors. Your risk of injury is much lower when you are diving with tour companies and individuals who know the area, body of water and how to stay safe.
- Pay attention to local warnings and don't dive or snorkel in areas that have been declared dangerous by local authorities. Also, always take note of riptide and current warnings.
- Never go into the water alone. If you are injured or become overtired, its a good idea to have someone with you so that they can contact emergency services if necessary.
- Sunscreen: Especially important for snorkelers who tend to stay near to the surface without a wetsuit, waterproof sunscreen and SPF lip balm are a must, even if its cloudy! Many destinations require sunscreen to be reef safe, so try to find a brand that is approved for ocean swimming.
- Water Shoes or Flippers: Protect your feet from hot sand and sharp rocks with a sturdy pair of water shoes. Use flippers, especially when diving, for extra swimming power.
- Underwater Camera: Youll want to remember the colorful fish and underwater creatures you see! The photos you take will be great for sharing with friends and family.
Check out our travel insurance plans for snorkeling and scuba diving below, and connect with us at VisitorsCoverage for help choosing the best plan for your next trip.