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drsteve

Life Insurance for Divers?

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Hi All,

 

I thought I would share some thoughts about insurance other than on camera equipment. I currently have two modest term life insurance policies and recently got an ad from a professional organization I belong to about joining the group policy. I did some math and decided that the group policy was a much better deal. I figured that once I got the group policy, I could cancel the existing policies. The group policy is with the same carrier as the existing policies.

 

Let me give you a little background about my condition. I am 45, in good health and in reasonable physical condition. I have no history of serious illness, nor does anyone in my immediate family. I don't smoke, drink, or do drugs. I went through the application process, which included a physical exam by their doctor. All this passed with flying colors. However, I was denied coverage based on my scuba activities.

 

During my interview, I answered all of their questions truthfully. The asked what was my highest certification (rescue), and how many dives I have done in my lifetime (450). They asked how many dives I did last year (120), and what was the deepest I had ever dived (128ft).

 

Apparently diving within recreational dive limits, if somewhat enthusiastically, is enough to disqualify me. Oh, and I forgot to mention that one of the term policies in force was taken out after I was certified. This brings me to my questions. Is this typical? Are there companies that are more diver friendly? Was it the number of dives that disqualified me, or the max depth?

Edited by drsteve

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Many people run into this problem. Typically they end up searching around. In my case, when I first got my policies I was not actively diving but doing high altitude mountaineering. After a multitude of questions they raised the premium and took away the double indemnity clause but I had a policy. Oddly, ten years later when I raised the limit they took all of the restrictions away. I guess they figured that if I had not died yet that I was probably a god risk. Of course in the meantime I started diving again and doing technical diving. My advise is do some searching (had any luck with a policy from work??). Mine is with State Farm. Good luck.

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Typically, you will find that the insurance companies will issue a policy, at a higher rate. The same usually applies to private pilots. The lowest rates seem to be reserved for couch potatoes. Companies always advertise their lowest rates. The extra rating for divers and many others is crazy, but it's been around for years. If you are a non-diver, you can get the best rate and it can't be changed if you decide later to take up diving. Life policies are typically uncontestable and unchangeable after one or two years. So the best time to buy insurance is when you are young, healthy and not doing much of anything.

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Fortunately, I got my policies at a time a few years ago when I was not diving much, and had not dived in two years, so I could truthfully answer that I was not an active scuba diver. Once you have the policy, I think for up to two years in most cases you will not be covered if you die doing the activity. After that they cannot withdraw the policy. I'm sure this varies from policy to policy.

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