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Life Insurance for Tech Diving

Discussion in 'Technical Diving' started by Michael Guerrero, Nov 28, 2016.

  1. Michael Guerrero

    Michael Guerrero Contributor

    Anyone know a life insurance company that will cover technical diving without charging outrageous premiums?
  2. bl6394

    bl6394 Contributor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Mansfield, TX
    I get supplemental life insurance through my employer from Metlife. I had to fill out about 14 pages of questions - and they took more than a month - but they did approve me for a fairly reasonable premium.

    Otherwise, the price for individual life policies I could find on my own was outrageous ~ $5000 / yr.
  3. Michael Guerrero

    Michael Guerrero Contributor

    Yeah, I just got a quote for $470/month. I'll keep looking.
  4. Remy B.

    Remy B. Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Rotterdam
    I use AquaMed, but that is a EU insurance don't know if it works you been a resident in the US, I know it will cover me if I go diving in the US
  5. Centrals

    Centrals Contributor

    # of Dives:
    Location: Hong Kong
    My life insurance does not cover Tec dive.
    But I use DAN Asia-Pacific Insurance for diving:
    The Preferred Plan or Preferred Plus Plan. Any depth with proper training, equipment etc etc. So I am fine as long as I stay within 100m.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2016
  6. KeithG

    KeithG Guest

    Getting an add-on to a group plan (or verifying coverage/inclusion in a group plan) will always be way cheaper than an individual policy.

    Individual policies are based upon you and you only. They ask your height, weight, age and a whole pile of other embaraasing things. Group plans are based upon an anonymous group of people. They don't ask anyone any questions. They assume the group is a "normal" group of people. It is left up to the insurance company to decide what constitutes normal.

    The probability of you as a tec diver having a tec diving accident is much higher than someone from a random group of people off the street. Hence an individual product will quickly identify a risk and (appropriately) increase the premium. A group policy will crunch numbers and decide it is highly unlikely that on average anyone in the group is a scuba diver.

    Group insurance and individual insurance are very different industries.
  7. bl6394

    bl6394 Contributor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Mansfield, TX
    I understand the difference between Group and Individual Life.

    The group life policy at my employer is a benefit of employment and only offers guaranteed coverage up to 1X my salary. I added on a supplemental life product for an additional 3X Salary - which was discretionary upon the part of the insurer , required a questionnaire, and approval. It was not guaranteed.

    I was asked all of the embarrassing personal / medical questions - and an additional 14 pages of questions related to my diving. How deep recreationally do you dive, training history, frequency, dive planning, dive execution. (Questions repeated for Deep, Cave, Deco, Mixed Gas, Solo, CCR, Teaching, etc.)

    As previously indicated - the rate for supplemental was reasonable - roughly $600 / year - and considerably less expensive than the $5000 / yr for similar Individual Life coverage. It was not; however, obligatory on the part of the insurer - and it did require disclosing the extent of my activities as a condition of coverage.
  8. CuzzA

    CuzzA Percoidea Wetwork for Hire ScubaBoard Supporter

    Individual policies are typically much less expensive than a group policy because there is no underwriting on individuals under a group policy. The pesky questions and blood and urine test are a benefit for two reasons. A) It's a free exam. B) You could potentially save thousands of dollars over the life of the policy.

    However, if you have medical issues and/or a risky advocation (technical diving) then you can bet most companies will add a flat fee per thousand dollars of insurance based on the assessed risk.

    I can get healthy folks policies issued at premium rates up to 100 feet (sometimes without any exam), deeper than that and we shop around.

    A group policy is a great way to access life insurance if you have medical issues or a risky advocation. However, there may be a caveat. With group life insurance the employer owns the plan, not you. If your employer changes their insurance plan or you are seperated from service you may be SOL. Especially if in between the time you originally applied for the group plan and there happened to be an issue where you no longer had coverage and you developed some medical issue that left you uninsurable, well... That's it. Nothing you can do.

    I always advocate owning some sort of individual life insurance policy if possible. A company may be willing to exclude a death benefit where you exceed an agreed upon depth limit for coverage. At least you'll own your own the cheap policy for all other perils including diving up to a certain depth (usually 100 feet). Then in addition add the potentially less reliable group policy for those other risks, like technical diving. Note, some group plans do allow you to continue the coverage after separation of service.

    I also advocate having a complete set of estate plans in good order, including a living trust to avoid probate and advanced directives.

    Michael if you would like I could do some digging for you and run quotes through just about every life insurance company. PM me if you're interested.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2016
  9. KeithG

    KeithG Guest

    Can you clarify this statement?
  10. CuzzA

    CuzzA Percoidea Wetwork for Hire ScubaBoard Supporter

    Sure. From an actuarial standpoint an insurance company doesn't have the data to determine the level of risk they are taking on for individuals in a group plan.

    For example, they could issue a group plan on 100 employees for a company and a large amount of those employees are high risk. How would they know the risk if they didn't underwrite each individual? They don't know, so instead they factor the extra risk into the premium.

    Now, as an employee your cost may be less if the employer is contributing to the cost of your premium. If you are allowed to continue your policy after separation of service you may now be on the hook for the full premium amount. Similar to how people have sticker shock when they elect COBRA for health insurance after quitting or losing their job. It's often misunderstood by the employee as to why their health insurance is so high, and it's not because the premium went up, it's because the employer is no longer contributing to their premium cost.

    Conversely, for an individual life insurance policy the company is likely pulling your medical records, motor vehicle records, Medical Information Bureau records, maybe even your credit report and sending a nurse out to collect blood, urine, height and weight. Although these days, if your records are good, they typically exempt you from the paramed exam for death benefits up to $500k. An advocation like diving, however, typically triggers the paramed exam as a requirement.

    Now, the company has all the important data to assess the risk. An underwriter looks at your complete profile and follows the company guidelines to determine the rate class. Because they know the risk they are taking they can offer policies much cheaper than they could if they didn't have that information, assuming you are health.

    If you compare the cost of the same policies from two decades ago to today's cost you'll find premiums are much less expensive. The primary reason... More information provided to underwriters so they can make better risk assessments.

    This may sound like prodding and prying and too invasive from a consumer standpoint, but it's actually a good thing. You want your insurance company making solid choices because your death benefit is only as good as the claims paying ability of the insurance company. Although many states do have a guaranty fund to back insurers in the rare case a company were to become insolvent.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2016
    KeithG likes this.

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