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Scuba Diving travel Insurance

Riding the waves this holiday? Life's not always a beach. Here's some fast facts about this popular sport:

  • About 25 percent of diving fatalities are associated with a cardiac event, and these mainly occur in older divers.
  • A condition called nitrogen narcosis can affect divers who venture below the depth of 30 meters. This condition leads to hallucinations and unconsciousness and can be fatal.
  • The limit for recreational scuba diving is 30.48 m. Divers have lost their lives trying to dive the world record (currently 332.35m).
  • Ascending too quickly and not following diving guidelines are two main causes of decompression sickness, otherwise known as ‘the bends”.
  • Scuba diving continues to grow in popularity, and since 1967, PADI has issued over 25,000,000 diver certifications globally.

Keep reading to find out what travel insurance can help you with if you're planning to go scuba diving this holiday.

What do we cover if you're going scuba diving?

If you find yourself in deep water, we might be able to help:

  • We'll cover scuba diving on all overseas travel insurance policies. See the Policy Wording for details
  • For most policies (except Domestic policies), we provide medical and hospital assistance, and medical evacuation, if it's deemed necessary
  • Depending on your policy, you could also be covered for pre-paid activities that you miss out on because you’re unable to travel. See the PDS for details

​Remember, you're only covered if you hold an open water diving license from a certified or accredited body, or your diving instructor holds a PADI accredited license.

what don't We Cover If you're going scuba diving?

You won’t be covered for anything arising from your scuba diving if:

  • You’re under the influence of any intoxicating liquor or drugs (except a prescribed drug)
  • You’re part of a competition or diving professionally
  • You don't hold an open water diving license from a certified or accredited body, or your diving instructor doesn't hold a PADI accredited license
  • You don’t follow instructions and/or wear the appropriate safety equipment
  • You dive with a pre-existing medical condition that affects your diving and you never told us about it
  • You need to use a decompression chamber and you're diving domestically.


The one place to go scuba diving

By Award Winning Travel Writer Ben Groundwater


There’s plenty of fun to be had on the surface of the Gili Islands, the three stunning tropical outcrops near Bali and Lombok in Indonesia. On Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air you’ll find a laidback, bohemian vibe, the perfect antidote to the tourist-heavy centres nearby. There’s no motorised traffic on the Gilis. In fact there’s very little of anything at all: just a few quiet settlements with a good selection of chilled-out accommodation to suit most budgets. There’s no stress in the Gilis. Nothing to worry about.

And all of that is great. Still, as much fun as you can have above water around here, it’s even better down below. It’s better once you’ve donned a mask and fins, stuck a regulator in your mouth, let the air out of your BCD, and begun to sink down into underwater paradise. 
The scuba-diving around the Gilis is phenomenal. 

For those who love turtles, this is your spot. There are turtles everywhere around the Gilis. This is also a great place for drift diving, with a few reliable currents, as well as to check out some unique natural underwater features like Meno Wall and Secret Reef. There are plenty of big fish around the Deep Turbo site, and the sleek, eponymous sea-life at Shark Point. The Gilis are also an ideal place to either get certified or improve your qualifications, with plenty of dive shops offering good deals on courses and certifications.

Of course, divers have a whole world of possibilities out there on their future holidays. Most bucket-lists for underwater fans will feature the likes of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, Sipadan in Malaysia, Alotau in Papua New Guinea, the wreck of the SS President Coolidge in Vanuatu, and the clear seas of Yolanda Reef in the Egyptian Red Sea. However, for the best of all worlds, head directly to the Gilis. And enjoy.     

DISCLAIMER: The views stated are the views of the author only, are written for entertainment purposes, and are not intended as advice in regards to insurance or otherwise.
Please note that no medical cover is available for New Zealand residents while diving in New Zealand.

Stay safe: Scuba diving Top tips 

  • don't hold your breath

    It's a mantra you should keep repeating to yourself, because holding your breath underwater can result in serious injury or even death. That's because the air in your lungs expands and contracts as you ascend and descend underwater. But if you don't breath out, the air can't escape as it expands, causing the lung walls to rupture. 

  • Practice flexibility and breathing

    Fitness is paramount when you're diving. Strength is important but so are supple muscles and confident, steady breathing. Many people who go on diving holidays say that swimming and yoga helps them when it comes to being underwater.

  • Don't dive with open wounds

    This is especially important when you're diving around coral reefs where skin is more prone to infection. If you do have sores or wounds, make sure you protect the wound with gauze and waterproof tape.

  • don't panic

    Panicking is a leading cause of many diving accidents. So if you can, figure out how you might respond to scuba diving conditions. Things like meditation and breathing techniques can help you if you have a personality that's prone to panic, so talk to experienced divers about what they do when they face issues underwater.

  • "Plan your dive and dive your plan"

    This is a well-known mantra amongst divers. Contrary to popular belief, diving is a well-planned sport and every diver needs to know their depth and the time limit they have in the water. It's often recommended that you approach your depth cautiously - it's better to stay a little shallower to have some room to breathe - literally! 

Scuba Diving FAQs

  • what does licensed instruction mean?
  • It means that the person who is instructing you and taking you on the scuba dive is a PADI licensed instructor or any other instructor with an open water license recognised in New Zealand.

  • What's the diving depth you cover until?
  • There is no limit on the depth you dive to, however you should follow the restrictions of your open water licence or that of your diving instructor and always follow the safety instructions provided by your instructor.

  • Will I be covered if I miss my dive?
  • There is a provision to claim for Cancellation Fees and Lost Deposits of unused travel arrangements if you have to cancel your trip or your trip is shortened due to claimable events such as injury/illness, and the fees cannot be recouped from the provider.

  • My doctor has advised I don’t dive on my holiday. Will I still be covered?
  • We would not be able to provide medical cover for you if you are going against medical advice.

  • Is my diving equipment covered?
  • Under the standard Luggage and Personal effects benefit we provide cover for sporting equipment that you own up to $750, but we don't cover the equipment while it's in use.  Note that we don't cover rental equipment. 

  • How much am I covered for if something happens to me while diving?
  • Provided you are within the parameters stated in the Policy Wording, and you don’t have a Domestic or Frequent Traveller Domestic policy, then the benefit we offer is unlimited. Terms and conditions apply. Please note that we don't cover for Search and Rescue. 

  • What if I need medical assistance after I’ve been diving? 
  • In an emergency, get yourself to hospital. As soon as it's possible, we advise that you or a member of your travelling party call our medical assistance team who will be able to liaise with you or the hospital.  



Find out More about...

Activities We cover

We cover 100+ activities. Find out all information you need about what’s covered and what’s not before you go adventuring. 

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