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Does travel insurance cover shark cage diving?

Planning to swim with the sharks? Find a travel insurance policy to cover it.

So you've decided to go swimming with the sharks. While the adrenalin is still pumping, it's time to weigh your travel insurance options because not all insurers cover risky activities and adventure sports as part of their standard cover. Read on to find out what's covered, and what's not.

Which travel insurance companies cover shark cage diving?

Brand Additional conditions that apply Enquire
boomers logo Covered provided you are using an artificial breathing apparatus at a depth no greater than 10 metres, and hold an open water diving licence recognised in Australia or dive with an instructor licensed for these activities. Get Quote
CoverMore Although Shark Cage Diving is not specifically excluded, reasonable care would need to be taken in order for cover to apply. What is reasonable care?
This is not specifically defined, however, depending on the circumstances, reasonable care could mean, but is not limited to:
  • Wearing all applicable safety clothes/gear.
  • Ensuring all instructions are followed.
  • Not intentionally endangering yourself or others.
  • As with all sporting activities, cover is only provided if you are not competing in a Professional capacity, and not racing.
Get Quote
Easy Travel Insurance Covered provided that you follow safety measures and aren't involved in any professional sporting activity. Get Quote
Fast Cover Covered provided you are using an artificial breathing apparatus at a depth no greater than 10 metres, and hold an open water diving licence recognised in Australia or dive with an instructor licensed for these activities.You will need to buy the Adventure Pack Add-on if you wish to participate in Shark cage diving between 10m and 30m. Shark cage diving more than 30 metres cannot be covered. Get Quote
Insure4less You will need to provide a web link to the licenced commercial operator providing your dive, which will be forwarded to the underwriter for consideration (you'll normally receive a response within 1-2 business days). Get Quote
Online Travel Insurance Covered provided you are using an artificial breathing apparatus at a depth no greater than 10 metres, and hold an open water diving licence recognised in Australia or dive with an instructor licensed for these activities. Get Quote
STA Travel Insurance Automatically covered Get Quote
Travel Insuranz Covered, provided that the activity is provided by a licenced commercial operator (please note that cover for these activities is not available in the USA or Canada). Get Quote
Virgin Money Covered provided you are using an artificial breathing apparatus at a depth no greater than 10 metres, and hold an open water diving licence recognised in Australia or dive with an instructor licensed for these activities. Get Quote
webjet logo Covered provided you are using an artificial breathing apparatus at a depth no greater than 10 metres, and hold an open water diving licence recognised in Australia or dive with an instructor licensed for these activities. Get Quote
whyinsurance_logo Covered provided you are using an artificial breathing apparatus at a depth no greater than 10 metres, and hold an open water diving licence recognised in Australia or dive with an instructor licensed for these activities. Get Quote
worldcare travel insurance logo Covered provided you are using an artificial breathing apparatus at a depth no greater than 10 metres, and hold an open water diving licence recognised in Australia or dive with an instructor licensed for these activities. Get Quote
zoom-logo Covered as long as the activity is conducted under appropriate supervision. Get Quote

How do insurers cover shark cave diving?

Scuba diving itself is an inherently risky activity with certain conditions and restrictions, and potential risks include decompression sickness or nitrogen poisoning, barotrauma and others. Cage diving alone carries its own set of risks. When cage diving with scuba gear, you must in all cases either hold a recognised open water diving licence or be under the supervision of a licensed instructor while in the water. Even then, some insurers will not cover shark cage diving under any circumstances, while others have additional requirements. These are typical conditions under which insurers cover shark cage diving:

  • None means the insurer covers shark cage diving with no conditions other than you either holding an open water diving licence or are under licensed instruction while cage diving. Some insurers may also have specific conditions around the open water licence, such as that it was issued in Australia.
  • 10m and 30m are depth limits in certain policies that apply to all scuba diving activities, and not just shark cage diving. Where no depth limit is listed, there is none.
  • No cover listed policies do not offer any cover for shark cage diving
  • While some insurers will cover your thrilling adventure at no additional cost, others will charge you extra for the privilege. Some won’t cover that part of your trip at all.And when you do find someone to cover you, there will always be certain requirements and exclusions you must adhere to.

Understanding the conditions for shark cage diving travel insurance

To be covered for shark cage diving you must:

  • Either hold an open water diving licence or be under the supervision of a licensed diving professional. If you have a licence, some insurers require that it be issued in Australia, while other insurers specify that the licence must be recognised in Australia.
  • Choose an insurer that does not exclude it entirely. Of the insurers on finder, some (including Budget Direct, Dodo, InsureandGo, Multitrip and Tick) do not cover shark cage diving at all.
  • Be within the depth limits. Many insurers will only cover you while diving up to depths of 10m while others go to 30m, and others still have no depth limits at all.
  • Be aware of restrictions that may apply to boating, such as needing to be within 10km of the shore.

Do I need to tell my insurer that I’m going shark diving?

When signing up for an insurance policy, you have a duty of disclosure. This is a legal obligation to tell the insurer about anything they should reasonably know which increases the risk of insuring you. Typically, you can fulfil your duty of disclosure simply by filling out the forms and answering questions honestly. If you are not sure whether or not you will be covered and it is not clear by reading the PDS, it is always best to disclose the activity you will be participating in.

  • Your policy does not mention scuba diving or shark diving: you will specifically need to inform the insurer about your plans.
  • Your policy does mention scuba or shark diving: you will not specifically need to tell the insurer about your plans, because the relevant terms and conditions are already built into the policy, and telling the insurer about it doesn't change anything.
  • Cage diving is an optional extra: you will naturally need to opt in, and disclose your plans if you want cover.

You should be able to know exactly how and when your travel insurance policy will cover shark cage diving just by reading the PDS. If it isn't clear, you should raise the issue with your insurer.


Will I pay more for shark cage diving cover?

The cost of including shark cage diving in your travel insurance policy can vary between insurers. It will either be covered free of charge, covered for an additional premium or excluded altogether, for example*:

  • For instance, STA covers shark cage diving at no additional cost.
  • Boomers Travel Insurance restricts your diving to depths of 10m without purchasing the optional Adventure Pack which extends the depth limit to 30m.
  • Budget Direct, Dodo, InsureandGo, Multitrip and Tick do not cover shark cage diving at all.

*The above information was last verified in January 2018. To make sure that you're covered, always read the PDS before buying a policy.


What to do if you injure yourself overseas

If you need to make a travel insurance claim for injury:

  • Your first priority should be to ensure your and other people’s safety, and to get out of immediate danger if necessary.
  • Contact your insurer as soon as you are reasonably able. Ideally you’ll have an insurance provider that can pay up-front and can negotiate with the hospital directly. If not, you will typically need to cover the costs yourself and then submit a claims form to the insurer later to get reimbursed for applicable costs.
  • Gather and submit any relevant documentation as needed, such as proof of injuries and medical expenses, and send them to the insurer.

Learn more about how to make a successful claim, and how requirements may vary between travel insurance brands, or start comparing policies online if you’re after cover for scuba and shark cage diving.

Compare travel insurance options for shark cage diving

Picture: Shutterstock

Andrew Munro

Andrew writes for finder.com, comparing products, writing guides and looking for new ways to help people make smart decisions. He's a fan of insurance, business news and cryptocurrency.

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