Buying Snorkeling Travel Insurance

Make Sure It Covers Snorkeling Accidents

Snorkeler in the water with sunset in background.

We buy snorkeling travel insurance for many of our trips, but not all. Our #1 tip when shopping is to make sure the policy specifically states that snorkeling accidents are covered. Because some exclude snorkeling, or lump snorkeling in with diving, which is excluded, or consider it an extreme sport, which is not covered. And if you would like a lesson in patience, try calling the company to see if snorkeling is covered, only to be told “read the policy”. We have even had insurance be required by a snorkel tour company, which is not unusual, but the insurance company they recommended did not cover snorkeling!

Fortunately, we have some recommendations for you below, which will save you a lot of research.

Note: Our suggestions come from hands-on experience. We hope you find them helpful. You can help us if you purchase from the links below. We may make a small commission, from Amazon or other companies, at no extra cost to you.

We have two companies we can recommend for travel insurance that include snorkeling as a covered activity under their normal policies.

World Nomads Snorkeling Travel Insurance

World Nomads offers snorkeling travel insurance

World Nomads explicitly lists snorkeling as a water activity that is covered in their Standard and Explorer plans. You can see that on their list of over 150 covered activities here. They specialize in adventure travel coverage, and have great customer service. World Nomads is highly recommended by many adventure travel companies like Lonely Planet.

World Nomads sells coverage for residents of over 130 countries worldwide for travel to most countries in the world, which makes them easy to recommend to our international readers. You can buy or extend policies online even when already on your trip, which is a nice perk.

Besides travel medical coverage for snorkeling accidents or other medical issues, they offer coverage for trip cancellation or interruption, medical evacuation and repatriation, baggage and personal effects protection, and more. You can get a quote on their website here.

There are a couple downsides to using World Nomads:

  1. The trip cancellation coverage is limited to a maximum of $10,000. So if your trip costs more than that and you have to cancel it, that is the most you will be reimbursed.
  2. They have a maximum age limit on their policies for residents of the USA and Canada, if not more countries. For USA residents the limit is 70 years old and for Canadians it is 65. We know that this is a limitation that will affect some of our readers.

RoamRight Snorkeling Travel Insurance

If you are a resident of the USA and will pay more than $10,000 for your trip, or are over 70, we can recommend RoamRight Travel Insurance as another good option that includes snorkeling in their list of activities covered in most of their policies. You can see that list here.

They have this page about what benefits they offer seniors in travel insurance and how to get the most out of it. They offer trip cancellation coverage for what you paid for your trip, with a maximum limit of $250,000.

They also offer medical evacuation and repatriation, baggage and personal effects protection, and more. You can get a quote on their website here.

Options for Non-USA Residents

Since World Nomads limits their policies by age and amount of cancellation coverage, and RoamRight is only for USA residents, we know that some of you will not be able to use either of these companies. Unfortunately as residents of the USA, we don’t have experience with the travel insurance options in other countries, like Canada and the UK.

The best we can tell you is to do your research into the offerings in your country. We would start with a government resource, which will give you a starting point of what coverages are recommended and where to find reputable companies.

We did hear from one of our Canadian community members that his annual fee credit card includes travel insurance with medical, but you will need an extension to that coverage if you are over 65 years of age and traveling for more than three days.

Travel Insurance Due Diligence

You must do your best to read the fine print of the policy you are purchasing to make sure that you are getting the coverage you need. There are many exclusions in the travel insurance world and you don’t want to be surprised when your issue is not covered. The COVID-19 pandemic was a real wake-up call for these exclusions for many folks, and it will continue to be something travelers need to consider both when choosing to travel and when purchasing a travel insurance policy.

Be aware when reading reviews of travel insurance companies, that the pandemic has been quite challenging for both consumers and providers. The most important thing you can do is make sure your policy covers what you need covered and that you are collecting and keeping correct records.

And be aware that traveling during a pandemic is risky in terms of travel insurance. If your government has a “do not travel” advisory for your destination, for example, some travel insurance coverages are not valid. Be sure to read the fine print about what they do cover during the pandemic.

When Do We Buy Snorkeling Travel Insurance?

We don’t always buy snorkeling travel insurance for our trips, but we often do. For the low cost of the insurance it is a no-brainer in these circumstances:

  • If it is a remote destination the costs of emergency medical evacuation can be incredibly high, and will not be covered by our health insurance. One emergency air evacuation can run $200,000 or more from remote islands. A simple accident could create a huge financial burden for us.
  • If we are traveling during hurricane season. Those trips have a much higher risk of unexpected cancellation, interruption, or emergency evacuation.
  • If the trip is expensive we will buy in case of unexpected cancellations, or illness.
  • If trip insurance is required by a tour operator. This is very common on group guided trips.

Sometimes our flight costs are already covered by cancellation insurance provided by our travel credit card, so we may not need as high of coverage from a purchased plan.

The times when we don’t buy snorkeling travel insurance are when we are traveling to a place like Hawaii where our health insurance will cover an accident, and our trip costs are low because we got free flights from miles.

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Have We Needed Our Snorkeling Travel Insurance?

We have been fortunate enough not to need to file a claim yet. But we have heard from many folks who had to cancel their trip and ended up using their snorkeling travel insurance to get their money back.

We have also seen accidents and health issues occur with other snorkelers who were on group trips, where snorkeling trip insurance was a life saver. Some had wounds, that required medical assistance. Some got infections. Maybe the most common issue we have witnessed and experienced ourselves is a bad bout of travel sickness. That can easily leave you very dehydrated which can lead to hospitalization.

We can’t stress enough that if you are in a remote location and have a medical issue, and you need to be evacuated quickly, you could come home with some massive bills. That is the primary reason we buy good travel insurance that we know for sure covers snorkeling!

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