Questions about diving techniques

What does it mean when I am told to comply with the "guidelines of internationally recognised associations"? Which associations are they? Do I have to be a member of these associations?

The reason for this wording is that neither aqua med nor any insurance can make the rules for diving. This is the job of the training associations, and they have been performing this job – for the safety of all divers and in order to prevent by and large any state intervention – highly successfully for a few decades now in the context of the self-regulation of sport diving. Not only this, these rules change over the course of time. The above-mentioned wording ensures that the insurance conditions are always automatically – by being adapted to the standards of the associations – up to date. At the same time it ensures that really extreme forms of diving (e.g. 80 m with air or a PO2 of 2.0 bar) are excluded. This is in the interest of all policyholders, since it prevents individuals with an extremely high willingness to take risks from driving insurance premiums upwards for all.

The "internationally recognised associations" concerned are all the associations in the pool of the EUF (European Underwater Federation/www.euf-certification.org), CMAS (www.cmas.org) and of the WRSTC/RSTC (www.wrstc. com). Nearly all the larger organisations in existence worldwide, inter alia PADI and SSI, are brought together as part of these three associations. Even the apnoea diving/free diving and technical diving programmes of these associations fall under the aforesaid regime, as do the technical offshoots of these associations and associations which have an equivalence agreement with the latter, in that case within the scope of this agreement.

You do not need to either have a certification card from or be a member of the respective association in order to invoke its standards. (Exception: for technical diving, training needs to have been undergone, evidence for which can be provided!)

Is a certificate necessary for the validity of the dive card?

The insurance conditions expressly require training to have been undergone, evidence for which can be provided, for technical diving only, i.e. dives in which breathing gases other than compressed air or oxygen-enriched air (Nitrox) are used (TUV [Diving Accident Insurance] 4.1.2.3).

They exclude however dives in which the recommendations of internationally recognised recreational diving associations are disregarded intentionally or through gross negligence (TUV 4.1.2.1).

Even if no certification card is explicitly required for e.g. solo diving, cave diving or diving with a dry suit, we basically recommend that you dive only in keeping with the in each case applicable level of training and/or experience.

Does aqua med have it's own depth limit?

No. Neither aqua med nor our insurance partners make the rules for diving. This is the responsibility of the diving associations and we refer to their rules in our insurance conditions. This way, the conditions are automatically up to date – even if the associations change the standards. And at the same time this excludes extreme forms of diving (e.g. diving at 80 m with air or a PO2 of 2.0 bar).

How deep am I allowed to dive with the dive card?

Depending on your level of training, the depth limits are different, of course. The limit for recreational diving with compressed air is usually at 40 metres, but a tec diver diving with trimix can of course easily reach other depths. We recommend diving within the limits of your training – also in the interest of your safety and health. Despite small differences in the depth limits, the internationally recognised associations provide a general framework for safe diving. As long as you dive within this framework, you have the full protection of the dive card.

What happens if I do dive deeper on occasion?
It can of course happen that you accidentally sink to a deeper depth, dive after your camera or do not really pay attention to the depth you are at. When the recommended depth is 40 metres and you deviate from that depth, you are not automatically excluded from the insurance cover. Only an intentional or grossly negligent disregard of the guidelines for diving jeopardises your insurance cover.
aqua med promotes safe diving according to the guidelines and standards. Please ask yourself – what is the point of being insured when I endanger my own health with reckless behaviour?

At what point is my dive "grossly negligent"?
In case of doubt, an external consultant will decide where exactly the line to gross negligence is. The evaluation depends on different factors such as training and experience, but also on the local and current conditions of the dive.

Conclusion
As a medical company, your health is our priority! In order to handle potential risks while diving, it is necessary and sensible to have the respective training. Everyone who dives according to the guidelines of the internationally recognised diving associations has an optimal insurance cover. Divers without risk awareness or such deliberately looking for risks are not the right fit for us!

Does the dive card cover me for solo diving?

Yes, as a diving procedure, solo diving is covered in principle. However, the insurance conditions point to the fact that there is no insurance cover if the recommendations of internationally accepted organisations for recreational diving are intentionally or grossly negligently disregarded. The recommendations primarily concern the auxiliary equipment that is taken with, the surface marker buoy and/or the support on the surface. You can obtain further details about the individual standards and guidelines concerned from your diving association. We in any event recommend that you complete a solo diving course.

Does the dive card cover me for technical diving?

Technical diving is covered in principle under the dive card. However the insurance conditions (Section 3, 4.1.2.3) require training to have been undergone, evidence for which can be provided, and you are alerted to the fact (Section 3, 4.1.2.1) that there is no insurance cover if "the recommendations of internationally accepted organisations for recreational diving […] are intentionally or grossly negligently disregarded". You can obtain further details about the individual standards and guidelines concerned from your diving association.

Am I covered if I have assembled my equipment (e.g. 1st and 2nd stage) myself? Or if there is no EC examination?

There is no requirement for any certification in the insurance conditions. As a matter of urgency however, for your own safety, we consider that the (EC) certification of diving equipment makes sense and we recommend that you comply with manufacturers' specifications. The best way forward would be for you to enquire directly with the manufacturer as to whether the components used by you are technically compatible.