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Thread: DM Cert = More liability??

  1. #1
    Barracuda
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    Question DM Cert = More liability??

    Hi All,
    Few questions about Dive Master Certification.
    1) Do you think just having DM cert brings with it more legal liability when diving in general and not in a DM capacity?

    2) Do you have to maintain insurance with your DM cert? How much does that cost?

    3) Does your DM cert earn you anything? Real cash money? Benifits with a dive shop (free air, free boat trips, free maintanence on gear, dicount on gear?) Can you travel and just hook up a DM gig? What compensation would you expect?

    Thanks for any thoughts.

    I am AOW, years ago I assisted in OW classes with my LDS with just my OW cert. Last month while diving in Jamaica, the DM liked my diving well enough to ask me to "take up the rear, solo" to help look after a group of 7 divers, as the op was short one DM. I gladely agreed. I like looking after others and not being buddied. On this trip there were two divers that needed assitance
    with bouyancy issues. One was corking up and I caught up with him to help dump the last of the air out of his BC. The other, I put rocks in his BC pockets toward the end of the dive. All went well, but it really had me wondering what kind of liability I might really be taking on?? Would it increase or decrease my liability if I had DM cert and/or DM cert with insurance??
    Any thoughts on this one??

  2. #2
    Guppy
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    1) Do you think just having DM cert brings with it more legal liability when diving in general and not in a DM capacity?

    2) Do you have to maintain insurance with your DM cert? How much does that cost?

    3) Does your DM cert earn you anything? Real cash money? Benifits with a dive shop (free air, free boat trips, free maintanence on gear, dicount on gear?) Can you travel and just hook up a DM gig? What compensation would you expect?
    1) Yep

    2) Depends where you are, it is very pricey in the US in my opinion ($500+ a year), one of the reasons I'm not active at the moment, just sustaining.

    3) Depends on the store. You will prob be able to get free air, gear discounts if you DM for them, possibly free trips.

    When I was a DM I didn't make any cash at all, I did get to dive a lot though with free air and trips with the students. In theory you can get a DM gig anywhere, but don't expect a ton of cash, I doubt its a liveable wage in most places.

  3. #3
    Grouper
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    It is the same as a karate master... if you were to get into a fight and hurt somebody really bad, your experience would qualify you for a whole new set of questions and liability.

    Same with a boxer, a doctor, or anyone with certified credentials.

  4. #4
    TadPole Rigdiver's Avatar
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    I believe in a sue-happy society like we live in here in the US anything is possible and the possibility of someone suing you is real. On the other hand you hate to live your life worried about wheather or not someone is going to sue you. Yes, a Divemaster cert. is added liability but the DM is always under the watchful eye of the Instructor. If you learned what was taught in DM class you'll do just just fine. Do your job to the best of your ability and you'll have no problems.

  5. #5
    Grouper
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    I am a DMC.. But I was told, if you are not in a DM Capacity you are not really liable. You are laible like any other diver..

    You are not giving any service so I wonder what they would sue you for?
    Do you guys have a good samaritan law?.

    if you were assisiting a instructor that is different. But you still need to be insured since the inst. insurance doesn't cover you. I am in Canada and someone told me it is cheaper than US for the insurance.

  6. #6
    Barracuda
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    DM definitely make you a target. Whether its valid or holds up is another matter.

    The real question is why do you want DM? Do you want to lead divers in a professional capacity? Do you want to assist classes in a professional capacity?

    There are other classes better suited to improving your diving if you don't want to teach/assist new divers.

  7. #7
    Grand Master Spammer Founding Member
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    Yes, it makes you more liable, but more liable doesn't necessarily mean you will be sued (or at least, sued successfully).

    Basic insurance policies for full coverage (so you can run independent DM-lead programs, where permitted) starts at $325 per year. "Assisting-only" policies start at $225, and may be sufficient.

    If you work, you can probably get discounts on gear and "pro deals" to save some significant money on equipment. Beyond that, however, I hope to just make enough to offset the cost of insurance, which shouldn't be too tough. Don't be under any illusion that you're going to make a lot of money, however. Not in this country, at least.

  8. #8
    Barracuda
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    Quote Originally Posted by in_cavediver View Post
    DM definitely make you a target. Whether its valid or holds up is another matter.

    The real question is why do you want DM? Do you want to lead divers in a professional capacity? Do you want to assist classes in a professional capacity?

    There are other classes better suited to improving your diving if you don't want to teach/assist new divers.
    My next cert will be Rescue.
    In my OP I spoke of assisting a DM by being at the back of the pack. I ended up assisting two divers and it got me thinking about the liability issue.

    I like the role of assisting and being the watchfull eyes and am thinking seriously of getting on the training/teaching track.
    Last edited by WaScubaDude; 12-20-2007 at 12:20. Reason: more to be said

  9. #9
    Barracuda
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    Since anyone can sue anybody for almost anything in our litigious society you have to assume that, as a dive professional, you could be targeted. A good lawyer will find a way to get almost any case into court, or at least force a settlement. That's what they get paid to do.

    But...you can't really worry about that if you want to DM. There's no money in it, so if you DM you do it because it's part of your passion for diving and you get the best training you can. When it's time to hit the water, don't forget your "A" game. And don't forget... it's still fun.
    NAUI Instructor, NAUI Trimix Diver

  10. #10
    Barracuda
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    Quote Originally Posted by CompuDude View Post
    Yes, it makes you more liable, but more liable doesn't necessarily mean you will be sued (or at least, sued successfully).

    Basic insurance policies for full coverage (so you can run independent DM-lead programs, where permitted) starts at $325 per year. "Assisting-only" policies start at $225, and may be sufficient.

    If you work, you can probably get discounts on gear and "pro deals" to save some significant money on equipment. Beyond that, however, I hope to just make enough to offset the cost of insurance, which shouldn't be too tough. Don't be under any illusion that you're going to make a lot of money, however. Not in this country, at least.
    PADI standards only require insurance when leading PADI DM lead programs, and not when assisting an instructor or supervising certified divers. The do, however, recommend insurance in all circumstances.

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