Do You Need to Insure Jet Skis?

Someone looking for a summertime thrill may decide to take a set of jet skis out to the local waterfront. While you’re envisioning fresh air and cool waters, it’s important to also take the time to factor insurance into the picture.
All types of personal watercrafts (PWCs) need some level of insurance coverage – even if your state or local municipality doesn’t require it. Although fun is the first thing on your mind, these vehicles come with many risks to yourself, others and any surrounding property.
Before you purchase PWC coverage, what do you need to consider?
The Basics
Not all PWCs are the same; with different configurations come distinct risks. For instance, with certain smaller models, the user stands or kneels. While users can sit on a larger-sized watercraft, these models are built to accommodate up to four people and are powerful enough to tow a skier or wake-boarder.
On average, a new jet ski costs about $12,000 – a considerable expense. Yet, its size, type and value determine your monthly insurance rate. As you shop around for coverage, think about the existing funds you have to repair or replace the jet ski, should something happen. Although many believe a homeowners’ policy or even an insurance rider can cover a PWC, separate coverage is often necessary.
With a separate insurance plan for your PWC, make sure it has the following:

  • Bodily injury, in case the PWC causes injuries to a bystander.
  • Property damage, in case your jet ski damages property in or around the water.
  • Guest passenger liability, to cover anyone who rides with you.
  • Medical, to cover injuries to you or another rider on the jet ski.
  • Theft, should someone steal your PWC while it’s by the water or in storage.

Depending on the cost and design of your PWC, your policy’s liability limit can be between $25,000 and $1,000,000.
Although a standard PWC policy covers anything from injuries and property damage to towing, your insurance may exclude the following:

  • Damage resulting from hitting or running into a submerged object.
  • Accidental engine overheating.
  • Theft, if your jet ski isn’t properly stored away.
  • Damage related to windstorms, hurricanes and other natural disasters.
  • Damage from an unlicensed operator, including children and adults without a Driver’s License.
  • Riding the jet ski after dark.
  • Modifications for the purpose of increasing speed.

Stay safe this season by practicing good riding habits and ensuring you have enough PWC coverage. To discuss insurance options for your jet ski or another watercraft, give us a call at 203.439.2815.