Riding your personal watercraft on the water can be loads of fun, especially when you are amongst friends. However, accidents can happen at any time. Even if you are careful, which is why you should be prepared for the worst. That’s where personal watercraft insurance comes into the picture, as it ensures that you can stay safe and any accident wouldn’t ruin your fun.
If you’re someone who doesn’t know about personal watercraft insurance (PWC) or wants to learn more about it, you’ve come to the right place, as we are going to talk about everything that you know about it.
What Is Personal Watercraft Insurance?
Personal watercraft are mechanical crafts used to ride on the water and are usually used for enjoyment. Some widely available watercraft offerings are WaveRunners and Jet-Skis. They can provide you with plenty of fun on the water. However, like most moving vehicles, things can get out of hand easily, and they are subject to accidents. That’s why it is a good idea to get the proper insurance to protect yourself financially in case things take a turn for the worse.
Personal watercraft are not covered by homeowner’s insurance (and in the rare cases that they are, the coverage limits are fairly low). In this instance, personal watercraft insurance (PWC) is specifically designed to get insurance for your vessels. A personal watercraft policy will cover you or someone who you’ve allowed to operate your vessel for incidents that result in the following:
- Bodily injury to another person.
- Bodily injury to you that is caused by an uninsured watercraft operator.
- Liability, including costs if legal action is taken due to an accident. Most policies also cover liability from water sport activities like waterskiing.
- Property damage, for example, to a dock, boat, or another watercraft.
- Theft of the personal watercraft.
- Towing, if the watercraft is damaged in an accident.
You can purchase additional coverage for trailers and other accessories. Having several watercraft may qualify you for a multi-boat discount on your insurance coverage. You must consult with your insurance professional about your specific needs.
How Does Personal Watercraft Insurance Work?
Personal watercraft coverage can protect your WaveRunner, Jet-ski, or Sea-Doo from damage such as collisions, fire, and theft. It may also protect you if you are responsible for damages to property or cause bodily injury to another person. Your personal watercraft coverage will also pay your medical costs if you are injured when operating your personal watercraft.
If you are in an accident with your personal watercraft and you have appropriate coverage, you can contact your insurance company or agent to file a claim.
Let’s suppose you have a two-personal personal watercraft, and both you and your passenger are injured in an accident caused by another personal watercraft driver. Your personal watercraft is also damaged beyond repair.
In this example, you can file a claim with your insurance company for medical costs and the replacement of your personal watercraft if you have the necessary coverage in place. The amount you receive is going to be based on your medical costs and the amount of damage you are covered for after you pay your deductible.
In another scenario, if you cause an accident or a severe injury, the other party can file a liability claim with your insurance company. You would cover the injured person’s treatment and cost to replace the damaged property using your personal watercraft insurance. It will also cover any legal fees if you get sued. Again, the amount of coverage available for the claim will depend on the amount of coverage that you have purchased.
How Much Does Personal Watercraft Insurance Cost?
The average annual cost of personal watercraft insurance can be anywhere from $150 to $500 per year for a typical plan. The cost of personal watercraft insurance depends on a number of factors, such as:
- Year, make, and model of the personal watercraft
- Horsepower, engine type, and maximum operating speed
- Value of your personal watercraft
- Any modifications made to the personal watercraft
- Safety courses you have taken
Additionally, your personal watercraft insurance rates will depend on the type and amount of coverage that you have chosen. If you only want to cover your watercraft in the event, it is damaged or if you cause injury to another person, consider getting a minimum amount of coverage. Insurance coverage that covered the full replacement of your personal watercraft will cost you more.
Is Personal Watercraft Insurance Required?
Personal watercraft insurance requirements tend to vary by state, so be sure to check the laws where you live. Many states require that you cover your legal responsibility using liability insurance coverage in case of an accident that causes injury or property damage.
Most states require that you have a valid driver’s license, and most states have a minimum age requirement for driving or riding a personal watercraft. If you financed the purchase of your personal watercraft, your lender would most likely require you to purchase comprehensive personal watercraft insurance.
You may also be required to purchase personal watercraft insurance if you dock your craft in a marina. If you own or are purchasing a Jet-Ski, WaveRunner, or Sea-Doo, it’s a good idea to get personal watercraft insurance for your personal protection, whether or not it is required by law.
Does Personal Watercraft Insurance Cover Other Riders?
Personal watercraft insurance typically covers not only you but your passengers as well. Be sure to check the specifics of your policy, and you may also need to add medical payments coverage as a separate endorsement on the policy. It’s also important to know whether other riders are covered if you lend your personal watercraft to someone else for use.