When it’s warm outside, few things are better than heading to the water with your jet ski. Your summer fun can come to an end quickly if there is an accident, damage or theft. Homeowners usually don’t provide the coverage you need, so make sure you have the right personal watercraft insurance.
Define Jet Ski
A personal watercraft is a general term that can refer to any vessel used to travel on water. This can include different types of boats as well as other types of vessels. The term “watercraft” is usually used to refer specifically to small vessels powered by an engine, such as a Jet Ski, Sea-Doo, or WaveRunner.
These definitions may seem trivial, but it can be important to know what type of vessel you have. This way you will know how the insurance terms and local laws treat your watercraft.
Homeowners insurance coverage for personal watercraft
According to the Insurance Information Institute, canoes and some other small boats may have limited property damage coverage under a standard homeowner’s or renter’s policy, but liability coverage may not be provided without a special endorsement.
You must also check your policy for limitations and exclusions. For example, if your homeowner has a $1,000 limit on personal watercraft and your vessel is worth $10,000, you’ll probably want to secure additional coverage. Your policy may also exclude certain types of watercraft, such as jet skis or pontoons.
Jet ski insurance
You can secure the insurance you need by taking out boat or jet ski insurance. Jet ski insurance often provides coverage for the following:
- Medical payments
- Damage to third party property
- Third party damage
Coverage terms vary, so see your policy for details. You may be able to secure additional types of coverage.
Jet ski insurance requirements
Jet ski insurance is required in some states and for some types of vessels. Some marinas may also have insurance requirements and if you financed your jet ski, the lender may have insurance requirements.
In many cases, jet ski insurance is optional. But buying it is still a smart way to protect both your investment and your personal finances.
Reasons to buy jet ski insurance
There are many ways a day at the lake, river or ocean can go wrong.
- Someone can steal your jet ski. Although you can – and should – file a police report, without insurance, you can get rid of the cost of your boat or jet ski.
- You may cause a collision with another watercraft or structure, such as a pier. You could be on the hook for the resulting property damage.
- You could hit a person and cause serious injury. You can be held responsible for medical costs and sued for lost wages and other costs.
Jet ski insurance can provide protection against these scenarios and more.
Jet Ski Statistics
Jet ski thefts are not as common as car thefts, probably in part because not as many people own jet skis, but these thefts do occur.
Accidents are another risk and they can lead to both property damage and personal injury. According to 2020 recreational boating statistics from the US Coast Guard, 7,248 vessels were involved in 5,265 accidents in 2020, resulting in more than $62 million in damages, as well as 3,191 injuries and 767 deaths.
Many accidents can be avoided.
- Do not operate your jet ski while intoxicated. In New York and New Jersey, driving while intoxicated is illegal, as is driving while intoxicated.
- Be aware of your surroundings. According to the US Coast Guard, operator inattention was the largest contributor to accidents in 2020, contributing to 664 accidents, 55 deaths and 383 injuries.
- Give other jet skis space. Also watch out for people in the water and give them plenty of space.
- Know the local regulations. Recreation areas often have safety regulations. Read them and follow them. Also, be aware of any city, state, or federal laws that apply to you.
- Follow the reporting requirements for any accidents. Under federal law, boating accidents must be reported to the state if a person dies, a person is injured and requires medical treatment, a person disappears from the vessel and may be dead or injured, the boat is destroyed, or property damage exceeds $2,000.
Jet ski insurance provides peace of mind
Strong safety practices can help prevent many accidents, but risks still exist. That is why there is insurance. BNC can help you secure the coverage you need, including boat and jet ski insurance. Read more.