Watercraft Insurance: Description of Watercraft Insurance

Do you love your personal watercraft? Driving around the lake on a hot summer day? The day after the PWC was invented, it seemed everyone wanted one. Now there are thousands of personal watercraft owners.

Safety rules and law enforcement did not keep up with the PWC market explosion and thousands of accidents occurred, resulting in injuries and even deaths. The PWC soon earned the reputation of being dangerous and the courts began to flood with liability cases. Watercraft insurance has caught up with the times and, although it is expensive, you can be well-covered for liability and damages.

A personal watercraft is defined by its use of a water jet pump for power, and that people sit, stand or kneel on the machine, as opposed to being within the confines of a traditional boat.

Watercraft insurance will cover all models and makes, including a one-passenger stand-up or runabout, and a two- to four-passenger roundabout made by manufacturers such as Kawasaki Jet Ski®, Bombardier Sea-Doo®, Yamaha WaveRunner® and Honda AquaTrax®.

Your watercraft insurance policy will financially protect you from contingencies that happen in every U.S. body of water. You can be covered for any inland waters, as well as both coasts up to 75 miles offshore and 75 miles into either Canadian or Mexican waters. You can be covered for:

Watercraft Insurance: Description of Watercraft Insurance
  • Personal liability coverage that will pay for the medical bills and related expenses for bodily injuries other boaters sustain in an accident in which you are at fault.
  • Medical coverage for any injuries sustained by you, your passengers, as well as water skiers and swimmers, whether you are at fault or not.
  • Property damage coverage will cover the repair or replacement costs of your personal watercraft, trailer, motor and other attached equipment due to almost any kind of damage or theft.
  • Unattached equipment can be covered in the event it is lost or damaged, including lifejackets, water skis and anchors.
  • Personal property damage will cover your personal items, including lost or damaged clothing, cellular phones, sport and fishing equipment.
  • Environmental protection coverage will pay the cost of having a sinking or sunken watercraft removed in order to avoid gas or oil leaking into the water.
  • Emergency assistance to cover the expense of towing, as well as gas, oil or battery delivery.

Operating a personal watercraft is exciting but little bit dangerous. Make sure you have watercraft insurance.

Watercraft Insurance: When Is Watercraft Insurance Important?

Personal watercrafts are fast and dangerous. That is part of what makes them so exciting. You need watercraft insurance when you are racing your PWC across the water.

Watercraft insurance does not cover anyone or any events that occur while you and your PWC are on the water from dusk till dawn. Nor does it cover anyone who does not have a valid driver’s license or is under16 years of age.

Watercraft insurance is not required by law. However, it is needed for a great many reasons and is highly recommended:

  • Whether you are a first-time operator or have years of experience, accidents do happen. Often, watercrafts are used where there are other watercrafts, boats, skiers, tubers and swimmers. This environment presents many opportunities for an accident, whether it is caused by you or someone else.
  • Since watercraft insurance is not required by law, many people choose to not have coverage. If you have an accident with someone who is uninsured, you can be covered by your watercraft insurance.
  • If you misjudge your docking distance and cause damage to the dock, your watercraft insurance will cover you.
  • If you compete with your watercraft, you can be covered with water sport liability.
  • Breakdowns can happen at the most inopportune times. When you are on your way to the beach or already out on the water, you may need a tow, repair or have gas delivered. Emergency assistance is available through your watercraft insurance.
  • Depending on how far north you live, your PWC could be in storage for more months in the year than it is out and on the water. While your PWC is in storage, watercraft insurance will financially protect you from repairs and even replacement costs due to events such as severe weather, vandalism and theft.
  • If you only rent a personal watercraft for the summer months, you will still be responsible for damages and liabilities. Make sure you have a temporary watercraft insurance policy for your rental period.
  • Tangling with ocean-dwellers can prove dangerous and even deadly. Watercraft insurance will cover you for 75 miles out to sea. Shark attacks are very rare, but they are also very real.

Personal watercrafts are used by lifeguards and the navy as well. They have become a part of our summer activities, but they are dangerous so make sure you have watercraft insurance.

Watercraft Insurance: Rates For Watercraft Insurance

Watercraft Insurance: When Is Watercraft Insurance Important?

Personal watercrafts are expensive to own and can cause serious injuries and damages. PWCs have a history of being the cause of a large percentage of water-related accidents, injuries and even deaths. Watercraft insurance rates are high because of the injuries and damages they can inflict are serious. However, there are ways to reduce your premium rates.

Your watercraft insurance rate depends on information gathered by your insurance agent, including:

  • Your age, gender and driver’s license status and driving record. No accidents and tickets equal lower premiums.
  • The more watercraft and boating experience you have, the lower your premium.
  • The make, model, year and purchase date of your watercraft. Your watercraft’s horsepower, number of motors and type of propulsion. A slower, older machine will have a lower premium rate than a high-powered new machine.
  • In which state you live, where you dock or moor your watercraft, as well as where and how long it is stored during the off-season.
  • If you rent, lease or own your watercraft.
  • If you use the watercraft for pleasure, racing or speed contests, or for professional rescues.
  • The market value of your watercraft will determine the minimum amount of property damage coverage.
  • The material of your watercraft’s hull.
  • Any modifications or customizations you have done to increase the speed of your personal watercraft will increase your premium rate.

Your watercraft insurance premium rates are partly based on how much coverage you want:

  • You can have personal liability coverage for anywhere between $25,000 and $2,000,000, or more, if you buy extended liability coverage.
  • Medical coverage for you and your passengers up to $10,000.
  • Property damage coverage can either be an agreed value or actual cash value (ACV).
  • Personal property coverage for up to $5,000.
  • Coverage for your trailer and other detached equipment.
  • How many drivers you want insured on your policy.

Watercraft insurance rates can be lowered through discounts for:

  • Successfully completing a water safety course.
  • Having no history of insurance claims.
  • Combining your watercraft insurance with your home and vehicle insurance with the same insurance company.
  • A higher deduction means a lower rate.
  • A good credit rating.

Watercraft insurance starts at about $350 per year and for that low price you can be financially protected from injuries and damages that could cost you several thousand dollars.

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