Some of the latest water toys have performance that was unheard of just a decade ago. Zero to 60 miles an hour on the water in under 8-seconds, try it once and all you can say is wow. Some of the latest jet boats can go even faster and that is just insane as you are skipping over the cresting waves hanging on for your dear life and if you have a passenger you’ll feel a death grip of fear and excitement, but have you ever considered what would happen if they fall off the back during one of these rocket accelerations?
What if you make a mistake or a boat runs over the top of you? You might live and then decide you’d rather be dead, still the medical bills will be out of control, as our health care system is quite broken. Between the paramedics on the water to the airlift to the hospital, you are looking at $20,000 or more before you even hit the hospital emergency room and it just keeps getting more expensive from there. It’s no laughing matter when you get the bill either.
But, what if you are not the one that gets hurt? What if one of your friends or a friend of one of your kids is the one that ends up in the hospital. There is a really good chance that no matter how friendly you are, there will be a lawsuit. If you do not have insurance, you may find yourself and your family completely bankrupt just because you wanted to save a little money on insurance premiums for your water craft.
How Am I Protected with Jet Ski Insurance?
In the event that you are at fault, your Liability Coverage protects you from bodily injury and property damage costs that are caused while operating the Jet Ski. Bodily injury coverage includes medical costs incurred as a result of the accident. Costs can range from emergency aid, loss of income, legal defense fees and medical services.
Property damage liability covers the damage you caused to someone else’s property. This is usually to another boat or personal watercraft, but it could be a ski dock or other waterfront property.
Comprehensive coverage protects you from non-collision related damage to your Jet Ski. Typical comprehensive coverage includes theft, vandalism, fire and natural disasters.
You may also wish to add uninsured or underinsured coverage to your policy. This type of coverage protects you from property loss in the event that the other party is at fault and they do not carry insurance or their policy does not cover the entire loss of the accident.
For those of you who didn’t already know, boat insurance and Jet Ski insurance are not the same thing. You need to get an insurance called “personal watercraft insurance” because this type of insurance will cover so much more than just the damages that were caused to your jet ski. So what exactly is included? Well it all depends on how much money you can afford to pay because every protection plan and premiums are different, but you should make sure it covers all health/injury related issues that happen to you, damages done to the jet ski, and if needed you should also make sure it covers things you might tow such as wakeboards and tubes. If anything ever happens to you when you are riding your jet ski, you will be very thankful you have insurance.
For those of you who have car insurance, you will be able to understand personal watercraft insurance a little better. Not all policies are the same and not all cost the same. Don’t choose a company just because they provide a good price because you can run into a problem if you do that. Although the costs are important there are many more things you need to think about. Before you actually make a payment on your insurance, you need to read through the small print carefully, or better yet get an agent to read through it for you, make sure you understand everything about your rate. You need to make sure you are not only covering yourself but also cover other people who drive the jet ski because I am sure you won’t be the only one driving it.
What Type of Accidents Are Caused by Jet Skis?
Personal Watercraft (PWC) or Jet Skis are becoming more and more popular, particularly with young people. These craft are extremely exhilarating to ride and if handled with caution can provide hours of holiday fun.
However with an ever increasing number of jet skis being used on the water there has been an increase in the number of accidents occurring.
The main causes of these accidents include the following:
- Reckless unsafe handling
- Using the craft under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Collisions with other craft
Injuries from Jet Ski accidents include the following:
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Head injuries
- Amputation of limbs
- Broken bones
- Chest trauma
- Soft tissue injury
What Type of Jet Ski Coverage Do I Need?
There are two types of coverage to consider:
Comprehensive insurance will cover you against fire, theft, accidental damage, vandalism and third party liability.
Third party liability insurance will cover you against injuries you may cause to a third party or to their property.
When you contact an Insurance agent you may be asked about the nature of coverage you require. You should consider where you will be using the Jet Ski as you may need additional coverage for medical expenses.
The following summary should help:
Comprehensive Coverage – will provide cover for your ski against accidental damage, theft, fire and vandalism, plus third party liability risks.
Third Party Liability – You should not consider going afloat without liability insurance, which will cover you if you cause damage to another craft or worse still, cause injury to another person.
Policy Excess – You will be required to pay a specified dollar amount of any claim.
Theft Coverage – The policy will require you to secure your equipment, but each company’s requirement may be different. Check carefully to ensure that you can meet these requirements or you may be left uninsured.
Cover Whilst Towing – Most policies can be extended for use while towing waterskiers, kneeboards or inflatable toys, however restrictions may apply, so check these carefully before getting out on the water.
Bodily injury Coverage – Medical costs due to the accident
Property damage coverage – Damage to the third party’s property such as boat or jet ski
With any coverage for theft, please make sure you are fully aware of any limitations.
- With some policies this coverage is only effective if the Jet Ski is locked away at the time of theft.
- There may be a policy excess you will have to pay in the event of a claim.
- Check to see if you need extra coverage for towing water skiers or inflatable craft.
- Check to see if the policy covers you for times when the Jet Ski is not in use.
- You may also need to name each of the potential riders on the insurance policy.
- Legal protection may also be offered to you to protect you from financial loss in the event of an accident.
Weather Damage and Comprehensive Boat Insurance Coverage
You will need comprehensive boat insurance to protect your vessel against weather related damages. Most boat insurance policies even cover weather related damage, such as hail or lighting, or even an onboard fire. Some types of comprehensive physical damage insurance will also cover you in cases of theft. Even if someone vandalizes your pride and joy, you can rest assured knowing your boat will be covered by the insurance policy and will be restored to its full glory.
If you store your boat on land and have to transport it across some distance, you may also want to make sure that your boat is covered during this land transport time. Most companies will be happy to add on a boat trailer coverage quote. Physical damages are usually paid out in three ways:
- Actual market value
- Agreed upon value (which will be agreed upon before you sign the contract)
- Part replacement cost
Optional Coverage That Still Saves You Money
There are other optional types of coverage you can purchase. The problem of the “underinsured motorist” is unfortunately not exclusive to car owners. There are underinsured/uninsured boaters too, and they are the ones to beware of. Here are some of the other optional boat insurance coverage types you can select:
Uninsured Boater– You can purchase uninsured/underinsured coverage and rest assured that even if someone bumps into you and can’t pay for the damages, you still won’t suffer for it.
- Fishing Equipment– Another option is insuring your fishing equipment. All of those expensive little gadgets can really add up in terms of cost, and it would be quite the heartbreak if they were lost at sea or destroyed with no way to recover them.
- Miscellaneous– You can also insure other miscellaneous items onboard such as a television, a cell phone or any other necessities you can’t sail without.
- Funeral Coverage– Last but not least, there is funeral coverage.
Personal Property and Towing Assistance
Personal Property coverage and Towing & Assistance coverage are two additional coverages usually found in boat and yacht insurance policies.
Personal Property coverage covers items such as clothing, personal effects, or fishing equipment belonging to you or your family while those items are being packed on or off your boat, and while aboard your boat. Like physical damage coverage, each company handles personal property differently so it is important to do some research into your policy.
Boat Towing Assistance
Towing & Assistance coverage reimburses you for the costs that you incur when you need emergency assistance for your boat, and you and your boat are not in immediate danger. Some examples of emergency services that you may need which may be covered include: towing to a place where repairs can be made; delivery of fuel, oil or parts; assistance in the event of running aground; or emergency labor while underway. Again, there are several different towing policies available so check carefully on what you are covered for. Many towing companies begin charging the customer at the time they leave port, so sometimes it pays to have more coverage as a towing bill can increase quickly.