Are you a jet ski owner? Do you have insurance for your PWC? Sure, getting out for some fishing or fun in the waves is a great way to relax or ramp up your adrenaline. However, like cars, jet skis are prone to damage and accidents, many of them occurring out of the water when transporting the watercraft.
If you’re involved in a car accident that wrecks your jet ski, do you have cover for repairs or replacement of the PWC? A jet ski is an expensive investment. We’re talking thousands of dollars, even for a pre-owned model.
So, it makes sense that you remove the risk of damage and theft from your ownership responsibilities. The right insurance policy ensures that you get the payout you need instead of finding yourself holding the bag.
There are plenty of insurers that will take on the risk of insuring your PWC. However, what cover are you getting for your premiums? How much can you expect to pay on monthly premiums?
This post unpacks everything you need to know about jet ski insurance.
- Do You Need Insurance for a Jet Ski?
- What Does My Jet Ski Insurance Policy Cover?
- What are the Possible PWC Exclusions in My Insurance Policy?
- What are the Top Jet Ski Insurance Providers?
- How Much Will I Have to Spend on Ski Insurance?
- Does My Jet Ski Insurance Cover Other Riders?
- In Closing – How Do I File a Claim with My Insurer?
Do You Need Insurance for a Jet Ski?
Most local government and state laws don’t require PWC owners to have insurance to operate their watercraft. However, some marinas may need you to have insurance if you want to rent a slip. Taking out a jet ski insurance policy is common sense to secure your property.
While you have to consider the costs of damage to the jet ski in an accident, you also have to think about the costs of replacing or repairing someone else’s watercraft if you damage it in an accident. What if someone ends up injured and wants to sue you for medical damages?
Insurance covers all the bases, giving you the protection you need to enjoy worry-free jet ski ownership. Why take on the risk of using your jet ski when you can pay someone to safeguard it for you?
It’s important to note that your homeowner’s insurance policy likely won’t cover your jet ski. Most homeowners insurance cap liability covers your jet ski at around $1,500 or less. You’ll have to take out an independent policy specifically for your jet ski or bundle it with your auto insurance.
What Does My Jet Ski Insurance Policy Cover?
Personal Watercraft Insurance protects you and your ski from the financial costs associated with damage to the vessel or theft of the watercraft. The policy also offers protection against fire and sinking of the jet ski.
While the theft and damage cover is vitally important, the policy should also cover injury liability and damage cover for third parties involved in the accident. If you injure someone or injure yourself during an accident, the insurance will cover the medical costs associated with your treatment.
The policy will also cover you for natural disasters. If there’s a hurricane or flooding event, the insurer will cover the damage to the ski or its complete loss. If you live in states like Florida or Louisiana, you might have to take a separate policy for coverage for extreme weather events.
The policy will also cover property damage. So, if you have an accident in the marina and total the fuel pump, the insurer will pay for the replacement and clean up.
Some policies offer cover for towing people during wake sports or other watersports-related activities. However, check with the insurer if you need this feature; not all insurers have the same terms of cover in their policy agreements.
What are the Possible PWC Exclusions in My Insurance Policy?
In some cases, your insurer may decide to not insure your jet ski. Jet ski insurance is similar to car and motorcycle insurance, and it also has similar policy exclusions that may affect your cover and policy costs.
If the watercraft has aftermarket performance modifications, they are likely to reduce your cover for the watercraft. Some insurers may accept the risk, but they will charge you a policy rate that’s double what you would normally pay for insuring a jet ski with a standard motor.
Most insurers won’t insure you if you have an accident on the water after dark. However, they will cover you if you’re towing the jet ski on a trailer at night and involve yourself in an auto accident that damages the ski.
Some insurers may offer insurance in a specific area. Therefore, if you’re outside of the coverage area at the time of the accident, the insurer will throw out your claim. Be aware of any cruising box or navigational limitations for the insurer in the policy details.
To qualify for a jet ski insurance policy, owners must comply with all state licensing laws and registration requirements for the vessel and safety training. Many states have age restrictions for riding PWCs. If a person under legal age damages or crashes the jet ski, the insurer won’t pay out your claim.
The insurer will also refuse to pay your claim if they can prove you were behaving recklessly on the ski at the time of the accident. They could use an assessor to interview witnesses to find out if you were acting out of line during the time of the accident.
If the insurer discovers that you were intoxicated and under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident, they will refuse to pay you out. So, stay sober out of the water.
What are the Top Jet Ski Insurance Providers?
We looked through the offerings from the leading US jet ski insurers. We settled on two voices for the best insurers for your PWC.
SkiSafe – The Best Overall Jet Ski Insurance
Ski Safe brings you a comprehensive jet ski insurance policy for $85 per year. You get several benefits and discounts and the option to customize your policy to your needs. No other company offers the same balance of affordability and cover for your jet ski.
- Low premium costs.
- Flexible policy cover.
- Great discounts.
- High deductibles.
SkiSafe is an insurer dedicated to covering PWCs and other watercraft. The company has more than 500,000 customers across the United States, and they offer some of the lowest premiums in the insurance industry.
SkiSafe offers several policy options, excellent discounts, and policy customizations to give you complete coverage for your watercraft. Ski Safe offers four packages: “Liability Only,” “Basic Package,” “Premium Package,” and “Build Your Own” policy package.
The limited liability coverage with SkiSafe costs $85 a year, with the higher-end policies costing upwards of $200 per year. Depending on the package, coverage can include injury, medical expenses, physical damage, fuel spills, towing, and roadside assistance.
Ski Safe offers discounts on online boating safety courses, and the company has an A+ A.M. Best rating. You get customer service around the clock, with a user-friendly portal for reviewing documents and filing claims.
Markel – The Best Jet Ski Insurance with Custom Coverage
Markel offers custom insurance policies for your jet ski. Set up your policy to cover you for any circumstance or event. Dictate your policy premiums and your deductible to your risk tolerance.
- Flexible policy structure.
- Diminishing deductibles.
- No option to bundle with auto, life, or home insurance policies.
It’s challenging to find an insurer that covers PWCs. Markel brings you one of the best options for insuring your watercraft. The company earned its reputation by providing highly-customizable policies for its clients.
Markel allows you to customize your policy coverage, making them the best choice for all jet ski owners. Whether you use your PWC once a year or all the time, they have the right policy to cover you for anything.
Markel’s policy coverage includes actual cash value (ACV) replacement for your jet ski and other agreed value options. You get full cover for consequential damage, like collisions and fires. You also get cover for strandings occurring due to normal wear and tear of the PWC.
Markel includes ice and freezing damage, and they protect clients from necessary medical payments, watercraft liability, uninsured boaters, and emergency assistance and towing.
You have the option to include trailer, lift, and trip coverage into your policy agreement with Markle. The insurer offers you a few discounts, including an experienced boater discount, multi-unit discount, and mature operator discount for clients over 40-years of age.
We like the diminishing deductible, reducing your deductible by 25% every year. By the fourth year of coverage, you have the option of qualifying for a 0% deductible on your claims.
How Much Will I Have to Spend on Ski Insurance?
Jet ski insurance premiums vary between providers. The cost of your policy depends on the type of cover you choose and the deductible that suits your budget. The deductible plays a significant role in the policy costs.
The higher the deductible, the lower the premium costs. However, when you have an accident, you’re going to fork out more for the deductible, which can be challenging if you’re cash-strapped at the time.
When assessing you for a policy, the insurer looks at the risk you present if they take you on as a client. They will look at your driver history and claims history with other policies or other companies.
They also take your age and driving experience into account. People under 25 will pay a higher premium rate because they are at a higher risk to insure.
Your jet ski policy could cost you anything from $90 to $500 per year, depending on the type of cover and the policyholder’s details.
When processing your claims, the deductible owed to the insurer can vary between policy providers and the type of cover you have. Typically, you can expect to pay between $250 to $1,000 for your deductible.
You can lower the monthly or annual premium costs by increasing your deductible. Check what discounts the provider offers. For instance, if you store the ski in a lock-up garage and outside of a hurricane zone, you may qualify for discounts on your premiums.
Does My Jet Ski Insurance Cover Other Riders?
Your PWC insurance policy should cover you for all events and accidents. It will also provide cover for anyone else driving the ski. However, the person must meet the required age limit set by state authorities for riding a jet ski.
However, don’t assume you have this cover – check your policy details or speak with your broker. Some insurers may require you to add medical payment coverage as a separate policy endorsement.
In Closing – How Do I File a Claim with My Insurer?
Taking an insurance policy for your PWC just makes sense when you consider the risk of remaining uninsured.
With the right policy and coverage in place, you never have to worry about your jet ski. If something goes wrong, it’s as simple as filling a claim online with your insurer or calling your broker. They’ll handle everything for you and process your claim.
Your insurance policy covers your jet ski against collisions, towing accidents, theft, fire, sinking, etc. You get complete peace of mind for your watercraft, and you don’t have to keep checking the driveway every morning to see if the ski is still there.
When assessing insurers for your policy, make sure you get quotes from at least three providers. Compare the quotes. Look at the liability and damage coverage and the medical insurance limitations. Look at the deductibles and the premium rates, and call the insurer back to inquire about discounts.
When it’s time to file a claim with your insurer, most companies have an online portal you can use to navigate the process.
Choosing the right insurer is important. So, make sure you go with a top-rated company like the ones mentioned in this post. If you’re looking at a policy from another provider, check online reviews to see what clients think about the customer service and payouts.
With the right insurer handling your risk, you’ll never have to worry about anything when you’re out on the water. Kick back the throttle and have some fun!