There is nothing like gliding across the water on a jet ski. Part speedboat and part motorbike, these personal watercraft (PWC) provide freedom and thrills that are hard to duplicate on land.
But all this fun comes with some responsibility. It is up to you to operate it safely and make sure it is protected by a jet ski insurance policy that covers you, your riders, and the jet ski if there is an accident, damage, or theft.
Here is what you should know to have security in the summer sun:
What does jet ski insurance cover?
Jet ski insurance is similar to auto insurance as far as coverage options go. You can choose from the following:
- Collision coverage will help pay for repairs to your jet ski if it is damaged during an accident with another personal watercraft.
- Comprehensive coverage can help with replacement or repairs to your jet ski stemming from fire, severe weather, theft, vandalism, or any other covered event.
- Liability coverage protects you if you damage another person’s property, or they need medical treatment if you injure them while you are operating the jet ski. The coverage can also help pay your court and legal fees if there is a legal issue related to operating your jet ski.
- Wreckage and towing coverage pay for the removal and hauling of your jet ski if it sinks or becomes disabled on the water. It may also help pay for any cleanup that is needed.
Just like with your car, if you are involved in an accident with your jet ski, and you have the proper coverage, you can contact your agent or insurance company to file a claim.
For example, if you cause an accident that results in an injury, the injured party can file a liability claim with your insurance company. Your jet ski insurance would pay that person’s bodily injury and property damage costs and could cover your legal expenses if you end up in court.
In another example, both you and your passenger are hurt in an accident caused by another PWC driver. Your jet ski cannot be repaired. In this case, you can file a claim with your insurance company for your medical costs and the replacement of your jet ski. The amount you receive would depend on your medical expenses and the amount of damage for which you are covered, minus any deductible.
Do you need insurance for a jet ski in Florida?
Although Florida state law does not require jet ski operators to carry insurance on their vessels, it stresses boater safety and has some regulations that include the following:
- Using that maneuverability of PWC to weave in and out of traffic, jump boat wakes, splash others, or swerve at the last moment to avoid a collision is very dangerous and is illegal in Florida.
- No one under 14 years of age may operate a PWC on Florida waters at any time, even if that person possesses a Boating Safety Education ID Card.
- No one under the age of 18 may rent or lease a PWC.
- It is illegal for the owner of a PWC to knowingly allow a person under 14 years of age to operate a PWC.
Jet ski insurance might not be required, but it provides protection most operators cannot afford to pass up.
Why is jet ski insurance Important?
If you live in a state like Florida, the waters are as crowded as the freeways. Few drivers would take a chance on driving without auto insurance.
It only takes one accident to create thousands of dollars of damage and result in serious injuries, the costs for which will come directly out of your funds. Jet ski insurance will help you recover financially shortly after an accident.
Take a look at these Florida statistics from the U.S. Coast Guard’s Boating Safety Division, and see why jet ski insurance is a must:
- More than 600 boating and PWC accidents took place in Florida water during recent years.
- Nearly 50 people died as a result of boating accidents during the same period.
- More than 280 people sustained injuries as a result of boating and PWC accidents during that time.
- Boating and PWC accidents caused more than 330 incidents of property damage totaling $6.8 million in recent years, which averages about $20,000 per accident
How much does jet ski insurance cost?
The average cost of jet ski insurance can range from $150 to $500 per year for a typical plan. The cost will depend on several factors:
- Year, make, and model of your jet ski
- Horsepower, engine type, and maximum operating speed
- The value of your jet ski
- Any modifications you have made
- Whether or not you have taken boater safety courses
Also, your rates will depend on the amount and type of coverage you choose. For instance, if you want full replacement cost coverage for your jet ski and increased liability limits, you will pay more for your policy. Check in with one of our advisors to see how NSI Insurance Group can help you.