Do you run a jet ski business and need insurance cover? If YES, here are the requirements plus cost of getting an insurance policy for your jet ski business.
A PWC insurance (personal watercraft insurance), or a Jet Ski insurance as some people call it, is a type of marine insurance. Jet Ski insurances provide cover for their clients if the Jet Ski is damaged, destroyed or stolen depending on the level of insurance they take out.
Jet Ski insurances also protect against liability claims if your jet ski causes damage to other people or their property. The most common types of marine insurance are:
Types of Marine Insurance That Cover a Jet Ski Business
1. Liability Only
Liability insurance covers damage you cause to others or to their property and the costs of your legal defense if you are taken to court.
Some jet skis can accommodate more than one person, and as such, multiple persons can be involved in an accident, even if just one craft is involved in the accident. Some jet skis can reach up to 60 miles per hour and can pull skis or wake boarder.
If the Jet Ski you own has this capability, then you should make sure that your liability coverage covers injuries, liability claims and legal fees.
In addition, riders can become injured when bouncing over waves or overturning. Drivers, especially inexperienced drivers, may not have the skill to make quick decisions to avoid swimmers, other watercraft, docks, piers, or shallow water.
Fractures and soft tissue injuries are among the most common Jet Ski incidents. Due to the high cost of medical care, even relatively minor injuries can run into thousands of dollars out of pocket without adequate bodily injury coverage. In addition to the cost associated with injuries, you may be liable for damage to another’s property as well. Here are some tips for protecting riders;
- Match the jet ski power to the rider’s skill level
- Make sure riders have training in handling skills and avoiding accidents.
This type of insurance covers damage that you do to another person’s property when you are on your jet ski. Comprehensive Jet Ski insurance may provide cover for the following:
Your jet can run into a lot of objects such as boats, floating rafts, other watercrafts and the shore. Your coverage may include reimbursement for damage to the PWC from accidents, collision, fire, theft or vandalism. Make sure this coverage applies while on the water as well as when in storage and en route between the two.
- Theft or attempted theft of your jet ski
Uninsured and Underinsured Boater
If you should be involved in an accident with another boat or jet ski that does not have insurance or is underinsured, then you may just have to use your money to treat yourself if you were injured and repair your jet ski yourself, if you do not have this protection.
- Injury to you or your passenger caused by an accident with an uninsured boat, jet ski, or aqua scooter (includes medical payments)
- Third party damage to other vessels (caused by your jet ski)
Some insurers may offer additional optional extras to your Jet Ski insurance policy such as:
- Contents insurance for personal belongings stored in your jet ski (also known as accessory insurance)
- Total loss replacement – if your jet ski is damaged, it can replaced with a new one of similar quality
- Towing and Assistance: if your jet ski should break down while you are still on the water, then you will need assistance in order to get it to the shore.
- 24/7 assistance for jet ski trailer and jet ski towing
- Wreckage Removal: in some places, you may be required to retrieve your Jet Ski from a water body if you should be involved in an accident and the Jet Ski sinks into the water. The coverage typically includes recovering, towing and destroying a damaged jet ski.
- Lay-up – insurance premium is reduced if the Jet Ski is put into storage and left unused for a certain period of time. Note that your level of cover may also be reduced during this period.
- Pollution Coverage: if your jet ski leads to a population of the water body, you may be liable to pay for the pollution cleanup. For instance, your jet ski might leak oil or gas into the water
- Cover for your jet ski trailer
It is good to note that adding extras to your policy can increase the premiums you will have to pay. You should also note that some issuers may not offer the same set of optional extras, and as such, it is best to check with your insurer and read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) to confirm what can be added to any particular policy and any terms or conditions that may apply.
Due to the uniqueness of jet skis and the type of accidents they involve in, a lot of insurers have limited or excluded coverage for jet skis on other policies. Don’t just assume that your homeowners or boat policy covers jet skis.
Exclusions That Usually Apply to Jet Ski Insurance
If your Jet Ski is involved in an accident in which it causes damage to another person’s car while still being attached to a trailer, it is typically excluded from Jet Ski insurance because the trailer is being towed by another vehicle. However, some insurers may cover the damage caused to your jet ski in such an accident/
But otherwise this is a matter for your car insurance – and you may be covered if you have a sufficient level of comprehensive car insurance cover.
Your Jet Ski insurance will also not cover you if you ride in geographical areas that are not allowed as shown in you certificate of insurance. Each state and territory has heritage areas or other protected areas in which you cannot ride your jet ski or where restrictions apply to how you can operate it.
Some policies that cover theft of your jet ski may require that you store your jet ski securely (e.g. in a locked garage, shed, or boat shed, rather than moored at a marina). When you are trying to decide the Jet Ski insurance to go for, you should note that Jet Ski insurance cost usually differs.
There are some factors that can affect the price you have to pay and there are also ways to reduce your rates if you are looking to save. Your premiums will depend on whether you choose basic or comprehensive coverage and the market value of your jet ski (or how much you want to be covered for). Here are some factors that can affect your Jet Ski insurance cost.
- Your driving record- on road and on water
- The number of years you have been a PWC driver
- Year, make and model of your jet ski
- Horsepower, engine type and maximum operating speed
- How you use your jet ski (private, commercial, racing or a combination of these)
- Any modifications to your jet ski
- Where you store it (in a shed, covered boathouse, or moored)
- Your experience with jet skis in general
- A list of any others who will be using the vehicle
- Location where you plan to ride your watercraft
- Your certifications and safety training
- The type and amount of coverage you choose
- Whether your jet ski is equipped with a GPS microdot, a security alarm, or other security features
- Whether your jet ski is used in salt water (more wear and tear) or fresh water only (discounts may be available)
- Whether you include coverage for a trailer, equipment and towing services
- The deductible you choose et al.
Insurance companies try to predict the probability of an accident based on some factors such as your location and driving record. For instance, if there is a nearby water body that has witnessed a lot of accidents in recent times, there are a big chance that your premium cost will tend to be higher when compared to a water body that has not witnessed many accidents.
Depending on the types of coverage and amounts you choose, you may be expect to pay an annual premium of about $300 and $500. If you have boat insurance already, you can ask your insurer to add your jet ski to that policy as a PWC for an additional cost. Alternatively, you can choose to take out a separate Jet Ski insurance policy directly.
Can You Lower Your PWC Insurance Rates?
Factors such as the frequency with which you use your jet ski, and how you store your jet ski can affect your insurance premium.
For instance, some insurance companies will want to know how you store your personal watercraft. Storing your jet ski in a garage is a lot safer than leaving it in the open and if make use of the former, then your premium will be lower. In addition, you may want to ask an agent how these factors affect your costs:
- Taking a U.S. Coast Guard watercraft safety training course
- Bundling your jet ski and your home and/or vehicle with one insurance company
- Choosing to pay the entire year’s premium up front, or twice a year (instead of monthly)
Each insurance company is different. Some companies offer additional optional services such as towing in the event of a breakdown. If you have a way to tow your own watercraft, then you may not need the towing option. Opting out of that type of coverage will also keep your premium lower.
Is a Jet Ski Insurance a Necessity for your Business?
A lot of people may not consider having insurance for their jet ski when the purchase the jet skis. The regulation guild insuring personal water crafts differ from state to state as such, you should check your state’s requirements in order to be sure.
It goes without saying that if you own a Jet Ski rental business, you ought to have insurance. Also, your bank or other lending institution will require you to have coverage if you finance or lease your jet ski. Even if Jet Ski insurance is not required for your situation, it is advisable to get insurance.
Comparing Jet Ski insurance Cost
When you want to get insurance quotes, it is important to compare coverage options and pricing from various companies. Each insurance company will handle PWCs differently. Most policies cover liability, but the details vary. Also, each specific company will offer different kinds of optional coverage.
Comparisons will be more accurate and much easier to make when you compare the same levels of coverage between various insurance companies. In addition to the cost of the insurance package, you should also consider the following when comparing Jet Ski insurances:
The policy that you should go for should be based on the level of cover you intend to have. Different insurance providers have different levels of coverage and as such you should bear in mind that not all comprehensive plans are created equal.
It is best to talk to your insurance provider and read the policy’s PDS to work out whether it provides the right level of coverage for your needs.
Agreed value vs market value
A lot of insurers will offer to cover your jet ski at its current market value (which will decrease over time with depreciation). However, some insurers may also give you the option of insuring it at an agreed value (how much you and the insurer agree it is worth).
Terms and conditions such as increased premiums may apply if you choose this option, so make sure to read the PDS or speak to your insurer for details.
Insurance providers usually have exclusion that differs from insurer to insurer so you should make sure that you know what these exclusion are instead of making guesses and assumptions. For example, if you are into Jet Ski racing, it is a good idea to look for a policy that specifically includes racing activities, as many policies exclude racing from coverage.
Why Buy an Insurance Policy for your Jet Ski?
These days, a lot of people are taking to the water in jet skis and other personal watercrafts. Their size, speed, agility and ease of handling make them fun for all ages.
However, the speed and power that come with a jet ski can lead to an unforeseen accident. According to the National Institute of Health, as the popularity of jet skis rises, it is expected that accidents and injuries that are gotten from them will also rise.
Jet skis appeal to the experienced boater. However, it also appeals to younger and less experienced people. Some of the newer jet ski models have three times more horsepower than original Jet Skis and can reach 60 miles per hour.
Getting good coverage, particularly for medical expenses and liability costs, is very important. According to research, the major causes of Jet Ski accidents are Operator error, Inattention and lack of experience and Inappropriate speed.
90 percent of accidents that are experienced when riding PWC’s can be attributed to operator error. Due to the number of speed boats, water skiers and other water enthusiasts on the water at any given time, it is not surprising to know that a lack of attention or skill can lead to errors and accidents.