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Personal Watercraft 101

Personal Watercraft Basics

Summer is here and the beach time fun has begun. There are plenty of activities to take part in, like riding personal watercraft (PWC).  What is a personal watercraft you ask?  They are most commonly known as WaveRunners, Jet Skis or SeaDoos (the most popular brand names).

They are small vessels that use an inboard jet drive as their primary source of propulsion.  They are designed to be operated by a person that is sitting, standing or kneeling on the vessel, as opposed to being inside of it.

Sit Down or Stand Up

There are two options for PWC, sit down or stand up.  If you want a more physical experience, choose a stand-up model.  There are two available. One from Kawasaki and one from Yamaha.

What kind of insurance do I need for this?  We have the answers you’re looking for. Contact us!

Sit down models are more abundant and there are several lines to choose from.  Some models can carry more than 2 people these days.  Whichever you choose, PWC are affordable recreational vehicles and can be a lot of fun when used properly.

Inland or Open Ocean

Now that you know what type of model you want; you need to determine whether you will need a vehicle designed for inland or open ocean use.  If you will be using your PWC on a lake, opt for inland.  If you will be out on the intercoastal waterways, then opt for an ocean model with a closed cooling system.

Personal Watercraft Insurance

What it Covers

Have a new Jet Ski, Sea-Doo or WaveRunner? Be sure to have insurance before you take it out on the water.  Here is what PWC insurance covers:

  • Bodily injury

This covers injuries to other parties that are injured in the event of an accident, or yourself if you are injured by an uninsured watercraft operator.

  • Liability

This covers you in the event you are sued due to an accident.  Most policies also include water sports liability as well, which covers the risks that are associated with activities such as waterskiing.

  • Property Damage

This covers damage done to another watercraft, a dock or a boat.

  • Theft

Covers you in the event that your watercraft is stolen.

  • Towing

This covers towing of your watercraft in the event it is damaged in an accident or if you break down on the water.

  • Additional coverages

You can have trailers and other accessories covered under your policy.  Some additional policy options can also add coverages such as damage due to fire, glass, storm, auto accident, and so on.

Keep in mind, if you have more than one, you will need to have each of them insured.  For more on PWC Insurance, check out Boat & PWC Insurance Basics.

What it Doesn’t Cover

Now that we know what coverage we can get with PWC insurance, we need to know what it does not cover.

Typically, your PWC insurance will not cover you if:

  • Any insured craft has been modified to enhance speed and performance.
  • An accident that occurs after dark.
  • The operator of the PWC doesn’t have a valid Driver’s license.

Are There Things That Affect Cost?

Are there factors that will affect the cost of PWC insurance? Yes.  Here are some considerations that can influence the cost of your policy:

  • Your driving record
  • Your experience with PWCs
  • The watercraft’s horsepower
  • The type and amount of coverage you choose
  • The deductible you choose
  • Whether you include coverage for a trailer, equipment and towing services

Each state has different regulations for required coverage.  Know what they are before you comparison shop for policies.  We can help you get started!  Request a quote today!

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