What is a ‘personal watercraft?’
Personal watercrafts (example: jet skis or WaveRunners) can be loads of fun on the water. But like any motorized vehicle, they are subject to accidents. We always recommend having personal watercraft insurance to properly cover and protect yourself financially.
Unlike small boats, personal watercraft are not usually covered by your homeowners insurance policy. A personal watercraft insurance policy (PWC) is specifically designed to insure these items. A PWC policy covers you or someone you’ve let operate your watercraft for incidents that result in:
- Bodily injury to someone else.
- Bodily injury caused by another uninsured watercraft operator.
- Liability (i.e., legal costs in case you are sued due to an accident). Most PWC policies also incorporate water sports liability. This covers additional risks that are associated with water activities (such as waterskiing).
- Property damage (i.e., damage to another watercraft, dock or boat).
Depending on your carrier and policy liability limits and deductibles, PWC might also cover:
- Theft of your personal watercraft
- Towing if the watercraft is in an accident
If you haul your personal watercraft with a trailer or have additional accessories, you can purchase additional coverage. Ask your Hertvik Insurance Agent to see if you qualify for a multi-boat discount for your insurance.
Deceptively easy to use and incredibly fun, many people fail to realize that jet skis and other personal watercraft are also very dangerous if not used properly. To safely enjoy your personal watercraft, make sure you always keep an appropriate distance from another watercraft (large or small). Because these vessels can travel at high rates of speed, a good rule of thumb is to stay at least 100 yards behind a vessel in front, and no less than 50 yards to either side.
We also do not advise jumping on the wake of a passing boat. If you misjudge the other boat’s speed, it could cause a collision. Or you might end up in the path of another boat coming from the other direction.
It’s important to always stay alert! Be aware of your surroundings and what is going on around you. This includes other watercraft, swimmers, divers, fishermen, and water skiers.
Graduating from personal watercraft to something a little larger? Click to learn about boat insurance.