Popular waterways are the central hub of personal watercraft (PWC). Aficionados know that preparation is crucial to staying safe on the water by keeping safety gear at hand. There is another way to add one more layer of protection, and that’s protecting your property with personal watercraft insurance.
It’s important to know whether you have adequate insurance coverage for your PWC, especially since your homeowner or auto insurance typically won’t cover them or, if they do, the coverage may be very limited.
Here are five factors every consumer should consider when purchasing a personal watercraft insurance policy.
1. Get a specific PWC insurance policy.
Most PWC policies will cover bodily injury, property damage and medical payments. Watercraft insurance policies typically include deductibles for property damage, theft, and medical payments. Most policies also include liability limits, which vary by state. Liability coverage typically offers financial protection in the event that you are liable as a result of a covered accident.
2. Each PWC needs to be insured.
If you own more than one PWC, each one will need to be insured, but may not require its own policy, as some boat insurance policies can be written to cover personal watercraft as well. Check with your agent to review your options.
3. Read your policy carefully.
Most watercraft insurance policies provide coverage whether you are operating the PWC yourself or you loan it to someone else. Although the circumstances and facts of each case must be individually assessed based upon the applicable laws and policy language, in most cases, regardless of who is operating it, you would be covered for the following:
• Damage to another dock or craft;
• Bodily injury or death to another person due to your negligence;
• The negligence of another driver while using your PWC;
• Towed water skiers or wakeboarders who become injured while using your craft;
• Physical damage to the machinery, hull, and equipment;
• Injury caused by an uninsured watercraft operator.
Because some coverages are optional and must be individually chosen, read your policy carefully to make certain that you are getting the coverage you need.
4. Not every watercraft insurance policy covers everything.
Depending on your insurer, you might not be covered for everything. A PWC that has been modified to enhance performance and speed is typically not covered.
5. Consider coverage extras.
Other coverage areas you should obtain more information about include:
• Whether your policy will cover the replacement cost of personal items lost or damaged while onboard;
• Whether your policy will replace the actual cash value of your PWC if it is damaged while being used;
• Roadside assistance in case your tow vehicle or trailer is damaged or disabled;
• Whether your policy covers the cost of raising and removing your PWC if it sinks.
Be prepared this summer fun on the water by getting a quote for your watercraft insurance and making sure your PWC is covered for damage, medical payments, and more. Call our office today at 330-337-9557 to get started.