It’s officially spring! Along with the 80 degree weather we’ve already been experiencing here in California, many people are ready to get out to the water. But is that Jet Ski properly insured? Read on to learn about the insurance available to you, plus the other regulations you’ll need to consider before speeding off into the great, wide ocean.
In 2014, personal watercraft fatalities in Southern California increased 100% over the previous year, with non-fatal accidents and injuries also increasing by 21%. Two of the biggest contributors: inattention and alcohol. But you say “I never drink and boat!” Don’t discount your fellow water lovers. Many personal watercraft drivers are casual users and most have very little safety training. Throw in alcohol plus crowds and you’ve got quite a mix of personas out on the water. Personal watercraft insurance helps financially protect you in the case of a neighbor-caused accident.
Laws for Watercrafts
Before going out on the water, it’s good to be aware of the rules of the waterways. A few things to be aware of:
- In California, operators of watercraft with over 15 horsepower must be at least 16 years of age; Arizona has an operating age limit of 12, regardless of horsepower
- Your personal watercraft must be registered in the state where it is primarily used
- Both states have restrictions on usage after sunset and before sunrise (regardless of lighting gear)
- Some insurance companies offer discounts for completing boating/personal watercraft safety courses
Personal Watercraft Insurance: Explained
Similar to car insurance, personal watercraft insurance covers damage to your vehicle in the case of an accident. This type of insurance may also cover:
- Medical expenses
- Damage to trailers
- Wreck removal
- Damage to personal items
The level and extent of coverage is, of course, up to you.
Planning to head out to the water soon? Give the brokers at Omni Safe insurance a call at 877-728-9966 to determine your personal watercraft insurance needs.
Great Sources for Statistics and Safety Information:
DMV: Boating Info
AZ: Boating Regulations
Safe Boating Hints for Personal Watercraft