From man-made creations like Lake Seminole to the natural Lake George and the open ocean, Florida offers endless opportunities to head out on the water with your PWC. The popularity of PWC use is increasing in Florida and so too is the number of crashes and accidents. Do you have PWC insurance coverage to help you recover from a boating accident? Before you search for PWC insurance quotes, there are several things to keep in mind.
Florida Boating and PWC Statistics
The following are some statistics according to the U.S. Coast Guard's Boating Safety Division:
- More than 600 boating and PWC accidents took place in FL during recent years. That's more than twice as many accidents as in any other state. California came in second with slightly more than 300.
- Nearly 50 people died as a result of boating accidents on FL waters during recent years.
- More than 280 people suffered injuries as a result of boating and PWC accidents that same year.
- Boating and PWC accidents also caused more than 330 incidents of property damage during recent years in Florida, causing $6.8 million in damage.
- Each accident caused an average of $20,000 in damage.
Why Is PWC Insurance Important?
Florida lakes, rivers and ocean beaches are just as busy as some of the state's highways and freeways. While most drivers wouldn't dream of getting behind the wheel of their car without auto insurance, it is a protection often overlooked by PWC enthusiasts. Just one accident can cause thousands of dollars in damage and result in extensive injuries. You want a PWC insurance policy that can help you recover quickly following a crash.
Is PWC Insurance Required in Florida?
While Florida state law does not require PWC operators to carry insurance on their vessels, it does have this to say about boater safety and regulations:
- Personal watercraft are extremely maneuverable. Using that maneuverability to weave in and out of traffic, jump boat wakes, splash others or swerve at the last moment to avoid a collision is very dangerous and is illegal in Florida.
- No one under 14 years of age may operate a PWC on Florida waters at any time, even if such a person possesses a Boating Safety Education ID Card.
- No one under the age of 18 years may rent/lease a PWC.
- It is also illegal for the owner of a PWC to knowingly allow a person under 14 years of age to operate a PWC.
Even though not required, PWC insurance is a level of protection most operators cannot afford to go without.
Finding Insurance for Your PWC
There are many types of PWC: stand up PWCs, sit down PWCs, kneel down PWCs and one person to four-person PWCs. The majority of Florida insurance providers will have a policy that covers the following types of common brands and more:
- Jet Skis
Personal watercraft have certain common characteristics. They have an inboard engine with a jet drive that allows the operator to fall overboard and reboard the vessel safely. These features are related. The jet drive system eliminates parts, such as a propeller or rudder, on the outside of the hull. This system presents little risk to riders when falling overboard or reboarding.
What Does PWC Insurance Cover?
PWC insurance operates much like car insurance. Most Florida insurance providers will offer you the following coverage options from which to choose as you build your PWC policy:
- Liability coverage: This can help pay for damage to another person's property or medical treatment they may need if you injure them while operating your PWC. This coverage option can also help pay your court and legal fees resulting from a legal dispute related to your PWC operation.
- Collision coverage: This can help pay for repairs to your PWC should it be damaged in an accident with another boater or PWC.
- Comprehensive coverage: This can help pay for repairs to or replacement of your PWC due to fire, severe weather, theft, vandalism or any other covered event.
- Wreckage and towing coverage: This can help pay for the removal and towing of your PWC should it sink or become inoperable on the water. It can also help pay for cleanup if needed.
Is PWC Insurance Expensive?
As no two PWCs and their riders are identical, it's difficult to estimate average quotes for an insurance policy. Most Florida insurance companies take several factors into consideration as they calculate your quotes, including the following:
- Year, make and model of the PWC
- Horsepower, engine type, and maximum operating speed
- Value of your PWC
- Any modifications made to the PWC
- Any boater safety courses you’ve passed
- The coverage options you choose
Generally, PWC insurance quotes are anywhere between $150 and $500 a year.
Where To Find PWC Insurance
The last thing you want to worry about as you try to relax and enjoy the view on your PWC is whether you could afford an accident. Knowledgeable, independent insurance agents in our network are always available to answer questions, suggest coverage options and even assist with filing a claim.
Contact an agent near you to find out how you can obtain the perfect PWC insurance policy that meets your needs and budget.