Illinois’ waterways are teeming with personal watercrafts, or PWCs, during the late spring and summer months. Lake Michigan, the Mississippi River, and the Mautino State Fish and Wildlife Area are among the favorite destinations for Jet Ski riders. PWCs have a higher risk of accidents than other larger watercraft, so it is wise to take precautions such as taking boater safety training and getting PWC insurance.
Are you prepared for another busy season on the water? With the right Illinois PWC insurance for your specific needs, you and your family and friends can feel secure on the waterways. Contact a local independent insurance agent in our network to compare rates and policies from multiple carriers and get the right coverage to protect your assets.
- Personal watercrafts were involved in 9% of boating deaths in recent years, up from 6%.
- 721 victims were injured on personal watercraft in recent years, following only motorboats for the number of boating injuries.
- Alcohol use is the primary contributing factor in boat accidents, followed by operator inexperience, operator inattention, and excessive speed.
- 73% of boating deaths involved boats whose operators had no boating instruction.
Victims of fatal PWC accidents in recent years included retired astronaut Alan Poindexter and 11-year-old former step-son of famed R&B singer, Usher. The PWC industry faces a number of challenges today, including vehicle safety. As the popularity of Jet Skis and other PWCs has increased in recent years, so has the need for boater education and regulations, such as rules regarding underage PWC riders.
What Constitutes a Personal Watercraft?
A personal watercraft has a motor with a single operator and is handled by handlebars for steering rather than a wheel like on a boat. Three major manufacturers of personal watercraft are Jet Ski, Sea-Doo and Waverunner. If you have one or more of these vehicles, then it is a good idea to review your Illinois PWC insurance options with a local agent in our network.
What Is PWC Insurance and What Does It Cover?
In Illinois, personal watercraft insurance can cover many of the same risks as boat insurance. Since PWCs are smaller, faster and have a higher inherent risk of accident or death as a result of a mistake by the operator, there are a few coverage differences you should know about. Basic coverage may include:
- Property damage liability: Pays to repair a PWC when damaged due to accident, theft, fire, falling objects, vandalism or weather. Ensure that this coverage applies not only when the craft is in the water but also in storage and when transported between sites.
- Bodily injury liability: This pays for any medical bills incurred in an accident that was caused by the operator of your PWC. Even if you are not the driver, the use of your PWC makes you liable.
- Pollution: In the case your PWC leaks oil or gas into the water, this coverage will pay for the cost of the cleanup.
- Towing/salvage: The former is for the cost of towing your PWC to the shore if it gets disabled on the water; the latter pays for the cost of removing your wrecked watercraft from an accident scene.
You may also want to ask about coverage for underinsured boaters and accessories to your PWC. If you use your PWC to pull water-skiers or wake-boarders, make sure you have liability insurance that covers this scenario.
Is PWC Insurance Required in IL?
While there are no state laws requiring coverage for personal watercraft, the greater risk of accidents, injuries, and fatalities on a PWC makes insurance a good investment for most people. Do you have the finances to cover a loss if someone is injured or killed by your PWC? Keep in mind that lawsuits and legal proceedings can cripple your savings permanently. Meet with your local insurance agent to assess your situation and determine whether this coverage would be appropriate for you and your family.
How Much Does Illinois PWC Insurance Cost?
The cost of PWC insurance can vary dramatically from one person to another, based on your specific PWC and insurance profile. Generally speaking, costs for insurance coverage can typically range from $100 to $200 per year. Factors that go into determining your rate on a PWC insurance policy include:
- Your age
- Your driving record
- The make, model and horsepower of your PWC
- Ages and driving records of any other operators
- How often you ride it
- Whether you and all operators have had proper boating instruction
Be sure to talk with a local independent agent about how to find the best rates for you, and whether discounts are available based on boater safety training and other safe practices.
How to Compare Illinois PWC Insurance Quotes
Contact a local agent in our network to get tailored PWC insurance quotes for your appropriate level of coverage. One of these local agents, right in your neighborhood, can help to assess your specific needs and find the right coverage for you.
Find a local agent today to start comparing quotes and get peace of mind.