Michigan is surrounded by four of the five Great Lakes. It has 3,288 miles of coastline and over 10,000 inland lakes, as well as 35,000 miles of rivers and streams. There is no other state that provides so many boating opportunities. Before taking advantage of Michigan waterways, you should be sure that you, your passengers and your vessel are protected against accident and injury.
Michigan does not require insurance for a personal watercraft (PWC). However, to be prepared for potential damage to your vessel and the legal liability that can arise from an accident, you will need to have proper Michigan PWC insurance. An independent agent in the Trusted Choice® network to help you get the coverage that is right for you. Contact an agent today to get started.
PWC Safety Statistics
The United States Coast Guard reported the following statistics for PWC use in the U.S. in 2012:
- There were 58 deaths due to PWC use
- 721 people were injured in PWC accidents
- These numbers are higher than for boats of any other length
- The primary contributing factor in watercraft accidents is operator inattention
PWC Rules of Use
Here are some regulations and other information you should keep in mind when you're on your PWC:
- Most PWCs have no brakes
- Some PWCs, if capsized, must be brought upright only in a certain direction or you may damage the vessel
- A PWC is a powered vessel and must always give way to a sail powered vessel or a non-powered vessel
- Everyone on board a PWC must wear a life jacket
- You must have a Michigan Watercraft Registration before operating your PWC
- A person under 7 years of age cannot ride on or be towed by a PWC unless with a parent or guardian
Who Can Legally Operate a PWC in Michigan?
Here are some restrictions on operators:
- Persons under 14 years of age cannot legally operate a PWC.
- Persons aged 14 and 15 may operate a PWC legally if they have a boating safety certificate and are accompanied by a parent or legal guardian aged 21 or older.
- Persons 17 and older may operate a PWC without restrictions.
Who Needs Michigan PWC Insurance?
PWCs are inherently risky because of their speed and lack of operator and passenger protection. These watercrafts are similar to motorcycles, for example, in the following ways:
- They are smaller and more nimble, and can typically go faster than most vehicles around them.
- Drivers and passengers are more exposed to hazards than drivers of larger vehicles with more safety gear and protection.
- These crafts cannot be seen as readily by other boaters.
These are just a few of the reasons to be sure you have adequate insurance protection before using your PWC. An independent agent in the Trusted Choice network can help you review multiple Michigan PWC insurance quotes and make the coverage choices that are right for you.
Michigan PWC Insurance Options
A Michigan PWC insurance policy can contain the following options:
- Bodily injury liability: This covers your legal liability for injury you may cause to another person.
- Property damage liability: This covers your legal liability for damage you do to another person's property.
- Collision coverage: This protects you for damage to your PWC resulting from collision with another vessel or object.
- Comprehensive coverage: This is "other than collision" coverage and protects you for loss of or damage to your PWC from such causes as theft, vandalism or storm damage.
- Medical payments: This covers medical bills for injuries you and users of your PWC may incur while riding.
- Uninsured/underinsured boater coverage: This protects you against being injured by another boater who does not have adequate liability coverage.
In addition to the coverages above, some companies may offer optional insurance for accessories, towing and wreckage removal.
Other Insurance Considerations
There are several things to consider in connection with your Michigan PWC insurance:
- Different states have different laws. Do not take your PWC into another state without researching their laws and insurance requirements.
- If you transport your PWC on a trailer, be sure that your automobile policy will cover towing and any damage to the trailer.
- It is a very good idea for you and any other operators to take an approved safety course. This will make you a better and safer boater and it will probably also save you money on your insurance.
- Use the same common sense when using your PWC as you would when operating your vehicle--no drugs, no alcohol and no risk taking.
How to Obtain PWC Insurance
There are many considerations involved in obtaining the proper Michigan PWC insurance. Only by dealing with a professional agent will you be able to examine multiple quotes and make the decisions that are right for you. Contact an independent agent in the Trusted Choice network today to get the help you need to compare Michigan PWC insurance quotes that meet your needs and budget.