The 10,000 Lakes of Minnesota are excellent destinations for all sorts of watersports and lakeside activities. Personal watercrafts, also known as PWCs, are becoming an increasingly popular way to enjoy the water. Since PWCs are powerful, fast-moving and attractive to young, inexperienced riders, it is important to note that these vehicles are typically not covered by your home or auto policies. You can buy Minnesota PWC insurance to protect your investment and financial security.
To compare Minnesota PWC insurance quotes, contact an independent agent in the Trusted Choice® network. One of these agents, right in your area, can help you compare rates from multiple insurers. Your agent can assess your coverage needs and help you get a policy in place that matches your specific PWC use. Find an agent today to get started and make sure you are ready for your next ride.
- A study by the National Transportation Safety Board reported the following injuries and accidents during a six month time period:
- Personal watercraft operator injuries: 480
- Personal watercraft passenger injuries: 44
- Others (boaters, swimmers, etc.): 39
- The same study found the following regarding the use of alcohol in PWC accidents:
- Operator alcohol use was involved in 59 PWC accidents
- 5 of those accidents resulted in fatalities
Operating a PWC is fun and overall safe when the vessel is handled responsibly, but it also poses risks to the operator, passengers, and even other people around the craft. A coverage plan can provide the compensation you need in the event of an incident that results in property damage or injuries. From medical payments to legal defense in the event of a lawsuit to vehicle repair, wreckage removal and towing, a good Minnesota PWC insurance plan can protect you financially.
Hazards of Operating a PWC
Personal watercrafts come in three primary brand names: Jet Ski, Sea-Doo and Wave Runner.
The state of Minnesota defines a personal watercraft (PWC) as a motorboat designed to be used and operated by people who are sitting, standing or kneeling on the craft. This is different from a conventional boat where operators and passengers usually sit or stand inside the vessel.
Since PWCs are considered motorboats under Minnesota law, they have to follow the same regulations that any other power boats have to follow, which helps to reduce the likelihood of accidents. Additionally, there are regulations specific to minors. For example, riders under age 13 are not allowed on PWCs. Be sure to learn about state regulations before operating a PWC.
Even with laws in force, collision and breakdown risks exist with any motorboat, especially those that can travel at high speeds. Operator errors cause most PWC accidents, and the most common are collisions with other vessels, swimming rafts and docks. These are often due to the challenges involved in turning, and in using the throttle incorrectly. Unlike with boating accidents, the primary cause of severe injury and death in PWC accidents is not drowning, but blunt force trauma.
One of the additional hazards of operating an open PWC is referred to as an orifice injury. This is similar to the injury a water skier may suffer when falling into the water at a high speed. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources suggests wearing a wet suit to reduce the risk of bodily injuries.
In addition to different brands of personal water crafts, there are different types of PWCs, all with different risks associated with them:
- Stand-up models: These were actually the original type of PWC. They are designed for one rider. These models are considered the most challenging to operate, and have the highest risk of tipping over.
- Sit-down models: These are more attractive to families, and they typically hold one or two people. These models have a reduced risk of tipping over compared to stand-up models.
- Multi-person models: These are designed to hold 3 adults comfortably. Some models even hold 4. Newer models have been designed with less risk of tipping over.
- Submersible PWC: These high tech machines can actually dive and breach the water like the dolphins they resemble.
How Much Does Minnesota PWC Insurance Cost?
The cost of PWC coverage in MN is different for each individual, based on the make, model and value of your watercraft, your claims history, and the coverage you choose to purchase. Typical quotes will run between $100 and $300 per year. A local independent agent in the Trusted Choice network can provide a range of specific quotes based on your PWC and coverage needs.
Riders can often earn insurance discounts by taking the following steps:
- Take an approved safety course. The course will be required for many underage operators anyway, but can benefit all riders and may result in a discount on your policy.
- Bundle your policy with other coverage under the same insurance company.
- Pay your premium annually or semi-annually or use automatic debits from your checking account.
What Does Minnesota PWC Insurance Cover?
In addition to comparing quotes, your local Trusted Choice member agent can help you compare coverage options. Your specific plan may include some or all of the following:
- Liability coverage: This is the most important protection you can buy, as it will cover the costs associated with property damage and injuries you may cause, as well as lost wages and potential legal claims, up to the limit you set on your policy.
- Uninsured and underinsured boater: This coverage will provide compensation if you are in an accident caused by another boater whose insurance is inadequate to cover your losses.
- Pollution coverage: If you cause a fuel spill, you will need to take responsibility for the cleanup. This coverage will compensate you for the costs involved.
- Towing and assistance: You will typically have the option of both on-water towing and on-land towing.
- Wreckage removal: If you have an accident resulting in debris or your vessel is no longer usable, this portion of your policy will cover the cost of clean-up.
- Accessory coverage: Covers your PWC accessories, equipment and after-market add-ons in the event of loss or damage.
How to Compare Minnesota PWC Insurance Quotes
To review your specific coverage options and rates, find a local independent agent in the Trusted Choice network. These agents can help you assess your insurance coverage needs and risks. For example, you will need different levels of coverage if you take on passengers or lend out your PWC than if you are the sole operator.
Contact a local member agent today to compare Minnesota PWC insurance quotes from multiple companies and find the right coverage for the PWC riders in your household.