Missouri has one of the most boater-friendly environments in the United States. With more than 272,770 acres of lakes and more than 5,500 miles of shoreline, water activities are extremely popular. If you’re a personal watercraft (PWC) owner in Missouri, you should ensure you have the protection of PWC insurance. Your local insurance agent can get you quotes on rates and options from different insurance providers.
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You May Need a Boating Safety Certificate
MO has a very strict boater education program, and that extends to PWCs. PWCs are incredibly fun, but you must ride them responsibly. If you were born after Jan. 1, 1984, you must have a boating safety certificate, obtained after you pass an approved boater's safety course. You must be at least 14 to operate a PWC with this safety certificate. For those younger than 14, an individual 16 or older must be operating.
What Types of PWCs Are There?
The United States Coast Guard defines a PWC as a jetboat less than 13' in length. This can include these types:
- Sit down single person PWC
- Stand up PWC
- Four person PWC
- Multiple person PWC
- Submersible PWC
With all the lakes, tributaries and rivers that traverse Missouri, it's important that everyone know the risks associated with PWC usage. While these risks may be rare, they can be devastating and leave incredible financial burdens in their wake.
Here are just a few of the most common risks associated with PWC usage:
- Collisions resulting in damage and injury
- Injury or death from falling off a PWC at a high rate of speed
- Injury or death from jumping wakes, waves or choppy water
- Bodily damage from water jets
- Injuries from being sucked into the intake grate
While these injuries are rare, they do happen. Always wear neoprene when riding a PWC, and never try to remove anything from the intake grate or pump areas while the ski is running.
While being safe is the best way to protect yourself from harm, having Missouri PWC insurance is another important factor in responsible PWC usage.
What Does PWC Insurance Cover?
PWCs offer riders a great day on the water, but in case of a disaster, PWC insurance can be there to help. While not required by law, PWC insurance is very important to have while navigating Missouri waters. In case of an accident or injury, here are ways the PWC insurance can help:
- Property damage: Collisions happen, and when they do, PWC insurance can cover damages. As a rider, you should insure your PWC in case of an accident, even if it's something like a run-in with a dock. Always ask whether your PWC insurance policy covers damage that occurs while towing.
- Medical payments coverage: Medical care resulting from PWC accidents can get expensive quickly. This coverage will help lessen the load on your wallet.
- Uninsured and underinsured boater: Unfortunately, many boaters take to the water without insurance. If you're involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured boater, this coverage will help ensure that you don't have to repair your boat or pay for your medical bills out of your own pocket.
- Pollution coverage: While many PWCs are rated low-polluters, you could be liable if your PWC causes pollution. If this occurs, your pollution coverage will help you.
- Towing and assistance: You never know when a PWC may break down. Missouri allows PWC users to ride at night, given that they use proper navigational lights. If you break down, night or day, this coverage will enable you to get the help you need, whether it's a tow to shore or a tow to the shop.
- Wreckage removal: Many communities require that boat owners remove their vessels after an accident so fuel and other pollutants don't leak into the water. If your PWC is involved in an accident and ends up on the bottom, this coverage will take care of removal.
- Watersport liability: PWCs travel faster than ever. Some reach 60 mph or more. At these speeds, small mistakes can turn into big injuries. This coverage will ensure that you have enough liability to cover bodily injury claims, property damage claims and legal fees brought on my third parties.
- Accessory coverage: Many families purchase tubes or towable accessories to take to the lake along with their PWC. This coverage will kick in if these accessories are damaged or stolen.
How Much Does PWC Insurance Cost in Missouri?
There is no steadfast cost for PWC insurance, as every driver has a different situation. Depending on the type of coverage you need, your policy could cost $300 to $500 annually.
A few different factors go into determining your policy cost. When getting PWC insurance quotes, be sure to have the following information available:
- Type of vessel
- Your driving record both on the road and on the water
- The years you have been operating the PWC
- Any family members/friends that may ride the vessel
- Lakes/rivers/other bodies of water where you plan to ride the vessel
- Any boater safety courses you've taken or special certifications you've earned
- Where the vessel will be stored
- Any modifications made to the vessel
- Power, engine type and highest operating speed
Discounts Available for PWC Insurance in Missouri
Everyone wants the best deal on their insurance policy, and using discounts is a great way to get the best coverage for your money. You can take advantage of certain discounts, including these:
- Discounts for any boater safety courses you've taken
- Bundling your PWC policy with other policies
- Paying for the entire policy up front
- Owning more than one watercraft
There are many discounts available to safe, responsible boaters, which makes coverage smart and affordable.
Obtaining PWC Insurance in Missouri
Accidents happen, and while PWCs are fun, they do come with inherent risks. Having your PWC insured gives you an added peace of mind when it comes to boating. Whether you have one PWC or four and whether you take it out once a year or every weekend, having PWC insurance is a wise idea.
You can contact a Trusted Choice® agent to help you choose the best policy for yourself and your boats.