Whether you enjoy power boating on Lake Tahoe or Lake Mead or prefer operating your PWC on one of Nevada's lesser known and less congested smaller lakes, you know the pleasure and excitement that you can have with a personal watercraft. And you probably carry PWC insurance because you also are aware of the risks of injury and property damage should something go wrong while operating your PWC. Before you search for PWC insurance quotes, however, there are several factors to consider.
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PWC and Boating Accident Statistics
The following statistics are available from the U.S Coast Guard Office of Boating Safety:
- There are thousands of deaths and millions of dollars in property damage every year due to boating and PWC accidents.
- During 2012 alone, eight people died in NV as a result of boating and PWC accidents.
- During the same year, nearly 50 people suffered severe injuries because of these incidents.
- The 15 incidents of property damage due to boating and PWC accidents in NV during 2012 caused more than $200,000 in damage, an average of more than $13,000 per incident.
Why Is PWC Insurance Important?
Just as you wouldn't travel Nevada's highways and city streets without car insurance, neither should you navigate the state's waters with your PWC without the protection of an insurance policy. While Las Vegas streets deal with congestion, so too do its lakes. You may be a superb PWC operator, who follows all of the safety guidelines and rules of the lake. But what about "the other guy"? You want the ability to make swift repairs to your PWC in the event another boater damages it. You also want to protect your personal finances in the event you damage another person's property or cause them injury while operating your PWC.
Is PWC Insurance Required in Nevada?
Although Nevada State law does not mandate that PWC operators carry insurance yet, the Nevada Department of Wildlife, which enforces the state's boating laws, highly recommends it. The laws pertaining to PWCs specifically mandate the following:
- Youth younger than 14 years of age cannot operate a personal watercraft.
- Each person on a personal watercraft must wear a Coast Guard-approved personal floatation device.
- PWC operators must carry a USCG-approved fire extinguisher and a sound-producing device onboard.
- Operators may not operate a PWC from sunset to sunrise, unless it has the required navigation lights.
- Operators may not operate a PWC while under the influence of drugs or alcohol (.08 BAC).
- Vessels nearing each other must operate at no-wake speed (5 miles per hour) when within five lengths of the longest vessel. This eliminates wake jumping.
- Operators must wear the engine cutoff lanyard (if so equipped) when traveling at speeds faster than no-wake speed (5 miles per hour).
What Does PWC Insurance Cover?
Most Nevada insurance providers offer the follow coverage types for a PWC policy:
- Liability coverage: This can help pay for costs associated with causing another person injury or property damage as a result of operating your PWC. It can also help pay for your legal fees should you face a lawsuit stemming from those injuries or that damage.
- Collision coverage: This can help pay for repairs to your damaged PWC if you are involved in an accident with another watercraft, regardless of who is at fault.
- Comprehensive coverage: This can help pay for repairs to or replacement of your PWC if severe weather, fire, theft, vandalism or any other covered event damages or totals it.
- Accessories coverage: This optional type of coverage can help protect the safety equipment and other gear you use with your PWC.
- Wreckage and spillage coverage: Also optional, this can help recover your sunken PWC and help pay for the costs associated with cleanup should your PWC leak fuel or other substances into a body of water.
Finding Insurance for Particular Types of PWCs
As the popularity of PWCs has increased, so too has the variety of make and models available on the market. Unless you built your PWC from spare parts in your garage, chances are you should be able to find an insurance policy to cover it. Most Nevada insurance providers are willing to insure the following types and brands of PWCs:
- Jet Skis
- WaveBlasters and WaveRunners
- Aqua scooters
- Stand up PWCs
- Sit down PWCs
- Four person PWCs
- And more
What Do PWC Insurance Quotes Look Like?
The quotes you will see from Nevada insurance companies can vary significantly from provider to provider. Most of these companies take the following considerations into account when calculating your quotes, however:
- Your age
- Your PWC's engine type and power
- The value of your PWC
- How often and where you use it
You may be able to receive a discount on your insurance premium if you have completed a PWC safety course. Be sure to ask your insurance agent if this or any other type of discount is available.
Where To Find PWC Insurance
Like most PWC owners, you probably ride for the fun of it. The last thing you want ruining your on-the-water enjoyment is an accident when you have no insurance. Knowledgeable, independent insurance agents in the Trusted Choice® network can answer any questions you may have, suggest coverage options and even assist you in filing a claim.
Contact a Trusted Choice member agent near you for help finding the perfect PWC insurance policy that meets your needs and budget.