Ohio PWC Insurance

Find the right pwc insurance policy for you.

Ann Herro, Insurance Expert Written by Ann Herro
Ann Herro, Insurance Expert
Written by Ann Herro

Ann Herro has been writing about insurance and employee benefits for over 15 years. She has covered topics as easy as insuring a car, and as difficult as transparency in healthcare costs.


The Buckeye State has numerous lakes, creeks, and other waterways where residents can enjoy time on their personal watercraft. There are dozens of state parks with boat launches and scenic venues for boaters. Consider protecting your investment and your finances with a suitable Ohio PWC insurance policy. When shopping for a PWC policy, an independent insurance agent in our network can help. Contact an agent near you to receive personalized service and get Ohio PWC insurance quotes from several carriers.

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Recent Ohio Personal Watercraft Stats

  • PWC accidents resulted in 58 deaths and 721 injuries in the US
  • In Ohio, there were 441,732 watercrafts, including PWCs, registered in the state
  • There were 11 boating-related deaths in the state that year
  • On average 9% of all boating fatalities are PWC related

Types of Personal Watercraft

A personal watercraft, or PWC, is a type of small motorboat that is designed to allow an operator to sit, stand, or kneel on, instead of sitting inside like a traditional boat. Popular PWC brand names include Jet Skis, Wave Runners and Sea-Doos. PWCs are available in four model types. These are:

  • Stand-up models: Also commonly called jet-skis, this was the original PWC type. Stand-up models tend to be a bit more difficult to operate and less stable than other types but riders find the experience quite enjoyable.
  • Sit-down models: This is the most popular of the PWC model types. Sit-down models are more stable and easier to operate their stand-up counterparts.
  • Multi-person models: Ideal for family outings, these PWCs enable you to bring from 1 to 3 passengers with you. They are the most stable of all the PWC models.
  • Submersible models: These sleek new models are designed for operation both on the water surface and underwater. They appear to leap like dolphins when returning from the submerged position.  

Ohio PWC Laws and Requirements

Ohio has a few state laws pertaining to PWC operation. Among them are:

  • All PWCs must be titled; registration is required if riding on public waterways
  • Operators and passengers must wear a personal floatation device (PFD)
  • Anyone born after September 1, 1993 must pass an approved boating safety course prior to operating a PWC
  • PWC operation is not permitted on Lake Erie between sunset and sunrise
  • All PWCs must be equipped with the following:
    • A type B-1 fire extinguisher
    • A distress flag or signal
    • A whistle or horn if operated on federal waters
    • Running lights if used between sunset and sunrise
    • An engine cut-off switch lanyard
    • A muffling device
  • All PWC operators born after January 1, 1983 must have a boating education certificate.
  • Ohio’s age requirements for PWC operation are:
    • Children under the age of 12 may not operate a PWC for any reason
    • Children between the ages of 12 and 15 may operate a PWC only if they have successfully completed a boating safety course and are accompanied by an adult.
    • Children between the ages of 16 and 18 may operate a PWC without supervision so long as they have completed a boating safety course.
  • PWC insurance is not required

Why Purchase Ohio PWC Insurance?

While Ohio does not require PWC owners to carry liability insurance, this coverage can prove to be essential to protect your assets if you are found liable for injuries or damage while operating your craft. If a third-party suffers severe injuries, the medical costs for treatment and continued-care can be quite exorbitant and can cause you financial distress. In addition, you may have spent a lot of money on your PWC. If it is damaged, whether by a collision or other causes, you may benefit from having comprehensive or collision coverage that can compensate you for the cost of repairs.

What Does Ohio PWC Insurance Cover?

At a minimum, an Ohio PWC insurance policy will provide you with liability coverage. This will provide you with the necessary funds to compensate third-parties for bodily injuries and property damage if you are responsible for a collision while operating your PWC. Liability insurance will also reimburse you for any associated court costs and legal fees if you are sued for a covered event. You may also select from among other coverage options. These include:

  • Collision insurance: This will provide compensation if your PWC is damaged in an accident, regardless of fault
  • Medical payments insurance: This will provide compensation for any necessary medical treatments if you or your passengers are injured in a PWC accident, regardless of fault
  • Comprehensive insurance: This will provide compensation if your PWC is lost or damaged while not in use. Covered events include weather damage, flooding, fire, falling objects, vandalism, and theft.
  • Uninsured and underinsured boater insurance: If you are hit by an uninsured boater or by a hit-and-run boater, this insurance will cover you for property damage and medical costs. This is particularly important in Ohio where PWC insurance is not required.
  • Wreckage removal insurance: This covers the costs of wreckage removal and fuel spill clean-up, for which you will be responsible if you are liable for a PWC collision
  • Towing and assistance insurance: If your PWC becomes disabled on the water and you need assistance, this coverage will reimburse you for the associated costs of towing or service.
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Is Ohio PWC Insurance Expensive?

The cost of your PWC policy will depend on several factors including the type of PWC you own, its purchase price, where and how often you use it, where you store it when not in use and your vehicle driving history. Most PWC policies can be purchased for less than $1 a day. You may be able to get a reduced price on your PWC insurance by taking advantage of discounts that are offered by some insurance providers. Discounts are often given for:

  • Completing an approved safety course: These courses, which are required for boaters born after January 1, 1983, are usually free and are a good idea even if not mandated.
  • Having multiple insurance policies with the insurer: Having your PWC insurance with the same carrier who provides your home or vehicle insurance can often save you a significant amount of money on each policy.
  • Taking advantage of discounted billing methods: You may be able to get a reduced rate on your policy by paying your annual premiums upfront instead of monthly, or by permitting automatic electronic bill payments to come directly out of your bank account.

Compare Ohio PWC Insurance Quotes

Finding a great price on Ohio PWC insurance may require you to do some comparison shopping. A local agent can save you time by doing the legwork and obtaining a variety of rate quotes for you. These independent agents can help you compare policies, rates and coverage options from a variety of top-rated companies. 

Contact a member agent in your neighborhood today to learn more about Ohio PWC insurance. 

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