With more than a dozen scenic lakes in this gorgeous New England state, it is little wonder that so many Vermont residents own and operate personal watercraft. When it comes to PWC insurance for these vessels, there are nearly as many options as there are places to ride them. Whether you prefer family outings on a four person PWC or showing off in a submersible, it is a good idea to compare PWC insurance quotes before you take your craft out onto Vermont waters.
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Vermont Boating Facts, 2012
- Total watercraft accidents: 3
- Total watercraft injuries: 1
- Total watercraft fatalities: 0
- Percentage of boating accidents involving PWCs in the U.S.: 19%
These statistics are good news for Vermont boat and PWC owners. Because the boating accident rate in this state is so low, insurance costs for Vermont residents are significantly lower than that national average.
Types of Personal Watercraft You May Want To Insure
You are probably familiar with some of the more popular PWC brand names like Jet Ski, WaveRunner and Sea-Doo. People often use these brand names to refer to different types of PWCs, even if different companies make them. The types of PWCs you can purchase and enjoy in VT include the following:
- Stand up PWCs: Think Jet Skis. These were the first PWC types available on the market, and the name Jet Ski has become synonymous with watercraft that allow an operator to stand while riding. Of all PWC types, these are the most challenging to operate, and they have the greatest risk of tipping over.
- Sit down PWCs: Think WaveRunner. These craft allow the operator to sit. Many models allow a passenger to ride on the back, much like a motorcycle. These PWCs are less likely to tip over than their stand-up counterparts are.
- Multi person PWCs: Think Sea-Doo. These three person and four person PWCs are great for family outings. This type of PWC is very stable on the water, even when fully loaded.
- Submersible PWCs: This new type of PWC can operate both on and below the water. Operators can use their submersible PWC to twist, turn and dive under the water. This type is very much for showmanship as it looks like a dolphin leaping in and out of the water.
Vermont’s Laws and Requirements for PWCs
The Marine Division of the Vermont State Police regulates personal watercraft safety. Laws regarding PWC use in this state include the following:
- Anyone born after Jan. 1, 1974, must have successfully completed an approved boating safety education course to legally operate a PWC.
- All PWC operators and passengers must wear an approved personal floatation device at all times.
- No one under the age of 16 may operate a PWC.
- Operators may not operate PWCs between a half-hour after sunset and a half-hour before sunrise.
- PWCs must have a lanyard type engine cutoff switch, which the operator must attach to the wrist, clothing or PDF when in use.
- Operators must maintain a speed of less than five miles per hour when operating a PDF within 200 feet of shore, a dock, a swimming area or another person or vessel in the water.
- The state does not require PWC liability insurance.
All PWC operators must know and comply with the regulations or face fines.
Why Purchase PWC Insurance in Vermont?
Because Vermont does not require PWC owners to carry liability insurance on them, you may be wondering why you should consider a policy.
If you are responsible for an accident that causes property damage or injuries to a third party while operating your PWC, you may be liable for damages. When injuries are involved, medical costs can be quite high, particularly if the injured party needs continued medical attention or also sues for lost wages.
Other cases where this insurance coverage can be useful are if your PWC sustains damage in a major storm or while being transported to and from the water. Or someone could steal or vandalize your craft while it is in storage. Some PWCs are very expensive, which makes it worth your while to insure your investment.
Your current auto and home policy may offer a bit of coverage for your PWC, but this coverage is usually very limited. Only a PWC insurance policy can fully protect you from the many possible hazards you can face.
What Coverage Is Available to PWC Owners in New England?
PWC insurance goes far beyond the limited coverage of a homeowners insurance policy by offering you coverage for all the potential hazards and expenses you may face. This coverage includes these options:
- Liability coverage
- Property damage coverage
- Medical payments coverage
- Accessory coverage
- Uninsured and underinsured boater coverage
- Trailer coverage for when you are towing your PWC to and from the water
- Towing and assistance, both on the road and in the water
- Wreckage removal and fuel-spill cleanup coverage
Are PWC Insurance Quotes High in This State?
In Vermont, policy costs for PWC insurance generally start at about $25 a month, and in Vermont, where boating safety courses are mandatory, it may be even less expensive. Because most residents of this New England state only use their watercraft four or five months a year, they can save money by buying policies that reflect this occasional use.
When you request quotes from insurance companies, your costs will vary according to factors such as the make, model and value of your PWC, as well as where and how you use and store it. Your personal driving record can also influence your policy costs. Taking a little time to comparison-shop before making a purchase can help you be sure you are getting coverage at a great price.
You may even be able to earn insurance discounts on your policy for having multiple policies with the same insurer or allowing the insurance company to deduct your premiums directly from your bank account each month. Be sure to ask about ways you can save money when you call to request PWC insurance quotes.
You Can Easily Compare a Variety of PWC Insurance Policies
There are several different ways to obtain insurance coverage for your personal watercraft, but the easiest way to find the right policy is by contacting an independent agent in the Trusted Choice® network.
Trusted Choice agents are located throughout Vermont. Contact a local agent at your earliest convenience to get more information and to start comparing PWC insurance quotes.