Whether you have a Jet Ski, a Sea-Doo or any other personal watercraft (PWC), there is little doubt that fun can be had on the water. However, that fun brings some responsibility to PWC owners.
Personal watercrafts usually share water space with swimmers, rafters, kayakers and of course, boats and other larger water vessels.
Do you fully understand the risks of owning and using a personal watercraft? No matter your answer, you need the best information and coverage for your needs before you hit the water.
Whether you are just getting started, or you are frustrated with the PWC insurance claims process through your current insurance provider, an independent insurance agent in our network is ready to help. Contact an agent today to get started.
PWC Stats from U.S. Coast Guard
- More than 4,600 accidents involving personal watercraft occurred in 2010
- More than 670 deaths were reported from those accidents in 2010
- Broken bones were the top injury from PWC accidents
- Alcohol/drug use has been the top cause of accidents, injuries and death
Be a Responsible PWC Pilot to Avoid Insurance Claims
Much like wearing a life jacket when on the water, getting the right PWC insurance policy in place can keep you protected from risk.
Personal watercraft coverage can look similar to an auto insurance policy in that it can include liability, collision and comprehensive coverage. This insurance protects your assets in case of an accident in which you or someone else is involved – many policies will cover your craft, no matter who drives it.
The amount of coverage you need depends on many factors, but you should definitely consider the value of the assets you want to protect, the value of your watercraft and the amount of damage your watercraft could impose on another person or their property.
Your agent can help you determine the right amount of coverage for you and your watercraft. In the event you need to file a PWC insurance claim, you can have peace of mind.
What to Do If You’re in a PWC Accident
With more and more watercraft on the water nowadays, the likelihood of being involved in an accident is much greater than ever before. If you are in an accident with your personal watercraft, there are some steps you should take before you file a PWC insurance claim:
- Check for injuries and seek medical attention if injuries are involved – for you and for those involved in the accident.
- If there are injuries and/or more than one watercraft involved in the accident, contact authorities. Get a copy of the police report or request the report number to obtain a copy when it becomes available.
- Report only the facts of the accident – leave any blame out of the report.
- Take pictures of the accident scene as well as any damage to your watercraft and other objects involved in the accident.
- Be thorough; the authorities and insurance companies can get a clearer picture of what happened. This will make the claim process quicker and easier.
- Record names and insurance information for all persons involved. If you can, take pictures of insurance cards or documents rather than writing information down – this cuts down on errors.
- Call your insurance agent and give as much information as you can.
How to File a PWC Insurance Claim
Once you’ve contacted your Trusted Choice member agent with the information from the accident, the agent will follow through and file the PWC claim with the insurance company.
Your agent will include all the information you supply on the claim, and may schedule a claims adjuster to visit you, assess your PWC and the damage caused.
After the adjuster makes the assessment, your agent will review your policy, look at your coverage limits and then determine whether the accident is properly covered.
Throughout the claim process, your independent agent will help ensure that everything goes as smoothly and painlessly for you as possible.
Comprehensive PWC Coverage and the Claim Process
While many claims are filed for accidents on the waterways, there are times where comprehensive coverage comes in handy, for example if the watercraft is stolen, vandalized or damaged.
Take pictures when you can and if you have a police report, provide that information to your Trusted Choice agent as soon as possible.
Was Your Claim Denied?
One of the top reasons you might have your PWC claim denied is if you don’t have enough coverage on your insurance policy—for example, you need collision coverage but you have liability-only on your policy.
A claim could also be denied if it is deemed fraudulent, or if you have an extensive history of liability in accidents.
The keys here are to know your PWC insurance policy before you hit the water, and to make sure you have all of your correct facts, pictures and documents to support your claim. If you take care of those two things, your claim will usually be accepted and handled appropriately.
How to Recognize and Report Fraud
Insurance fraud can occur when an insured PWC driver intentionally causes an accident, falsifies injuries or exaggerates damages. It’s important for you to gather detailed information and pictures of the accident so you are protected.
The more detail you have, the better your chances are of you claim being accepted by the insurance company.
This is meant only to be an overview of PWC insurance claims. For more detailed and location-specific information, contact your local independent agent. Your agent can answer your questions about the claims process and help you with all of your insurance needs.