Jet skiing is an exhilarating hobby that's one of the fastest growing water-based activities in the country. Whether you're a jet ski beginner or a seasoned veteran, when you're itching to get out on the water insurance is probably the last thing on your mind. However, taking out a quality insurance package is a vital part of enjoying your water adventures safely.
Unlike driving a car, there's no national law that says you must be insured to use a jet ski. However, many local councils will have a bye law in place requiring insurance for jet skiing on public lakes in their district, and also most launch sites will require at least third party insurance for you to use their facilities.
And of course, fun though jet skiing may be, as with any high speed sport there's an element of risk involved. It might not be nice to consider it, but if you have an accident and hurt yourself or someone else, or cause damage to property, your insurance will be there to take care of the financial headaches at least.
As with car insurance, there are two main types of jet ski insurance. The cheaper option is third party liability insurance, which covers you for any damage you cause to another person's jet ski or other equipment, or for any injury to someone that results from an accident you're responsible for. The more expensive option is comprehensive insurance which covers all that third party does, along with accidental damage to your own jet ski, plus theft, vandalism, or fire.
There are several ways to make your jet ski policy less expensive. If you're experienced and/or qualified you will usually be eligible for a discount or a reduction in excess (the amount of any claim you have to pay yourself), as you will if you are over a certain age (usually 25 years). If you limit your policy to a specific area or launch site it will be cheaper than taking out a policy that covers you on any waterway, and if you only use your jet ski in the summer months you can often use a time-limiting option to reduce the cost compared to year-round cover.
A certain level of secure storage is necessary for most policies to be valid, but you can often get further discounts by installing extra security such as tracking equipment on your machine - check with your insurer how improving your security measures can reduce your cost. In any case, it's always a good idea to compare prices, features and requirements from several insurers to get the best deal for your circumstances before taking out a policy.
As a fan over water sports it's possible you already have boat insurance, so maybe jet skiing is covered under that? Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the case. Most boat insurance policies will as standard exclude personal water craft (PWC) activities such as jet skiing. You may be able to take out an extension on your boat policy to cover your jet ski, but this might not work out to be any cheaper - and could even push up the costs of your existing insurance while not providing the range of benefits that a specialist policy from a trusted insurer offers.