No matter what type of boat or personal watercraft (i.e., a Jet Ski®) you own, talk with your insurance agent to make sure you have the right amount of coverage.
Under a typical homeowner policy you might have coverage for $1,500 or less in physical damage to a small boat.
But homeowner coverage for your liability risk - such as running into someone else's boat - is generally limited to the boat size and the motor's horsepower.
Bigger boats are likely excluded from your homeowner policy for both property and liability coverage. You'll need to buy a separate boat insurance policy.
Jet Skis® and other personal watercraft will also likely require a separate boat insurance policy. You might be able to buy this policy from your homeowner insurer or you may want to use an insurer that specializes in boat insurance.
Coverage questions to ask your insurance agent
- Does my policy have adequate liability limits?
- Are there discounts for taking safety courses?
- Who is covered when operating the boat or personal watercraft?
- Does my policy cover towing skiers or inner-tubers?
- Does my policy cover equipment stored on my boat, such as skis, life vests, and electronic depth equipment?
Your lender and insurance
If you're financing your boat or watercraft, your bank will likely require you to have enough insurance coverage to protect it in the unlikely event a loss occurs. If you don't have coverage, the bank may obtain force-placed insurance, which is more expensive than buying coverage on your own.
Mandatory boater education
In Washington state you are required to carry a Washington State Boater Education card when operating a motorboat with 15 horsepower or greater. For more information, contact Washington State Parks (www.parks.wa.gov).