A Short Guide to Jet Ski Insurance
Whether you just enjoy local touring or exploring further afield, getting the right jet ski insurance for your needs is important. This guide aims to help you understand not just the types of jet ski insurance available, and their associated limits, but also what you can do to help reduce the cost of your cover.
What types of cover are available?
There are two types of cover which will normally be at the core of a jet ski insurance policy:
- Vessel Loss or Damage: This can provide cover for the cost of loss or damage to your jet ski arising from a range of causes such as accident, theft, fire, and storm. You can usually choose the level of cover you want, which should reflect the full cost of you replacing your jet ski with an equivalent craft.
- Third Party Liability: This can help protect you from liabilities you may incur to other people for death, injury or property damage arising from the use of the jet ski. Most companies will only allow a pre-determined level of cover, but some will allow you to choose a value, with the premium varying accordingly. While having liability cover is not a legal requirement in the UK for most leisure boats, it may be required if you wish to navigate certain waterways / territorial waters, or to use a commercial marina.
In addition to the above, there are a range of other covers related to jet ski insurance, further details of which can be found by clicking the links below:
- Trailer / Trolley
- Personal Belongings
- Search & Rescue Costs
- Marina Benefits
- Mooring Fees
- NCD Protection
- Marine Legal Protection
Many insurance providers bundle up the different types of jet ski insurance into a single package, but this can result in owners paying for cover they may not want or need. An alternative therefore is to look for a provider which lets you choose the cover you want, as well as letting you vary your cover as your needs change over the year.
What are common exclusions or restrictions on jet ski insurance?
The specific exclusions on your jet ski insurance will vary according to what types of cover you have selected. However, most policies will have a set of general exclusions such as for:
- Use of the jet ski for an illegal or non-permitted purpose.
- Use of the jet ski outside the geographical limits of the policy.
- Wear, tear, depreciation, or similar deterioration of the jet ski.
- A failure to ensure the jet ski is properly manned and maintained in a seaworthy condition.
- Reckless acts by anyone in charge of the jet ski
- Damage by Insects, vermin, barnacles, marine growth, corrosion, rot, rust etc.
Similarly, for the jet ski insurance to operate the insurer will require you to:
- Take reasonable steps to look after the jet ski and ensure anyone using it is competent to do so.
- Ensure that if the jet ski is moored, it is in a safe, properly maintained location.
- Comply with any regulations relating to the safe operation of the jet ski.
- Take reasonable steps to ensure information you provide to them is accurate and current.
- Always be honest in your dealings with them.
As such exclusions and requirements can vary between insurers, make sure you check the policy terms when arranging cover.
Where do I need my jet ski insurance to operate?
The first consideration in terms of where you want your jet ski insurance to operate is what is your intended cruising area. These are the geographical areas and waterway types within which you plan to use your jet ski, and therefore where you wish to be covered. Most companies will require you to select an area from a drop-down list of broad options, although a more modern innovation is to allow you to map the precise area for which you require cover.
The second consideration is where will your jet ski be kept when it is not in use. This might be at a mooring location, in which case what type of mooring in involved and who has access to it may be considered. Alternatively you may keep your jet ski out of the water, in which case factors such as the type of premises in which it is kept and how it is stored will come in to play.
What can I use my jet ski for?
Jet ski insurance often restricts the permitted uses of the jet ski to ‘private and pleasure’ purposes only, so may therefore exclude certain uses such as for commercial purposes, racing or the towing of water skis or water toys. Some companies will however provide the option to add cover for the jet ski to be used for the towing of water skis or water toys, usually at an additional premium.
Who can use my jet ski?
As with most forms of transport (cars, aircraft etc), much of the risk associated with a jet ski does not come from the machine itself but the person in control of it. However unlike cars and aircraft, there is usually no licencing requirement when it comes to who can use a jet ski. Insurers are therefore increasingly looking for other indications of experience when calculating premiums, such as:
- Who will be permitted to use the jet ski?
- How much general boating experience do they have?
- How much experience do they have specifically on jet skis?
- What qualifications do they hold and how applicable are they to jet ski use?
What this does mean is that owners who are prepared to restrict who can be in control of the jet ski to relatively experienced, well qualified users, will tend to benefit from lower premiums.
How can I keep my premium down?
The cost of your jet ski insurance will be determined by a wide variety of factors, not least of which being who you buy your cover off and how much flexibility they offer, both in terms of cover options and the discounts they give when calculating the premium. Amongst the actions which you can take to keep your premium down are:
- Try to gain one or more relevent jet ski qualifications.
- Restrict those who you allow to be in control of the jet ski to experienced users only.
- Ensure that you have good physical security on your jet ski, especially while it is on its trailer.
- Keep your jet ski in a safe, secure location when it is not in use.
- Consider arranging a higher excess on the ‘vessel loss and damage’ section of your policy.
- If your jet ski insurance provider offers flexibility in terms of the different covers available, only select those that you need.
- Unless you know you will be using your jet ski to tow water skiers or toys, you may not need to include cover for such uses from the start of your policy, you can always add it later when you are sure you need it.
- Similarly, only select the cruising area where you know you will be using the jet ski. If you need to use it elsewhere during the year you can always extend the cover later.
- If your circumstances change, such as you no longer need a cover option, or you no longer need cover for an inexperienced user, consider updating your policy immediately rather than waiting until your next renewal.
- Watch out for ‘hidden’ charges such as administration fees to increase your cover.
Spending a little more time thinking about the cover you want, and giving your insurance provider a little more information about you and your jet ski, may well result in you cutting the cost of your jet ski insurance.
How can we help you to keep the cost of your jet ski insurance down?
There are many ways in which Visicover can help you to keep the cost of your jet ski insurance down:
- Rather than bundle different types of jet ski insurance into a single package, resulting in you possibly paying for cover you may not need, we let you choose the cover you want.
- We offer a wide range of discounts, such as rewarding experienced owners or those with relevent qualifications, as well as those who take care of their jet ski, both when it is in use (e.g. controlling who uses it), and when it is not (e.g. ensuring it has good physical security and is kept in a safe location).
- You can spread the payment of your premium over nine months at no extra cost.
- We know that owner’s requirements can change over time, which is why we enable them to update their cover online whenever they want, usually with no administration fee.