NH is the Live Free or Die state, so like car insurance, jet ski insurance is not required by law. That said, to protect yourself, your passengers, your jet ski, and any potential damage or injury you cause while on your jet ski, insurance is certainly a good idea.
Why You Need NH Jet Ski Insurance
Jet skis are a fun way to enjoy the hot summers of New Hampshire, and though they may not seem large in comparison to other boats, they can be expensive and cause injury to others or damage to property. This is why having insurance on your jet ski is essential.
Does Homeowner's Insurance Cover Jet Skis?
Though some homeowners insurance coverage can extend to boats, there is often a limit on the watercraft's size and horsepower, whether a personal watercraft (PWC) or a boat. A jet ski would most likely have more horsepower than what the homeowners insurance would allow, so no coverage for either the jetski itself or any resulting liability from its use.
Is Any Rider Covered By My New Hampshire Jet Ski Insurance Policy?
Jet ski insurance policies normally include bodily injury liability coverage; however that does not typically apply to the jetski's owner or other household family members. Bodily injury liability coverage applies to others if the owner and insured are legally found at-fault in a boating accident.
If you are the jetski owner and are injured, you may be able to collect under Medical Payments coverage regardless of fault. That said, medical payment limits are typically much lower than what is offered under bodily injury liability coverage. Any additional medical expenses would fall under your health insurance or be picked up personally.
If you are injured while on your jetski and injuries are caused by another boater, you may be able to find coverage under uninsured/underinsured boater coverage if the at-fault party does not have any insurance or inadequate limits. This coverage may provide coverage for your injuries on your own jet ski policy, up to the policy's limits.
The other important part of a NH jet ski policy is coverage for the jet ski itself. This may be covered under collision coverage (such as colliding with another boat, dock, rock, etc.) and comprehensive coverage (such as damage from theft, fire, heavy winds, etc.) If your jet ski were insured with these coverages and used by a legal driver with your permission, there would most likely have coverage for any unintended damage to the jetski itself.
Does My Jet Ski Policy Cover Me for Waterskiing or Tubing?
Coverage is often available on NH Jet Ski policies, but it is not always automatic. Therefore, if you ever plan on pulling anyone tubing, water skiing, kneeboarding, or any similar activity, it is strongly suggested you contact your jet ski insurer to ensure you have this coverage.
When considering this activity, make sure you follow the parameters under which these activities should be done. For example, any jet ski that’s towing someone generally has to:
- Have a qualified spotter onboard as a rider
- Have enough seats for the operator, spotter, and person being towed
The operator generally can’t be both driving the jet ski and watching the waterskier. Violating this requirement could jeopardize an insurance claim.
Is There Coverage for Young or Other Operators?
Should someone else operate your jet ski with your permission, they too will likely be covered by your policy. So long as they’re a qualified operator, meeting any minimum age and license requirements, a policy’s coverage will probably still apply.
How Do I Get Coverage If I Rent a Jet Ski?
Jet ski rentals are very popular to rent both in and outside the US, and though no one likes to think that an accident will happen, they certainly can. Before you rent a jet ski or any other boat, check if the rental company has insurance you can purchase to protect both the watercraft and any subsequent liability from you driving it. (Also check to ensure the liability limits are adequate.) Without the ability to purchase this coverage, it is not recommended you rent the boat. Though you can calculate the cost of replacing a boat, you can not calculate the potential medical, pain-and-suffering, or loss of income expenses you could face should you injure someone while using an uninsured boat.
Liability Limits and Exclusions on Jet Ski Insurance Policies
While most jet ski insurance provides coverage for many of the risks you are likely to face as a jet ski owner, do not assume, as there may be limits and exclusions to the liability protections that these policies provide. Exact limits and exclusions vary by policy. Here are some common considerations.
First, policies have liability limits that dictate the most a policy will pay for a covered claim. These may be per-accident and/or per-incident, and there’s often a separate limit for underinsured and uninsured coverage. A New Hampshire insurance agent specializing in jet ski policies can help you decide what limits are appropriate.
Second, policies frequently exclude claims if a jet ski has significant aftermarket changes. For example, changes to power or performance can void coverage, especially if they’re not disclosed on a policy application.
Third, policies often won’t cover claims that occur at night. Since most jet skis don’t have navigation lights, operating them after dark isn’t wise (and sometimes not legal).
Finally, many jet ski policies have limitations on where they’ll provide coverage. These limitations might dictate that a jet ski is used within the state, and/or they might require that a jet ski only be used within a certain distance of shore. Any distance requirement typically only comes into play if on the ocean, and few jet skis are taken out beyond a policy’s distance requirement.
Work with a New Hampshire Insurance Agent
If you need help finding jet ski insurance, contact us at HPM Insurance. Our independent New Hampshire insurance agents can work with you to find a policy to meet your coverage and pricing needs. Have fun out there and stay safe!