Do You Need Insurance on a Jet Ski?

Jet Ski Insurance Guide

I’m often asked by followers of Jet Ski Advice whether you need to take out an insurance policy. It’s a simple answer really:

In some states, you are legally required to have a jet ski insurance policy. In other states, insurance is merely a recommendation. By having insurance, you can protect yourself from liabilities and being sued for property damage, injuries or even death.

I know it’s a difficult call for new owners. After all, you already spent a good fortune on that new jet ski + trailer + registration and now you’re contemplating an expensive insurance premium as well.

I’m probably a little biased as I want you to look after your new ride AND protect yourself and your family. So…I’d say yes to insurance, but let’s talk about some of the challenges.

Jet Ski Insurance in Australia

Here in Australia, jet ski insurance isn’t compulsory. Unlike a car registration, you won’t receive any 3rd party insurance which protects against bodily harm in the event of a crash.

What this essentially means is that the onus is on you. Having seen conversations with dozens of other jet ski riders, most agree that it’s a moral responsibility to get insurance to protect yourself and each other out there on the water.

Jet Ski Insurance in the United States

Some states do regulate PWC riders and require insurance, while other’s simply do not. It’s not a legal requirement in California or Florida to take out a jet ski insurance policy. All you need is active registration and a licence. The same is true for boaters and most other marine vessels in these two states.

Please check with your individual state as they can vary. You’ll definitely need insurance if you’re renting your jet ski out, even if it’s to friends and family for cash payments. It’s not possible (yet) to hire out a jet ski on Turo or Airbnb currently, but if it were, they would provide their own insurance which is excellent.

Here are some additional insights below on some things to be mindful of.

Reasons to Get Jet Ski Insurance

There is a multitude of reasons why I would recommend you take out a policy. These include:

1. Protection Against Theft

While taking out a jet ski insurance policy won’t always stop crime, it’ll lessen the pain and frustration you feel. You could have your insurance claim paid out within several days so you can get out there riding again!

Some thieves don’t like to steal jet skis that have insurance policies (simply cover your jet ski with your insurer’s stickers) as they can be easier to trace. These companies have advanced software to track online sales of PWCs anonymously.

2. Protection Against Liabilities

Just imagine if you cause bodily harm to another rider, a beach-goer or anyone else enjoying the waterways? Litigation could lead to thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars of lawyer fees and payments for life.

That can not only impact you financially but emotionally too. You might struggle to make ends meet which impacts your family. If you have an existing family business, you might be putting that at risk. Is that pain worth the cost of a premium? Only you can answer that.

3. Repair/Replacement Of Your Jet Ski

As I touched on earlier, by taking out an insurance policy on your personal watercraft, you’re able to have your jet ski replaced. It might also be repaired if it’s possible by a mechanic.

Compare that to having no insurance policy, and you’re likely going to be out of pocket $3,000 or more for repairs to your hull or engine. That’s money you may not have easily accessible which makes the cost of a policy definitely worth it.

4. Peace of Mind When Riding

It’s pretty easy to tell who has jet ski insurance and who doesn’t. Those that don’t are usually cruising along slowly at 30-knots while those with policies are trying to max out their speedometer!

You’re out there to have fun so don’t let a lack of policy stop you! Especially if you bought a performance-orientated jet ski. Sooner or later you’ll want to let that throttle out!

5. Insurance Discounts Are Available

Did you know that you can get a discount on jet ski insurance? I didn’t learn this myself until recently. If you already have a policy for your car and home, often your own insurance company will extend a discount on your jet ski insurance that the public wouldn’t otherwise receive.

That said, you might increase your premiums if you have health insurance. Why? Simply because you are seen now as riskier and more likely to suffer an injury from your weekend adventures.

6. Protection For Your Trailer

Many people forget about insurance for their personal jet ski trailer. It may get stolen while you’re away from the boat ramp or it may get a tire blowout on the highway. Either way, you can get your trailer covered with the insurance policy as your jet ski.

This can include accessories too. For instance, I know some guys like to attach a rooftop tent or front toolbox. This is an additional value that you can add to the policy so you can get an agreed value at payout. Likewise, you can get insurance on a jet ski dock if you don’t trailer your jet ski around.

7. Protection For Medical Emergencies

Imagine being thrown off your jet ski and severely hurting your arm, leg, back or even worse – your spine. Unfortunately, life-changing injuries do happen as a result of riding aggressively on a personal watercraft. It might not even be your fault either, but what happens going forward is your responsibility.

While you can depend on the services of the Coast Guard and water ambulance, the same can’t be said for hospital treatment. There is a distinct difference in the level of service you receive by choosing the public system and private health care. Some jet ski insurance policies do include personal medical evacuation and treatment but most don’t because it’s more expensive.

How Much Is Insurance On A Jet Ski?

It’s usually $450 for a used jet ski, such as the Sea-Doo Spark and up to $2,500 for a new performance-orientated jet ski, such as the Kawasaki Ultra 310R.

This of course depends on your location and claim history. It does pay to shop around and find the right provider for you. I have found the insurance comparison sites to be the best value as they compare policies side-by-side.

Does Jet Ski Insurance Cover Engine Damage?

Yes. Some of the premium PWC insurance companies do cover engine damage in their policies, but there is an additional premium to pay which may outweigh the benefits.

Not only do they cover damage to the engine in the event of a crash, but will cover it if your engine overheats or you forget to put your drain plug back in prior to launch. They will need to see a clear service history and they won’t cover certain activities such as racing or stuntwork.

Can A Jet Ski Tracker Reduce My Premiums?

Yes, you can get a reduction on your jet ski insurance with a hard-wired tracking device.

This reduces their risk as an insurance company and thus, they can pass those savings on to you. I believe eventually that such companies will provide these devices to their policyholders for free.

By installing this device, you’re able to track the location of your jet ski at all times. I personally wouldn’t hint that there is a tracking device installed, otherwise, thieves will figure out how to disable these in 10 minutes or less.

In Summary

Jet ski insurance is one of my most recommended suggestions for new riders. With a lack of experience, you never know when you might take a wrong turn or not see that freak wave coming. Your whole world could come crashing down in 5 seconds.

Even if you have a policy already, it’s wise to check what it actually covers and what it does not. Most often, these policies are cheap because they contain the bare minimum – theft, damage and some protection against injury litigation.

Stay safe, get protected and I’ll catch you out there!

6 Best Jet Ski Security Locks + Security Advice

Jet Ski Home Security

You need to take preventative measures to stop thieves who will stop at nothing to steal your pride and joy, so get yourself a jet ski lock for security.

Budget Option

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Trimax ST30 PWC Lock​

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Best Value

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Trimax Trailer Coupler Lock​

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Toughest To Cut

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Vulcan Lock & Chain Kit​

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Whilst the personal watercraft we have available today have protection features included, you shouldn’t rely purely on it. This is because a jet ski on a trailer is still within easy reach, whilst those storing on docks are even more at-risk.

Today I want to show you 9 ways that we can stop theft of jet skis through using security locks and other preventative measures.

Best Jet Ski Locks

Let’s start with the locks, as that is typically both affordable and an easy solution. Through using a lock, it’s predominantly going to slow down the thief or simply make it harder for them. Rarely does it make it impossible!

Best Jet Ski Padlocks
The moment you call 911 because your jet ski has been stolen. It’s a bad feeling!

The current best jet ski locks available in the market are:

  1. Trimax VMAX6 Multi-Use Versa Cable Lock
  2. Shoreline Marine Trailer Coupler Lock
  3. Goplus Heavy Duty Jet Ski Trailer Lock
  4. Master Lock Cable Lock 6ft Adjustable
  5. Lightspeed locking tie-down strap with steel core
  6. Tumecos heavy duty long shackle marine padlock

These all vary in their effectiveness. Some you can lock your jet ski to your trailer using the hull ring. These are also ideal if you’re at the dock or on a sandy beach.

There are others which are steel straps where you can run a few over the seats of the machine. You can then tie down the jet ski to the trailer, otherwise, a group of thieves could lift your machine on to their waiting trailer and make a quick getaway.

Jet Ski Security Locks Infographic
6 best jet ski security locks + security advice 33

Generally, the easiest way to stop the theft of a jet ski on a trailer is with a wheel clamp. Some people advocate the use of hitch locks but this does not prevent a roll down tow truck from taking your PWC away in 5 minutes.

Padlocks for trailers and docks

Let’s look at some of the top options here.

I would certainly advise starting with a long and adjustable security padlock. The cable can attach to your tow hook and the dock, trailer or even a tree at the boat ramp.

We also have a lockable steel-core strap that won’t damage the body paint of your hull but does offer some good protection. It will stop both people taking off your cover to have a look at the make/model, but also stop them taking the entire ski off.

I and many other jet ski enthusiasts would advocate that you use a coupler lock on your trailer. This prevents unauthorized tampering with your trailer. Unfortunately, these are often not rust-proof.

Finally, we have the wheel lock. You should already have one of these at the boat ramp anyway. Just don’t forget that it’s there and attempt to drive off.

With those 4 accessories, you should significantly slow down any opportunity where someone might be tempted to steal your jet ski.

Additional security measures

It’s not just a great jet ski security lock that will help you prevent the theft of your personal watercraft. There literally is so much more you can do.

1. Always leave your jet ski in a safe location

It goes without saying really, that you need to make sure your jet ski isn’t in a dangerous spot. Whilst many remember to secure their trailer at home, they let their guard down once they head out.

You should strive to maintain strong security when you’re travelling. Staying at a hotel? Make sure the trailer is in a very well lit area and locked to your vehicle.

2. Remove your valuables

No matter where you are, ensure all your valuables are removed from both the ski when not riding and your vehicle. Those lockable storage compartments on many PWCs are easy to pry open.

I hear of some riders storing their keys with their jet ski. This is a terrible mistake! The hardest part for a thief is going to a dealership and asking for a new key.

3. Use a cover

One excellent tip is to use a jet ski cover. I prefer to use a basic universal cover because it makes it appear that you’re using a cheap ski that might not be worth much. Most thieves are in a hurry and generally won’t take off the cover to see what’s on the inside.

Compare this to using a brand name SeaDoo or Yamaha cover that you typically find in promotional photoshoots. These covers look great, but they literally scream “Steal me!” with their branding.

A word on PWC insurance

It’s very important to get insurance for your jet ski, but you must ensure that it covers theft and full vehicle replacement (including the trailer). Trust me – this will help you sleep better at night.

In fact, in some states and countries, having insurance on your PWC is mandatory. It’s a smart idea regardless, as you just never know what will happen.

Jetski Security Lock
I would recommend jet ski insurance in a heart-beat!

There are a few things I would advise here:

  1. Take photos of you using locks and security practices. This way it proves to your insurance company that you’re being proactive.
  2. When buying your jet ski, take photos of the bill of sale. Even if you’ve purchased from the dealership, we often lose crucial paperwork.
  3. Take additional photos of the VIN numbers for both the jet ski and trailer. The pencil rub method is highly recommended since all VIN numbers are engraved.

All of these I would store in a safe and secure place. I use an online app called Evernote to store my photos and files, but some people like to simply email files to themselves. Either way, don’t just leave that information on your mobile phone, as that can be stolen too!

Using a tracking device

Many fellow riders are choosing to get a tracker for their PWC and trailer. Heck, even their own cars and motorcycles! These devices are easy to use and very affordable.

There are some cool features to be found here:

  1. Connects to an iOS or Android app so you can see real-time locations
  2. You can set custom alerts i.e. when your jet ski moves at night time
  3. Often. you’ll get a proper 120db alarm system fitted in the same unit
  4. Most come with ‘This vehicle is tracked‘ stickers that scare off thieves

But of course, this is an expensive outlay but can be well worth it. Some thieves are learning how to find and disable these devices quite quickly, so you have to be very creative when fitting them. Look for a spot that they are likely not to find a security tracking device, such as the grips.

My favorite jet ski tracker is the SPOT Trace available here.

I would avoid the cheaper systems as these generally aren’t reliable.

Jet Ski Locks: In summary

Let’s recap what we have covered here. The 9 ways are:

  1. Locking your trailer to your car with a hitch lock
  2. Locking your jet ski to your trailer with straps
  3. Using the tow hook to lock your jet ski to the trailer
  4. Making sure you always store in a well-lit area when travelling
  5. When at home, block in your jet ski by parking your car in front
  6. Never store valuables in the lockable storage compartments
  7. Get a jet ski lock that has an audible alarm built into it
  8. Use a tracking device that is mounted in a hidden location
  9. Ensuring your insurance policy is always up to date

Many people remain proactive when securing their jet ski, because they have heard of the horror stories. It’s mostly the beginners who are looking at how to stop burglars from taking away their pride and joy.

I would certainly recommend a jet ski lock as mentioned here. In addition, insurance and a tracking device can alleviate much of the pain you will experience if a theft does happen to you.

Jet Ski Insurance: Should You Get It?

Jet Ski Insurance

Some people ask us often if you should take out an insurance policy for their jet ski. After all, the premiums can be expensive.

So it’s wise to question to ask. Much of it depends on a range of scenarios:

  • Where you live
  • How often you ride
  • Where you actually ride
  • The type of storage you have
  • Your level of risk-adversion

Today I’ll be answering the question as to whether you should take out jet ski insurance for your personal water craft and trailer.

Jet Ski Insurance overview

In my straight forward opinion, jet skis need insurance. This is often a state requirement, but also, if you’re under finance for your jet ski, your bank will almost always require an insurance policy.

Those in California, Florida, Texas and Georgia are those who generally take out insurance first. Even if you live in a safe neighborhood and only take your PWC out on lakes, it’s still important to have.

Evaluation Of Pwc Insurance
Jet ski insurance evaluation. Should i get a policy now or later?

In other countries such as Australia and New Zealand, jet ski insurance is seen as mandatory by other users. They say that “if you can’t afford the insurance, you can’t afford to go out on the water”. That is to say, do yourself and all others a favor and get a policy that covers you and the machine.

After all, you don’t want to spend so much money, only to write off your jet ski in a crash and have nothing left. Or even worse – have your PWC stolen when you’re not watching. An insurance policy can really give you peace of mind to sleep at night.

Coverage of jet ski insurance policies

Jet ski insurance does cover a range of things, such as theft, damage (both on water and on the trailer) and even public liability. So if you crash into someone out on the water, you can be protected. It really depends on the particular company that you’re using, as to the level of cover that they provide.

How it works generally is that you’ll ring up a company and provide them these basic details:

  1. The make and model of your jet ski including year of manufacture
  2. Your name, address and age, so the insurance company can provide an accurate quote
  3. Any additional performance modifications that you’ve made to your PWC
  4. The hours on the clock, plus registration number and your license number
  5. If you own your jet ski outright, if it’s under financing with a lender

From there, you’ll get a fair idea of what you’re looking for.

Please note that most jet ski insurance providers won’t help those under the age of 16. This is because very few states, if any, provide licensing for minors, nor do they have the confidence or ability to handle the bigger machines without adult supervision.

Why insurance is important

Now that we have an overview of what is required plus coverage, let’s look at why you should get a jet ski insurance policy ASAP.

Because it shouldn’t just be a case of “I hope everything will be OK” because it’s those without any insurance policies which are often caught out when they crash their jet ski on the rocks.

Jet Ski Insurance Compulsory
There are varying prices for jet ski policies across the country and even the world!

It’s very important to get jet ski insurance for these reasons:

  • Makes you feel more confident as you’re protected from liabilities
  • Is a requirement of many banks and lenders when taking out finance
  • Helps you sleep better knowing that you can simply replace the ski
  • Thieves still can get through the biggest locks and alarm systems
  • Hull damage and engine problems can sometimes be covered with policies

The biggest one I discovered is the organized group rides. You know – when a whole bunch of people get together and aim to ride somewhere for the day. 100 miles out.

What the group leader(s) will ask for is a photocopy of insurance policies from each PWC rider, no matter which brand that you are riding. Yamaha riders are just as likely to crash and cause damage as SeaDoo riders.

So it’s very important to have an update to date jet ski policy to cover any damage or theft, but also, to avoid embarassment and having to ride on your own, whilst others are having fun as a group.

Choosing the right policy

One mistake that many beginners make when choosing the right jet ski insurance for their particular make and model, is selecting the right policy.

There are things you’ll want to look out for. After all, there is cheap jet ski insurance policies out there, but they only cover the real basics. You need to read the fineprint, to make sure you know exactly what you’re looking at.

I would recommend you ask things such as:

  1. If your insurance policy will carry-over year after year
  2. How many passengers are also covered in the event of a crash
  3. Any restrictions on the rider, such as age, speed and their abilities
  4. Whether the jet ski insurance also covers the trailer and accessories
  5. If your engine and hull is covered in the event of a sinking
  6. Interstate or overseas coverage, such as day-trips to the Bahamas
  7. If you can get a discount if you pay your policy yearly instead of monthly
  8. What happens if your jet ski catches fire. Are you still protected?

The right policy isn’t the cheapest policy. Jet ski insurance policies really do vary a lot, so I wouldn’t recommend that you choose one at the bottom.

I do have my #1 recommendation. A resource that helps beginners find the right insurance for their personal watercraft, as well as for themselves, so they’re protected for personal injury too.

Cost of jet ski insurance

The pricing for a PWC insurance policy can really vary. A good question to ask is “What is the cost of NOT taking out this policy?” as you could damage someone else’s boat or jet ski out on the water, and not have the financial ability to pay for that damage.

Jet Ski Insurance Cost
There is a range of jet ski insurance policies where the cost can really vary

When researching for my own jet ski, I found that insurance policies varied in price from $400 per year, right up to $2,700+ per year! It really depended on a range of factors. This is why it’s important to look at various options.

Certainly, a new model off the showroom floor is more expensive than a 10-year-old ski. Because generally those with older skis which aren’t worth much in the marketplace only decide to get 3rd party damage cover.

As I mentioned in the part about choosing the right policy, you’ll want to look at what you really want with your insurance. There are various add-ons which can increase your monthly or yearly premiums, but some of these you could do without, depending on your situation and riding style.

In summary

As I’ve mentioned, jet ski insurance is almost mandatory for the serious rider. Most people who take up this sport are riding fast and are often sharing waterways with other riders.

If someone crashes into you, having a jet ski insurance policy that’s up to date will give you peace of mind that everything will be covered. Likewise, you can also sleep better knowing that if your jet ski is stolen, that everything will be alright.

So the main question: Should you take out a policy? In my experience, yes – you should! As they say, if you can’t afford the insurance premiums, you probably can’t afford to go jetskiing on the waterways.

For that reason, I recommend that you highly consider taking up a policy starting today. Our #1 recommendation here at is to look at this policy comparison site for the lowest prices.