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By July 1, 2021Insurance

You are planning a summer vacation that includes renting a Jet Ski so the family can have some fun on the water. Have you stopped to consider your liability exposure if something bad happens? What happens if you hit and injure a swimmer? Or ram the Jet Ski into the dock, causing significant damage to Jet Ski and dock?

“Oh, well”, you say, “My homeowners policy will take care of things”. Let us examine that in detail.

Section I of the ISO Homeowners policy [HO-3 (5-11) edition] provides coverage for “…personal property owned or used by an insured while anywhere in the world.” Thus, the rental Jet Ski is insured if it is damaged due to a covered peril. Note that “collision” is not listed as a covered peril in this form of the Homeowners policy. In addition, most homeowners policies have a limit on coverage for “watercraft of all types”, usually $1,500.

Section II of the homeowners policy is the liability section and it probably the most important section to if you injure someone or damage something while operating a rental Jet Ski. Section II of the typical homeowners insurance policy provides no coverage unless the watercraft “is powered by an inboard or inboard-outboard engine or motor, including those that power a water jet pump of (a) 50 horsepower or less and not owned by an insured; or (b) more than 50 horsepower and not owned by or rented to an insured.

A jet ski will typically have more than 50 HP.

To emphasize: When you rent a Jet Ski, you do not have any liability or medical payments coverage under your homeowners policy!

Unless the rental company offers the coverage, we are not aware of how such coverage can be obtained.