Summer is now in full swing! The weather is nice and you and your family are planning your annual trip to Stressfree USA. Many of you look forward to renting water craft and enjoying quality time with your entire family. Fantastic. Have a great time but give this plan some thought before you execute.
Many places rent jet skis or boats for a day or a week. They typically offer many options, which is nice because not everyone likes the same thing. It is important to know what your vehicle insurance policy states about boat insurance for rental recreational vehicles. Some policies cover you fully. Some not at all. Maybe yours covers some things and not others. If for no other reason, you need to know if you need to accept (and pay for) optional insurance coverage when you rent the vessel.
Usually you’ll be covered. Keep in mind, however, that you have only as much coverage as your policy’s limits. So if you have $100,000 of homeowner’s personal liability coverage, that’s the maximum that will apply to your rented boat or jet ski if you’re liable for injuries to other people.
The physical damage limit likely will be the same as your personal liability limit. So if you carry $100,000 of personal liability, that’s also your physical damage coverage limit or what’s available to cover damages to the rented boat or jet ski. By the way, the same concerns apply for securing ATV rental insurance and/or RV rental insurance.
Here are safety tips and other resources to keep you safe if you’re boating or jet skiing this summer.
Understand U.S. Coast Guard requirements and state laws and regulations.
- Read your owner’s manual and understand the various on-board warnings located on your boat or jet ski.
- Wear a life jacket. While this sounds like common sense, the excitement of getting on a jet ski or riding in a boat may take your focus off safety. A life jacket is like a seatbelt. It should be worn at all times because it can increase your chances of survival if there’s an accident. http://www.uscgboating.org/safety/life_jacket_wear_wearing_your_life_jacket.aspx
- Stock your boat. Make sure you have an appropriate life jacket for each person onboard. An adult life jacket is not appropriate for children. In addition, if you plan to be on the lake for the day, make sure you have plenty of water, sunscreen, medications, and snacks. Lastly, make sure you have a fire extinguisher, flares, maps, and communication devices in case you run into trouble.
- Bring a back up. If you’re boating with friends or family, make sure somebody other than the driver is familiar with the boat. It’s not a safe idea for one adult to take a boat full of children out tubing. If the primary driver is injured or unable to navigate, it’s vital that a passenger is also familiar with the boat and can get you back to land safely.
- Keep an eye on the weather. Summer weather can change quickly. Pay attention to your local forecast and consider signing up for weather alerts that can be sent to your Smartphone.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Depending on the time of the year, boat traffic can be heavy on the lake. Make sure you always keep a close eye on what’s happening around you. If pulling a tube or skier behind your boat or jet ski, always have a spotter to alert you of issues.
As always, contact us with any and all questions that you might have for your personal and business insurance needs in VA, DC, and MD.