Personal watercrafts are fun but are typically not covered in either a standard homeowners or auto insurance policy.
When renting a recreational toy like a boat, jet ski, ATV or snowmobile, most people focus on the fun and not the risk they are exposed to in case of an accident. Without proper insurance, however, renting any of these toys can put your personal assets at risk financially for injuries and damages you caused and for property damage to or theft of the toy. Addressing these risks through insurance is essential to keep you protected while enjoying the toy.
Read the Contract
Read the rental contract to determine exactly what you are responsible for. Many contracts will ask for a security deposit to be placed at the time of signing the contract. Learn how those deposits are returned or lost. Before signing the contract, ask the rental company any questions regarding your contract. It’s a good idea to fax a copy of the rental contract to your insurance agent for review to make sure you are covered or determine if additional insurance is required.
Check Current Insurance Policies
Some items, such as boats, may already be covered under your existing homeowners insurance policy. However, limitations may exist on the size of the motor or the length of the boat you are renting. Contact your insurance agent to locate those areas of your policy. If you will be transporting items on a trailer, check to see what coverage is available on those under your auto insurance.
Buy Coverage from Rental Establishment
The company renting out the recreational item will likely offer insurance you can purchase. Although such policies can help limit your risk, they may only offer minimal coverage. If you plan to purchase the insurance directly from the rental establishment, read the policy carefully prior to paying and accepting the terms. If the coverage seems minimal, for example only covering the damage caused to the vehicle and not to you personally, consider other options.
The umbrella policy is a type of insurance policy that covers a wide range of items not covered under other types of insurance. An umbrella policy may provide the best source of coverage when renting recreational toys. Even though most umbrella policies have coverages for renting a wide range of recreational vehicles, you should still address limitations with your insurance agent. Make sure the item you plan on renting is specifically listed in the policy. If it is not, shop for a policy where the item is specified.