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After our Q&A about motorized surfboards and whether or not they would be covered under the standard homeowners policy, the subject of jet skis came up. We had determined that the motorized surfboard was covered under the insured’s homeowners policy for both physical damage and liability coverage, although the value of the surfboard exceeded the standard limit for watercraft and should be scheduled. But what about jet skis? That’s an entirely different situation. It’s easy to assume that a jet ski would fit within the parameters of the homeowners liability exceptions for watercraft since they are much smaller than most boats. However, it is important to remember that the exceptions aren’t based on size alone, but on horsepower.

The liability exceptions for watercraft are based on craft with less than 25 horsepower, or craft with more than 50 horsepower but are not owned by or rented to an insured. The horsepower of a jet ski can range from 100 to more than 300 horsepower depending on the make and model. This excludes jet skis an insured owns from liability coverage under the homeowners policy. Like the surfboards, the cost of jet skis also exceeds the special limit for watercraft which is $1,500 in the 2011 edition of the ISO HO 00 03 and $2,000 in the 2022 edition of the HO 00 03. So what’s a recreational sailor to do?

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