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Risk Management Tips for Jet Ski Rental Businesses

Every year 40 to 50 people die in jet skiing accidents in the United States, while another 600 to 700 suffer injuries. How do jet ski rental businesses reduce these risks associated with their line of work?

We’ve listed several different jet ski risks to be aware of and tips to help solve these problems. Read on to find out!

Common Jet Ski Risks

Owning a jet ski business can be an exciting and profitable venture, but it’s important to know some of the risks that come along with it. Knowing the possible dangers helps to prepare for when tragedy strikes.

Jet Ski Collisions

Some of the major jet ski rental business risks are drivers and riders colliding with other water crafts, buildings, and shorelines. Traveling at high speeds with waves knocking them about, it’s easy for jet skis to run into other objects like buoys and boats.

Because jet skis are small and fast, drivers may believe that they can effortlessly avoid other jet skis or boats to which they are in close proximity. Drivers operating with that kind of overconfidence cause these types of collisions to happen all the time.

People who are unfamiliar with the beach’s shoreline may not realize how close they’ve come and are easily thrown from the jet ski when hitting the sand. This damages the jet ski and can cause serious injury to the driver.

Striking Swimmers

An unfortunate but common accident involves jet skis striking other people. This could be unsuspecting beachgoers who have gone for a swim or another jet ski driver that has been tossed from their vehicle.

Whizzing by at top speeds, it’s difficult for the driver to spot what’s in the water directly in front of them. If another driver has been thrown into the water, it’s even harder to pivot directions fast enough to avoid hitting them.

This type of jet ski accident is incredibly devastating as it often leads to blunt force trauma and very possibly death. Not everyone considers the possibility that renting a jet skit might be the last thing they do.

Wave Jumping Accidents

People who want to rent a jet ski are more than likely doing so because they want to have a good time with family and friends. Some may use them to get from point a to point b or just want to explore a new island. However, a few renters may want to try out some tricks they’ve seen online.

These adrenaline seekers can rent jet skis for the purpose of seeing how high they can get from jumping off of waves and may even try flipping them! Inexperienced drivers quickly get in over their heads and end up wrecking the jet ski and getting themselves injured.

This practice is clearly hazardous and can end up being wildly expensive for jet ski rental businesses.

Intoxicated Drivers

It’s hard for business owners to weed through jet ski renters to know the ones that will be responsible and respect the vehicle from those who will either show up drunk or while using the watercraft become inebriated. It’s an unfortunate risk with jet ski business ownership.

Drivers that are under the influence of drugs or alcohol have impaired decision-making skills and slow reflexes. It’s already easy for drivers to become distracted when not intoxicated, and this certainly raises the jet ski rental risks. Many different types of collisions, accidents, and injuries are caused for this reason.

Jet Ski Failure

Sometimes jet skis are defective or parts can stop working while the vehicle is in use. If these defective parts aren’t caught by routine checks, drivers and riders can be left stranded on open water with the vehicle capsizing.

Even with routine checking, jet skis are still just machines that are comprised of many moving parts of which one could fail at any time. While still an expensive risk, this one is less dangerous for the driver.

Mitigating These Jet Ski Risks

While accidents can’t be completely resolved because humans make mistakes, most of these can be reduced with proper training, precautions, rules, and gear. What those don’t take care of, insurance may instead!

First thing is first, and that is water safety gear. Life vests, safety goggles, and water shoes are just a few of the items that jet ski rental companies should consider requiring.

Proper training sessions should be conducted, and certificates and licenses should be checked where appropriate. Renters should be aware of the risks and understand how to handle the watercraft before taking it out on the water by themselves.

Jet ski rentals can lower collision rates with people, shorelines, and docks by mapping out appropriate areas of vehicle usage. Clear lines where they can and cannot go need to be drawn to help jet ski drivers steer clear of swimming areas.

Reduced speeds and a cap on how fast operators are allowed to go would help vehicle handling and points of view to be clearer. Business owners can implement fines drawn up onto contracts that renters have to sign before using their equipment. They should consider fines for reckless driving, such as wave jumping, intoxication, and failure to abide by their rules.

Jet Ski Rental Business Insurance

From commercial general liability for covering bodily injury or property damage to a true umbrella policy for covering the gaps, Prime’s specialty liability insurance can provide peace of mind for any jet ski rental company. When human error happens, insurance can be there to fall back on.

At Prime Insurance Company, we focus on building relationships while keeping all our services under one roof. We’ll work with you to better understand your client’s needs to get them the right coverage. To learn more and get a quote, take a look at our jet ski rental insurance page.

Last updated August 23, 2022.

Authored by Rick J. Lindsey, CEO, President, and Chairman of Prime Insurance Company

rick j lindsey president and ceo of prime insurance company - headshot with white backgroundRick J. Lindsey hails from Salt Lake City, Utah. He began working in the mailroom of his father’s Salt Lake City insurance firm, getting his introduction to the business that became his lifelong career. Lindsey quickly rose through the ranks while working in nearly every imaginable insurance industry job. As an entrepreneur, specialty lines underwriter, claims specialist, risk manager, and a licensed surplus lines broker, Rick J. Lindsey is highly skilled in all levels of leadership and execution. As he progressed on his career path, Rick discovered an urgent need for insurers willing to write policies for high-risk individuals and businesses. He was frequently frustrated that he could not provide the liability protection these entities desperately needed to safeguard their assets. He also formed the belief that insurance companies acted too quickly to settle frivolous claims. Lindsey decided to try a different approach. He started an insurance company and became the newly formed entity’s CEO. This opportunity has enabled Rick to fill a void in the market and provide a valuable service to businesses, individuals, and insurance agents who write high-risk business. Read more…


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