One of the most critical things to understand about the registration on your PWC is that no cover or protection is provided with your annual registration.

So now understanding that in CTP insurance terms, a car is not a boat, let’s break it down a little. Your annual car registration has two key components: the registration and associated costs and the compulsory third-party insurance component. In QLD for example, the Queensland Government’s Motor Accident Insurance Commission clearly states that CTP provides cover for any person injured in a motor vehicle accident… and then clarifies issues such as fault, vehicle driver, ownership and so on.

It also clearly states that CTP does not cover damage to other vehicles or property. However, many people think CTP also covers the damage they might do to another vehicle. It does not. If your $1000 car has nothing more than registration and CTP when it crashes into the latest model prestige SUV with you being at fault, be prepared for a serious bill and/or damages claim from the other driver or insurer. Yes, in general terms you will be covered against any injury claim from people in the SUV at the time of the accident, but that SUV repair will be headed your way in one form or another.

A $1000 car not worth insuring, or at least taking out a form of extended cover to protect you against property damages claims. Think again, unless you have countless reserves of cash and assets and are prepared to hand them over to make good the damage you caused.

When it comes to PWC's, there is no CTP cover associated with your annual registration. So if ever things go pear-shaped in the marina and your $2000 jetski, which you didn’t believe worth insuring, careers into a series of luxury cruisers gouging unsightly rashes into their immaculate flanks, again you can expect a series of very expensive bills to be headed your way. And if someone was injured during that incident, the bills will probably be even greater. Potentially, your $2000 jetski could cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars, or even more, simply because you did not believe it worth insuring.

Marine insurers usually provide a public liability coverage option within their policies. So if you take up the public liability option, irrespective of whether you have a $2000 jetski or a $2 million cruiser, you can enjoy your time on the water knowing you are covered for any injury to people or damage to property.

Marine insurers, usually limit the amount of public liability coverage, depending on factors such as where and how you use your PWC as well as what you agree to be a reasonable level of protection. If you are determined not to comprehensively insure your $2000 jetski and thereby inherently secure public liability cover, you can just take out a third-party cover.

That means your jetski won’t be insured, but any damage caused by it due to your negligence will be covered within the limits outlined in the policy. Finally, just who are these ‘parties’ in CTP? Well, in terms of car insurance, the first party is the owner or driver of the vehicle ‘at fault’. The second party is the CTP insurer of the vehicle at fault. The third party is the injured person.

In a PWC context, it’s the other person.To own or drive a PWC that does not have some level of insurance protection against the injuries or damage it may cause to others is to run a very, very serious risk of crippling debt should a claim ever be made against you. Remember, there’s no automatic provision against it in your annual registration fee. Finally, as with all insurance policies, always check your product disclosure document and if you have a query, ask for clarification.