The summer months are the perfect opportunity to go to the beach and enjoy your personal watercraft (PWC). Unfortunately, it’s also during this time when Jet Skis, Sea-Doos, and the like are most vulnerable to theft.

According to a May 4, 2020 report by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), 2019 saw a total of 4,240 watercraft thefts in the US alone.

Read on as we discuss these watercraft theft trends in further detail.

Theft trends by manufacturer

In 2019, watercraft from 674 different manufacturers were reported stolen. However, the following 5 brands were stolen in 1,695 cases, constituting 40% of all watercraft thefts:

  • 1. Yamaha Motor Corp., USA: 539 thefts, 177 recoveries, 33% recovery rate
  • 2. Sea-Doo: 269 thefts, 94 recoveries, 35% recovery rate
  • 3. Bombardier Corp.: 213 thefts, 73 recoveries, 34% recovery rate
  • 4. Tracker Marine L. P: 199 thefts, 89 recoveries, 45% recovery rate
  • 5. Kawasaki Motors MFG: 114 thefts, 45 recoveries, 39% recovery rate

Theft trends by boat type

The NICB recognizes 5 watercraft types.

  • PWC: 1,049 thefts, 350 recoveries, 33% recovery rate
  • Runabout: 466 thefts, 224 recoveries, 48% recovery rate
  • Utility: 261 thefts, 114 recoveries, 44% recovery rate
  • Cruiser: 193 thefts, 101 recoveries, 52% recovery rate
  • Sailboat: 45 thefts, 28 recoveries, 62% recovery rate

As can be seen above, PWCs accounted for the most thefts and were the least likely to be recovered—a detail every PWC enthusiast should take seriously.

Theft trends by location

The 5 states that saw the most watercraft thefts include:

  • Florida: 942 thefts, 377 recoveries, 40% recovery rate
  • California: 475 thefts, 264 recoveries, 56% recovery rate
  • Texas: 332 thefts, 126 recoveries, 38% recovery rate
  • North Carolina: 193 thefts, 71 recoveries, 37% recovery rate
  • South Carolina: 147 thefts, 62 recoveries, 42% recovery rate

Residents of any of the above states should take extra care to keep their PWCs safe.

GAP 150

If you’re worried about the above theft trends, know that Guaranteed Asset Protection a.k.a. GAP 150 can help you financially should the worst come to pass.

GAP 150 keeps you safe from the high costs people are often saddled with when their PWC is stolen. Specifically, it pays the difference between your loan balance and the Actual Cash Value of your vehicle should it be declared a total loss. This way, GAP 150 grants you the peace of mind you need to enjoy your powersports activities to the fullest.

For more information on GAP 150 and other products, kindly visit our products page.