Do I Need Special Insurance Coverage to Rent My Boat Out?

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Do I Need Special Insurance Coverage to Rent My Boat Out?

By: Boater's Choice Insurance
Do I Need Special Insurance Coverage to Rent My Boat Out?
The boat rental business is booming and might provide some extra income if you don't use your boat all the time. With that in mind, you may have asked yourself, "Do I need insurance coverage if I rent my boat out?" 

Keep in mind, boating accidents contributed to an estimated $67.5 million in property damage during 2021. Plus, there were 2,641 injuries in 2021 caused by recreational boating accidents. Whether you rent your boat out independently or through a boat-sharing organization, it's a good idea to have insurance coverage for your dreamboat.

Here's what you need to know about insuring your boat for rentals. 

Peer-to-Peer Boat Rental Insurance

A peer-to-peer platform allows people to rent their boats out for a little extra income. A big benefit of P2P platforms is that they use a review system, so you know you're not just renting your boat out to an unreliable stranger. 

Some P2P companies require boat owners to have their own insurance before listing a boat rental. Be prepared to produce proof-of-insurance before listing on a P2P platform. Check with your agent or contact the boat insurance specialists to learn more about special coverage. 

Other P2P platforms also offer insurance policies and agreements that cover damage and liability. That way, the boat owner is protected in the event of an accident. Again, check with your insurance agent to make sure you aren't paying for duplicate coverage.

How to Reduce Liability and Risk

As a boat owner, you can take certain steps to reduce the chance of injuries and accidents. 
  • Create a safety manual for renters with the information you've learned, checklists, steps for operation, rules of the water, and what to do in an emergency. 
  • Make sure your boat has all the required safety equipment. Include steps on how to use the equipment in your safety manual. Make sure all renters understand when and how to use the safety tools. 
  • Confirm the amount of on-water experience potential renters have; Even better: ask if potential renters have taken a boater education class.
  • Take a test drive with renters, or at least conduct a detailed walk-through on your boat. Remember, this is your property, so you want to make sure you're leaving it in the right hands. 
  • Keep up with boat maintenance, inspect the boat before and after renting it, and maintain records. The benefits are two-fold: 1) You’ll know if something gets damaged while it’s rented, and 2) In the unfortunate event that a renter gets into an accident with your boat, you will want documented proof of proactive maintenance and inspections. 

When in Doubt, Call the Insurance Experts

It's always a good idea to make sure you have enough coverage to protect yourself in the event of an accident, especially when you rent your boat out. Then you can say, "I rent my boat out, and I'm covered." If you’re ever in doubt about the extent of your boat coverage, call your insurance agent or contact the boat insurance specialists about special coverage.