Do I Really Need Boat Insurance? Top 5 Things That Can Go Wrong When Renting a Boat

May 29, 2023

Discover the top 5 things that can go wrong when renting a boat and what you can do to avoid them. Learn why Boat Rental Insurance is your best friend!


If you're planning to rent a boat, it's essential to understand the importance of boat rental insurance. In our article, we'll cover the top 5 things that can go wrong when renting a boat, such as accidents, engine failure, weather-related issues, equipment malfunction, and theft. By being aware of these potential risks, you can make informed decisions and ensure that you have adequate insurance coverage to protect yourself. So, let's dive in and learn more about boat rental insurance and how it can benefit you!

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Boat Rental Insurance Basics

Are you planning to rent a boat? Well, then you'll want to know about boat rental insurance. This type of insurance covers accidents, damages, and injuries while renting a boat, protecting you and the rental business from any unexpected costs. When shopping for boat rental insurance, you should know some key terms, like liability coverage, collision coverage, and comprehensive coverage. These terms might sound a bit confusing, but don't worry - we'll explain everything in simple terms. By understanding the basics of boat rental insurance, you'll be able to set sail with confidence, knowing that you and your boat are well-covered. So let's dive into the world of boat rental insurance together!

Key terms and concepts related to Boat Rental Insurance

Let's talk about some fancy terms related to boat rental insurance. First up is liability coverage. This one's important because it covers you if you accidentally damage someone else's property or if someone gets hurt while on your rental boat. Think of it like a safety net for unexpected mishaps.

Next, we have collision coverage. This one's helpful if you accidentally bump into another boat or object while cruising around. It'll help cover the cost of any damages to your rental boat. No need to worry about scratches or dents ruining your fun day out on the water!

Then there's comprehensive coverage. This one's like a superhero cape that protects your rental boat from anything that's not a collision - think theft, vandalism, or damage caused by Mother Nature. It's always good to have a cape (or insurance) to protect you in case of trouble. In most cases, the boat owner would already have this coverage.

Now, let's talk about deductibles. This is the amount of money you'll need to pay before your insurance coverage kicks in. It's kind of like buying snacks at the movies - you've got to pay something before you get the good stuff. Finally, we have limits and exclusions. Limits are the maximum amount your insurance policy will pay out for damages or losses, and exclusions are situations that your policy won't cover.

By understanding these terms, you'll be able to choose the best boat rental insurance policy for your needs. So, grab your sunscreen and let's hit the water with peace of mind!

Next, we'll cover the top 5 things that can go wrong when renting a boat!

Top 5 things that can go wrong when you're renting a boat!

Here are the top 5 things that go wrong when renting a boat and how to protect yourself against them!

1. Primary types of accidents

Boat accidents happen all the time. You can never be immune while renting a boat. Accidents are the most common issue that can happen when renting a boat. Accidents can occur due to a lack of experience, negligence, or unexpected events such as sudden changes in weather.

Some of the top primary types of accidents are:

- collisions with another boat,

- collisions with an object, and

- grounding.

You might think: “These accidents only happen to irresponsible boaters — the ones driving with the crazy speed with their head in the clouds!”. Unfortunately, that is not true, and that kind of thinking might lead you not to buy boat rental insurance. But be careful! More than half of the accidents happen while people are cruising, and around 33% of accidents involve more than one boat! So you might be a responsible individual, but the boat cruising next to you might not be!

Imagine if you got into an accident on your boat and didn't have insurance - you could be personally liable for expensive repairs or damages. With boat rental insurance, you can rest assured that you're covered.

2. Secondary types of accidents

The secondary type of accident is the accident that happens as a consequence of the primary type of accident. These include passengers falling overboard, passengers being struck by a boat, capsizing, sinking, passengers being struck by the propeller, and many more! All can cause serious injury to you and your passengers — even death.

In these types of accidents, the last thing you want to worry about is what the accident can do to your financial situation and if you can even cover it. If they're injured in an accident, your insurance can cover you and your passenger's medical expenses and other damages and give you that peace of mind…

3. Inattention to the law

Many boat renters don't know if they are insured when they go on the water. Some renters blindly sign a waiver and take full responsibility if anything goes wrong. And unfortunately, things go wrong, and accidents often strike when you're renting a boat. That is why starting January 1 2023, the state of Florida requires all renters to be insured when they go on the water. This new law is referred to as The Boating Safety Act of 2022 (or SB606), and you can read more about it here.

Fortunately, a digital-based insurance solution can simplify the boat rental and insurance process: Buoy. Buoy offers boat rental insurance that provides boat rental coverage for the renter. One of the benefits of using Buoy is that the insurance is integrated into the rental process. This means that you can easily purchase boat insurance coverage through Buoy's platform when renting a boat. Learn more about Buoy here!

4. Lack of knowledge

Finally, a lack of knowledge can be a significant problem in renting a boat. If you are unfamiliar with the boat's features, navigation, and safety procedures, it can be dangerous for you and your passengers. Therefore, it is always a good idea to take a basic boat safety course before renting a boat to ensure that you have the necessary knowledge and skills to operate the boat safely.

5. Lack of Focus

Boating is all about having fun. We agree! But many accidents happen because renters underestimate the task of driving the boat. The number 1 primary cause of accidents is inattention. When driving the boat, you have to be just as focused as when driving a car. You want to be part of the fun, and that's fine! You just have to keep in mind that you have a greater responsibility than your passengers! And psst… That is also why the person driving the boat should not drink.


If you're planning to rent a boat, it's essential to understand the potential risks and how boat rental insurance can protect you. Remember, accidents can happen to anyone, so it's better to be safe than sorry.

With the right boat insurance coverage, you can have peace of mind and enjoy your time on the water without worrying about unexpected costs or damages — both to you, your passengers, and the boat you're renting!

Boat rental insurance may seem confusing at first, but at Buoy, we want it to be easy and transparent. We hope this article has been helpful, and we wish you a safe and enjoyable boating experience!

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