Why You Should Always Purchase Insurance for Your Boat Rental

July 3, 2023


Renting a boat for a day of fun and relaxation on the sparkling waters is a thrilling prospect for many. The chance to feel the cool breeze on your face as you navigate through calm waters, the joy of spending quality time with loved ones, and the excitement of new discoveries all make boating a popular pastime. However, what many people fail to realize is the potential risks involved when they opt to rent a boat without insurance. Whether it's a peaceful voyage, a fishing expedition, or a wild day of water sports, going uninsured can lead to serious financial and legal repercussions that could transform a dream day into a dreadful nightmare.

Unseen Dangers: The Risk of Liability

One of the most significant risks you expose yourself to when renting a boat without insurance is the looming threat of liability in the event of accidents or damages. Boating, like all activities, comes with its inherent uncertainties. Weather changes, turbulent water conditions, unexpected boat malfunctions, or even the actions of other boaters could all contribute to unfortunate accidents.

If you find yourself in the unfortunate circumstance of being involved in an accident while renting a boat, the repercussions could be severe. You might be held accountable for the cost of repairs to your boat and any other damaged property. Medical bills from injuries, loss of personal belongings, and other related expenses could quickly add up. In the worst-case scenario, you might even be dragged into a lawsuit by the other party involved in the accident, leading to substantial legal fees and a tarnished reputation.

A Digital Solution: Insurance Innovations

To address these risks and provide boaters with peace of mind, innovative digital insurance solutions like Buoy have emerged. Buoy offers liability insurance that covers both the renter and the rental company during the rental period. This approach is a significant departure from most commercial annual policies that leave the renter in the cold.

Buoy's unique policy complements the existing policy of the rental company to include renter coverage during the rental period. This means you're protected from the moment you step on the boat until you disembark. With protection limits of up to $500,000 per person and $1M per occurrence, you can relax knowing you're covered in case of any eventuality. This coverage extends to potential damage to the rented boat, ensuring you're not left with a hefty bill after an unfortunate incident.

The Weight of Costs: The Financial Burden

The financial implications of renting a boat without insurance can be crippling. Imagine if the boat you've rented gets damaged or stolen while it's under your care. You could be held accountable for the cost of repairs or replacement, which could run into thousands of dollars. Without insurance, these costs would have to come out of your pocket, causing a significant dent in your finances and potentially leading to severe financial strain.

In this context, Buoy provides a cost-effective solution. Instead of leaving renters to face the full brunt of potential costs, the price of insurance is passed to the renter. The cost per trip is flexible and varies based on factors such as the duration of the charter, season of the year, type of boat, and the age of the renter. In comparison to other types of rental insurance, such as car, U-Haul, or RV insurance, Buoy's coverage often comes out as the more affordable option.

Navigating the Law: Legal Consequences

In many regions, boat rental insurance isn't merely a suggestion - it's mandated by law. For instance, in Florida, the Florida Safe Boating Act of 2022 (SB606) mandates boat rental companies to offer insurance that covers the renter. Compliance with this law is ensured by Buoy, whose policy meets all requirements of the Act. Moreover, Buoy aids rental companies in applying for the required FWC Livery Permit.

In some other states like Arkansas and Utah, all vessels powered by over 50hp and all personal watercraft must have at least $50,000 liability insurance. This is indicative of how seriously boat insurance is taken in these regions and why it is an aspect you cannot afford to overlook when planning your boat rental.


Renting a boat can be a fun-filled and exciting adventure, an escape from the mundane. However, it's crucial to be conscious of the potential risks that come with it. Renting a boat without insurance can lead to substantial financial and legal consequences. Fortunately, boat rental insurance services like Buoy are available to mitigate these risks.

Buoy provides comprehensive coverage for both the renter and the rental company during the rental period. This includes liability insurance that covers costs related to potential accidents and damages. By choosing such services, you not only protect yourself from unexpected financial burdens but also ensure you comply with local laws and regulations. Ultimately, taking these precautions contributes to a safer and more enjoyable boating experience.

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal or financial advice.

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