Things to Consider While Selecting a Boat Rental Insurance

One of the primary tasks in the boat rental industry is to secure your boats and business with a reliable insurance policy. Here, we want to put great emphasis on the word reliable.

Several hundred, if not thousands, insurance companies offer boat insurance, but we must weed out the worst and select the best.

To do that, you can consider the following points carefully:

boat with stack of papers

Understand the value of boat rental insurance.

It is an important step in selecting boat rental insurance because without understanding the value of the insurance, you will either select cheap or unreliable policies just to stay legal with government requirements.

You have to remember that no boat rental company is immune to accidents. Natural events or human activities can damage your boats. For example, over 5000 boating accidents occurred in the United States alone in 2021, which resulted in $62.5 billion in damages. It means you need reliable boat rental insurance to not go bankrupt in such unexpected situations.

established insurance company

Select an established insurance company.

Dealing with big and established companies is preferable in almost all cases as they care about their reputation and have a stable budget to pay off the customers on time. Also, established companies have huge customer bases that share their reviews online. We all read reviews of a company before doing business. On the other hand, small or new businesses do not have those benefits, leaving you in a gray area.

insurance prices for boats

Pay attention to Prices

Insurance companies are notorious for playing with their prices to attract customers. Unfortunately, low Pricing is not always preferable because companies may drop the prices at the expense of other benefits. For example, some price their policy lower than their counterparts, but they fail to pay generous amounts during the claims. So, it is essential to do research on what benefits are covered under their pricing packages.

It is ok to pay a little higher per month if the benefits of it outweigh the increase in monthly fees. Generally speaking, boat rental insurance is similar to car insurance. Small companies offer lower prices but fail to cover rare natural phenomena such as hail, tornados, etc. Contrarily, companies with proven track records include those conditions, but they charge a little extra. 

Paying deductibles for boat insurance

What are the deductibles? 

Learning how much you have to pay out of your pocket in the event of an accident is another important step. Deductibles are fees an insured must pay out of pocket before insurance coverage kicks in. High deductibles are not preferred as they may pressure your business budget. However, the downside of low deductibles is the higher premium fees that you have to pay per month. You have to evaluate the company’s pricing schemes and select the fairest.

boat insurance limits

Learn the insurance Limits.

Not all insurances will be suitable for your boat rental business. For instance, insurance companies have applicable limits for each situation and loss. If the boat insurance covers only up to $250K and your inventory is worth $500k, you need to consider other companies that offer higher coverage limits.

navigation limits for boat insurance

Permitted Navigation Area. 

It is essential to consider permitted navigation areas under insurance. Some companies only cover damages that occur in their predetermined area. For example, if you rent a boat to someone who wants to take it to a different state, your boat may not be covered. To avoid such instances, you need to ensure the insurance company has a wider coverage area or at least know their limitations.

Agreed value and cash value

Agreed Value vs. Cash Value

Insurance companies calculate the value of the boats using different methods. For example, if a boat is totaled due to a hurricane, the insurance company must pay the total amount to cover the lost boat. They mostly use two standard valuation methods: First is the agreed value, which is the predetermined price set for the insured boat at the signing of insurance. The second one is cash value, which incorporates the market value of similar boats and considers their age and devaluation over time.

Hull coverage insurance for boat rentals

Make sure that the company offers hull coverage insurance.

Hull coverage insurance sounds like Full Coverage Insurance and shares similar traits. Hull coverage covers the repair and replacement expenses caused by physical damages to boats. Most experts in the boat rental industry recommend using an insurance company with experience in the marine industry as they understand the risks and threats of this market better than others. And they handle the situation more effectively. So, the insurance company with the Hull Coverage plan will be ideal.

insuring boat accessories

Does the insurance cover the boat accessories? 

Boats have many accessories on them depending on the type of boat you are renting. If the company only covers the boats, your valuable boating accessories will be at risk. So, when you select marine insurance, you must ensure they cover everything related to boats, not just boats. Because if an ill-minded thief gets into your boat, they may not steal the whole boat but the quickly grabble accessories. 

extra for boat insurance

Look at extra options or add-ons you can purchase.

The great thing about buying insurance from a company with long experience in the marine industry is that they offer a customized add-on package covering everything related to boating. In contrast, many other insurance companies offer general insurance. Add-ons or customized packages are ideal for your boat rental business because not all businesses are equal. Some may need extra coverage for docking, transportation, and inland waters. So, choose the insurance willing to work with you by adding necessary coverages and eliminating the worthless.

boat rental insurance price comparison

Compare your options before deciding. 

Whether consciously or unconsciously, we use some comparison before buying anything. It should be the case for selecting boat insurance. Many great websites, such as GoCompare and others, make the comparisons quick and easy. The results of the comparisons should guide you to the right insurance.

woman reading boat insurance papers

Read through their terms and conditions thoroughly.

All insurance companies offer their clients an agreement form outlining everything starting from payment to claims. You must read them carefully to determine if their conditions suit your needs. Some companies put distinctions and offer pricing packages based on several risk factors. For example, the company may have different conditions and prices for using your boats in hurricane-prone areas, leaving them in the docks without guards, transporting them, etc.

a man is booking a boat online

Create your own waiver forms and agreements. 

No matter how good your insurance is, you still need to ensure that customers use your boats responsibly. To accomplish that, you need to create liability waivers, damage agreements, and other legally-binding documents and have customers sign them during the booking process. When you use Reservety, you can automatically accept digitally signed documents through the online booking system.

a boat spilled fuel near beautiful island

Make sure insurance covers fuel-spill coverage.

You never know what damages your rental boats may incur while in the waters. We all know that waters are precious, and government and environmental groups are so protective over it. So, they implemented the strictest penalties for the fuel-spillages, which usually costs boat owner thousands of dollars. To avoid such adverse circumstances, you need to be covered against fuel spillage, not pay for the crippling penalties out of your pocket.

boat insurance with medical coverage

Ensure it has medical coverage. 

Human life is much more precious than any material assets. Since you will be getting a lot of customers in and out of your boats, you need to protect your customers with reliable insurance. For instance, if an accident occurs, the insurance must cover medical expenses. If the insurer only covers the boats, you must look for alternatives.


This guide includes 15 things to consider when selecting boat rental insurance. Of course, we do not say it is an exhaustive list; there may be other points you may need to consider. However, this will be a great starting point.

The primary purpose of boat rental insurance is to protect our valuable assets and the well-being of our customers and others involved while keeping the financial heartbeat of our company healthy. Apart from insurance, maintaining our boats properly and holding customers liable for preventable damages can extend the life of our rental boats and save our rental business preventable expenses. 

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