As an insurance producer, helping a client who’s starting or growing any kind of business can be complicated, and a boat rental company is no exception. If anything, it’s somewhat more complex than your average small business client simply because they’re managing a great deal of physical capital stock in an inherently risky operating environment that opens them up to liability and accident issues.
This doesn’t mean that it can’t be financially rewarding and fairly safe for all parties. Here are several essential tips that will help you achieve just that if you want to write more business and if you have clients who own a boat rental company.
Rental Boat Safety and Maintenance Tips
1. Promote Investment in Good Equipment
Because boat rental is such a capital-heavy and moderately risk-prone business model, one of the best things you can do as soon as possible for successful risk minimization is encouraging the owner’s investment in quality equipment.
This applies particularly to the boats, but it also applies to your client’s facilities, emergency equipment and maintenance/repair tools. Encourage purchases of quality products that are kept in good working order and inspected regularly to greatly minimize the possibility of accidents.
2. Encourage Investment in Staff and Training
For starters, encourage your client to hire and only retain staff members that can demonstrate the ability to work attentively, diligently, and with a firm focus on safety. This applies to employees in any business, but it especially applies to boat rental company staff, who have to be made particularly aware of proper safety management, equipment handling, and the above-mentioned maintenance/inspection protocols that they should be trained to apply.
To further improve how well your client’s staff minimizes liability risk in the rental company, request that they be well-trained in all rental procedures and safety issues. Also, assert the importance of this training for coverage improvements and policy cost reductions.
3. Request Regular Boat Inspections
The boats in your client’s rental company are their absolute most important, central asset. They’re also the single part of this business that’s most likely to cause liability issues and accidents. Some of these accidents can be lethal even under ideal circumstances. You will however greatly minimize the odds of harm by making sure your client’s boats are well-maintained, defect-free, and properly equipped. Obviously, this means ensuring that they’re completely seaworthy.
4. Ask Insurance Clients to Spend on Safety
A fundamental part of risk management is being ready to invest in safety simply because the costs of liability exposure can be so much greater. For this reason, if you notice that one of your client’s boats or any other part of their equipment needs to be upgraded or improved, request the upgrade if at all possible. Exposing yourself to catastrophic accident coverage because you hesitated about requesting modest business maintenance responsibilities from a client is not a recipe for low-risk insurance coverage.
5. Avoid Joining the Statistics
In the United States in 2020, 767 people died in recreational boating accidents while 3,191 were injured. You don’t want the business you insure to be a part of these statistics in the coming years because of something they neglected. This means being exceptionally safety-conscious to minimize the risks that come with covering a boating rental business. Protecting your client includes promoting a robust small business liability insurance policy, which in the case of a boat rental company, is a must-have business expense.
6. Remember Currents, Geography and Weather
Whether your client is renting their boats to clients who self-navigate them or offers guided tours piloted by their staff, you as their insurer absolutely should make yourself as familiar as possible with local dangers. These can include weather tendencies, current patterns, undersea dangers such as rocks, reefs, and shoals, or the general geography of your area. All of these factors can cause accidents and you need to factor their risks into your coverage recommendations.
Rental Boat Business Management Tips
Aside from wanting your client’s boat rental company to be well insured and fully safety-conscious, you also want them to succeed and grow. After all, it’s good for your business as well. These tips can help.
7. Location is Crucial
Location is a crucial ingredient in deciding whether your client’s rental company grows profitably or simply stagnates and fails. In practice, what this means is being strategic about what companies you promote insurance policies to. Seek customers that operate in high-traffic areas with plenty of tourist flow and generally high population density. The combination of both will let them maintain a decent volume of business both during and outside of the tourist season.
8. Diversify Coverage Options
Your insurance client is renting boats to people who need to explore the water. These people don’t necessarily need to be summer tourists. If at all possible, promote your boat rental business insurance to the client as a versatile service with diverse offerings.
This can mean offering coverage for situations like tourist boat rentals, guided fishing tours, nature watching expeditions, and even light commercial transport services to nearby destinations. The main thing is to be imaginative about insurance coverage options for many boat operation scenarios.
9. Insist on Correct Permits
Operating a boat rental company means dealing with multiple regional stakeholders. These will include the obvious local municipal authorities, but they’ll also include regional environmental protection authorities, local residents, landlords, and other boating or shipping interests in your operational waters.
Your client will almost certainly have to build relationships with any such people who are involved in the same boating area and this will require obtaining legally mandated permits of all kinds. You should insist on these and verify the validity of any permits obtained. Avoid offering insurance policies for activities that aren’t fully covered by relevant permits.
10. Protect Yourself and Your Insurance Clients
How do you go about protecting your clients, their company, and yourself as an insurance producer? Doing it rigorously means being thorough about how and where you insure a boat rental business as fully as possible against risks.
You should be ready and informed enough to offer the right kind of liability insurance policies that keep your client’s staff and customers covered against accidents, their equipment safe and your company protected against too much exposure. Prime’s boat rental insurance for business and individual use covers all of these insurance issues and many more. Contact us now to obtain a free quote.
Last updated 8/23/22
Rick J. Lindsey hails from Salt Lake City, Utah. He began working in the mailroom of his father’s Salt Lake City insurance firm, getting his introduction to the business that became his lifelong career. Lindsey quickly rose through the ranks while working in nearly every imaginable insurance industry job. As an entrepreneur, specialty lines underwriter, claims specialist, risk manager, and a licensed surplus lines broker, Rick Lindsey is highly skilled in all levels of leadership and execution. As he progressed on his career path, Rick discovered an urgent need for insurers willing to write policies for high-risk individuals and businesses. He was frequently frustrated that he could not provide the liability protection these entities desperately needed to safeguard their assets. He also formed the belief that insurance companies acted too quickly to settle frivolous claims. Lindsey decided to try a different approach. He started an insurance company and became the newly formed entity’s CEO. This opportunity has enabled Rick to fill a void in the market and provide a valuable service to businesses, individuals, and insurance agents who write high-risk business. Prime Insurance also specializes in helping individuals and businesses who live a lifestyle or participate in activities that make them difficult for traditional carriers to insure. If you’ve been denied, non-renewed, or canceled coverage, don’t give up quite yet. Chances are Prime Insurance can help.