I’d like to rent a cottage with a boat and motor please
Yup you know you’ve seen and read those ads or if you’re a listing agent you’ve been asked to find a rental with a boat and motor. It’s a very common ask – yet not so easy to facilitate if you are the property owner.
It’s true – most lakefront cottage owners have some sort of watercraft – some even have a motorised boat. However, what most do not realise is that when you own a boat and motor it operates just like a car. So if your neighbour asked you, “Can I borrow your car when you are away in Florida on vacation for the week?” Would you? Boats with motors are pretty much the same situation. Difference here is you are being asked by a total stranger to use a motorised vehicle on water, not land. So the question then becomes, how much insurance do you really have? Here’s the possibly risk factors:
- Your boat doesn’t work right and the guests are agitated expect a partial or full refund.
- Your boat works fine and they decide to take it for a nice long ride and empty the gas tank and are stranded in the middle of the lake, now what?
- Your boat works fine and they get into a huge accident with another boat – your boat is a right-off. Your insurance voids the claim because you lent it to someone not listed under your policy – and whatever damage is incurred to the other boat, and possible the surroundings now becomes your problem because you’re the owner. The deposit you took from the rental guest does not cover a fraction of the cost – now what?
- Your boat is left on all night and the battery dies, now what?
- Your boat is stolen while the rental guests are in possession of it? Back to insurance for what purpose? Now what?
- Your guests are injured while navigating in your boat – they feel the boat is substandard were not made aware of this fact – now what?
You get where I’m going? If you wouldn’t lend your car to a total stranger for a week without contacting your insurance company first, why would you lend your boat and motor? If you happen to have that insurance company that is a miracle worker and will insurance the boat for your rental guests to use as they choose – you are one lucky person… I am doubtful though. It’s been my experience that common sense prevails over nonsense. Leave the boat rentals to the experts who know how to screen and service watercraft. Their expectations fall on a credit card – and that’s where it all starts and stops. If you know you are on the hook for each little bit of damage – because it is linked to your credit card, chances are you are not going to risk being foolish.
Image Source: threecaravans via Instagram