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Boat Rental Waivers: Protect Your Business and Property

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Explore this guide to learn more about using boat rental waivers to protect your business.

As a boat rental company, you know that there are inherent risks that come with boating. For example, what if one of your renters is injured while using the boat? It’s important to take a preventative, proactive approach to mitigate these risks.

Boat rental waivers can help you do just that. These documents are meant to obtain a liability release and inform your customers of the risks of renting a boat. In this quick guide, we’ll cover the basics of boat rental waivers, why you need one, and the advantages of opting for digital waivers.

Sign up for a free trial of Smartwaiver to see your digital boat rental waiver in action.

What is a boat rental waiver?

Businesses use boat rental waivers to help mitigate liability for accidents or damages that may occur while customers are using the equipment. Typically, renters are required to sign these legal documents before renting. By signing, they acknowledge the risks associated with using the equipment and agree not to hold the business liable in the event of an incident. 

Why does your business need a boat rental waiver?

As mentioned, the main reason to use a boat rental waiver is to help protect your business from legal harm and the hefty costs associated with going to court. While you should always work with a lawyer to create the waiver, this upfront cost could protect against thousands of dollars in legal fees down the road. 

Some other reasons your business may need or want a waiver include:

  • Strengthening customer relationships by securing informed consent from renters who have read over the risks associated with boat rentals.
  • Meeting insurance requirements by demonstrating that your business has taken the necessary steps to mitigate risk and damages.
  • Compliance with local or maritime laws as well as industry standards and best practices.
  • Protecting your peace of mind by ensuring renters are aware of all the terms and risks of sailing. When you choose digital waivers, you can embed training videos to educate renters on proper boating practices and require certain documents like a boating license.

Using waivers can also enhance your reputation by showing that you are a credible, trustworthy business that values customer safety. 

Boat Rental Waiver Sample

Always consult with a lawyer when drafting legal documents like waivers. They’ll be able to give you guidance that aligns with local legislation, insurance conditions, and any other requirements when creating the waiver

To help you get an idea of what is typically included in these documents, here are the basic components:

  • An introduction that identifies the parties involved (i.e., your company and the renter) and any special requirements that must be met, such as a minimum age for boat drivers.
  • A statement that names common boating risks and indicates that the renter understands and acknowledges them.
  • A release of liability clause that asks renters to waive their right to hold your company liable for injuries, accidents, or other losses.
  • A section outlining basic safety guidelines the renter must follow. 
  • Fields for the renter’s signature and the date. 

This sample, designed for a fictional boat rental company called Mystical Cove Boat Rentals, includes each of these elements:

A sample of a boat rental waiver containing the elements listed above.

What are the benefits of Smartwaiver?

Waivers are inherently beneficial to your business, but traditional paper forms can have some drawbacks. That’s why it’s best to choose a digital waiver provider like Smartwaiver.

Smartwaiver’s digital waivers have a host of advantages over traditional forms, including:

  • More branding flexibility. Add your company logo, name, and colors to the waiver to give it a more professional look. If your branding ever changes, you can easily make the updates to the digital form.
  • Simpler, more organized data storage. Say goodbye to physical file cabinets and messy stacks of paper. Digital waivers are stored in a searchable online database, making it easy to locate specific forms in just a few clicks.
  • Stronger security. Smartwaiver is dedicated to protecting your client and business data. Our WaiverVault encrypts data, is SOC 2 Type II certified, uses two-factor authentication (2FA), and seals each waiver with a certificate of authenticity.
  • Faster and easier than paper waivers. Because these waivers live online, your customers can sign them from anywhere any time before they rent a boat, thus speeding up the process on the day of their rental. You can share the links on social media or email and even embed the waiver on your website.
  • Enhanced safety. Make sure renters are trained on boating safety by adding training videos to the waiver. For example, show them how to don a life vest, use emergency flares, and react during emergencies.

Because the process becomes 100% paperless with digital waivers, they are also much more sustainable. Plus, your business could save hundreds over the year on paper and printing costs.

Boat rental waivers are essential—they could be what protect your business from heavy losses and play a role in your risk management strategy. If you want to try out digital waivers for your boat rental business, reach out to Smartwaiver to kick off your free trial!

Try out digital boat rental waivers today by claiming your free trial from Smartwaiver.


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