Safety Concerns Users Should Consider When Utilizing the Newest Boat Rental App
GetMyBoat is one of the newest apps to hit the market. It is designed as an easy way to book and manage boat rentals across the globe. Similar to an Airbnb or VRBO business approach, users are able to search and book their ideal boat rentals or charters at desired locations. The app allows them to ask questions to the boat owner and pay for the entire trip online. While the new app may be revolutionary for its ease of use, there are some safety concerns.
At Mase Mebane Seitz, we represent individuals who have been injured or killed in boating accidents throughout South Florida. Boating accidents are a common occurrence in these warm coastal waters. If you were seriously injured or have lost a loved one in a boat accident, contact our office at (844) 627-3529 for a free case evaluation.
How Does GetMyBoat Work?
GetMyBoat allows individuals who are seeking to rent a boat or watercraft to search, book, and pay for the rental online. As reported by ABC Local 10 News, the app is similar to an Airbnb rental, only for boats, charters, and other watercraft. Boat owners can list their vessels on the website, and then users can search for the ideal booking using several filters.
GetMyBoat users can book:
- Boat rentals
- Jet ski rentals
- Pontoon rentals
- Whale watching
- Fishing charters
- Sailboat rentals
- Yacht rentals
- Paddleboard rentals
- Scuba diving
- Houseboat rentals
- Kayak rentals
According to its website, the GetMyBoat platform “is the world’s largest and fastest-growing rental and charter marketplace.” It currently has 140,000 individual listings in over 184 countries. Depending on the listing, you may be able to choose a boat that provides a captain, or you may decide to take the vessel out on your own.
Safety Considerations with GetMyBoat
One of the biggest concerns with the new app is that the platform does not offer rental insurance for owners or customers. Renters are advised on the website to check with the boat owner about their insurance coverage.
It is the owner’s responsibility to ensure that they have the proper insurance to cover any accidents or damages. Owners also “take sole responsibility for making sure their watercraft is safe, secure, and seaworthy.”
GetMyBoat does not guarantee the safety or seaworthiness of any boat rented through their app. Users are responsible for ensuring that the owner of the listing has the appropriate insurance as required by the state or local authorities. A boat or other watercraft that is not adequately insured or that is not regularly maintained could result in a catastrophe on the water.
This approach may also have implications in terms of compliance with other applicable State law. For example, in Florida there is a specific statute, 327.54, governing so-called liveries for business, which rent boats and personal watercraft to third parties. Among other things, general boat safety information must be provided by the owner, and there is a requirement that the vessel be seaworthy. Florida Livery Statute specifically requires liveries to instruct on the local characteristics of the waterways, operational characteristics of the vessel, and the responsibilities of the vessel operator. In addition, liveries must maintain minimum liability insurance of $1 million. Failure to adhere to any of these rules is a misdemeanor of the second degree. Other states have similar requirements. One could easily see Get My Boat App running afoul of Florida and other State’s statutes.
Injured in a Boating Accident? Contact Mase Mebane Seitz!
If you or a loved one have been injured in a boating accident, call Mase Mebane Seitz for a free consultation. Rental apps like GetMyBoat are an easy, quick way to secure a vessel, but there are no guarantees as to the safety of the watercraft. Boats that are not seaworthy may be more prone to accidents. More importantly, failure to comply with applicable State law may subject boat owners renting their boats out through Get My Boat App, the liability for failure to comply with Florida and other States Livery laws. Click here to read about a livery case in which we recovered millions for the family of a young woman killed by a negligent operator of a pontoon boat rented from a Florida livery.
Contact our office at (844) 627-3529 to discuss your case with an experienced attorney. We can help you understand your rights and hold negligent parties accountable for their wrongdoing.