All dealerships face inherent risks, and boat dealerships are no exception. In addition to caring for their facilities on land, boat dealerships must manage the myriad risks that come with being on the water.
1. Property Damage
Boats can incur damage from a number of sources, including test drives that are more commonly referred to as seaworthiness tests. Dealerships are responsible for any harm that comes to the vessel while in possession of a potential buyer. The same is true for damages that occur during transportation to another facility or from natural causes such as weather disasters.
Unfortunately, the risk of boat theft remains high. Dealerships lose thousands of dollars a year to theft, and stolen vessels are rarely found. Those that are found can pose problems, as they often return damaged or missing crucial parts such as the engine or electrical system.
3. Other Liabilities
In addition to property damage and theft, dealerships are usually held responsible for problems that appear after the sale of the vessel. Similarly, boat owners often take their boats to dealerships for repairs, as the dealership is accountable for ensuring the boat returns repaired and uninjured.
Boat dealership risk management requires not only the awareness of risks but also the knowledge of how to handle them. Many dealerships turn to insurance as a way to mitigate risks, but it’s important to read all policies carefully to ensure that all risks are covered.