Boat theft is a growing problem in Florida due to drug and human trafficking. Not only has it been traveling north up both coasts, but it also has been expanding from a focus on triple outboard center consoles to include large cruisers, which are used as “mother ships” that carry fuel.
As much as the boating business would like to ignore this problem, that only makes it worse. The more boats that are stolen, the more expensive boat insurance becomes and the harder it is to find, which can prove discouraging for potential boat buyers. Even now, consumers in high-risk areas may have trouble getting their boats insured – or pay an arm and a leg doing so – if they haven’t installed certain preventive measures.
In addition, thieves aren’t just targeting boat buyers, they’re also stealing from dealerships. Boating businesses need to take measures to protect themselves and customers’ boats that are stored on their property. Otherwise, they risk an increase in floorplan insurance, not to mention lost storage business.
One company that has proactively addressed this problem is Global Marine Insurance Agency. Its Anti-Theft and Protection Awareness Plan for prospects living in high-risk areas not only collects information that many insurance providers are requiring to generate a quote, but it also contains a list of six questions designed to get boat buyers thinking about the steps they can take to prevent theft.
Dealerships in high-risk areas may want to adopt this best practice. By communicating to their customers the importance of having a theft prevention plan – and offering them products and services that may help them deter theft – boat dealerships have the opportunity to save their customers money, improve their customers’ boat ownership experience, increase customer loyalty and even make a little extra money of their own.