Boat Rental Protection, Direct-Action Truck Bills Moving Forward in Georgia Assembly

March 1, 2024

Georgia legislation that could have a significant impact on insurance litigation and losses for transportation-related businesses are moving forward in the state General Assembly.

The Georgia House of Representatives late last month approved House Bill 994, which would give some protection to boat-rental businesses, known as liveries, as long as they carry adequate liability insurance. The person operating the vessel would be held liable for injuries and property damage in an accident, the bill notes.

“In order to avail itself of the protections provided in subsection (b) of this Code section, a boat livery shall not rent, lease, or charter or offer to rent, lease, or charter a vessel without first obtaining and maintaining in full force and effect a policy from a licensed insurance carrier in this state or a nonadmitted insurer through a licensed surplus lines broker that provides coverage for such boat livery against any accident, loss, injury, property damage, or other casualty caused by or resulting from the operation of a boat livery vessel,” reads the bill, sponsored by Rep. Alan Powell.

The livery must maintain coverage of at least $250,000 per person and $500,000 per occurrence, and display proof of insurance on the premises. The rental place would be held liable only if it fails to ensure that the boat operator is reasonably skilled in operating the craft and is not reckless, and that the boat is in safe condition.

The House approved the measure by a vote of 163 to 1. It is now awaiting action in the state Senate.

Senate Bill 426, which would bar direct-action lawsuits against trucking company insurers after an accident, passed the full Senate in February and is now in the House Judiciary Committee.

Topics Auto Georgia

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