We are discussing a Florida law about parasailing that went into effect on Oct. 1. The law requires a commercial parasailing vessel operator to carry personal injury liability insurance, with limits of $1 million per occurrence and $2 million per year. The Legislature did not stop there in its effort to protect consumers.
The law requires that parasailing operators be licensed by the Coast Guard. They must also have proof of insurance available at all times. The proof must include the name and address of the insurer — which must be licensed in Florida — and the operator’s policy number. Customers may ask for proof of insurance at any time.
Of course, insurance helps customers after an accident. The law also addresses accident prevention measures. Licensure, for example, may increase accountability for operators when accidents are linked to equipment failures.
Often, however, accidents occur when there are sudden changes in weather conditions. The law requires operators to monitor the weather using equipment and services laid out in the law. Operators must have current information on weather conditions like wind and wind gusts as well as anything — rain, fog and anything else — that could affect visibility.
When conditions are bad, operators must cease operations. For lawmakers, bad weather includes wind speeds higher than 20 mph, gusts that increase wind speed by 15 mph or more, and gusts of 25 mph or more. If visibility is less than half a mile because of rain or fog, operators must close up shop. And, if a lightning storm occurs within seven miles of the parasailing area, operators must shut down.
According to the Senate Committee on Regulated Industries, Florida boasts about 100 active commercial parasail operators. In the past dozen or so years, there have been 21 parasailing accidents in the state. Six people were killed, and 23 suffered injuries.
Source: Insurance Journal, “Florida’s Parasailing Insurance Law Takes Effect,” Michael Adams, Oct. 3, 2014Share