Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic made “social distancing” a household phrase, boating has become a go-to activity for South Floridians wanting to get outdoors without mingling with other people.

Enter James N. Hurley, shareholder and chair of Fowler White’s Maritime Law Practice Group, who said he’s watched liability claims rise in tandem with an influx of more inexperienced boaters on South Florida waters. Meanwhile, U.S. Coast Guard activity is spiking, the cruise industry is battered and insurance is becoming harder to obtain.