Does your hotel have the coverage it needs? Are your hotels and employees protected?
Hotels are exposed to various risks because they have large properties, serve numerous guests and often employ a large staff. Does your hotel have a blind spot in its coverage? If you run a hotel, you’ll likely need insurance that covers these five common exposures.
First and foremost, a hotel needs its staff healthy to operate effectively. It is imperative to keep everyone, including dependents, healthy and happy. Healthy employees have fewer sick days and are more productive at work. By covering dependents, the employee isn’t distracted or kept from work by an ill spouse or child.
While many employees earn lower wages, they can and should have access to healthcare. Otherwise, the hotel is at risk. Employees will come to work sick because they need a paycheck, creating a domino effect. Not only are these employees at risk of contaminating the rest of the employees, hotel guests and vendors may also get sick. With the advances of telemedicine, gap plans, and strategic plan designs, gone are the days when an employee can’t afford some coverage. There are affordable options that suit everyone’s needs. Work with an agent that has experience in putting together health plans with everyone in mind.
Cyber threats and data breaches
Hotels send, receive, and store guest data, which exposes hotels to potential cyber threats and data breaches. Mishandling a customer’s credit card number can have serious consequences, and some nefarious attacks can be devastating. A ransomware attack locked the guest doors of one ski resort in Austria until the hotel paid the ransom. To make matters worse, the incident occurred when the hotel was at maximum capacity.
Hospitality insurance policies that include cyber liability coverage can help protect against online attacks and data breaches. This coverage can help pay ransomware demands, compensate affected guests, and cover legal fees associated with covered incidents.
Theft and vandalism
Any business that has a property is at risk of having property stolen or vandalized, especially hotels. Burglars may break into rooms, guests may steal, and vandals may deface public areas. These kinds of risks are usually covered through a policy’s commercial property coverage. Be sure to check out the specific language in the policy as it will determine what is covered.
Review any policy your hotel has or is considering to make sure the policy will cover your hotel’s building, secondary structures, equipment, and fixtures. A bonus with this type of coverage is that it typically includes protection against storms, fires, and similar perils.
Slips, falls, and other injuries
With lots of people walking (and running) around your hotel, there are bound to be injuries. Some guests may shrug off minor bumps, while others may be more opportunistic or suffer significant injuries will look to hold your hotel responsible for paying expenses incurred.
If your hotel is found responsible for a guest’s injury, the business could pay for medical costs, pain and suffering, lost wages, and more. Even if your hotel is free of responsibility, your hotel still may face a large legal bill.
General liability coverage is a protection that helps protect businesses from claims that accompany covered third-party injuries. This is a coverage that many companies have and one that your hotel needs.
Intoxicated and rowdy guests
If your hotel has a bar or a bar nearby, chances are your hotel will have intoxicated guests. Guests who become too intoxicated are at greater risk of being injured and can cause many other issues. Drunk guests may get into fights, sexually assault guests or get into an accident while driving. While intoxicated guests can be held responsible for their actions, your hotel might also be held liable if it served or sold the guests any alcohol. Moreover, claims involving intoxicated individuals often are excluded from general liability coverage protections.
If your hotel offers alcohol, either for free or for sale, the hotel should have liquor liability coverage. This unique coverage is designed to protect against specific incidents involving intoxicated individuals. Coverage could cover injuries, fights, sexual assaults, and DWI accidents.
Work with an agent who knows the hospitality industry
While these risks are common, knowing how to protect a hotel from them isn’t general knowledge. Insuring hotels is a specialized niche within the insurance industry, and it’s one that requires years of experience.
Working with an independent insurance agent specializing in the hospitality industry is the best way to find the appropriate coverage your hotel needs. A knowledgeable agent will know how to strategically protect your hotel from all of the risks it faces, from your property to your people.
Written by Steve Joiner, Benefits Consultant, Sapoznik Insurance