Insights and tips on how to protect your inn or bed & breakfast, giving you and your guests peace of mind.

Ward, Hayden
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Common Exposures for Bed & Breakfasts

Top Common Claim Exposures for Bed & Breakfasts

Owning and operating a Bed & Breakfast, a lodge, or other accommodation can be a rewarding endeavor. However, owners have to manage numerous exposures related to lodging, and many offer amenities that can dramatically increase the number of risks. Assessing your exposures and taking the appropriate precautions can go a long way toward protecting your business.

Here are the top 10 most common risk exposures for Bed & Breakfasts:

1. Property Exposures

Due to the volume of valuable items and equipment found in Bed & Breakfasts (e.g., bedding, furniture, HVAC systems, laundry machines, and decorative artwork), property exposures are numerous. Complicating matters, property damage can be caused by a variety of factors, including equipment failures, plumbing issues, poor wiring, natural disasters, guests, employees, and other third parties. What’s more, water damage and fires have the potential to affect multiple rooms and floors, increasing costs and interruptions for your business.

2. Equipment Breakdowns

To ensure the comfort of its guests, Inns depend on functioning equipment. In the face of equipment breakdowns (e.g., HVAC system failures, power outages and appliance malfunctions), Inns can experience business interruptions or even prolonged closures. In addition, equipment breakdowns can even lead to major property damage should an appliance leak or start a fire.

3. Crime

Crime can be a challenge for Inns, especially as employees, guests, and vendors all have the opportunity to steal from you. To make matters worse, thieves can strike at any time, leaving owners to recoup any lost funds or valuables. Thieves do not need direct access to cash to steal from you … equipment and supplies are all fair game. What’s more, in the event a guest is the victim of a theft, you could be held responsible for the damages.

4. Liability Exposures

Depending on its size, Inns may have to manage the safety of employees and guests on a regular basis. Because of the high number of individuals entering and exiting the premises, liability exposures are significant, and when injuries occur at your business, you could be held responsible. Accidents related to slips, trips, falls, swimming pools, balconies, and unauthorized access to your building are common and major sources of concern. Something as simple as a wet floor or an uneven surface can lead to costly insurance claims following an incident.

5. Product Liability

If your Inn has an on-site restaurant, gift shop, or offers room service, food and product liability can be a considerable concern. The potential for food poisoning, contamination, injury, spoilage, and allergic reactions is ever present, making continued guest safety a challenge. In the event one of your guests becomes ill due to your food, or accidentally ingests a foreign object found in one of your menu items or vending machines, your Inn could face legal ramifications and suffer irreversible reputational damage. What’s more, owners must account for the potential danger of gift shop items.

6. Liquor Liability

Lawsuits related to liquor liability are filed each day, and it’s increasingly common for victims and their families to file suits against restaurants for their role in serving a customer who is then involved in an alcohol related accident. Making matters worse, all it takes is a single liquor liabil­ity claim to put your entire business at risk. Liquor liability exposures for owners can stem from selling liquor to underage individuals, over serving patrons, and non-compliance with applicable legislation.

7. Data Safety

The hospitality industry is a common target for cyber criminals as these businesses often store sensitive customer data (e.g., names, addresses and credit card information). In addition, employees who are improperly trained on computer and data safety could put your business at risk for ransomware, viruses, phishing scams, and malware. Compounding your exposures, many Inns offer guest Wi-Fi that, if improperly secured, can put you and your guests at risk of an attack.

8. Business Interruptions

Continuity is critical in business, and there are few things more important than continuous revenue and cash flow, particularly for small to medium sized businesses. In fact, just one brief business interruption can be incredibly costly, often leading to serious reputational damages or long-term closures. Common interruptions can include natural disasters, fires, leaks, cyber security events, and vandalism.

9. Automobile Exposure

Depending on the services you offer, employees may be required to operate a vehicle on behalf of your business, creating automobile exposures in the process. While important for daily operations, the improper use of a vehicle can lead to potential accidents and major insurance claims. What’s more, if you allow employees to use their own vehicles for work, standard commercial auto policies are often not enough. Additionally, providing valet parking can also create unforeseen challenges should a customer’s vehicle get damaged.

10. Workers’ Compensation

Anytime one of your employees is injured on the job, your business could be subjected to expensive workers compensation claims. Common sources of on-the-job accidents for Inn operations include slips, trips, falls, musculoskeletal injuries caused by repetitive tasks, sprains and strains. Normal everyday tasks related to cleaning rooms and carrying luggage for guests can lead to accidents and, in turn, increased costs for your business.

To help reduce your chance of one of these common risks happening to your business, download our Loss Control Questionnaire. Print it and store it in a safe place to review quarterly or whenever you make changes to your Bed & Breakfast. Use it to jot down any notes about your property or as a checklist for things that have been completed.

While the proper risk management practices can reduce certain exposures, no system is 100 percent effective in ensuring an incident free workplace. Our hope at CBIZ Innkeepers Insurance is to provide your property with coverage that gives you peace of mind as you welcome guests into your charming Inn. The unexpected is what and why we are here. To learn more, contact CBIZ Innkeepers Insurance today.

This blog may contain scenarios that are provided as examples only. Coverage is subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions of the policy issued. The information provided is general in nature and may be affected by changes in law or the interpretation of such laws. The reader is advised to contact a professional prior to taking any action based upon this information.


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CBIZ Innkeepers Insurance, a division of CBIZ Insurance Services, Inc., is the largest insurer of innkeeper businesses in the United States. As part of an $850 million New York Stock Exchange traded company (CBZ), we developed a specific policy coverage to meet the needs for inns and bed & breakfasts, and the amenities offered by these businesses. Our policy is underwritten by an A.M. Best Rated A++ (Superior) company.

The CBIZ Innkeepers Insurance team knows insurance, specifically the risks and exposures related to beds & breakfasts. We won't confuse you with technical "insurance speak"  our representatives will explain your coverage in simple terms. With hands-on, personal customer service, we guarantee swift communication. As specialist in the industry, we leverage our knowledge and passion to ensure you and your inn are protected.





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