CBIZ INNKEEPERS INSURANCE BLOG

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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Need to File a Claim for Your Inn? Here’s How!

Innkeeper Insurance Claims

Many people are distressed when they file an innkeeper insurance claim given that these claims typically follow a devastating event such as a property fire, disastrous weather or a guest injury. To help you file a claim with ease, we’ve compiled some useful information to make the best of this trying experience.

When to File an Innkeeper Insurance Claim

It can be difficult to decide when to file a claim. Here are a few examples of when a claim is appropriate:

  • Mother Nature causes extreme damage to your property.
  • A tree falls and damages your porch.
  • A guest has stolen valuable contents from your inn.
  • A guest slips and breaks something, causing them a visit to the hospital.
  • A major amenity is broken or stolen.

Many owners think that their host liability policies, like those offered on a home-sharing website, will cover them should they become liable for a guest’s injuries. Unfortunately, this is not always true. While host liability policies offer some coverage, the type of liability and exclusions can vary—wildly.

Under a typical innkeeper insurance policy, assuming you buy a comprehensive policy, the physical structure of your property and everything within it is covered…and then some. Not only are things like furniture and fixtures covered, but it usually extends coverage up to 100 feet outside the property. This means many of your amenities are protected as well. Note that items like sheds and unattached garages are not necessarily covered automatically; oftentimes, they must be accounted for separately.

Potential lawsuits from guests can put your personal assets at risk. Damage to your inn and its contents can also cost you a pretty penny in out-of-pocket expenses if the right insurance does not cover you.

File a Claim with Ease

Consider the following recommendations to increase the chance that your claims will be processed successfully. Better yet, put these tips in your wallet or post them on your fridge.

Keep in mind the following when submitting a claim:

  • Making references to the wrong terms can cause claims to be denied or elongate the process.
  • Don’t make assumptions about how accidents occurred. An insurance investigator will determine the exact cause of the claim in question.
  • Never admit to any liability or fault if an accident/incident occurs where someone is injured. Instead, just offer to help contact police or medical first responders, if appropriate.
  • The term “flood” in the insurance world refers to water damage resulting from an overflow of a nearby stream or river. Even if your sump pump did not work and you have 6 inches of water in your basement, you are not dealing with a flood.

 

Handling Weather-Related Claims

If you’ve had a fire, water damage or another unfortunate weather-related event at your property, don’t fret. Here’s how to maneuver through the process with ease:

  • If it appears as though it’s not safe to be at the property, leave.
  • Contact your insurance provider to report how, when and where the damage occurred.
  • Prepare a list of damaged or lost items.
  • Keep damaged items on the property until the claim handler has inspected them. Also, consider documenting the damage with pictures and/or video.
  • Provide receipts for damaged items if you saved them. It’s also helpful to take detailed photos of the inside and outside of your home, including unique items or architectural features.
  • If you need to temporarily relocate, save all your receipts for additional expenses.
  • Once you’ve reported your claim, the claim handler will send you documents to complete within a specific period of time.
  • Contact your mortgage lender to notify them of your loss and discuss potential contractor bids. Your lender may want to inspect a contractor’s job before making a final payment. Also, your lender is likely listed as a loss payee, meaning they may need to endorse checks issued by insurance companies. Make sure your lender information is current on your policy.

The most important thing to remember when filing a claim is to provide only the necessary information. Don’t speculate and don’t judge; simply give the facts and the insurance company will take care of the rest.

Protection That Meets Your Needs

Life happens—guests are negligent, Mother Nature is unpredictable and property damage comes in many forms. While many host liability policies will protect you from legal claims, they typically exclude property damage.

We want you to make the most out of your bed and breakfast adventure. You’ve got a lot on your plate, which is why we’re here to give you the tools you need to succeed. Feel free to contact CBIZ Innkeeper Insurance Program for assistance throughout the claims process and download our guide to filing a claim. For additional safety guidance and insurance solutions, speak with a team member 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.

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