What’s New in Hotel Insurance for 2012

                      What is new in the hotel insurance world? Claims!!  We’re seeing a variety of claim allegations. We are seeing an increasing number of claims brought against our hoteliers that I think are driven by the current economic conditions. Plus, it is imperative that you review your employee handbooks and various risk management procedures to make sure you’re doing everything possible to prevent any potential claim.

 What are we seeing?   The past three years we’ve had more employee dishonesty claims than in my previous 35 years in the business.  Take time to review your checks and balances in your systems.  Often times it is your “trusted employee” that takes advantage of your trust to rob you.  Three things you can do to minimize the chances of employee dishonesty…..

1) Always run a 3rd party background check to see if there are any previous issues having to do with money…..

2) Make sure you have written procedures for handling all funds including credit card transactions…..

3) Monitor closely to make sure all procedures and checks and balances are being followed.

We are also seeing increasing numbers of ADA type suits and charges being brought.  Again, it is critical to make sure all your employees are familiar with ADA requirements.  In March of this year there are additional rules and requirements that become effective.  Are you familiar with them?  Are all your team members familiar with them?

Another area that is critical to address is the privacy issue.  Although it applies to both paper and electronic information, most of the claims we see result from some type of “internet hacking”.  You can purchase insurance to protect you.  The insurance is referred to by a number of different names, most commonly either “Data Breach” or “Cyber-Liability”.  These policies vary widely in the coverage they provide as well as the amount of protection they provide.

One last area I want to touch on real quickly.  This only applies if you have hotel vehicles, either service vehicles or shuttles.  The shuttle situation is the MOST CRITICAL.  It is critical that you get MVR’s prior to allowing anyone to operate your shuttle.  Next, make sure you have a training program in place to check out their operation of the shuttle.  Depending on the insurance company, the driver may need to be at least 25 years old.

Remember this, as a hotel owner YOU are responsible for any damage or INJURY your operator is responsible for.  Do you want to be involved in a situation with multiple fatalities or serious injury that you possibly had a young driver with a previous DUI or other major violation?  Not a good scenario.

In a nutshell, it’s critical that we pay attention to all areas of our hotel operations.  This litigious society is what we live in, so do what you can to minimize claims against your property.

If you have questions concerning any of these areas, please feel free to give me or any of the RCI Team a call to discuss.  We are available to work with you in prevention as well as insurance to protect you should a situation arise.

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