Close-up of a bed in a modern hotel room

Running a hotel can be a fulfilling venture, but it comes with its fair share of challenges. Hotel operators must navigate various risks associated with accommodations, as well as the additional liabilities posed by amenities such as pools, fitness centres, bars, and restaurants. These factors significantly increase the number of potential insurable risks that need to be considered. Below, you will find a comprehensive list of these hotel risks and more, enabling you to uncover any potential oversights in your risk management and insurance strategies.

Property exposures

Due to the volume of valuable items and equipment found in hotels (eg bedding, furniture and decorative artwork), property exposures in hotels 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 storeys, increasing costs and interruptions for your business.

Equipment breakdowns

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

Public liability

Depending on their size, hotels may have to manage the safety of hundreds of employees and guests on a regular basis. Because of the high number of individuals entering and exiting your hotel, public liability exposures are significant and, when injuries occur at your business, you could be held responsible. Accidents related to slips, trips, falls, exercise equipment, swimming pools, balconies and unauthorised 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.

Food and products liability

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

Cyber-criminals

The hotel industry is a common target for cyber-criminals, as these businesses often store sensitive customer data (eg names, addresses and payment information). In addition, employees who are improperly trained on computer and data safety could put your organisation at risk for ransomware, viruses, phishing scams and malware. Compounding your exposures, many hotels offer guest wi-fi that— if improperly secured—can put you and your guests at risk of an attack.

Click here to read our full list of hotel exposures

 

Understanding your risks

Understanding these risks allows you to implement effective risk management and insurance programs to protect your business, guests, and employees. By identifying potential blind spots and vulnerabilities in your operations, you can proactively address and mitigate these risks, reducing the likelihood of accidents, property damage, and liability claims. Taking measures to prevent and manage property exposures, equipment breakdowns, public liability incidents, food and products liability issues, and cyber threats helps ensure the safety and well-being of guests and employees, preserves the hotel’s reputation, and safeguards the financial stability of your business. Therefore, being fully aware of these risks and having comprehensive risk management strategies in place is essential for the success and longevity of a hotel.