Have complete peace of mind with bed and breakfast insurance
A bed and breakfast is a business much like any other, but with one key difference – it isn’t only your livelihood, it’s your home as well. This means it’s vital to be prepared for anything that could come your way to ensure your investment is properly protected, and in order to do that you need to look for comprehensive bed and breakfast insurance for complete peace of mind.
Having such a policy is essential as it provides valuable financial recourse should things go wrong. Not only do you need to be prepared for the usual risks that could befall a home (such as theft of contents or damage to the building itself), but you need to be prepared for commercial risks as well – your income is on the line and any third party claims or financial loss could be devastating to your business, so it’s essential you put plans in place to protect your finances from any possible issues.
What to look for in a policy
Given the importance of this type of guest house insurance, it’s essential you’ve got a comprehensive level of cover that can provide the protection that you need. Of course, you need to make sure that you’re getting a policy that’s tailored to your individual circumstances, but as a baseline you’ll probably want to look for the following
- Public liability cover. This is essential when you’re dealing with members of the public – if they were to become injured or their property damaged as a result of your business (perhaps through a mistake or negligence of some kind) they’d be entitled to sue for compensation, but with this level of protection you won’t have to pay any claims out of your own pocket.
- Employers’ liability cover. This is a legal requirement if you hire more than one employee, so if you’ve got cleaners or chefs on your payroll you’ll need to make sure you’ve got this level of cover in place. You’re responsible for their health and safety and if they became injured or ill as a result of their work you’d be held liable, and this cover protects you against any claims being made.
- Business interruption. If your business couldn’t operate for any reason (perhaps due to damage from a flood or storm, for example) your livelihood could suffer, but if you’ve got this type of protection you’ll be able to recoup some of your losses.
- Buildings and contents cover. This type of cover is essential in any home and a bed and breakfast is no exception, and it’s vital you’ve got adequate cover to include accidental damage caused by guests as well as all other necessary precautions.
This is of course just the beginning, and you could well find you need to alter your level of cover according to your individual business needs. That’s why it’s so important to head to specialist insurers who can built their policy around you – you need something that’s tailor-made to provide the precise level of protection that you need, not only ensuring you’re adequately protected but also making sure that you’re not wasting money on features that aren’t necessary.
This all comes down to research and finding the firm who can accommodate your requirements, and if you make sure to look for additional benefits (such as 24-hour claims lines, the option of paying by monthly Direct Debit instalments, instant quotes and swift claims processes) you’ll have a policy that satisfies on all levels. Always head online to see what’s out there – it’s here you’ll have access to a huge range of options and will often be able to find great deals in the process, and with many insurance companies letting you arrange your policy there and then you’ll have the perfect level of cover before you know it.
Be prepared for any exclusions and limitations
As with most insurance policies, there will always be certain exclusions and limitations buried in the small print somewhere. It’s vital to be aware of these before you sign on the dotted line as if you’re not familiar with them it could come as a huge shock should you need to make a claim – it could easily mean the claim you were relying on won’t be upheld, and while each insurance company will be slightly different in terms of what they offer, here are just a few things you’d be wise to double-check:
- Are you required to keep your property in a good state of repair? Failing to stay on top of any maintenance issues could cause problems with your insurance firm and could affect the validity of your policy.
- Is your bed and breakfast situated near a river, quarry, watercourse or cliff? Some insurance companies won’t even offer cover if you’re a certain distance from any of these features, and don’t think about omitting that information either – not only will any claims be invalid but you’d have wasted money in the process.
- Has your property ever suffered from subsidence, or is it in an area known to be afflicted with it? This could mean your insurance premiums are drastically affected and you may not be offered cover at all, and again, if you don’t disclose that information it could prove damaging in the long run.
- Do you need to inform your insurer of any change to the property? Most insurance companies will stipulate that they need to be kept up-to-date of any changes, such as extensions or an increase in the number of bedrooms (as some will have limits on the number of rooms they’ll insure), so always make sure to comply.
Protect your investment as you serve your customers
As a bed and breakfast owner you’re dedicated to providing an exceptional standard of service to your guests to ensure they have a holiday to remember, but it’s important to think of yourself as well. Investing in adequate bed and breakfast insurance is essential and will ensure you can give customers a great experience without having any financial concerns at the back of your mind, so always make sure to source a suitable policy and you can protect your investment and run your business in confidence.