Bed and Breakfast Insurance: How to stay ahead of the risks in the post-Airbnb world
It started in the US less than 10 years ago, but now almost 80,000 households in the UK alone are renting out all or part of their home through Airbnb. B&Bs who have enjoyed busier times in recent years thanks to the trend for ‘staycations’, now face stiff competition.
So how do you stay ahead and keep your bed and breakfast business running profitably and without a hitch? One thing you can be certain of is that you never know what’s going to happen. Luckily, the right insurance can give you some peace of mind and help your business prosper.
If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em
Convenient and quick: you really can’t afford to ignore the internet if you want more bookings. Set up your own website, list with popular sites such as Expedia, Hotels.com or Booking.com or investigate pay per click advertising so customers can find you. With Airbnb becoming the go-to app for anyone looking for a place to stay, why not sign up with Airbnb yourself?
As with the other major travel booking sites, letting through Airbnb gives you some security – payment is made up front and photographs mean you can identify that the person staying with you is who they say you are, but that doesn’t mean you’re completely protected. It might be your home, but domestic buildings and contents insurance won’t usually do if you’re a B&B.
If guests do damage your property or something happens and you’re not sufficiently covered the costs to put things back could leave you in severe financial hardship or even bankrupt.
Big on breakfasts
A delicious, homemade breakfast is something many visitors look forward to when booking their accommodation, and something many of the households letting via Airbnb don’t offer.
Following health and safety advice and guidance is a legal requirement, but as even the closest attention to hygiene can sometimes be compromised, public liability insurance can help cover you for any claims against you, including allergic reactions as a result of incorrectly labeled food or cases of food poisoning.
Public liability insurance can also cover you for other claims for damages from your customers, such as slips and trips due to negligence.
Reviews are everything
You’ve probably read in the news about the recent legal battle between Google and the owners of the Nearwater B&B in Cornwall. They claim that their business is being affected by a recent bad review posted on the internet giant’s site by a guest who has never stayed there.
Websites make it easy to read reviews before you book, and can help your business to thrive if they are good. That means that keeping your customers happy is more important than ever before, and if there is a problem you’ll need to deal with it swiftly.
If, like the owners of the Nearwater, you want to challenge a review that is affecting your business and need to take action against a review site, legal cover can help pay the costs.
Make hay while the sun shines
The bed and breakfast business can be seasonal, especially if you’re located in a seaside location. So what happens if something happens and you’re unable to welcome guests at key times of the year such as the summer?
Business interruption insurance can help cover you for income lost through unforeseen closure, so you’ll have peace of mind that the essential bills can still be paid.
Maximise profits by minimizing your outgoings
You probably already shop around for everyday essentials like duvet covers, crockery, and breakfast ingredients, but what about things like insurance? You can’t just go to an insurance price comparison website as in most cases you’ll need specialist B&B business insurance to cover your home, but you can take steps to ensure you’re not paying over the odds.
Working out exactly what level of cover you need to tailor-make a bespoke policy is a good idea. Spending time ringing a number of insurance companies will help you to get the best deal, or you could use a specialist broker, like Park Insurance to do the leg-work for you.
We have over 20 years experience in the industry and have preferred broker status with B&B insurers, so we can get you a competitive deal that doesn’t skimp on your cover. You’ll have a dedicated account handler who understands the needs of the sector and appreciates that if something does go wrong, you’ll need a quick, no hassle response so you can get back to business as quickly as possible.
Get in touch for your no-obligation quote now.