Tailored insurance solutions for guesthouses are important – especially when each guesthouse is different, offering a range of services, experiences and facilities. You know your business better than anyone, which is why it’s important to speak to a specialist tourism broker who can secure a package to meet your unique needs.
Insurance for the guesthouse market was long overdue a shake up!
SATIB, after thorough research, stakeholder consultation (incl. guesthouse-specific pain points), and thorough negotiations with insurers, has developed a suite of products which can be tailored to your establishment’s specific needs – eliminating unnecessary costs and delivering cover where it counts.
When there is an emergency medical incident, accident, natural disaster or robbery, you’ll want a direct line to doctors, nurses and security professionals, as well as a trusted source of global support and advice.
Available to all SATIB clients, SATIB24 Crisis Call operates a 24/7 Operations Centre providing a coordinated integrated network of emergency medical, security and incident management specialists who can respond to any crisis – getting you help when you need it the most.
When can SATIB24 help?
Have guests ever departed under cover of darkness? There are plenty of examples of guests who have booked online, agreed to pay their balance on departure, spent a night or two and then left without anyone seeing them go.
Specialist tourism insurers do provide cover for bilking; however, a regular insurer won’t have this type of cover automatically included, so it’s important to ask whether or not your insurer can accommodate this requirement.
And we’re not talking about soaps, shower caps or those teeny bottles of shampoo, body lotion or shower gel. You need to protect your business against guests stealing anything from cell phones (belonging to staff or other guests), appliances or even furnishings!
Unfortunately, the use of fraudulent credit cards is on the rise. For example, guests agree to pay at the end of their stay then swipe someone else’s credit card when they leave. It’s really crucial that you have a plan and protection in place.
Accidental damage (not related to fire or flood) is not covered under a normal contents policy – but for guesthouses, accidental damage (which is often expensive!) occurs more frequently than you would think. Imagine liquid foundation spilled over Egyptian cotton sheets, or hair straighteners burning a hole in the carpet. These things happen, so make sure you’re covered!
A burst geyser can result in lost business if guests decide not to continue their stay – or pay for the remainder of their stay if they need to relocate their room. But geysers may not automatically be included by a regular insurer. Chat to your insurer to find out when and how you are covered.
This insurance cover is for key pieces of machinery that would result in a business interruption, such as a generator or the malfunction of a walk-in freezer – especially if you cater for weddings or big events and the machinery failure results in a loss of business or expenditure recovery.
General public liability cover is there to protect your business should you be accused by a guest or held responsible by a court of law for any injury, loss or damage suffered by a guest or someone you are hosting.
Your needs in terms of what must be included depends on the type of business your run, as we know, not all guest houses are the same. For example, you may have a standard guesthouse which offers only overnight accommodation, one which provides meals (which introduces the risk of food poisoning) or you may offer activities which introduces its own unique risk.
So when it comes to general public liability cover, inclusions are key. You would need to chat to your specialist broker to ensure all eventualities are covered.
A simple, but common, slip and fall in the bathroom can result in a broken hip, possible surgery and some permanent disability for which you may be held responsible. So legal defence costs are one of the most important inclusions because, right or wrong, you may be in for a lengthy court case with high legal fees. Cases can go on for years before a verdict is given and during that time you are liable for these costs. At the very least you want to be able to defend yourself in the court of law. Make sure that your legal defence costs are covered up to at least R5 million to ensure peace-of-mind – and watch out for insurance policies that place a cap on this.
The same goes for insuring against the spread of fire. Imagine there is an electric fire in your kitchen and your property is only worth R1 million, but the neighbour’s house is worth R20 million and is impacted by fire damage as well. You will be held liable to cover the cost of their damage as well as the cost of your damage. So, you need to make sure that your insurance policy provides you with sufficient cover for the full expense of damage incurred by the spread of fire in your location.
All risk covers your business’s portable equipment as specified by you, for example cell phones, tools etc. However, we are also able to include an element for guest’s personal effects (including clothing, a cell phone or laptop) in case they are stolen out of their room. In instances like these, your client is likely to hold you liable and it’s your reputation on the line. To avoid the required claims processes of a liability policy, you can start with cover from R20 000 per annum and rest easy that the situation will be taken care of without further risk to your business.
If you transport fare-paying passengers or guests (even if not for a direct payment), then this becomes an essential part of your insurance cover. Passenger Liability covers you specifically for incidents where you are accused by a guest or held responsible by a court of law for any injury, loss or damage suffered by a guest or someone you are transporting for reward. The Department of Transport requires you to have passenger liability cover in place and an operating permit for your vehicle.
This covers the roof over your head and all the operational essentials that make your business thrive! Including cover for damages following fire, flood, earthquake, storm damage, burglary, business interruption, accidental damage, electronic equipment and mobile equipment to mention a few.