Bed & Breakfast owners have many important business decisions to make. One of the most important of these decisions is around insurance.
What kind of policy is right for you? What coverage do you need? Is your current coverage adequate? How do you find the best coverage for the best price?
Some might be tempted to buy a homeowners' policy to protect your B&B, especially if it has only a few rooms and also happens to be your home. However, a homeowners’ policy generally won’t protect you if:
- A guest falls down your stairs, breaks an ankle, and sues you for negligence.
- Your business property is damaged.
- You lose income because you have to close your B&B for three weeks to make repairs.
- Wedding guests become ill after eating food you prepared.
Commercial insurance policies offer more comprehensive protection than the typical homeowners’ policy. There are two main parts to a commercial policy: Property and Liability. Property coverage protects your building, its contents, and your phone and computer systems. Liability coverage protects you if you’re sued: by providing lawyers to defend you in court, paying your defense fees, and paying the settlement that a jury awards.
General liability (GL) is essential for any business. It protects you if someone claims your negligence caused their physical injury or damaged their property.
There are other types of insurance to consider, depending on your business needs:
- Commercial automobile insurance covers the vehicles you use while conducting inn business.
- Business income insurance protects you if you lose income because your B&B is temporarily out of operation due to a covered loss, like a fire.
- Products/completed operations insurance protects you if you do limited catering, or operate a gift shop or restaurant.
- Umbrella liability insurance provides extra protection for catastrophic events. Umbrella liability goes into effect after you’ve exceeded the limits of your general or auto liability insurance.
- Flood insurance is an important coverage to consider if your inn is located in an area prone to flooding. Most standard, commercial policies will not cover you for flood-related water damage. You will need to buy a separate flood insurance policy to get the proper protection.
- Special events insurance can be added. Provides coverage if you host special events at your B&B.
Why Nation North
Another important step in the insurance process is finding a commercial insurance broker that you trust and has experience with Bed & Breakfasts. At Nation North we explain the various coverage options available to you, and can advise you on what’s right for your business. As your B&B evolves, your insurance needs may change. Nation North can help you as your business grows.
Although the cost of insurance is often foremost in B&B owners’ minds, it should not be the only factor on which you base your purchasing decision. Before you buy an insurance policy, compare coverage, limits of liability, deductibles, exclusions, and other policy terms. Make sure you’re comparing apples to apples, and buy the policy that best protects you and your B&B.
Another important consideration is the financial strength of the insurance company you choose. Nation North only works with reputable with an A.M Best rating of “A” or above. This means the company will have money in the bank to pay your covered claims, whether they occur this year or 10 years from now.
Your Commercial B&B insurance protects your property and assets, and pays to defend you if you are sued due to a covered loss. It also provides special coverage that is unavailable with a typical homeowners policy, such as Innkeepers liability. Your Nation North commercial insurance broker will be able to help you purchase the right protection for your B&B.