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Christopher Bolger

Both the workplace and our roads have become safer in recent decades, but when employees of hotels or any business get behind the wheel in the course of their work, they are still at risk. In fact, transportation incidents are the leading cause of occupational deaths across all industries and a major source of costly insurance claims. To mitigate this risk, hotels should examine hiring practices and training for the valet attendants and shuttle drivers they employ, and implement best practices in both areas. Read on...

Christopher Bolger

With the volume of credit card swipes at hotel check-in, as well as at their bars, restaurants and shops, hotels offer ample opportunities for cyberattacks. Cybercrime is evolving and escalating, and the potential damage of a data breach to a hotel's bottom line and reputation cannot be ignored or understated. Every hotel executive should take seriously the threat of computer security breaches, implementing the most up-to-date prevention and risk management practices, creating an emergency response plan and securing sufficient insurance coverage in the event there is a breach. Read on...

Christopher Bolger

From devastating fires and employee theft to the major liability exposure associated with food contamination and serving alcohol, food and beverage operations present some of a hotel's most significant risks. Hotel executives can limit their exposure by implementing a thorough risk management program with proven safety and training initiatives, as well as by ensuring they have adequate insurance coverage for all their food and beverage risks. The result can be a safe and profitable food and beverage operation that provides value and pleasure for guests. Read on...

Fran Sarmiento

Beyond the immediate security measures taken by hotels in the days and weeks following the Boston Marathon bombing in April 2013, the tragedy raised broader questions around crisis planning and response. Crises represent significant risk for a hotel's business continuity, public image, customer base and short- and long-term financial performance. This makes it imperative for hotels and other business to have a comprehensive emergency response plan that takes into account all type of potential crises, internal operations and available external resources. The plan should provide clear,detailed protocols for response and address key operational issues and communications. Only with a plan that is developed carefully, practiced and updated regularly, can hotels respond effectively in a crisis. Read on...

Fran Sarmiento

From the moment your guests register at the front desk to the housekeeping team knocking at a guest's door, your employees are the face of your hotel. That's why so much training goes into how employees interact with customers when they check them in, clean their rooms and cook or serve their food. But it's difficult for your employees to maintain high service levels when they slip, fall or suffer strains and other injuries-all of which are a fact of life in hotels. That's one important reason to focus on employee safety and wellness. Another is the rising cost of workers' compensation insurance, medical care and claims. In this article, I'll address how hotels can combine loss control, safety and wellness programs with effective claims management to keep a smile on the face of their employees, while also driving down workers' compensation claims and costs. Read on...

Fran Sarmiento

From rooftop nightclubs to water parks, unique amenities are springing up at hotels across the country. These attractions can help attract more guests, but they also open hotels to an array of insurance exposures. With the right risk management tactics and insurance coverage, you can adopt new amenities while keeping your business safe. Read on...

Fran Sarmiento

Superstorm Sandy was just the latest in an increasing number of extreme weather events that have affected hotels and resorts across the country. While the fallout is being felt in the price and availability of property coverage, you can still take steps to keep your costs and exposures under control. Not only should the hospitality industry embrace risk management and disaster preparedness as essential preventative measures, but also consider business interruption coverage to protect against a loss of income that can occur when a disaster hits. With the right planning and protection, hotels and resorts can ensure they weather today's unpredictable climate. Read on...

Fran Sarmiento

As hotel spas have grown from the "nail salons" of the eighties to the "Medi-Spa" of today, they face new risks and exposures. Today's hotel must examine a wide variety of potential spa risks—from tanning beds and the smallest slip and fall to catastrophic medical malpractice or Legionella bacteria claims. It's essential to understand your risks, ensure you have adequate insurance coverage for each one and then implement a risk management program that will establish best practices to reduce the frequency and severity of losses. A safe environment will ensure your spa's relaxing luxurious experience will keep guests coming back for more. Read on...

Richard Dahm

Purchasing business insurance in today's economy has grown to be a large ticket item on businesses' increasing budgets and diminishing bottom lines. As complicated as insurance coverage can be, the process of choosing a broker can make it even more difficult. With insurance rates drastically fluctuating, more businesses are reviewing their current policies and weighing all options - including whether to keep their current broker or look elsewhere. The following are several essential guidelines to help you become a better informed buyer for selecting the right broker. Read on...

Richard Dahm

Buying Business insurance for any business is a complicated process. Whether you're a small entity with one location or a multi-national corporation, insurance is never a topic of likeability. Encompassing a language of its own, insurance has defined itself to be understood only by the few and mostly by those that are in the industry or working directly for it. Those of us who have had the pleasure of learning about insurance have been educated more or less through the process of trial and error, prior claims and their brokers understanding of their clients need base. While the diversity of types insurance is endless, one common factor remains true with all businesses, the necessity to provide proof that they are in compliance with their insurance responsibilities. Whether it is workers compensation, general liability, directors and officers or property coverage, no business can escape the obligation to be able to produce a Certificate of Insurance. Read on...

Richard Dahm

In the last five years the United States and countries around the world have witnessed many major natural disasters. Such disasters include hurricanes, tornados, tsunamis, severe windstorms and catastrophic flood damage that have left businesses, large and small, unable to recoup from their loss. Damage assessments by risk management and loss control specialists find to often preventative measures could have been implemented that would in part or significantly reduce the overall cost of a claim or the length of recovery time. The intent of this guide is to help business owners in the planning process for preparing and implementing an emergency plan. One that is activated before, during, and after an event. Read on...

Richard Dahm

Considered to be a luxury service to the hospitality industry, most hotels, restaurants, airports and even banquet halls, include the service of valet parking. Although this is a value-added service to your clientele, its ultimate costs and risks are a growing concern for the hotel or restaurant owner. While some establishments choose to employ their own staff as attendants, more are leaning toward contracting outside firms who use their own employees. Although outsourcing this risk does lessen some of the liability headaches, both in-house and outsourced services have the same everyday problems that may ultimately end back up on the establishment's doorstep. Read on...

Richard Dahm

As oil penetrates the $130-a-barrel mark and natural gas prices increase to rates four times what they were since the late 1990s, the use of green building (or building green) has taken seed to a new beginning to reform the cost of energy across all sections of industry. Green building is no longer just another popular cause or fad; it is here to stay as a vital and profitable part of the commercial real estate and construction industries. Anyone in the building trades or anyone involved with real estate investing or leasing needs to understand fully -- green building trends, opportunities, and consequences that can affect all areas including building codes, insurance rates, employee health, customer satisfaction, and more. This article will set out to serve as a survey of the important fundamentals and forecasts of what has happened and what will happen going forward in the efforts to build a green environment. Read on...

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Coming up in March 2018...

Human Resources: Value Creation

Businesses must evolve to stay competitive and this is also true of employment positions within those organizations. In the hotel industry, for example, the role that HR professionals perform continues to broaden and expand. Today, they are generally responsible for five key areas - government compliance; payroll and benefits; employee acquisition and retention; training and development; and organizational structure and culture. In this enlarged capacity, HR professionals are no longer seen as part of an administrative cost center, but rather as a member of the leadership team that creates strategic value within their organization. HR professionals help to define company policies and plans; enact and enforce systems of accountability; and utilize definable metrics to measure and justify outcomes. Of course, there are always new issues for HR professionals to address. Though seemingly safe for the moment, will the Affordable Care Act ultimately be repealed and replaced and, if so, what will the ramifications be? There are issues pertaining to Millennials in the workforce and women in leadership roles, as well as determining the appropriate use of social media within the organization. There are new onboarding processes and e-learning training platforms to evaluate, in addition to keeping abreast of political issues like the minimum wage hike movement, or the re-evaluation of overtime rules. Finally, there are genuine immigration and deportation issues that affect HR professionals, especially if they are located in Dreamer Cities, or employ a workforce that could be adversely impacted by federal government policies. The March Hotel Business Review will take a look at some of the issues, strategies and techniques that HR professionals are employing to create and sustain value in their organization.