Risky Business: New Amenities Bump Revenue - and Claims
By Fran Sarmiento Executive Vice President, Venture Insurance Programs | July 28, 2013
With strong growth continuing and more revenue at their disposal, U.S. hotels are looking for new ways to attract guests. That often means adding or enhancing amenities, which today means much more than an ice machine and fitness center. From water parks and rooftop nightclubs to the concierge turned tour guide, hotels are looking to differentiate themselves.
As you start dreaming of the next renovation or service, you should also heed a word of caution: Unique amenities hold the potential to differentiate your hotel, but what sets you apart can also increase your risk and your insurance claims.
Does this mean you should stop dreaming? Not at all: you can add amenities that are lucrative, unique and safe, as long as you understand and prepare for their inherent risks with a strong risk management and safety program, as well as adequate insurance.
Waivers and Risk Transfer
Before examining some of the most popular amenities at hotels today, it's important to look at some risk management and insurance tools that apply to almost any amenity or service, whether you are adding a water park or just renting skis.
One important tool is the waiver. When guests sign these documents, they agree the hotel is not responsible for accidents, injuries and other harm to them or their possessions. While no waiver can eliminate a hotel's liability, especially if you are negligent, these documents can help minimize your financial responsibility when a claim is filed.