What Causes Hotel Claims and How to Prevent Them

By Philip J Harvey President, Venture Insurance Programs | November 01, 2015

As you well know, Legionnaires’ disease has reared its coughing, aching head this year. Generally, we see one or two cases of Legionnaires’ in hotels every eight to 10 years. Yet there have been at least three outbreaks in the Northeast and Southeast United States this year. A new outbreak was just reported in the South Bronx.

We have reason to believe there will be more Legionnaires’ outbreaks in coming years. Not only is the recent spike in cases worrisome, but some experts believe the effects of climate change may encourage the spread of the legionella bacteria that causes Legionnaires’.

This respiratory infection puts older and immune-compromised hotel guests in serious danger—quite the opposite outcome a hotel manager would hope for a guest’s stay. It can also be a costly loss for your hotel if an infected guest files suit. Like any bacterial disease, it is difficult to halt the transmission of the legionella bacteria entirely. But your hotel must mitigate the risk and the costs of a potential outbreak.

Proper maintenance of cooling towers, fountains and other areas of standing water is critical; these can become breeding grounds for legionella if not maintained properly. Put a maintenance schedule in place and stick to it. This not only helps to prevent outbreaks of disease, but also helps defend you in the event that an outbreak draws an insurance claim. You will then have records that demonstrate your due diligence.

If your hotel does experience a Legionnaires’ outbreak, you must follow an emergency response plan. This should include identifying the source of the outbreak (cooling tower, hot tub, etc.), taking steps to stem the spread of the disease and having a public relations plan for communicating with guests, employees and the public.

The past two starkly cold winters in the U.S. have raised another maintenance concern: frozen pipes. When pipes freeze and burst, the resulting water leak can cause extensive damage, resulting in insurance claims from Maine to Georgia.

Choose a Social Network!

The social network you are looking for is not available.

Close

Hotel Newswire Headlines Feed  

Maurice Martin
Mike Kistner
Jerry Tarasofsky
Amy Bair
Andrew Dyer
John Welty
Jason Ferrara
Robert Mandelbaum
Fran Sarmiento
Elaine Oksner
Coming up in July 2018...

Hotel Spa: Oasis Unplugged

The driving force in current hotel spa trends is the effort to manage unprecedented levels of stress experienced by their clients. Feeling increasingly overwhelmed by demanding careers and technology overload, people are craving places where they can go to momentarily escape the rigors of their daily lives. As a result, spas are positioning themselves as oases of unplugged human connection, where mindfulness and contemplation activities are becoming increasingly important. One leading hotel spa offers their clients the option to experience their treatments in total silence - no music, no talking, and no advice from the therapist - just pure unadulterated silence. Another leading hotel spa is working with a reputable medical clinic to develop a “digital detox” initiative, in which clients will be encouraged to unplug from their devices and engage in mindfulness activities to alleviate the stresses of excessive technology use. Similarly, other spas are counseling clients to resist allowing technology to monopolize their lives, and to engage in meditation and gratitude exercises in its place. The goal is to provide clients with a warm, inviting and tranquil sanctuary from the outside world, in addition to also providing genuine solutions for better sleep, proper nutrition, stress management and natural self-care. To accomplish this, some spas are incorporating a variety of new approaches - cryotherapy, Himalayan salt therapy and ayurveda treatments are becoming increasingly popular. Other spas are growing their own herbs and performing their treatments in lush outdoor gardens. Some spa therapists are being trained to assess a client's individual movement patterns to determine the most beneficial treatment specifically for them. The July issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these trends and developments and examine how some hotel spas are integrating them into their operations.