Understanding Risks and Insurance Options to Minimize Impact on Revenue

By Jackie Collins Senior Director Real Estate & Hospitality Division, Arthur J. Gallagher | September 30, 2018

For the sixth consecutive year, business leaders worldwide ranked business interruption as the most important global risk in 2018, according to the Allianz Risk Barometer 2018 report. Losses from natural disasters and the increased volatility of weather, both of which can be contributing factors to business interruption, were among the business leaders' other significant concerns.

While Allianz gathers feedback from a variety of industries and businesses, business interruption is likely high on the list of concerns that hotel owners and managers face when considering how to keep their revenues steady. Simply put, if a hotel is not open and able to serve customers, it will not make money.

When considering insurance policies, business interruption is always a top priority for hotel owners and managers in identifying ways to protect revenue. Yet, it is hardly the only insurance that hotels need. Rather, it seems that hoteliers need to review every coverage under the sun: property insurance, general liability, liquor liability, crime, workers compensation, employment practices liability and cyber insurance, just to name a few.

At the end of the day, many of the risks that a hotel may face are based on the individual property and where the establishment is located. The following outlines some of the main risks that hotels should be prepared for, as well as how insurance can often steady a hotel's revenue in the aftermath of an event.

Natural Disasters' Impact on Hotels

2017 will go down as the most costly year for natural disasters in insurance history, with an estimated $145 billion of "HIM" (Harvey, Irma and Maria) driven claims severely impacting hotel operations in Florida, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. Not only were operators hit by direct physical damage, but in many cases their business interruption claims are ongoing due to lack of materials, labor, delays in permitting and other circumstances out of the insured's control.

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Coming up in March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.