B&B owners warned of hazards of not insuring

2007-12-12 00:00

Many owners of B&Bs and guest houses currently run the risk of being hit by claims from guests for which they are not adequately covered. In some cases, establishments may not be covered at all.

Speaking to The Witness at a recent meeting of the Midlands B&B Association held in Pietermaritzburg, Dave Jack, managing director of B&B Sure, noted that the vast majority of B&Bs and guest houses in South Africa are not insured.

He said there are many misconceptions regarding the matter of insuring a B&B or guest house.

Jack explained that some business owners believe that it is not necessary and that insurance issues do not affect them as they run their establishment as a hobby. He stressed that the risks and exposures are the same for owners across the board.

“Some people also believe that they are okay if they have a certain amount of cover based on how many rooms they have. This is not true at all,” he explained.

Jack said a case pertaining to a chain operating in Namibia resulted in a settlement figure of R80 million, after the 40-year-old English visitor was in an accident involving a game vehicle, which resulted in him becoming a quadriplegic.

A further R10 million worth of legal costs were also incurred.

“This has put a value on that profile of person, that is, a foreign tourist, who is well-to-do and is a big money earner.”

However, he warned that such claims also relate to local visitors and guests, particularly high-earning professionals. He said securing adequate cover is of paramount importance.

When questioned on the amount of cover required, he answered: “As much as you can get”.

kavith@witness.co.za

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