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Risk Insight

dog bites
Real Estate, Risk Insight

When Fido’s Bite is Worse Than His Bark

Ouch! More than four million people per year are treated for dog bites. Claims generated by bite victims and dog owners can impact property owners and homeowner’s associations as well.We love these poochie pals, but sometimes their bite is worse than their bark.

To the tune of about $570 million, dog bites and other dog-related injuries accounted for more than one-third of all homeowner insurance liability claims paid in 2015, according to the Insurance Information Institute. The average claim? Nearly $38,000. And even more unsettling, the dog bite incident occurred on the dog owner’s residence half of the time. 77% of times, the victim was a friend or family member.

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Kari's Law
Hospitality & Restaurants, Risk Insight

Making Hotels Safer for Customers at Risk with Kari’s Law

Earlier this month, the Senate introduced a bill, Kari’s Law, to improve 911 services nationwide for multi-line phone systems (MLTS), most commonly found in hotels and office buildings. The bill would amend the Communications Act of 1934 to require phone vendors and individual buildings to make sure people could connect directly with emergency services without having to press ‘1’ or ‘9’ first. The bill would also add two new requirements—outgoing ‘911’ calls would connect directly to emergency services without local interference, while also notifying onsite personnel that a ‘911’ call was made.

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Credit Card Breach
Hospitality & Restaurants, Risk Insight, Cyber Liability

Hotels Under Cyber Attack: Intercontinental Properties Hit by Credit Card Breach

The InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), which owns thousands of hotels worldwide, disclosed earlier this month that a credit card breach impacted at least a dozen of its properties. This is just the latest cyber attack that has hit some of the largest hotel and hospitality chains over the past years – from Kimpton Hotels to Trump Hotels, Hilton, Mandarin Oriental, Starwood Hotels and Hyatt.

According to IHG’s statement, malicious software was installed on point-of-sale servers at restaurants and bars of 12 of its managed properties between August and December 2016. The locations affected by the data breach include the Sevens Bar & Grill at Crowne Plaza San Jose-Silicon Valley, the Bristol Bar & Grille at the Holiday Inn San Francisco Fisherman’s Wharf, InterContinental San Francisco, Aruba’s Holiday Inn Resort and InterContinental Los Angeles Century City.

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Flood Readiness
Real Estate, Community Associations, Risk Insight

Oroville Dam Risk Highlights Importance of Flood Readiness for Property Managers

After a five-year drought throughout the state, Northern California’s surface water systems have now been pushed to the breaking point on the heels of weeks of rainfall. Nearly 190,000 people were evacuated on February 12 over fears that a damaged spillway at the nation’s tallest dam in Lake Oroville located in the Sierra Nevada foothills could fail and unleash a wall of water. Officials ordered residents and commercial businesses to stay away until they felt confident that the risk of flooding was reduced. Although the evacuation was changed to a warning two days later and residents and business owners were allowed to return to their communities, they were advised to be prepared to evacuate again at a moment’s notice should new problems arise.

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Pipe Bursts
Real Estate, Risk Insight

Who’s Responsible When That Pipe Bursts?

It’s that time of year again, and for much of the U.S. the freezing weather has set in and many renters flock to warmer destinations to soak up some warmth. Some renters may unplug appliances and turn off the heat when they leave, but the latter could cause major issues if the temperature plunges while the renters are away. If a pipe bursts it’s a very real issue this time of year, and renters can take some simple precautions so they’re not left footing a very large repair bill. That’s right, the property manager will most likely bill the renter or take the repair expense out of the security deposit.

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Real Estate, Hospitality & Restaurants, Community Associations, Risk Insight

Preventing Slips and Falls in Winter Months

Slip and fall accidents account for 15% of all accidental deaths in the United States. Annually, an estimated one million Americans will have an injury related to a fall, 600,000 will be hospitalized and 17,000 deaths will occur.

Studies find most injuries result from contact with outside surfaces. Property owners could be liable for injuries sustained on their property if they did not ensure a safe environment for visitors to walk. According to a fourteen year Distinguished Programs study, Slips and falls are the leading source of guest injury, claims, and insurance cost.

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Hospitality & Restaurants, Risk Insight

Bars, Restaurants Responsible for Patrons’ Actions Under Dram Shop Laws

Dram shop laws allow establishments like bars and restaurants that sell alcohol to be held accountable for damage or injury caused by their patrons. There are 41 states with dram shop laws to varying degrees. Those states without dram shop laws are Delaware, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Nebraska, Nevada, South Dakota and Virginia.

Dram shop cases can be very costly. For example, in New Jersey, the court awarded $135 million to the family of a child who was paralyzed in an accident caused by a drunk driver. The international food and beverage company who served the visibly drunk patron shared in the liability of the injury.

Two new cases have recently popped up in the news reminding us once again how prevalent and costly these lawsuits can be.

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door locks
Real Estate, Community Associations, Risk Insight

How Secure Are Your Door Locks?

It’s a phone call no property owner wants to receive. Your tenant’s door locks did not keep a perpetrator out. The tenant has been assaulted in his or her apartment – in one of your buildings.

The victim has survived a robbery along with a physical assault and the perpetrator has been caught. Now the legal teams are not only looking at the perp, but they’re assessing the potential for a premise liability claim. It was bad enough that the assault occurred, but the ramifications could extend to building owners as well.

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Bathroom Slips
Hospitality & Restaurants, Risk Insight

Dangers of Guest Bathroom Slips and Falls

Guest injuries due to bathtub or shower slips and falls remain a constant source of exposure for hospitality management, and no wonder considering the abundancy of potential risks. In fact, a study on hotel accidents conducted by Cornell University concluded that at 42%, slips and falls were the most common type of accident hotel guests suffered; guest room bathtubs and showers were one of the most common sites of a guest’s bathroom slips or fall.

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Hospitality & Restaurants, Community Associations, Risk Insight

A Bird’s-Eye View on High-Rise Window Security

A century ago, buildings that were more than a few stories high were an engineering marvel; today, multi-storied and high-rise hotels are plentiful and routinely soar to increasing heights, all the better to market the expansive views as a major marketing point. Unfortunately, unique exposures exist that can trigger general liability and umbrella liability claims—consider tragic events such as one guest who leapt to his death from a high-rise window in the penthouse, or an inebriated party guest who stepped up on a railing to get a better view of the sunset and lost her balance, toppling over the edge.

Sometimes the occurrence is one that defies the odds, as with the claim where the guests overrode the active security locks/measures on the window of a third-story bedroom and their toddler bounced from the bed right out the window (yet miraculously survived). In some situations, guests attempted suicide and their families later filed insurance claims, arguing that the windows on the higher floors shouldn’t have been able to open wide enough to allow a person to go through them.

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Hospitality & Restaurants, Risk Insight

Are Valets Steering Your Business in the Right Direction?

You’ve worked to give your establishment a certain cachet to cultivate the desired clientele. The ambiance begins in the parking lot, the moment guests drive up and hand their keys over to the red-jacketed valets out front. Giving your valets a snappy uniform is only the beginning; equipping them with processes geared toward safety and security is really what ensures your valet operation is an asset to your business rather than a liability. Good processes can help you avoid a scenario reminiscent of the Seinfeld “smelly sheepskin seat cover” episode and other calamities.

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Hospitality & Restaurants, Risk Insight, Cyber Liability

Ransomware Hackers Targeting Hospitality Sector

Imagine it’s check-in or check-out time at your hotel on a Saturday right before a holiday and the entire computer system is locked. Kaput.

Smiles and sorrys aren’t doing the trick. The “server reboot to the rescue” doesn’t get business up-and-running.  In fact, it turns out that your software has been attacked by ransomware—a nasty cyber extortionist that demands money in order to unlock your computer.

Hotel guests are waiting (not patiently). Do you quickly fork over hundreds or even thousands to the hacker? Or do you try to de-bug (which could take a significant amount of time) to see if you can avoid paying the ransom?

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Risk Insight

The Tragic Aftermath of the Oakland Warehouse Fire

There are so many things wrong with this horrible situation that we’re not sure where to start. No. That’s not true. Let’s start with the fact that 36 people are dead or missing after this horrible fire in Oakland, and our hearts ached for their families.

Then, for the sake of clarity, let’s audibly set aside the fact that the manager of this space was keeping children in these deplorable conditions. That part hurts so much to know, but we’re going to focus on the fire, and the children weren’t there during the fire (thank goodness), so we’re going to set that to the side.

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