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Risk Insight

risks of turning hotels into dorms
Hospitality & Restaurants, Risk Insight

Inside the Liability Risks of Turning Hotels Into Dorms

Over the last several months, hotels have been coming up with innovative ways to generate revenue and stay afloat with tourism virtually nil and business meetings going virtual amid the pandemic. Some hotels are offering on-site offices while others have extended their pool hours to attract more guests. But some hotels have pivoted to provide college students with long-term housing as an alternative to living in a dorm room in an effort to help co-eds and universities meet social-distancing requirements and fill hotel vacancies.

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fitness center risks
Hospitality & Restaurants, Risk Insight

Mitigating Fitness Center Risks

Industry experts estimate that 59% of U.S. business travelers used hotel gyms prior to the coronavirus pandemic. As gyms across the country, including those in hotels, reopen, hotel owners need to worry about both the coronavirus and traditional fitness center risks.

Controlling the spread of coronavirus in gyms is likely at the forefront of everyone’s mind. With local public health guidelines, business owners’ responsibilities are clearly laid out: reduce capacity to ¼ to ⅓ of what it previously was, implement face mask requirements, operate with a high filtration air handling system, etc. While adhering to these requirements is incredibly important, disregarding other risks is foolish and potentially harmful. Even amid a stressful and chaotic time, businesses must continue to protect themselves against non-covid-related risks and remain vigilant.

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business continuity planning
Risk Insight

Business Continuity Planning: Are You Prepared?

When disaster strikes, it can cost money. The lost revenue and extra expenses incurred by business interruption reduces profits — and insurance cannot cover all costs. Through the implementation of continuity plans, the strongest businesses are able to maintain their operations amidst natural disasters, economic crises, or even so-called “black swan” events like the COVID-19 pandemic. 

According to one survey from earlier this year, roughly 51 percent of companies around the world had no emergency plans in place prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. As the pandemic continues, however, more businesses are embarking on the business continuity planning process.

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HVAC Risk
Risk Insight

Inside the HVAC Risk and COVID-19 Exposure in Restaurants, Office Buildings

COVID-19 is spread either by inhaling respiratory droplets or, more rarely, touching a contaminated surface and then your eyes, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, aerosol transmission of the disease cannot be ruled out, says WHO, with the possibility that the virus can be transmitted through the heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems (HVAC). WHO guidelines state that airborne transmission of the coronavirus may be possible indoors, especially for people who spend extended periods in crowded, poorly ventilated rooms.

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pool and spa safety
Hospitality & Restaurants, Community Associations, Risk Insight

Pool and Spa Safety

While some community association pools remain closed, others are open, under new, socially distant protocol. Ensuring that residents are safe from COVID-19 is likely at the forefront of community association owners’ minds, but the possibility of an injury caused by unsafe pool and spa practices is still an important consideration. In addition to a full-coverage insurance package, taking precautionary measures to prevent future injuries from occurring is imperative. Here are a few safety tips to share with your insureds who are opening outdoor aquatic facilities this summer:

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are you hurricane prepared
Risk Insight

Are You Hurricane-Prepared?

Hurricane season is here — and although fortunately up to now we have had fairly little activity, there is no reason to sit back. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has predicted a 60% chance of an above-normal season, with as many as 19 named storms and up to 10 hurricanes coming our way. To make matters even potentially worse is COVID-19. Community leaders and emergency workers are concerned that a wide-scale catastrophe can present greater logistical challenges as they respond to evacuations amid a pandemic, and recommend that families and individuals take action now to put storm preparedness and protection measures in place if they aren’t already.

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Cyber Attacks as Businesses Go Remote
Real Estate, Hospitality & Restaurants, Community Associations, Market Insights, Risk Insight, Cyber Liability

Digital Thieves Ramp Up Cyber Attacks as Businesses Go Remote

Hacking activity is up, with cybercriminals taking advantage of remote work vulnerabilities amid the COVID-19 crisis. There are approximately 85 million Americans working from home. In fact, researchers cite that activity against corporations in the United States more than doubled by some measures in March, with malware infections, phishing tactics ,and ransomware running rampant. That’s because it’s harder to protect data when managed on home computers that use widely varying setups and on company machines connecting remotely.

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Google Reviews
Risk Insight

How to Offset Negative Google Reviews

When assessing risk, underwriters look at more than just a business’ application. To get a complete and comprehensive picture of a business, underwriters sift through all available data, from loss history to google reviews. When a property has negative google reviews — for instance, a reviewer complains about a hotel’s cleanliness — or fails to respond to or resolve negative reviews, it can be more difficult to underwrite. For this reason, it is important that you encourage your prospective insureds to do their digital due diligence. 

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Preventing Legionnaire's Outbreaks
In the Press, Risk Insight

Avoiding Legionnaires’ Outbreaks as Businesses Reopen

Amid COVID-19, remote work became the new normal, with the doors to most commercial offices closed for at least 90 days. The same was true for hotels, restaurants, theaters, gyms, factories, and other businesses that have been temporarily shut due to the pandemic. As businesses reopen, now there are also concerns about Legionnaires’ outbreaks, a potentially deadly consequence of the coronavirus.

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Wildfire preparedness
Risk Insight

Wildfire Preparedness Part II: Mitigating Risk

Researchers are discovering that embers blown by the wind during wildfires cause most of the fires that burn homes, according to the Insurance Institute of Information (I.I.I.). In addition, homes less than 15 feet apart are more likely to burn in clusters. In such cases, fire is often spread by combustible fences and decks connected to houses, a study by the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) found.

There are measures property owners can take to help mitigate the potential of loss from a wildfire. Among these measures is creating defensible space, which we discussed in an earlier blog. A defensible space is an area around a building in which vegetation, debris, and other types of combustible fuels have been treated, cleared, or reduced to slow the spread of fire to and from the property.

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Wildfire Preparedness: Creating a Defensible Space
Risk Insight

Wildfire Preparedness: Creating a Defensible Space

Wildfire season is once again upon us with the Western United States anticipating raging fires after a winter of not much rainfall. Further exacerbating the potential for real devastation from the wildfires is the coronavirus, which interrupted the normal firefighting training and forest management that typically take place in the spring. Social distancing also presents real obstacles in quelling a blaze for fear of spreading the virus among firefighters (The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has released social distance and hygiene tips for firefighters). For these reasons, it is particularly important to take precautionary measures and establish defensible spaces.

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