Thinking Out of the Box: Our Top 10 Picks for Funkiest Hotel Amenities

When’s the last time you got excited about a 4oz bottle of shampoo? We thought so. Hotels are stepping...

Robot-Hotels in Your Future?

Could robot hotels be in our future? In Nagasaki, Japan, the future arrived last year and is planning to...

Human Trafficking on the Rise—How Hotels Can Help

How can 1.6 million photos of empty hotel rooms help curb human trafficking? Hotel pics that are uploaded to...

Creating a Work-Life Balance That Works

Work-life balance doesn’t have to be an oxymoron. Long hours, fixed schedules, different demands from guests, all while being part...

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...
Hospitality & Restaurants
Thinking Out of the Box: Our Top 10 Picks for Funkiest Hotel Amenities
Hospitality & Restaurants, Market Insights
Robot-Hotels in Your Future?
Hospitality & Restaurants
Human Trafficking on the Rise—How Hotels Can Help
Hospitality & Restaurants
Creating a Work-Life Balance That Works
Real Estate, Risk Insight
When Fido’s Bite is Worse Than His Bark
Hospitality & Restaurants, Market Insights

Sanctuary Restaurants Popping Up Nationwide

More than 150 restaurants nationwide have declared themselves “sanctuary restaurants.” But what does this mean?

For starters, it’s a way for small or large establishments to declare their commitment to anti-discrimination policies in response to potential immigration changes. It is a way for these businesses to ensure safety for immigrants who may face workplace mistreatment or retaliation. Many restaurants rely on immigrant staff to run operations and want to ensure fair treatment for their employees. Hate crimes, deportation threats, and fear of raids are also concerns that sanctuary restaurants are addressing.

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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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Ice Hotels
Hospitality & Restaurants

Ice Hotels, the Coolest Winter Accommodations

Ice hotels are one of the hottest, excuse me, coolest things going this winter.

Pair them with ice castles, ice-themed festivals, and maybe even a drink sipped out of an ice goblet, and travelers are in for a weekend of chilled-fun offerings. Ice hotels are popping up all over the globe and offer guests an unforgettable hotel stay. Hotel providers nearby may want to take notice for any overflow guests or guests who decide that their sleeping bag on a slab of ice just isn’t doing the trick.

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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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Insurance Made Easy

Insurance Made Easy: The Hammer Clause

Image - ReginaldReggie Says: The Hammer Clause is a provision found in most professional liability insurance policies. A typical Hammer Clause contains two elements:

1. It requires the Insurer to gain consent from the Insured prior to settling a claim.
2. Without the Insured’s consent, it limits the Insurer’s responsibility for the amount of a plaintiff approved settlement, plus defense costs starting the date that the insured removed consent.

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New York Brick and Brownstone
Real Estate, Distinguished Life

We Teamed Up with Zurich on Our New York Brick and Brownstone Program

Distinguished Programs has forged a new affiliation with global insurance provider Zurich Insurance to underwrite our hallmark New York Brick and Brownstone program. With this new relationship, New York Brick and Brownstone will undergo changes to standardize its coverage and offerings to appeal to brokers who have a diverse portfolio of owner- and tenant-occupied properties located within the Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan boroughs. Currently, the program serves more than 11,000 building owners who represent 40,000 apartments, condos, and co-op units throughout the city.

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Hospitality & Restaurants, Sustainability

Next Stop: Wellness

“Hi! I just checked in and I want to feel worse after I leave.” Said no hotel guest ever.

In fact, the pendulum keeps swinging way over in the other direction and sticking there. Guests are not just looking for a clean, comfortable place to stay with restaurant options and proximity to destinations, they are actively seeking hotels with wellness programs.

Their goal? To partner a vacation or work obligation with a built-in regiment that makes them feel better while they’re there. And it’s all about personalizing the options.

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3-D Food
Hospitality & Restaurants, Market Insights, Sustainability

All I Want For Christmas Is Some 3-D Food

3-D printers—they’re not just for making cool plastic things anymore. They’re for making dinner!

That’s right 3-D food. Consider it the hospitality wave of the future that’s already lapping on some shores. Just take some pureed raw chicken, add in some vitamins, minerals, and veggies, and print out this liquefied form into any shape you can imagine. Then just pop in the oven to cook! That’s what the innovative culinary company Food Inc. from London, England, has been up to these days as it showcases this new way of cooking on a restaurant world tour.

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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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