A dream business for many, opening a bed and breakfast is a wonderful way to share your property, meet people from around the world and earn an income, all from the comfort of your own home.
As a bed and breakfast owner, your house is both your personal residence as well as a commercial business. This leaves many owners wondering “will homeowner’s insurance cover my bed and breakfast?”.
The short answer is no, homeowner’s insurance alone is not adequate coverage for a bed and breakfast. Likewise, a commercial insurance plan won’t cover certain problems that could arise related to your personal space and living.
Doubling as both a residential and commercial property, here are some of the coverages and considerations you need to take into account when selecting an insurance plan for your bed and breakfast:
Building and Property
Just like any typical home or commercial insurance plan, you’ll want to ensure that your house is insured in case of damage to your property from events such as water backup, storms or fire. Make sure your coverage includes the full cost of rebuilding your house in the event of a total loss.
If you have additional buildings on your property such as sheds, barns or outbuildings, make sure to discuss these with your insurance agent to ensure they are adequately covered.
Business Contents and Equipment
Often overlooked when selecting bed and breakfast insurance, you’ll want to make sure that all of the furniture and equipment that are critical to the business side of things are covered. Though they may technically be located within the building you call home, personal contents insurance simply won’t cover the business-related items within your bed and breakfast.
You’ll want to review your coverage from time to time to ensure it is still enough. As you make changes or upgrades to furniture and equipment, especially things like phones, computers or televisions, the replacement value of your business contents may increase and you don’t want to be caught off guard by inadequate coverage.
In addition to protecting your own belongings, you’ll want to protect the personal belongings of your guests too. Innkeeper’s liability is a specific type of coverage protecting the personal belongings of your guests while they are staying at your bed and breakfast.
The coverage available for each guest can vary depending on your plan and insurance provider. Always check with your insurance agent to ensure innkeeper’s liability is included in your bed and breakfast insurance plan and exactly how much will be covered so you can communicate this information to your guests.
Theft or Vandalism by Guests
You’d like to think your guests will always act with care and respect during their stay (it is your home after all!) but unfortunately, this is not always the case.
Theft or vandalism may not be covered by typical property or contents insurance, so check with your insurance company to ensure your buildings and equipment will be covered if your guests are the source of any damage or theft.
Personal and Commercial Liability
Liability insurance is a critical part of any insurance plan. The cost of damages from someone sustaining an injury while on your property can be significant.
You’ll want to check that your bed and breakfast’s liability insurance will cover anybody who visits your property, regardless of whether they are a customer or a personal visitor.
Business Interruption and Loss of Income
There may be some grey areas for bed and breakfasts about what’s personal and what is business, but this is one necessary coverage for a bed and breakfast that a homeowner’s insurance plan absolutely won’t cover.
This important coverage complements your property insurance to compensate you for lost income and cover your financial obligations arising from an insurable damage or closure.
Part of what makes bed and breakfasts so charming is that each one is so unique, but this makes it hard to list every insurance consideration! When deciding on the right insurance plan, don’t forget to mention every aspect of your business to your insurance agent so they can make sure you are covered for any problem that could occur.
Do you provide transportation for your guests? You’ll want to make sure you have the right auto coverage, especially if your vehicle does double-duty as a personal one.
If you sell products, perhaps a bakery or gift store, you’ll want to have adequate coverage for any damage to your inventory. You should also check about coverage for special activities on your property such as hiking, horseback riding or hosting events.
Doubling as both a business and a home, running a bed and breakfast presents many unique situations that need to be covered in your insurance plan. Use our advice above and take the time to talk with your insurance agent to ensure the right coverage for your particular bed and breakfast.
Cayuga Mutual Insurance offers bed and breakfast insurance plans with the above coverages and more. Our agents are ready to help you find the coverages that best meet your bed and breakfast’s unique needs along with discounts you may be eligible for. Request a quote today and experience the Cayuga Mutual difference yourself.