It is often said that the world is becoming more and more litigious by the day. It seems that lawsuits lurk at every corner regardless of the industry in which you work. Although you may think that the hotel industry is largely spared from frivolous lawsuits, this isn’t the case. Work in the hotel business long enough, and you will realize that the protection afforded by Santa Fe Hospitality Insurance is absolutely necessary. Despite your best efforts to run a tight ship, you would be surprised at the potential hotel legal issues you could face as a hotel owner.
Whether you are thinking of running a hotel or you have been in the business for many years, here are some common legal issues that you have to be on guard against:
Issues with hygiene and maintenance
Some of the most common legal issues that hotel owners face have to do with hygiene and safety issues. Of all the problems that could occur in a hotel, these have the highest likelihood of causing injury or property damage.
The problem for most hotels is that there is too much physical area to cover. Consequently, many owners have to resort to cost-cutting measures that leave problem areas unaddressed. They may also employ unqualified personnel or enforce unsafe policies. All these factors could cause safety and hygiene issues that could lead to a lawsuit.
Most such problems occur in the toilets and baths, the kitchens, and the swimming pool area. This is where hotel owners would do well to focus most of their attention due to the high risk of personal injury and property damage.
Theft by in-house staff
Other occurrences that could put hotel owners at risk for lawsuits are incidences of theft. These incidents can be especially problematic for owners when they involve hotel staff. Apart from damaging the hotel’s reputation, these problems could cause serious legal ramifications.
Theft-related issues in the hotel industry are caused or compounded by most establishments’ inability to retain the same staff for a lengthy period. The high turnover rates leave many hotel owners no other alternative but to hire seasonal workers.
Unfortunately, many such workers are less than reliable and more prone to illicit activity. This is why hotel owners need to conduct thorough background checks on their employees before entrusting them to critical responsibilities. It will entail more time, effort, and expense, to be sure, but taking the extra step may prevent a costly lawsuit.
Crimes caused by third-parties are another matter. These cases involve outsiders entering the premises and committing theft, property damage, or personal injury to the guests. Like theft caused by hotel personnel, these incidents can cause considerable damage to the hotel’s reputation. Just as importantly, it can result in legal problems.
Hotels are common targets for such crimes because of the high number of out-of-town guests. Criminal elements tend to see such individuals as “easy prey” due to their unfamiliarity with the location, language, and customs. Third-party crimes, therefore, tend to occur in and around the vicinity of hotels, which puts owners at a higher risk for litigation.
Hotel owners can offset these risks somewhat by investing in security devices and other safeguards, especially if the hotel is located in a high-crime area of town. Owners should also implement measures by which impending crimes can be identified and prevented.
Identity theft is an increasingly common crime nowadays. Many hotel owners have unwittingly found themselves on the receiving end of a lawsuit for failing to take the necessary preventive measures.
Unfortunately, these crimes have a high likelihood of occurring in hotels due to the necessity of providing sensitive personal information. Most hotels require guests to present their IDs and credit card information to make a reservation. If the hotel in question doesn’t have the necessary security measures, there is a high risk of identity theft.
These risks can be prevented by implementing proper security protocols at all hotel staff and guests’ contact points. The hotel should also utilize encryption software for all sensitive transactions.
As you can see, there are many ways by which lawsuits affect hospitality businesses. Apart from implementing security and safety measures, owners should also obtain hospitality insurance from a reputable agency.
About Daniels Insurance, Inc.
At Daniels Insurance, Inc., we have a unique understanding of the risks that businesses like yours face on a regular basis. With the backing of our comprehensive coverages and our dedication to customer service and quick claims resolution, your business will be fully protected. For more information, contact us today at (855) 565-7616.