If you run or own a hotel, you know that employees in the hospitality industry are at a higher risk for injury and illness than other businesses. Due to the nature of hotels and the number of risk factors, employees can be harmed while working and may need coverage for medical treatment, lost wages, and more through workers' compensation insurance.
Before we begin, you should know that independent insurance agents can help you find the most cost-effective and comprehensive workers’ comp insurance on the market today. Whether you need the fine print explained in easy-to-understand language, have a financial expert evaluate the risk factors and financial responsibility in the event of a claim, or determine if your current coverage is enough for your hotel, an independent insurance agent is ready to help you protect your business.
Workers' Comp Risk Factors for Hotels
When looking for the best workers' comp insurance for hotel business, you should understand that underwriters will evaluate your business’ risk factors in order to determine premium rates. Here are some of the most common in the hospitality industry:
- Housekeeping duties are some of the most common forms of claims in hotels. With the repetitive lifting of heavy mattresses, furniture, and linens, physical strains can lead to injury. Similarly, concierge staff tasked with assisting customers can be exposed to physical ailments due to transporting the wide variance in guest possessions.
- On premises laundry facilities can expose workers to hazardous communicable diseases and dangerous machinery.
- Elevators and escalators can be potentially hazardous for workers, particularly for maintenance staff.
- Hotels that are located in areas with extreme weather should also be aware of ever-present dangers. For example, a hotel located in a region with colder temperatures and snow holds a risk for workers to slip on a patch of ice, leading to workers' comp claims.
- Restaurants on hotel grounds pose a number of hazards for workers because of high-temperature ovens and stoves, sharp cutlery, and demanding work environments where employees work in close proximity to one another.
- Hotel amenities are another source of potential hazards for workers. Those handling chemicals for swimming pools, hot tubs, and more, may become ill due to lack of safety measures.
Ways to Reduce the Cost of Workers' Comp Premiums
As with any form of insurance, it’s important to take measures to reduce the risk in the first place to avoid costly claims, which ultimately result in higher premiums — or even being dropped by an insurer altogether:
|Adequate training||Many injuries that occur in the hospitality industry typically occur within the first year. The cause tends to be poor training where employees are unaware of safe work practices and preventative measures. By training your employees in best practices and enforcing safety protocols, you will save money on workers’ comp injury claims and overall insurance costs, as well as have healthier employees.|
|Managerial oversight||While training helps to instruct employees on how to best perform their duties, it is the job of management to ensure that those practices are followed through. Considering that many hotels have reduced their management staff in the past several years, unmanaged employee injuries are more likely to occur that could have been easily prevented before.|
|Pre-employment and hiring practices||It’s important to pay careful consideration to an employee’s physical capabilities when hiring for a position. Pre-employment physicals supervised by medical professionals are highly recommended for hotel positions that require physical exertion, including housekeepers, maintenance staff, and laundry room attendants.|
|Sufficient number of employees||Considering that many hotels are short-staffed, employees are prone to overexert themselves, leading to injury and higher turnover.|
|Better equipment||While some of the more strenuous aspects of hotel work cannot be completely avoided, such as housekeeping and maintenance, the overall workload can be reduced by purchasing better equipment that not only makes work easier, but also safer.|
|Regular maintenance||Performing regularly scheduled maintenance and renovation on hotel property can make a safer environment for staff and guests. For example, an out-of-service elevator may expose employees to injury when they’re forced to lift heavy objects up and down unwieldy stairs.|
What Hotels Should Look for in Workers' Comp Insurance Carrier
Workers’ compensation insurance may either be required by participating in a state-mandated program, through private insurance companies, or through a self-insurance model through a third party. For those who are seeking private insurance, use the following criteria to determine which insurance company is the best fit for your hotel:
- Availability: Not every insurer offers workers' comp insurance for hotels in every state, so you will want to explore which options are available to you.
- Cost: The number one concern of hotel owners is the cost of insurance premiums. Be sure to compare different providers that offer similar workers' comp coverage.
- Bundling Insurance Policies: Workers’ compensation insurance is only one part of protecting your hotel. For hotels that have liability insurance, commercial property insurance, and more, many insurance companies offer a business owner’s policy (BOP) which combines all of these coverages under one policy. The advantage of this is an overall reduced cost in premiums, discounts, and ease of management when compared to having multiple policies with different insurers.
- Financial Rating: It’s not often that an insurance company goes under, but in the event that it does, you should use foresight when signing up with an insurer. Compare popular insurance rating organizations, such as A.M. Best or Moody’s, to determine the long-term viability of your hotel’s insurance coverage.
- Customer Service: Workers’ compensation claims can be stressful for employers, but the longer an employee is left without a claim being processed, the more likely they are to file a lawsuit that can cost thousands more than a claim. Pay attention to online customer reviews to help sort out which insurers offer the most prompt and effective customer service.
To simplify the process of finding the right workers' comp insurance for your hotel, consult an independent insurance agent. With the experience of working with hotels and other establishments in the hospitality industry, you can be sure to have your questions answered and concerns addressed with relevant experience and know-how.
Top Companies That Offer Workers’ Comp Insurers for Hotels
The following is a short list of insurance companies that currently offer workers' comp insurance for hotels and businesses in the hospitality industry:
- Liberty Mutual
- CITA Insurance Services
- Brashfield Associates
- Worldwide Facilities
- Blue River Underwriters
- AmWINS Group, Inc.
- Breckenridge Insurance Services
- SIS Wholesale Insurance Services
- The Hartford
What to Ask an Independent Insurance Agent about Workers’ Comp
Now that you’re aware of how hotels can find the best rates for workers’ compensation, it’s time to take action to protect your business. The following are just a few of the important questions you should ask an independent insurance agent to find the best workers’ comp insurance for your hotel:
- What are my insurance options in my state?
- How much will my premiums increase if I hire more employees? Will they decrease if my staff decreases?
- What are the minimum workers’ comp insurance coverages needed to comply with state laws?
- Are there any insurance discounts that my hotel(s) will qualify for?
- Do I need separate workers' comp coverages for on premises restaurants, bars, and other amenities?
- Can I combine my workers’ comp insurance with other commercial policies?
The Benefits of an Independent Insurance Agent
Independent insurance agents have access to multiple insurance companies, ultimately finding you the best coverage, accessibility, and competitive pricing while working entirely for you and your hotel. If you've got questions on your workers' comp policy or benefits, they've got answers. They're there for you for the life of your policy coverage.
If you're looking to find a local independent insurance agent, you can get started right here.
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