Last Updated on April 27, 2016 by Mark Lavington
Emergency Planning – what would you do if something went wrong? We set out some handy tips for preparing a holiday let emergency plan.
As a holiday homeowner or letting agent you’re likely to be responsible for any issues that arise with a cottage during your guests’ stay.
Whilst putting in place effective health and safety procedures and then constantly reviewing those measures will undoubtedly reduce the potential of accidents to happen, the chances are that with a large number of guests staying in your holiday home in any given calendar year, an incident may still occur.
We take a look at how you should and could react in the event a guest suffers an accident in your holiday home.
Preparing a holiday let emergency plan
A cub scout will always tell you that ‘failing to prepare is preparing to fail’.
So, are you prepared with an emergency plan for your holiday home? What do you do when things go wrong? How about if the holiday cottage receives storm damage, or is subject to a fire?
If a crisis arises you need to know what to do, how to react and who needs to be contacted. An emergency plan is a document that gives you this structure and allows you to potentially minimise the impact and potential harm to your holiday home and your guests by providing you with clear courses of action.
What should you include in the plan?
All businesses should have a disaster recovery strategy, which highlights what needs to be done should the worst happen. Your own plan should cover as many emergency scenarios as possible in order to deal with the situation as rapidly and smoothly as possible should it arise.
Remember that this document is going to be used by your guests, so you need to make it as clear and simple as possible to understand. What would happen if a fire broke out at your holiday home during the night? Who would they call?
If you’re using a letting agent it’s worth having a conversation and clear understanding of what you need to do in this respect, the procedures they have in place, and generally where your obligations begin and theirs end.
Communicating your holiday let emergency plan
There’s very little point in having a holiday let emergency plan if your guests aren’t privy to the information within it, when they need it the most. Information, and in particularly emergency contact numbers should be integrated into your current communication process, preferably before guests arrive.
Whether a guest has been injured at the holiday home or the property has suffered damage, keep a record of the incident for future reference. This record should also form an important part of your on-going health and safety or property monitoring; what could have been done or altered in order to minimise the chances of the incident occurring again? For example, if storm damage has been caused to the property as the result of blocked drains and guttering, should you be looking at the frequency with which these parts of your holiday home are cleared.
The main details to log include, the type of incident, date/ time, when, where and any witnesses. This will be useful should you need to make an insurance claim.
By creating an immediate record of any problems it ensures details have been taken accurately while fresh in your and your guest’s mind.
If there is an incident involving your guests or holiday home you want to know that your insurer fully understands the situation you’re going through, and also knows the best way to get you sorted as quickly as possible.
For this reason we always recommend using specialist holiday home insurance where possible.
We’ve been specialising in holiday home insurance for more than 25 years; we speak with owners every day, meaning we understand the industry, the demands and the issues you face when it comes to owning a holiday property. This gives us a unique opportunity to provide you with the insurance you really need, and get you back on your feet as quickly as possible.
You may also find the following posts on health and safety guidance for holiday home owners of interest:
Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. For more information on how a specialist insurer can help and support your holiday home business, please give us a call on 01237 429444.