coronavirus hand hygiene

coronavirus hand hygiene In late January reports began to emerge of the presence of a potentially deadly virus in the city of Wuhan, China.  Since then the continued spread of Coronavirus (now clinically known as COVID 19) has shown no signs of abating, with more than 167,511 people across the world testing positive for the virus and the death toll rising to 6,606 (1000 16th March 2020).

To date (0900 on 16th March 2020) there have been just 1543 confirmed cases in the UK, so while it’s important not to panic, it’s vital to be vigilant to stop any potential spread of the virus in its tracks.

What is Coronavirus?

The World Health Organisation define Coronaviruses (CoV) as a family of viruses that can cause illness, ranging from the common cold to more severe conditions, such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).  The COVID 19 strain detected in Wuhan is a newly found strain of this family of viruses, with the most commonly reported symptoms including a fever, cough and a shortness of breath.

Based on similar viruses, it’s predicted that these symptoms will appear within two to 14 days of exposure, which is why you may have seen on television and newspaper reports that individuals thought to have come into contact with the virus have been quarantined in the Wirral and Milton Keynes for a period of two weeks, in order to attempt to potentially prevent it spreading further.

What do you do if you’ve got guests visiting from Asia?

The UK Chief Medical Officers are advising anyone who has travelled to the UK from mainland China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau in the last 14 days and is experiencing cough, fever or shortness of breath to stay indoors and call NHS 111, even if symptoms are mild.

If you have guests that are visiting from these areas, it’s important that they’re aware of this procedure and that they know the NHS 111 number to call during their stay.

Other measures you can take

No matter if a virus is airborne or spread by human touch, there are a number of simple and easy steps you in make in your holiday home:

  • Introduce a hand sanitiser

You’ll notice that as soon as there’s any form of viral outbreak, whether it’s in an office, hospital or anywhere people congregate, the first measure put in place is the introduction of hand sanitiser — there’s a very good reason for this! Viruses can live on surfaces for long periods of time (some for as long as a week!), meaning that if someone infected touches an item such as a coffee cup or glass, the next person to touch it can catch the virus, even if it’s sometime later.

  • Make sure you have sanitiser in the hallway / entrance to your property

The entrance to your holiday home is most commonly the place that people will be touching things (think door handles) with unwashed hands. Stopping bugs and germs at the front door is the best way to make sure they don’t travel throughout your cottage.  

  • Damp clean all radiators and air vents

The warm and humid air found inside radiator vents can provide viruses with the perfect place to survive and thrive. When you clean these, make sure you use a damp cloth or cleaning item rather than a duster, which can very quickly send the virus airborne within your holiday home.

  • Make sure your changeover is thorough

The majority of holiday homes have a thorough changeover regime, however this time of year when less guests are booked into your holiday home provides an opportunity to have a review and update that checklist. Any surface that goes uncleaned is an opportunity for colds and other viruses to lurk!

For more information and daily updates on Coronavirus please visit:

Guidance for environmental cleaning in non-healthcare facilities exposed to Coronavirus visit:

What about loss of income and liability insurance – am I covered?

We have compiled a list of FAQ’s regarding Boshers holiday home insurance cover and coronavirus which you can read here:

If you would like to discuss specialist holiday home insurance for your property, please give our experienced team a call on 01237 429444.

Holiday Cottage and Complex Owners Seminar

Three leading industry experts are teaming up to provide holiday cottage and complex owners from across Devon and Cornwall with an informative free seminar in October.

The event, which will bring together specialist speakers on digital marketing, holiday home insurance and the buying, selling and development of holiday cottage complexes, will be held on 30th October 2018 just a minute off the A30 dual carriageway on the Devon / Cornwall border.

The line-up of speakers will include Mark Worden from MiHi Digital, an experienced online marketing and tourism expert, Mark Lavington of Boshers, one of the country’s leading providers of holiday home insurance and Nick Smith, Manager of Stags Estate Agent’s holiday complex team who specialise in the marketing of leisure complexes for sale and development.

Mark Worden from MiHi Digital said “It’s been a great summer for many holiday homeowners across the South West with the fantastic weather driving tourists to the region in their droves.  At this event I’ll be giving some helpful tips on how cottage owners can increase the chances of re-booking and also boost bookings once the sun has gone and we head into the shoulder and winter season.”

Mark Lavington from Boshers said “The meteoric rise of the sharing economy and online platforms such as AirBnB has fuelled a boom in holiday letting. This rapid growth has resulted in a spotlight being shone on the whole self-catering industry highlighting both good practice and shortfalls in guest safety. Now is a good time to take stock, review compliance with legislation and consider your insurance cover. The event offers an ideal opportunity for owners to stay ahead of the curve.”

Nick Smith from Stags said “The leisure marketplace is constantly changing so I’ll be highlighting some of the current trends and offering guidance when it comes to maximising the sale value of leisure businesses through areas such as maintenance, occupancy, accounting and compliance with current regulations.”

For more information on this holiday cottage and complex owners event including timings and topics please click here or to book your place please call 01566 232323 or email

technology, insurtech

technology, insurtechTechnology continues to change the way in which we do things and the way we conduct our everyday lives. It can make things easier, simpler and quicker to do, and once the change has happened it can be hard to imagine a time in which it didn’t exist. Just think about the following for a second:

  • A little over ten years ago there were no iPhones – there are now more than two billion smart devices now actively in use across the globe.
  • Go back 20 years and there was no Google – 3.5 billion searches are now made each day.
  • Less than 30 years ago there was no Internet – around 40% of the world now has an internet connection.

Each of these elements has brought with them a common theme; the ability to bring us closer together, to make communication easier and most importantly, more efficiency for us as customers.

So as the term ‘InsurTech’ (where insurance meets technology) begins to be more commonly used within our own industry; how do we use technology to make your experience of transacting insurance via Boshers as quick and easy as possible?

Paper applications and even claim forms are a thing of the past

We know that time for holiday homeowners is at a premium, particularly during the peak summer season months. We want to make the process of renewing your insurance, becoming a new policy holder and making a claim as simple as possible; long paper forms are now a thing of the past, and we won’t even make you go through an online application!

Our team are here to deal with your enquiries over the phone and get you the cover that’s right for your property, as quickly and efficiently as possible.

It’s good to talk

As holiday home insurance specialists each of our team work with and speak to holiday homeowners from across the country each and every day. This means we understand the marketplace, we’re able to quickly and easily identify things that you mightn’t have thought about, and also ensure you have the right cover in place.

You can call any of our experienced team, all of whom have been with us for many years, on 01237 429 444.

Getting your documents to you quicker

Once you’ve spoken with our team you can have your quote, documents and correspondence sent to you by secure email. Waiting two to three days for it to turn up in the post is now very much a thing of the past! That said we’re happy to post them too, if you prefer.

Blogging to support your business

As a business we’ve always felt that we’re not just an insurance intermediary; we’re here to help, support and add value to our policy holders and the holiday letting industry as a whole.  It’s this belief that drives our Holiday Homeowner Blog; we want to provide holiday homeowners with useful information that adds value to their proposition, whilst making the experience for guests safer and more enjoyable.

If there is a topic you’d like to hear us blog about then please do let us know!

Being social

You can also find us on the two most prominent social media platforms; Twitter and Facebook. Looking for more of our blog content? We’ll share it here! Have a question? You can ask us there!  Our social media channels are all about interacting with our holiday homeowners and their letting agents; sharing content that promotes the furnished holiday letting sector and our own blog content we think you’ll find useful.

Holiday homeowners at the heart of our decisions…

Whenever investing in technology we do so with our clients at the centre of our decision making; the question we always ask is, ‘will this improve the service we offer our holiday homeowners?’. In the coming months and years we’ll continue to invest in insurtech; and strive to give you the best service on the market.

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. For information on how specialist insurance can help protect your holiday home business, call us on 01237 429444.

Negative feedback and guest complaints

Negative feedback and guest complaintsTimes they are a changing, and never has that been truer than in the area of negative feedback and guest complaints. Where people would in times gone by leave their feedback in a comment book placed within your holiday home and raise any issues over the phone during their stay, these comments and issues are now often left online once they get home for the world to see.

So what is the best way to address negative feedback or guest complaints made after they have left your holiday home, and the option of rectifying any issue is no longer on the table?

The TripAdvisor conundrum

Love it or loath it, TripAdvisor plays a large role in effecting the buying decisions of potential guests. Therefore any negative reviews need to be dealt with effectively, efficiently and also without emotion.

You should have a strategy and approach to Tripadvisor which should include the following:

  1. Having someone responsible for reviewing and responding to your reviews, both positive and negative.
  2. Have a time frame for responding to any ongoing reviews.
  3. Create a review process for any response to a negative review which brings in more than one person.

The final point is a key one here; when writing online it can be very difficult to denote tone, which means that in the majority of cases the person reading the response you’ve written (whether that’s the person that’s left the complaint or a potential guest) will apply their own perceived tone to it.

Ensuring that more than one person has read the response, and that it isn’t posted in haste, will help to ensure you’ve struck the correct chord.

Is it all lost or can the situation be resolved?

If a guest has left a negative review then it can be understandably difficult to not take it personally; you’ll spend a lot of time, effort and money in making your cottage a great place for guests to stay so any complaint can seem as somewhat of an attack.

Because of that the default position may be to revert to defense.  However, take some time to think how best to resolve the issue rather than pointing elements out to the contrary of what they’ve said.

Entering into conversation away from the public eye is a positive way of moving toward a resolution and away from an unseemly TripAdvisor spat, which can quickly and frequently, go viral.

If points they’ve made do need clarification make sure they’re made in a factual and non-emotive way.

What if they’re not made on Tripadvisor?

The question here is how to find them! Although TripAdvisor is a massive part of holiday home and tourism life, not all comments and reviews will be made through the platform.

You should regularly monitor your brand online through Google, Twitter and Facebook.

How to find recent mentions of your cottage on Google

When it comes to Google, try putting in the name of your cottage, or your website url (try both).  If you select ‘Tools’ which is just underneath the search box on Google and alter the ‘Any Time’ drop down to ‘Past week’ you will only be seeing new information added to Google in the last seven days.  This can be a great way of keeping on top of the vast search engine.

How to find mentions of your cottage on Twitter

Are you already using the third party application Hootsuite for Twitter? If not then here is a great reason to do so. Hootsuite provides quick and easy access to recent mentions of your holiday cottage from the millions of tweets made every hour.

You can do this in seconds by:

  • adding a tab / stream into the platform; and
  • setting the search to the name of your cottage.

This will let you see mentions of your cottage when they’ve not included your Twitter handle in their tweet. (These will appear automatically in your @mentions tab on Twitter).

For more information on adding columns to Hootsuite, take a look at these instructions:

How to find mentions of your cottage on Facebook

Last but not least; you can find mentions of your cottage on Facebook by using the simple search tool available on all profiles.

And once you’ve located the comments?

Once you have found any feedback and comments from your guests ensure you always respond. Do so in the same effective, efficient and non-emotive way as you should on TripAdvisor.

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. For information on how specialist insurance can help protect your holiday home business, call us on 01237 429444

bunk beds

bunk bedsBunk beds will undoubtedly form great childhood memories for many of us; and when it comes to a holiday cottage or any other property they can be a real space saver. Is your holiday home family friendly? Do you already have, or are considering bunk beds? Here are a few pointers you need to consider…

What age are bunk beds suitable for?

It was always a dilemma; who gets the top bunk? In terms of the safety the answer should always be children over the age of six. Many modern bunk beds come with an upper weight limit. You may also want to invest in a night light which illuminates the room. This will allow children to climb safely up and down.

Whilst the bottom bunk is safe for children under the age of six, babies and toddlers should sleep in their own separate cot.

With this in mind it’s worth checking with guests on the age of their children before arrival so you can prepare and make any necessary arrangements.

Only allow one child on the bunk bed

If children visiting your holiday home don’t have bunk beds at home they can cause a lot of excitement and novelty when they first arrive. Be clear with parents that only one child should be on the top bunk at any time; it’s always worth having this information readily available for guests to adhere to.

Where do you place your bunk bed?

We’ve already said that they can be a real space saver, but you’ll need to consider where you place your bed very carefully if it’s in a smaller room. Your bunk bed should be well away from windows and also more than two meters away from any light fitting.

Placing carpet under your bed

Research has also shown that children falling onto carpet rather than a hard bare floor can significantly reduce the risk and nature of injuries, so if you can, place your bunk beds in a room that is carpeted.  If your room isn’t carpeted it’s worth placing carpet or a rug underneath the bed itself to avoid it moving around and to increase stability.

Installing a guard rail and a well-fitted mattress

One of the most common causes of bunk bed injuries is falling from the top bunk whilst sleeping. Therefore it’s vital that bunk beds come with rails for the top bunk. These should be:

  • 16cm taller (minimum) than the mattress
  • fitted on both sides; and
  • have a gap of 300mm to allow access

Your mattress should also be well-fitted; you don’t want it to be able to be easily moved around within the frame of the bed. Also bear in mind that when it comes to purchasing a mattress for your top bunk, you’ll need to give careful consideration to the depth of the mattress in order to meet the requirements of the guard rail height.

In addition to prevent trapped heads and limbs it’s important to ensure that the distance between:

  • bed frame and bottom of guardrails is not more than 7.5cm
  • rails is not more than 7cm

Additional information on child safety and bunk beds can be found on page 20 of the Child Product Safety Guide available to download here.

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. For information on how specialist insurance can help protect your holiday home business, call us on 01237 429444

welcome hamper

welcome hamper

The start of any holiday is an exciting feeling; you’ve got your out of office on, you’ve packed your car and you’re on the road heading to an idyllic holiday home. First impressions are everything, so what better way to greet your guests on arrival than the smell of the contents from your sumptuous welcome hamper wafting in the air?

It’s something more and more holiday cottages are offering, so what does make a great welcome hamper? What should you be considering when carefully crafting yours?

Is it OK to include alcoholic drinks in a welcome hamper?

A welcome hamper needn’t contain alcohol, as tempting as it may seem to slip in a tipple for your guests. Before you do be aware that there are licensing implications to consider, which we covered in an earlier article that can be found here:

Know your area

It’s always important to remember that your cottage is more than just a place to stay; the local area, the restaurants, the attractions and the food and drink suppliers are all part of the ‘destination’ that draws people in.

So why not give them a slice of this? Packing your hamper with great local produce makes sense; it supports local businesses, it makes your welcome more personable and will ultimately be more special than any generic offering.

Quality not quantity

As with many things, the key to a good welcome hamper is quality not quantity. Even leaving a fresh pint of local milk in the fridge and a few tea bags near the kettle will have a positive impact on your guests after a long journey.

Know your market

Hampers are often associated with food and drink but it needn’t stop there. Who is it that stays in your holiday cottage? If you’re the finest accommodation around for families, consider including something for the children.  Whether it’s a colouring book or board game, when the rain comes (which it often will with the great British weather!) the parents will be glad of the distraction, and thanking you for not providing sugary sweets!

Understanding allergens

If you’re offering food or drink you’ll need to bear in mind that approximately 2% of the population have some sort of food allergy, so the chances are that during the course of a busy summer you’ll be welcoming someone that may be intolerant to something within your hamper.

You may have noticed in recent years that restaurants and eateries are now required to list the allergens contained within their offerings on their menus and other promotional literature.  Communication is the key here; if the cookies from the local bakery contain peanut or gluten then you need to make this clear to guests.

Whilst nut and gluten are two of the better known allergies, there are several more that are common within Britain including:

  • Cereals (which includes gluten).
  • Crustaceans, for example prawns
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Soybeans
  • Milk and other dairy produce
  • Mustard
  • Celery
  • Sesame
  • Sulphur dioxide (a food preservative sometimes found in dried fruit).

NB This list is not exhaustive and is only an indicator of some of the most commonly found allergens in the UK.

It’s important to have dialogue with your suppliers and ensure that they provide you with all of the allergen information you need to give to your guests; they shouldn’t be left in any doubt as to what’s in your hamper.

Offering your own produce

When selling a house, there’s always been an old adage that the smell of home baked bread in the air as potential buyers walk through is a sure fire way to seal the sale. So how about adding that feel to your holiday home with some freshly baked scones?

If you’ve got the time and the culinary skills to cut the mustard, you’ll need to adhere to all food hygiene requirements – you can find an outline of those in our previous article:

Insurance implications

To avoid gaps in cover ensure that your holiday home insurance includes both public and products liability. Check that your policy includes cover which extends to holiday letting to paying guests.

This is just an overview for holiday homeowners on welcome hampers in holiday homes. If you have any tips or suggestions please leave them in the comments box below.

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK including public and products liability cover for holiday letting. For information on how specialist insurance can help protect your holiday home business, give us a call on 01237 429444.

reducing single-use plastic

reducing single-use plastic The BBC documentary series Blue Planet and several other high profile media campaigns have recently shed a considerable amount of focus onto the topic of single-use plastic and recycling.

As tourism businesses and holiday homes are often located in some of the most outstanding and naturally beautiful places on the planet, how can we contribute to maintaining what’s around us and ensure we preserve the environment in which we live so that people can continue to enjoy it a long time into the future?

Single-use plastic – the statistics:

  • There are approximately 500 billion plastic bags used worldwide each year.
  • 50% of plastics are only used once before being thrown away.
  • It can take between 20 – 1,000 years for a plastic bag to break up into small pieces.
  • Every year 6.4 million tonnes of plastic are dumped into the ocean – the equivalent of 3,200 kilometres of waste disposal lorries full with waste.
  • If you joined all of the plastic bags in the ocean it would be long enough to circumnavigate the globe 4,200 times.
  • Approximately 1 million sea birds die every year due to plastic in the sea.

So what can you do as a holiday homeowner?

Offering your guests reusable bottles…

Globally humans buy a million plastic bottles per minute; 91% of these are not recycled. Providing your guests with reusable bottles will make a real difference over a week’s stay. They can even be branded with your logo at a reasonably low cost.

Say no to plastic straws

Single-use plastic straws are bad news for our oceans; they’re dangerous for sea wildlife and just like a plastic bag, take many, many years to break down. By removing any from your holiday home you’ll be doing your bit to reduce the waste going into our seas.

Consider providing guests a bag for life

Since the plastic bag charge was introduced in England, there’s been a dramatic 85% drop in their use. This has led to a distinct change in the way people think and behave; a bag for life is certainly now no longer something for the minority. However, with so much to pack and think about when on holiday, some of your guests might leave their resuable bag at home. Thus increasing the chance of using single-use plastic carrier bags to fetch their daily items from the shops. Have you considered offering a non-plastic bag for life to your guests? Just like your reusable bottle this can be branded if you wish, and will stay with your guest a long time after they leave.

Avoid Microbeads

The good news is that microbeads, which are made from plastic and commonly found in cosmetic and personal care products, should now not be used, furthermore a full ban on their sale is due to come into force from July this year. If you provide your guests with face scrubs and other toiletries be sure to remove any with microbeads from your cottage, and always check that what you’re buying is environmentally responsible.


The #2minutebeachclean initiative encourages all of us to visit our local beach and clear some of the plastic waste. The hashtag, which has grown immensely since its inception in 2014 is now used around the world.

For more information about the two minute beach clean and how to get involved please read our earlier article:

This is just an overview of how holiday homeowners can reduce the single-use plastic used in holiday homes. If you have any tips or suggestions please leave them in the comments box below.

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. For information on how specialist insurance can help protect your holiday home business, give us a call on 01237 429444.



Family friendly holiday letting

Family friendly holiday lettingWhether your family friendly holiday letting property will be welcoming babies, toddlers, or older children this year, one thing every family will appreciate is the cottage owner that goes that extra mile to make their stay a home away from home.

Achieving this in reality will be a process of finding a balance between fun and practical; you’ll need to think of things that might not make it into that packed car. Make life easier for them on arrival, whilst also providing them with some entertainment facilities in order to keep minds and bodies active.

Here are a few easy wins for your guests, and your property when it comes to welcoming young families…

Keep the wet shoes, umbrella and swimwear elsewhere

Kids love to run around and get mucky, and if you don’t provide an area for muddy or wet shoes you’ll probably find yourself scrubbing the carpet stains next week! The same goes for water stains from swimming costumes that have been draped over wooden chairs, or a nice puddle from a wet umbrella.

When it comes to the great British summer having an area for all of these items is essential, so if your holiday home already has one ensure that your guests know to use it, and where to hang those soggy swimming costumes.  If you haven’t got an area like this, where could you create one in order to make it convenient for your guests, and less wearing on your cottage?

Make it safe and sturdy

When it comes to furnishing your holiday home ensure that all items are sturdy, robust and safe. If you’re welcoming children then glass, whether in a coffee table or a balustrade mightn’t be a good mix, so always think about your target market before adding items such as these.

Aside from furniture, you should be thinking about other things in the cottage that could pose a threat. Uncovered sockets, wires, and even cleaning products should all be looked at and put out of reach where possible.  Vases and similar items should also be moved accordingly.

Garden security, and safety

Have large outdoor spaces for children to play in? Your holiday home might well be a big hit with young families! The only thing you’ll need to be mindful of is access and security; does your garden back onto a road? Is it enclosed or is it going to be easy for children to wonder off? Having child proof locks on gates and exits from the garden are a must to create a secure and safe environment. If you haven’t already, consider installing these.

You may also have outdoor play equipment for your younger guests; these create a little something extra for those staying in the cottage. Make sure you’re familiar with what you’ll need to be considering when installing and maintaining this equipment by visiting our post here:

Entertain them

Whilst us brits are eternal optimists when it comes to the weather, sometimes the realist in us has to take over. Accept that on occasion, we are going to have to tolerate the odd rainy day. On such a day, your visiting family may choose to stay indoors and that is when entertainment becomes vital. Board games, books, and maybe some DVDs can turn a dull day into one filled with family fun. You can read more suggestions of rainy day entertainment here:

Practical items

Taking young children on holiday can be stressful; there’ll be plenty to remember for the family headed to your cottage. Sometimes things will be forgotten, or simply not fit in the car.  Make their trip a little less chaotic by providing high chairs, cots, or a smaller toilet seat for little ones?

This extra care will really be appreciated by the adults, and they’ll remember it long after their stay! This could easily result in recommendations to their friends or a return visit, which is great for your bookings.

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. Require a quote for your holiday apartment, cottage or complex? Please give us a call on 01237 429444.

Outdoor Play Equipment

Outdoor Play EquipmentWith spring and summer ahead, it will be natural for holiday cottage guests to start spending more time outside. For many families, having the space and facilities for kids to play during their stay is important. For this reason installing outdoor play equipment, if you haven’t already got it, could be a great idea.

If you’re looking to purchase or replace outdoor play equipment at your holiday home or cottage complex, there are a few things for you to consider. Let’s take a look at what those are before you take the plunge…

Invest in quality outdoor play equipment

When it comes to your holiday home it’s essential that you invest in the highest quality equipment available. It not only reduces the risk of accidents as a result of faulty parts or poor construction, it will also last longer, making it a solid long term investment.

We always recommend purchasing any play equipment from a reputable seller, and always follow installation and maintenance guidelines, as tempting as it may be to believe you don’t need the instructions.

Whilst insurance policies tend to come with public liability as standard. You have a duty of care to take reasonable precautions to reduce any potential risks to your guests. Make sure that any play equipment carries the CE or GS mark. Equally it is important that the equipment is installed, maintained, and operated in accordance with manufacturers guidelines. (It’s worth keeping a log of when you last checked it, and other things such as when it is stored inside for winter).

What is the recommended age?

Not all outdoor play equipment is suitable for all ages, so make sure that you’re clear on what age group your outdoor play equipment is suitable for. Ensure that this age is explicitly stated in your welcome information pack, and stress to families that children above and below that age should not be using the equipment.

Essential safety features

Making your new outdoor play equipment as safe as possible. Thus ensuring that your guests have a safe stay in your cottage. Only install equipment that can be secured to the ground. Also it’s important to provide children with plenty of space around the equipment. This is particularly important with items such as trampolines, which will dictate a safe distance in their literature. Check that ropes have protection against wear at their fixing points on swings, and that the sides of slides are at least 64mm high.

Climbing frames must not be any more than 2 metres high. Any equipment that is over 0.6 meters high must have an impact absorbent surface beneath.

Regular inspections

Detailed monthly inspections of play equipment need to be carried out to ensure that it is fit for use. Ropes, bolts, and security must all be checked and repaired or disposed of as necessary. You will also need to frequently clean the equipment.

Always keep a record of when maintenance checks have been undertaken and be sure to have a process for undertaking this activity in place.

Do you have a sand pit?

If you do then you’ll need to be be aware of Toxocariasis, an infection caused by worms commonly found in the intestines of dogs. Children who come into contact with contaminated sand or soil are at risk. We recommend that sand pits are covered when not in use. Animal faeces should be cleaned up at the earliest opportunity. If your accommodation is dog friendly then it’s good to make sure guests are aware of this in their welcome pack.

Check your holiday cottage insurance cover

When making any changes, we always encourage clients to let us know. Play equipment of the type can be found in many DIY stores and some garden centres. Outdoor play equipment carrying the CE or GS mark will generally be fine. It should always be installed, maintained, and operated in accordance with manufacturer’s guidelines. It is always worth getting in touch with your holiday home insurance broker for guidance when adding additional facilities.

Please note that this article on outdoor play equipment and guest safety is only intended as an overview of what you need to be doing in each of these areas.  For further information please contact the relevant authority and read up on all procedures and requirements. Please read the ROSPA guidance which can be found here.

If you have questions about outdoor play equipment and your policy, get in touch on

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. Require a quote for your holiday apartment, cottage or complex? Please give us a call on 01237 429444.

Holiday homeowner liability

Holiday home facilities – 6 steps to improve guest safety whilst reducing holiday homeowner liability risks

Holiday homeowner liabilityWhen adding additional facilites to your holiday home consideration should be given to guest safety and holiday homeowner liability risks. Tourism is an increasingly competitive marketplace; what makes someone choose your holiday home over the property down the road? What it is that differentiates you?

This level of competition has seen an increase in the facilities and products offered by holiday homes to their guests in recent times. Look back 10 years and a hot tub wasn’t such a common site. Fast forward to 2016 and it’s almost a must if looking to attract guests in some locations.

What was previously seen as an added extra is now often taken for granted as a standard element. So with holiday homes becoming packed full of features, where does your holiday homeowner liability lay and what should you be considering each time you add a new element to your let?

Step one: Think before you buy – complete a risk assessment

Before you buy a trampoline or any other additional item for your holiday home, fill out a risk assessment form. What could go wrong? What injuries could occur? Sit down and take the time to really think about every aspect of the new facility. Potential injuries, faults, and problems are just some of the things you should make a note of so that you are completely knowledgeable on the safety, use, and maintenance of your new item.

Step two: How can you minimise risk and ensure a safe experience?

Once you’ve carried out your risk assessment and created a list of potential injuries and problems, it’s time to think about how you can minimise those risks. Whether it is a safety net around a trampoline, or a step with grip out of the hot tub, these little solutions can make a huge difference in keeping your guests safe. Don’t forget, a notice stating that they are using the facility at their own risk will not resolve you from liability should an incident occur. This means that you need to actively take steps to make your new facility as safe as possible.

Step three: Adhere to all legislative and manufacturers guidelines

Legislation will apply to certain items. Hot tubs, for example, have a lot of legislation regarding maintenance. It is vital that hot tubs and similar facilities are maintained accordingly, ensuring that exposure to infection is minimised. Other facilities may also have specific legislation which you will need to research, understand, and enforce in order to comply with UK law.

Step four: Conduct regular checks and maintenance

Regular checks on your holiday letting property isn’t anything new. However, you’ll also need to do regular checks and maintenance on your new facility. The easiest way to keep this up is by creating an inspection/maintenance programme. This will help you to schedule regular checks and provide a record of any inspections made. If you won’t be carrying out the maintenance yourself, particularly when it comes to hot tubs, you’ll need to consider whether a housekeeper or other person will need training. Alternatively you may wish to engage a qualified contractor to provide the maintenance for you.

Step five: Make sure that your guests know how to use it safely

After spending time, effort, and money, on your new facilities you won’t want them to be damaged or broken. Inform your guests by leaving clear instructions for them. By communicating clear guidance means you have done as much as possible to show them how to use the facility, and it is less likely (if following all of these steps) that an injury as a result of misuse could be your fault.

Step six: Inform your insurer

The final step is to inform your insurance company about your new facilities. Make sure that you are abiding by policy conditions at all times. If in doubt about these conditions, then speak with them and make sure you have a clear understanding of what is and is not covered.

You will want peace of mind if an incident does occur. Follow the guidance above and you’ll sleep well knowing that you did your utmost to ensure the safety of your guests. Whilst you may not mitigate your holiday homeowner liability, you’ll likely to reduce your chances of being found negligent. It’s at this point that having quality holiday home insurance in place comes into its own. Your insurers will help to defend any claims for negligence and ensure that claims and expenses are paid in a timely manner.

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. Alternatively for further information on holiday home insurance visit the website page most relevant to you: