Posts

self-catering cottage businessHaving the right insurance cover will help you run your self-catering cottage business with confidence. As a holiday letting insurance specialist we have pulled together a few pointers to consider when insuring your cottage complex:

  • Don’t forget however many bookings you take, you are running a self-catering cottage business

There are a wide range of properties being made available for holiday letting. You may holiday let an annexe of your main home, stable or barn conversions, a gate house, or even shepherd’s huts that you intend to holiday let. If they are within the grounds of your home, be sure to make your home insurers aware, as they often do not like businesses being run from the premises and you risk invalidating your cover. Seeking advice from a holiday letting insurance specialist will help you ensure you get the right cover for both the holiday cottage business and your home.

  • Make sure you have the right liability cover for holiday letting

Inviting paying guests into holiday accommodation will inevitably see the occasional slip, trip or injury. It’s vital that you have sufficient Public Liability cover and if you have a hot tub or swimming pool there is a greater risk of Legionellosis so check you also have cover for this. You may employ gardeners, maintenance and housekeeping staff for changeovers. If you do, it is a legal requirement for you to have Employers Liability insurance. Remember, even if you are directing the work of self-employed contractors or employing friends to work on your property, you’ll still need this cover.

  • Protect your income, not just your assets

Loss of income whilst a cottage is unavailable following a claim is often overlooked. Make sure your policy covers all potential bookings lost, not just pre-booked holidays. Your property may be unavailable for a sustained period in the event of a major loss such as a fire, flood or burst pipe, ensure your self-catering cottage business income is fully protected.

  • Heed guidance if you are providing facilities to your guests

Many owners provide additional facilities to help attract guests and secure increased occupancy levels. This may be outdoor play equipment, a swimming pool, sauna or hot tubs. Equally we see pets’ corners, fishing lakes and wedding venues. To protect yourself and your guests, risk assess your additional facilities, provide instruction leaflets and refer to RoSPA safety guidelines. Remember to inspect equipment regularly. Declare all facilities to your insurers and be aware that your policy may contain conditions that you need to follow.

Get the right insurance advice for your self-catering cottage business

The team here at Boshers devote their time to advising owners across the UK on insurance for their self-catering cottages. We’ve been arranging this specialist type of insurance for 30 years. We understand that each self-catering cottage business is unique. We’ll take time to understand your needs and provide you with insurance advice and the right cover.

For additional tips and information on holiday letting visit boshers.co.uk/blog. If you would like an insurance quote for an individual holiday home or cottage or for your self-catering cottage business, give the team a call on 01237 429444.

sharing economy

sharing economyThe UK’s tourism sector has seen many changes over recent years, but perhaps none more significant than the emergence of the sharing economy.

Online platforms such as AirBnB, whilst originally positioned as helping homeowners make additional income by renting out a spare room in their home have now been used by an all-together different marketplace. Of the 64,000 properties listed on AirBnB in London, 50% of owners aren’t present at the home and 40% of those making listings are doing so for more than one property.

The suggestion is therefore that these are not homeowners and are instead tourism accommodation businesses. The issue with this? It is perceived by many that there is currently no level playing field when it comes to the regulations faced and taxation paid by those holiday letting via the sharing economy when compared to traditional holiday homeowners. In reality the reglations and tax regime applying to those offering furnished holiday accommodation is the same whichever route owners choose to market their holiday letting properties.

The report highlights concerns that “Rather, the problems derive from two main factors. First, sharing economy companies are very poor at providing information to potential hosts regarding their statutory responsibilities regarding the health and safety of their guests. Leading sharing economy platforms do not check if the hosts are compliant with regulations such as gas and fire safety before allowing them to post a property on their site. Of particular concern is that sharing economy companies place all responsibility for customer safety with the host.”

For example, the Airbnb terms and conditions state:
“Airbnb has no control over and does not guarantee the existence, quality, safety suitability or legality of any listing”

The report from the ‘All Party Parliamentary Group for Tourism’ has highlighted ‘the need to protect customer safety, maintain a level regulatory playing field across the tourism industry, take into account the needs of local communities, and ensure that all operators of tourism accommodation are paying the appropriate level of tax’. The report also highlights; “The need for comprehensive public liability insurance is becoming more acute as visitors, and the public as a whole, become more claims conscious.”

We recommend that anyone involved in the holiday letting industry reads the full report which can be downloaded as a PDF here – Inquiry into The Sharing Economy

The report recommends that the Culture Secretary launches a consultation on using his powers under the Development of Tourism Act 1969 to establish a low-cost statutory registration scheme for tourism businesses which would be devolved to local councils to enforce and administer.

This statement is certainly one that brings with it some encouragement, however it does cover a number of complex areas; from business rates to taxation and it will take time to achieve.  So what can you do to communicate the quality of your own holiday letting accommodation to potential guests?

Work with your great local holiday letting agencies

As a business we’re lucky to meet many holiday letting agencies across the country on a regular basis. They have years of experience in driving guests to your area so make the most of their knowledge and work with them in order to boost your occupancy rates. Holiday Home Letting Agents will also provide you with guidance on the laws and regulations applicable to you as a holiday homeowner.

Have your quality independently accessed and verified

We’ve already highlighted that there is a perception of lack of regulations when it comes to the sharing economy. Communicate just how far you go to ensure that every guest has a safe and enjoyable time at your holiday home. No matter if it’s entering local and regional awards or signing up to the AA or VisitEngland standards, guests often trust external verifications of your quality. So if you are five star, make sure that everyone that visits the website or your letting agent’s know that you are!

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.

 

holiday letting public liability

holiday letting public liability

As a holiday homeowner you’re sure to take pride and care in the service you give to each guest. You’ll want them to have a great time and to return home safely with some magical memories. However, sometimes accidents or incidents completely outside of your control can happen. This is the time at which your holiday home insurance intermediary and insurer are here to help you. Boshers are committed to continually review and expand the cover we offer to our holiday homeowners. We’re pleased to announce we have increased our Holiday Letting Public Liability cover from £5m to a market-leading £10m.

Let’s explain why we’ve taken this step and what’s covered.

What is Holiday Letting Public Liability cover?

Holiday cottages across the country welcome millions of guests throughout the year. Public Liability Insurance covers the holiday homeowner if those visitors were to suffer injury, death, disease or illness during their stay, the cause of which is in someway attributed to the property owner.

Whether there’s been a slip that’s resulted in a bumped head, or a far worse accident, this cover will ensure you are protected from the legal costs and any compensation that may be due.

Levels of cover

Unlike Employers Liability, there is no legal requirement for a holiday homeowner to have Public Liability cover. However, if you welcome paying guests into your cottage you could be left heavily out of pocket if any of those staying with you were to suffer an accident. It should therefore be a case of how much cover do you need, rather than if you need it or not.

It’s previously been recommended that cover of £3 million for small properties (sleeping up to two guests) and £5 million for larger properties, would be sufficient. By offering our holiday homeowners up to £10 million we’re giving complete peace of mind that should anything happen, our policy will provide you with an unrivalled level of support.

Why have we increased our cover?

We specialise in holiday home insurance; it’s what we do day-in, day-out. With that in mind we’re constantly monitoring the marketplace, speaking with cottage owners and other industry experts. This means that we’re able to keep our finger on the pulse of what holiday homeowners need. We are able to respond accordingly by improving our holiday home insurance cover to meet industy demands and market changes.

We want our insurance to be the complete package for holiday let owners. Increasing our holiday letting public liability cover to £10m is another step towards this. Our clients can rest assured that they and their holiday home or cottage complex is getting the protection required.

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. Would you like an insurance quote for your holiday letting property? Give us a call on 01237 429444.