Insurance. OK, not the most riveting of subjects. However, spend a little time up front to get the right cover and it might save you a whole lot of pain later on.
If running a hospitality business through a pandemic has taught us (and our customers) anything, it's read the small print.... or even the very big print! And if there's a risk you're not prepared and/or able to mitigate, get insurance for it. It doesn't mean spending a fortune either.
Whether you're hiring a property to host you're own retreat and plan to sell places to your own customers OR whether you're an individual guest attending a retreat and/or part of a group hiring the property directly; you'll want to consider insurance. In fact, terms may insist you have suitable insurance in place and when you weigh up the options, look at the costs and consider how simple it is to get cover, it seems daft not to have cover in place.
Of course, it's in our interest you have cover too. When the **** hits the fan, you want the comfort of knowing you'll not be out of pocket. And the last thing we want is the embarrassment of a guest expecting us to bail them out "because it's an unexpected unprecedented event"... well, that's what insurance is for. And with around 2,000 guests visiting our property every year, we can't be expected to cover everyone's individual risks for them.
So, here's our little guide, with a few pointers to set you in the right direction and make sure you're as protected as you can be.
INSURANCE FOR RETREAT HOSTS
Of course, every business is expected to have appropriate insurance in place, particularly if they're planning to hire a property to provide services to their customers. Of course, your business will have a vast range of risks and only you know what cover you need for yourself, your business and your customers.
As a venue, we're not best placed to offer formal advise and take no responsibility for doing so. We suggest finding yourself a good broker - someone who will take the time to understand what you actually need cover for and then provide suitable cover. Cherry pick the cover you need, rather than settle for standard 'off-the-shelf' cover for travel, cancellations, events, public liability, etc - that way you'll not be paying for a bunch of risks that will never apply to you.
We'd suggest reviewing the services you offer and considering what risks apply to providing those services at a property you're hiring. For example, if you're selling food to your customers as part of the package, what risks of a claim are there associated with preparing and providing meals that might come back to bite you? (Do you see what I did there?). Also, have a think about how your insurance cover compliments your terms and conditions. So, for example, do you require your customers to have travel insurance in place? As a minimum, we'd suggest travel and cancellation cover are included and you may want to include cover for elements of event insurance and for specific services you're providing during the retreat.
The legalities around insurance have been a bit up in the air since the pandemic started and are constantly changing. Many insurers have been using every trick in the book to wriggle out of paying out, particularly under Business Interruption - so check the small print and don't be afraid to ask for clarity in writing if the extent of cover isn't clear. All that said, things have settled and insurance is readily available now, so anyone not insuring themselves shouldn't assume their accommodation provider will bail them out if any of their risks do occur.
If you're interested in hiring the property to host your own retreat, you can read more here. We provide exclusive use of the estate, with back-to-back bookings all year round. Whether you're a world renowned expert in your field or you're new to organising retreats, we're here to work with you to make your retreat the best in can be for your customers.
TRAVEL INSURANCE FOR GUESTS
This one is a no brainer. Following the pandemic, travel insurance is now readily available for individual travellers for very little cost.
Travel insurers like Stay Sure and many others, offer all the usual cover in case of an unexpected cancellation, such as in the event of extreme weather, personal health issues, strikes, transport issues, being called for jury service and lots more, including COVID. This includes both restrictions or illness from COVID. Some, like Stay Sure, even include previous medical conditions.
The best part? It's cheap. A 40-50 year old travelling within the UK and staying overnight on a retreat can get cover for less than £5. For less than £20 you can cover the whole family for a year.
So, there's really no excuse not to have cover and in the event any risks do occur, there certainly shouldn't be any expectation for the retreat organiser and/or the accommodation provider to bail you out.
If you're interested in attending one of our own in-house retreats, you can find out more here. With single or shared occupancy of a lodge, cottage or en-suite bedroom, you can enjoy the property with a inclusive schedule of classes and amazing food by our private chef. Alternatively, contact us for more information about attending an upcoming retreat hosted by one of our clients.