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New hospitality concept – Selina – is moving into Liverpool

New Disruptive Hospitality Concepts Need Insurance Broker Support

Nov 2019

New hospitality concept – Selina – is moving into Liverpool, having already opened in Manchester and Birmingham. Its target customers are said to be digital nomads[1], wishing to stay and co-work, whilst its aim is to give back to its local communities, through staff volunteering and the provision of activities for the local community[2]. An attractive disrupter, maybe, but what are the insurance implications of a concept like this?

Selina offers guests a choice of room, from plush suites, to micro-rooms and then multi-bed community rooms akin to a hostel-type environment[3]. This type of hard to define concept, is something insurers typically need to consider in-depth, making generic insurance policies of little use.

Whilst a fluid room arrangement[4] may be attractive to other hospitality providers, they will most likely need insurance differing from typical hotel cover. Shared rooms and computer networks could potentially create not just the personal risks hostel-style accommodation providers have traditionally had to consider, but others based around crime and cyber crime.

Other risks that could be pertinent relate to property and material damage, glass breakage, injuries incurred by guests, and business interruption, should any event or damage make it impossible for a hotel to trade for a while.

Any employer encouraging staff to work on local community projects, needs to pay careful attention to their Employers Liability (EL) protection, ensuring it would cover injuries or issues arising during such employee volunteering. The work being undertaken could differ greatly from the day-to-day, so not necessarily be protected under the terms of the EL policy.

If you have a business bringing something new to its sector, do not assume traditional insurance covers will protect it. There could be an array of areas that need protection, to keep the business, guests and its employees safe. The more complicated the picture, the greater the requirement for consultation with an insurance broker, who can analyse the situation and either recommend existing policies or ask an insurer for a bespoke quote.

A broker can also offer advice to those tempted to stay at a hotel that offers volunteering opportunities within the local community. Often, standard travel insurance policies will not cover voluntary work within their terms and conditions and would not pay out, if an injury or accident incurred whilst the insured traveller was engaged in a ‘risky’ activity. ‘Working’ is very different from holidaying in an insurer’s eyes. Just as a traveller should buy an add-on for any high-risk sporting activities, such as horse riding and jet skiing, they should advise their broker or insurer if they wish to volunteer or carry out manual labour-style activities overseas.

Helpfully, there is always a broker at hand to assist with non-standard requirements. To find one who can help you, please use our ‘Find a Local Broker’.