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To ensure that Bed and Breakfast hosts have the correct insurance in place it is important you recognise your Bed & Breakfast is a business activity being operated from within your home. The scale of operation makes no difference - whether you have a small one room B&B or 3, 4 or more rooms, you still need specific insurance cover  for the property itself and its contents. The risks covered by the insurance would include, among other things, theft of possessions and damage to your property and contents caused by guests. Your Insurance also needs to cover the liability risks associated with running a B&B including statutory liability and public liability.

Firstly, it is essential that your Insurance Company / Broker is told that your property is being used as a Bed & Breakfast so that they can then tailor a policy to suit your operation. It should be noted on the policy that your property is used as a Bed & Breakfast and any limits noted. Failure to notify your insurer could be taken as non-disclosure and result in a claim being declined. Non-disclosure is by far the major cause of insurance claims being declined.   Standard domestic style insurance policies fall short of providing adequate cover because they don’t cover you for commercial aspects of running your Bed & Breakfast business from your home.

Another important risk you may or may not be aware of is the Innkeepers Act – As Bed and Breakfast operators you are bound by the Innkeepers Act 1962 as you supply sleeping accommodation…“for any traveller presenting himself who appears able and willing to pay a reasonable sum for the services and facilities provided …”

Under the Act a B&B operator is an “innkeeper”. The Act states: “Subject to the provisions of this Act, every innkeeper shall be liable as an innkeeper for the loss of or damage to property brought to the inn by any guest, whether or not the loss of damage was caused by the default or negligence of another guest or of the innkeeper or his service or agent.”

Without going into the specifics of the Act in this article, it is important for you to know that you need to be insured against all the risk involved so to be compliant your policy needs to cover you under the Innkeepers Act (which you are under Vision’s liability package).

Vision Insurance

Before you change or update your policy I would encourage you to get in touch with the writer (David Rush of Vision Insurance – sponsor of the Bed & Breakfast Association NEW ZEALAND) Vision Insurance offers a “tailor made” package addressing all your insurance needs that combines the elements of domestic and commercial into easily understood insurance covers.

Specifically the Vision custom-made insurance policy can cover you for

  • Punitive and exemplary damages
  • Bodily injury to guests
  • Motor vehicles
  • Transit
  • Dinghies, kayaks, canoes
  • Money
  • Buildings
  • Personal contents, including all items used by the B&B operation
  • Business interruption
  • Broadform (Public) Liability
  • Statutory liability
  • Innkeepers liability

The Vision Insurance package includes your dwelling and other buildings at your situation, contents (both personal and those related to your bed and breakfast activity), business interruption insurance (in the event where damage to your property prevents you taking in guests), motor vehicle insurance (as standard private vehicle insurance excludes use of the vehicle for the carriage of goods or samples in connection with any business activity as well as any fare paying passengers), and a liability package.  

Some of the specific benefits to this insurance includes cover for damage caused by your paying guests (both accidental and malicious including theft).

Vision’s liability package includes general liability cover under the Fire Services Act, Innkeepers Act (a statute to protect the property of guests), Rural Fires Act, Privacy Act, Human Rights Act, Health and Safety in Employment Act.

The information provided in this editorial is intended as an outline only of the types of insurance cover you require and more information can be obtained by contacting us at Vision Insurance and we will talk to you about an affordable package suitable for the needs of your bed and breakfast operation.



David Rush

Vision Insurance (S.I.) Limited       Freephone 0508 031 990


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