Hotels can offer significant value to authorities, whether through government procurement or voluntary offerings during the current pandemic, including:
- To house quarantined individuals with actual or suspected COVID-19 infections.
- As hospital facilities to treat COVID-19 patients and others.
- To house doctors, nurses, and other health care workers, including potentially allowing them to remain close to medical facilities.
- To house National Guard troops or government workers.
- To provide food and beverage facilities for overflow meal service for patients, health care workers, and others.
- As laundry facilities for the overflow of hospital linens.
Hotel owners and their counsel should seek to secure strong indemnification and insurance requirements, including additional insured status, waivers of subrogation, and primary and non-contributory wording. In certain cases, government contracts may not allow for alteration, but private party contracts generally allow for amendments.
Areas of ‘Property Insurance’, ‘Workers Compensation’ and ‘General Liability and Umbrella and Excess’ need to be worked on. The pandemic remains a fluid situation for many businesses, including hotel operators.
The answers to critical risk management questions — along with government policies and support — will continue to evolve as conditions change and potential losses develop. Hotel companies should work with their advisors, including insurance brokers and legal counsel, to manage contractual risk, understand how insurance policies will respond, and seek to ensure seamless operations and risk mitigation while COVID-19 remains a threat.