Resort Insurance: Why High-Limit Umbrella Coverage Is Essential

In this article, we will explore the key differentiator in a robust resort insurance program – the umbrella policy.

Americans hit the road and took to the skies in earnest this summer, with resorts filling up fast  following two years of the pandemic which hit the hospitality and tourism industries hard. Whether it’s a trip to Vegas for the weekend, a destination wedding, a spa getaway with the girls, a romantic seaside break, or a family vacation, resorts are back in business.

With travel mandates lifted and pent-up demand unleashed, people were ready to travel. For example, in May-June 2022 alone, the airport at Las Vegas experienced a 7% hike in passengers visiting the city over 2019 (pre-pandemic).

It’s not only over the summer that resorts welcomed back guests — ski resorts were busy over the winter. According to the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA), the trade group representing ski area owners and operators across the country, during the 2021-2022 season, ski slopes recorded 61 million total visits – a 3.5% increase over the previous season — and the highest number recorded since the group began tracking visits in 1978.

This is good news overall for the hospitality sector even in the face of continued challenges such as the labor shortage after many left the industry during the pandemic. The need for a strong resort insurance program supported by robust loss control measures continues to be critical as the industry turns a corner.

Lots of Activities Bring on Risk for Resorts

There are many different activities that take place at a resort, all of which have to be reviewed carefully in order to respond with the appropriate coverage, implement good risk controls, and ensure risk transfer. It’s important for third-party activities (for example, jet skiing, paddle boarding, cooking classes, Pilates/yoga classes, etc.) to be properly insured by the operators providing those activities and ultimately responsible for potential losses.

At Distinguished, we dig deep to protect resorts not only by insuring them but also by helping them make sure they have good risk-transfer strategies and protocols in place. The last thing you want is for your clients to be responsible for a loss over which they had no control.

To help reduce a hotel’s exposure involving third-party vendors, be sure the following is done:

  • Ask all third-party vendors to provide their certificate of liability insurance. The resort should be listed as an additional insured.
  • Assure third-party vendors for dangerous activities carry sufficient limits to cover the potential cost of a catastrophic incident/accident.
  • Negotiate for an indemnification provision in the contract.
  • Remember that any vendor the hotel connects their guests to should be well controlled. Whether or not the insured gets commission, vendors are referred by the concierge, or activities are referenced on the insured’s website, all those who offer activities associated with the hotel as part of a package deal should have a contract and appropriate risk control.

What Is Resort Umbrella Liability Insurance?

Resort Umbrella insurance protects an insured from unexpected, catastrophic events that can negatively impact its balance sheet and brand reputation. Distinguished’s Umbrella policy provides resorts with high-limit Liability protection of up to $170 million in coverage.

The Umbrella extends limits over the underlying General Liability, Commercial Auto, Employers Liability and Liquor Liability policies/coverages. We also can cover Marina Operators Legal and Protection & Indemnity exposures, which is not typical in an Umbrella policy.

Who We Serve

Distinguished can consider all types of resorts including those with multiple amenities, marinas, watercraft activities, waterslides, and golf courses. We insure ski resorts (however, not the actual ski operation), condotels, and timeshare resorts and will consider resorts with equestrian exposures. 

Why Choose Distinguished for Resort Umbrella Insurance

With us as your partner, you are placing coverage for your clients with the biggest player in the Resort Umbrella market.

  • Decades-long experience and expertise allows us to tackle even the most challenging risks.
  • We established the country’s first and longest-running Real Estate Umbrella risk purchasing group. Your clients can get excess coverage for less than if they went to the open market individually.
  • We are amenable to amenities as long as there are strong loss controls in place. Our goal is to help insureds avoid claims, not only because losses are financially costly but also because of the damage they can cause to a brand’s reputation.
  • The power of the pen from our carriers enables you to work directly with our underwriters and decisionmakers.
  • We offer great coverage, great claims handling and competitive pricing in the excess towers.

The strength and longevity of our program is due to our underwriting acumen. We can contemplate different exposures because we do an excellent job of understanding the risk, the controls that are in place, and determining the appropriate pricing structure so that your clients are with us for the long term. That’s good for them, you, and us.

Our Resort Umbrella program is available on a national basis, and we can insure international accounts as long as the named insured is a U.S. owner. Submissions are sent to your sales or  account executive who will perform the preliminary work necessary before they go to underwriting. Our goal is to get the coverage right for each insured.

In addition to our Resort Umbrella policy, we can also provide our Hotel Primary program, which includes General Liability, Liquor Liability, Auto Liability, and Property insurance. Together with our high-limit Umbrella policy, you can provide your clients with real protection.

About Distinguished Programs

Distinguished Programs is a leading national insurance Program Manager providing specialized insurance programs to brokers and agents with specific expertise in Real Estate, Community Associations, Hotels, and Restaurants. Property and liability products are distributed through a national network of agents and brokers. Serving the same core markets and partnering with the most stable and reputable carriers, Distinguished Programs’ high-limit umbrella programs remain the clear choice in its areas of specialty for superior coverage, competitive pricing, and attentive service. Through thoughtful innovation, stemming back to 1995, Distinguished Programs fosters growth and opportunities for its brokers, carriers, and employees.

View a full list of our programs and submit business with Distinguished.

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