The Most Unwelcome Hotel Guests

19689457742_5ffc37e3f7_zImagine traveling to New York City for a special New Year’s weekend and finding the worst kind of unexpected guest in your hotel room. This couple did. And the hotel they stayed in is likely to pay for it, big-time. [Editor’s note: Watch the video at your own risk.]

Bed bugs. The name itself is enough to make your skin itch uncontrollably. The liability risks they bring to hotels is even more aggravating—at least for hoteliers. In the last few years, Distinguished has seen a resurgence in claims caused by hotel guests encountering bed bugs in their rooms, including claims of associated trauma such as physical scarring, emotional distress, and embarrassment. The damages can be extremely costly—not to mention the ugly publicity and damage to the hotel’s reputation that can lead to further loss of business.

Hoteliers have a legal obligation to ensure that their properties are fit for human habitation. If a bed bug infestation—or any other pest infestation, for that matter—takes hold, they are liable to the guest for any harm that results. Damages may be higher if the tenant or guest can prove that the landowner knew about the bed bug infestation, and did not take reasonable steps to address it.

So, how can you ensure your hospitality clients are protected? Download and share this “Managing Risk” bulletin, which includes a helpful checklist on controlling exposures to bed bugs. They—and travelers everywhere—will thank you.