Seasonal Resort Insurance: A Comprehensive Guide

October 13, 2023
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From black-diamond trails to relaxing in the hot tub, hunting lodges and secluded getaways, Canadians are eager to make the most of seasonal resort getaways this fall!

As your adrenaline-seeking patrons eagerly await a fresh dusting of powder to hit the trails or a weekend away from the hustle and bustle of the city, your insurance policy should be up-to-date with the best coverage this season.

There is no one-policy-suits-all approach to seasonal resorts. Hospitality and tourism-based operations that conduct business in a “peak” season need unique, comprehensive coverage. To provide this to our clients, Gifford Carr partners with Canada’s top insurance providers to offer custom solutions to protect your business against a claim or loss.

Check out our comprehensive guide, which covers everything from amenities to the slopes and more below.

What Does Seasonal Resort Insurance Cover?

Each seasonal resort insurance policy will vary based on the unique needs and operations of the business. Understanding this, standard policy coverage may include:

Property Insurance: this coverage protects your buildings, contents and inventory. This means everything you use for business that does not leave the property is covered under contents and equipment in your property liability policy.

Commercial General Liability: in the event of property damage or bodily harm caused by you, your business, or your employees to a third party, a comprehensive Commercial General Liability Insurance policy should protect you from litigation, out-of-court settlements, and judgments awarded by the courts.

Business Interruption: if your business is on hold due to a loss tied to the physical location of your business, this coverage can help weather the storm by reimbursing you for lost revenue.

Marine Liability: This covers the legal liability to third parties for property damage or bodily injury, which includes protection and indemnity.

Equipment Breakdown: for the hospitality industry, a big element to protect is your equipment, such as cooktops, machinery, and more. These pieces of equipment are critical to your business operation, and you should ensure they are covered in the event of a loss or damage so you can rebound from a breakdown.

Liquor Liability: if you serve alcohol, you need to let your broker know so they can prepare terms within your general liability policy to cover your exposure, meaning property damage or bodily harm caused by you, your business or your employees to a third party, when liquor is involved.

What Are Some Additional Coverages Resort Owners Should Consider?

In addition to the insurance coverages outlined above, seasonal resort owners should consider cyber insurance to protect the company’s information and that of their guests.

With data breaches making headlines, seasonal resorts should consider arming themselves with a cyber insurance policy against online threats. As confidential customer data (known as PPI, personal identification information in insurance terms) is collected and stored on company devices to process reservations, email details about accommodations or excursions, and even access WiFi, cybercriminals can gain access through these gateways. A cyber insurance policy can protect your business against damages and potential legal ramifications from a cyber attack.

How Does Insurance for Seasonal Resorts Vary from Other Hospitality Insurance, Such as Hotels?

While hotels and seasonal resorts do overlap when it comes to insurance coverage, there are some differences that an insurance professional would advise seasonal resort owners to acquire additional coverage.

Hotels primarily have exposure inside the premises, where patrons frequent bars, restaurants, shops, and guest rooms. Seasonal resorts have the same risk exposure within the premises; however, they also have exposure to activities, such as skiing, that take place on the property. Resorts also have to manage risk by third-party contractors or providers for services they do not have direct control over.

What are Common Risks to Seasonal Resorts?

Seasonal resorts face risks, such as:

  • Fire
  • Wind 
  • Flood
  • Forest fire
  • Slip and falls on-premise
  • Watercraft rental
  • Marine liability
  • Cyber attacks
  • Third-party damages
  • Liquor liability

What Risk Management Strategies Can Seasonal Resort Implement to Reduce the Likelihood of Claims?

Seasonal resorts can implement signed liability waivers for activities conducted on the resort’s property. The insurance market has been reliable in providing guidance to insureds to have the most updated forms for guests to sign. 

If the Resort Only Operates Seasonally and is Not Open Year-Round, Should it have an Insurance Policy that Covers it Year-Round?

Seasonal resorts that only operate during peak times of the year are strongly encouraged to maintain annual coverage. Maintaining coverage year-round will protect the business against risks such as vandalism, theft, damages from forest fires or arson in the off-season, cyber attacks, and damages caused by third parties.

Are commercial vehicles covered under a standard seasonal resort insurance policy? 

If the resort has a plough to remove snow on the property and the vehicle drives on municipally maintained roadways, it requires a separate auto policy.

Each seasonal resort is unique and offers guests different experiences. It is crucial that the business works with a broker who personally surveys the property to identify exposures and discuss with the client in person to make sure all potential risk exposures are identified and addressed.

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