Bed and Breakfast Inns

Risk Description

Also known as B&Bs, bed and breakfast lodgings generally provide what the name implies: accommodations for the night and breakfast in the morning for a single price. They may be housed in older homes, renovated historic buildings or inns, new construction designed to resemble such historic structures or international designs (e.g. Swiss chalet), etc. Food service may range from simple to gourmet.

Bed and breakfast lodgings typically operate year round, with seasonal fluctuations in occupancy and room rates depending on local attractions (winter sports, coastlines, autumn foliage, etc.) and heaviest traffic on weekends. Proprietors and staff generally interact with guests most often at check-in, breakfast service and check-out.

PAII estimates roughly 17,000 inns in the U.S in four categories, each employing an average of four workers, mostly part-time/seasonal help:

  • Bed and breakfast inns: usually older, renovated houses, owner-occupied and/or managed, usually including four to ten bedrooms and a common living room or parlor area. Often furnished with antiques and artwork, with individually decorated guestrooms and grounds, they provide a destination vacation experience as opposed to simply accommodation.
  • Country inns: larger than a bed and breakfast inn, usually including six to 20 or more guestrooms, as well as public bar and restaurant which may serve non-guests.
  • Homestay or host homes: generally residential homes which occasionally rent out rooms. Owners usually have occupations other than innkeeper, and rentals provide supplementary income. Many owners utilize a homeowner’s policy to cover occasional guests.
  • Bed and breakfasts: typically, one to five guestrooms, with the owner occupying the remainder of the house.

Bed and breakfast lodgings will typically include bedrooms and bathrooms, kitchen, living room, dining room, home office, storage areas, outbuildings (garage, sheds, barn, stables, etc.), gardens and walking paths and parking areas. Larger facilities may have walk-in refrigerators and more commercial kitchens. There may be a small retail shop, swimming pool, tennis courts or hot tub/spa.

Some insureds may offer complimentary liquor or permit guests to bring their own in accordance with local or state law. Smoking is generally not permitted. There may be restrictions on children or pets.

While standards vary widely state-to-state and locally in the US, many require B&B lodgings with five or more rooms to comply with all applicable hotel laws and regulations. (Canadian regulations are complex.) Smaller operations or those not required to comply to common hotel regulations should still adhere to similar safety codes regarding fire resistance, fire alarms, extinguishers, sprinklers, smoke alarms, fire escapes, etc. Food operations in country inns will be licensed and rated as restaurants; smaller food service operations should be monitored for hygienic operation.