>> Insurance companies have an obligation to undertake due diligence in a proper investigation of the claim.
>> If you have a situation where an insurance company, as is commonly taking place right now in this current economy.
>> But if you have a situation where the insurance company is undertaking to deny a claim immediately or within 24 or 48 hours or 36 hours, or even a week of having filed the claim.
>> Rest assured that that is a clear indication that the insurance company has not properly investigated or undertaken any due diligence with regard to the claim that's been filed.
>> So just because an insurance adjuster or the insurance company immediately denied the claims, don't give up.
>> If in your heart you believe that when you went ahead and purchased a policy you believe you were going to be covered.
>> This is Lodging Leaders podcast with Jon Albano-
>> And Judy Maxwell.
>> Session number 280.
>> Welcome to the Lodging Leaders podcast, where top performing hoteliers and hospitality industry experts share powerful insights and actionable advice to help you grow your portfolio.
>> And now your host, Jon Albano.
>> Hey, Lodging Leaders.
>> Thank you so much for tuning in today.
>> You can find the show notes, links, resources and comment section for this episode at lodgingleaders.com/280.
00:01:23.296 --> 00:01:29.57
>> Premium Letdown, Hotels challenge property insurers' refusal to cover COVID-19 revenue loss.
00:01:29.57 --> 00:01:43.870
>> As the hospitality industry struggles to mitigate the massive loss of revenue caused by the coronavirus pandemic, hundreds of hotel owners are filing lawsuits to force their property insurance providers to cover their financial casualties.
>> Meantime, state and federal lawmakers are considering legislation that would mandate US insurance companies pay for business losses related to COVID-19.
>> Such a payout could surpass $600 billion, reported Best's Insurance Company in May.
>> American Property Casualty Insurance Association, a trade group, puts the payout even higher.
>> In June, the Association reportedly estimated payouts would cost insurers $255 billion to $431 billion a month.
>> The amounts are not sustainable and would ultimately make insurers insolvent, say insurance industry experts.
>> Now hotel owners say they deserve payouts because they paid premiums for years to cover high loss scenarios such as the one they're facing now.
>> In almost every case, insurers are refusing to pay, saying policies exclude losses caused by a viral plague or COVID-19 has not caused any physical damage to hotel properties that result in a stoppage of business.
00:02:40.109 --> 00:02:42.0
>> It's fixing to be an epic battle.
>> In this episode of Lodging Leaders, we examine the issue of business interruption insurance for hotels negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
>> We feature Sanjay Patel, CEO of MHG Hotels in Indianapolis, who's filed a lawsuit against his insurance provider.
>> Robert Zarco, a partner at the law firm Zarco, Einhorn, Salkowski, and Brito in Miami, who specializes in litigating business interruption insurance claims on behalf of business owners.
>> Gregory Riehle, a lawyer and hospitality consultant and former CEO of the Resort Hotel Association Hotel Insurance Group.
>> And Robert Hartwig, PhD, a clinical associate professor and director of finance at the Center for Risk and Uncertainty Management at the University of South Carolina's Darla Moore School of Business, who's co-authored a white paper about the uninsurability of businesses affected by viral pandemics.
>> Robert Zarco, a lawyer with a firm in Miami, is a busy man these days.
>> The COVID-19 pandemic shows no signs of letting up and hoteliers and other business owners are contacting his firm to seek help in getting their insurance providers to cover the loss of income.
>> Amid government travel bans, shelter in place mandates and public health warnings that the virus can live on surfaces long enough to increase its spread.
>> Since the onslaught of COVID in late January, early February, I have been bombarded by calls from many hotel and restaurant owners in order to pursue business interruption insurance claims.
>> And what I have done is I have investigated the policies and have determined that they have meritorious claims.
>> And have in fact preceded to engage in conversations with, negotiations with, and sometimes battles with some of the major insurance carriers.
>> Well, most businesses in the USA have lost revenue during the coronavirus crisis.
>> Zarco notes it's important a hotel owner know why the enterprise is losing money before rushing to file suit.
>> The most important points that have to be looked at and investigated before deciding to proceed with initiating a lawsuit for filing an insurance claim against insurance companies.
>> First to determine whether or not you have an actual loss clearly under COVID, and because of the governmental lock down to have been in Posed on businesses I think that is easy to establish that you have a business loss.
>> Secondly, you have to determine whether or not the business loss is caused by the onslaught of COVID itself or whether or not it's a combination of the impact of COVID in combination with a government mandated lock down or closure.
>> Those are different elements because if it's COVID alone then you have to deal with the customary and typical pandemic exclusion that may exist in the policy.
00:05:32.780 --> 00:05:40.19
>> If it's a government lock down or closure, you have to consider what is the physical damage to the property.
00:05:40.19 --> 00:05:47.661
>> Which then becomes an issue because many people claiming that COVID is not physically destroying the property.
>> The reality is that there is substantial case law and support, including the legislative as well as governmental officials making statements, that COVID practice constituted physical damage.
>> Which bolsters the claim that COVID would be an item of recovery under the lock down provision, which requires physical damage.
>> So long as you can get around the exclusion of the pandemic clause in the contract.
>> Most of the insurance providers are denying business interruption claims because the hotel has not suffered loss of income as a result of property damage, like it would in a hurricane or a fire.
>> Insurers also note a viral pandemic is not included in most policies unless it's specifically requested and paid for.
00:06:33.40 --> 00:06:43.48
>> But two hotel owners that have filed lawsuits against their insurance providers say they have all risk policies that make way for losses caused by a viral outbreak.
00:06:43.48 --> 00:06:59.730
>> MHG Hotels in Indianapolis, IN and Ascent Hospitality Management in Buford, GA each claim that the mere fact that the policies do not exclude a pandemic or government mandated restrictions because of the threat of a virus is proof the expectations for payout are valid.
>> Sanjay Patel, CEO of MHG hotels in Indianapolis IN, on May 1st filed a lawsuit in Marion County Superior Court against EMC Risk Services for more than $40,000,000 in lost income at 26 hotels.
>> If your business is interrupted for anything, whatever, it could be fire, it could be whatever, that's what my understanding is, that's what the insurance should be, right?
>> I mean, if your business interruption, if you get interrupted, then you would be covered on that, and this is interruption.
>> Most of the policy claims to exclude, but the languages are not clear in their policy.
>> It excludes virus.
>> All right, so what is unclear about it is virus where, inside the hotel, outside the hotel, [UNKNOWN] employees, guests?
>> Virus what?
>> I mean, you can't just say virus.
>> Virus is a pretty broad word.
>> If people read there insurance policy, you will not find a single word in your policy refers to pandemic.
>> And besides, the loss of business interruption is not because of virus.
>> We're claiming that it's a mandatory federal government shutdown, just not virus only, it's a shutdown.
>> We've been paying for this for years, hoping that we would never have to use.
>> But this is a time that we need to use, and now they're collected the money for years and now they don't want to pay.
>> Besides declaring his company's right to a payout, Patel's complaint notes that EMC Risk Services dismissed his request within 24 hours of the claim being filed.
>> Investigating a claim is a reasonable expectation on the part of the policyholders, Zarco said.
>> Insurance companies have an obligation to undertake due diligence in a proper investigation of the claim.
>> If you have a situation where an insurance company, as is commonly taking place right now in this current economy.
00:08:40.234 --> 00:09:03.13
>> But if you have a situation where the insurance company is undertaking to deny a claim immediately or within 24 or 48 hours or 36 hours or even a week of having filed a claim, rest assured that that is a clear indication that the insurance company has not properly investigated or undertaken any due diligence with regard to the claim that's been filed.
00:09:03.13 --> 00:09:09.301
>> So just because an insurance adjuster or the insurance company immediately denies the claims, don't give up.
>> If in your heart you believe that when you went ahead and purchased a policy you believed you were going to be covered.
>> Business interruption insurance often comes into play when a natural disaster, such as a hurricane, damages commercial property so severely it has to cease doing business until repairs are made.
>> The COVID-19 outbreak has created a hybrid situation in which most hotels in the United States have remained open since the federal government declared an emergency.
>> Depending on the policy, hoteliers that kept their properties open may still be able to claim business interruption.
>> Business interruption Insurance means something.
>> It means that if your business has been interrupted in terms of its normal and ordinary course of operating the business.
>> You would think it would apply.
>> Problem and the pitfall may be when some policies In fact, have the definitions of business interruption included in the policy.
>> Some policies may say, business interruption triggers when the business is completely shut down.
>> When the business is no longer operating in totality.
>> Other policies say, if your income drops more than 80%.
>> Others may say, if your business is closed in its entirety, then the business interruption kicks in after one week or after two weeks.
>> Other policies say, we will provide you with coverage so long and until the matter that is causing the interruption is eliminated.
>> For instance, if a truck ran into your building, we know that the business interruption stops once the truck is removed and the building is repaired.
>> That is rather easy to ascertain.
>> However, what do you do with Covid?
00:11:04.379 --> 00:11:10.73
>> What do you do now where there is a resurgence, allegedly, of this pandemic?
00:11:10.73 --> 00:11:15.12
>> This is such unnavigated, treacherous waters that we're navigating.
00:11:15.12 --> 00:11:26.386
>> Despite the uncharted waters ahead, insurance industry experts say, insurers cannot afford to pay the billions of dollars in business interruption claims.
>> Robert Hartwig is a PhD Clinical Associate Professor, and Director of the Finance Department at the Center for Risk and Uncertainty Management, at The Darla Moore School of Business, at the University of South Carolina.
>> He, an Robert Gordon of the American Property Casualty Insurance Association, co-wrote a report that said, the pandemic risks are inherently uninsurable.
>> They write, and we quote, potential losses can easily exceed the industries capital surplus and premium resources, posing a systemic risk to the industry and the overall economy, end quote.
>> You can find the link to the white paper on our multimedia report related to this podcast.
>> We interviewed Hartwig regarding the surge in business interruption lawsuits, and how the actions might impact both claimants and insurers.
>> We noted that, each of the suits filed by MHG hotels and Assend Hospitality Management, state that their insurance policies do not specifically exclude losses from viral pandemics or government shutdowns.
>> We asked, is it unusual to sue based on what a policy does not exclude.
>> It is unusual to see a lawsuit [LAUGH] based on a particular exclusion in a policy.
00:12:34.20 --> 00:12:46.592
>> But, the fact of the matter is that, the policy language even without the exclusion, is very clear that any damages arising from a viral pandemic are not covered as part of the policy.
>> And the reason for that is, the basic language in every policy contains the following terms and conditions.
>> It basically requires that, for business interruption coverage to be triggered, there must be actual physical loss or damage to covered property from a covered peril.
>> So, what that means is that, there needs to be some actual damage, or destruction, or missing property in these hotels, that is a direct result of a covered peril.
>> Now, there are two problems here, in so far as the loss suits go.
>> This will demonstrate why they're defective, and ultimately will likely be rejected by the courts.
>> There is no physical loss or damage.
>> None of these hotels can point to one single instance, where there is some physical loss, or damage, or missing property as a result of the coronavirus.
>> There's none.
>> This is very distinct from say, a hurricane, where there's going to be damage from water, or from wind.
>> Or other events such as fire, or smoke, or explosion.
>> In the case of other recent riots, where we might have looting and damage.
>> The theft of inventory, the damage to the internal fixtures, or what have you in the rooms of the lobby of the hotel.
>> There is none of that, at all.
>> The inside of the hotel looks exactly like the day that they closed it.
>> So, there is no physical loss or damage.
>> As Sanjay Patel argues in his lawsuit, his business has suffered not only because of the physical presence of the virus, but also because of the government shelter in place mandates.
>> In the early days of the pandemic, public health officials were concerned the virus was easily spread on surfaces.
>> And hotels have claimed, that is comparable to physical damage.
>> But Hartwig said, that's a weak and unprecedented argument.
>> Most policies or many policies do actually have this exclusion, some do not.
>> But, the exclusions were actually introduced widely starting in 2006 or so.
>> But, the reality of it is, is that these policies have never covered.
>> Never covered.
>> Ever in history damage related to something along the lines of, for instance, a hotel that felt it had to close because a number of guests or employees had the flu or because they had some other disease.
>> Hotels understand and realize that on any given day there are people staying in their hotels and workers who are on the job who have communicable diseases.
>> And the reality of it is is that the property policies that cover hotels in all other businesses were never intended and never designed and never priced to cover anything related to communicable diseases.
>> The overall major consideration in this event is the uninsurability of business loss because of the global coronavirus pandemic.
00:15:56.200 --> 00:16:05.95
>> What we have seen in the United States and around the world is the sharpest, most rapid economic downturn since the Great Depression.
00:16:05.95 --> 00:16:15.721
>> It almost goes without saying that insurers had no intent of insuring all the business interruption losses of all businesses around the world simultaneously.
00:16:15.721 --> 00:16:38.15
>> So in the paper that I wrote with the American Property Casualty Insurance Association, what we demonstrate is that, for instance, in the United States alone each month that businesses are closed business continuity, in other words business interruption losses, total about $1 trillion per month.
00:16:38.15 --> 00:16:55.279
>> The entire capital base of the entire property casualty insurance industry to pay all claims for all policyholders on their homes on their vehicles and on their businesses, the entire capital base is $800 billion, with a B.
>> So what that would suggest is that were it the case that all business interruption losses were covered by private insurance business interruption policies, the insurance industry would be broke in about three weeks.
>> So what's going to happen to the hundreds and possibly thousands of business interruption insurance lawsuits being filed in court throughout the United States?
>> The answer might lie in what has happened so far to MHG Hotels and Ascent Hospitality's lawsuits.
>> Yet Nash Patel, CEO of Ascent Hospitality, declined to be interviewed for this report.
00:17:28.890 --> 00:17:35.93
>> His lawyer, Jim Williams, also declined a recorded interview but provided an update on the status of the case.
00:17:35.93 --> 00:17:40.620
>> Ascent Hospitality filed suit in an Alabama County Court and MHG filed in an Indiana County Court.
>> Both cases have been moved to federal district court in their states.
>> In Ascent Hospitality's case, judges are examining whether the suit should be bundled with hundreds of similar suits and moved to a US judicial panel on multidistrict litigation.
00:17:54.737 --> 00:18:06.27
>> This is similar to action taken in 2010 to manage the 120 lawsuits filed by businesses in five states harmed by the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
00:18:06.27 --> 00:18:10.849
>> 80 of those lawsuits were class actions seeking payments for lost business.
>> The multidistrict litigation proposal in the Alabama coronoavirus case includes suits filed by small business, including hotels, resorts, hair salons, dental offices, and chiropractic clinics.
>> Greg Riehle is the former CEO of the Resort Hotel Association, a group of independent resort hotels that formed more than 30 years ago to leverage their purchasing power to obtain better property insurance coverage at more affordable rates.
>> Most business interruption claims involve property damage.
>> They're among the most contentious to resolve because each side calculates the losses differently.
>> Reihle said litigation for business interruption claims in the COVID-19 era can go on for years.
>> The grouping of lawsuits into multidistrict litigation areas is wait and see at this point.
>> It's yet to be seen whether there will be whichyou call multidistrict litigation, or MDL.
>> But what you do have is quite a wave coming down.
>> It's not already present.
>> And so the issues with both multidistrict litigation and with class actions have to do with commonality of issues of fact and law.
>> And I understand right now the insurance companies themselves thus far not been interested in pursuing the MDL.
>> One of the reasons for that is you have a whole spectrum of policy languages and you have state laws that are different, which can undermine the whole idea of trying to bring it together into one forum where there are some common issues that you can more efficiently litigate and determine them.
>> So it's yet to be decided how it's ultimately gonna go up.
>> And of course some people, some insurance will want to take their own cases anyway.
>> They don't wanna be part of a class action because for whatever reason.
>> And because the biggest reason is if you've got a really good policy, you got a policy that doesn't have a virus exclusion for instance, then you might want to litigate it directly yourself.
>> But then you run into issues about are you gonna pay an hourly rate to them.
00:20:00.790 --> 00:20:05.16
>> Under kind of sometimes maybe questionable circumstances for success.
00:20:05.16 --> 00:20:09.304
>> I mean, you may not win if you're paying a lot of money on an hourly fee.
>> That's why most people won't want to do that.
>> They'll wanna do a quick contingency fee
>> Like Zarco really believes a hotel that did not completely close during the pandemic can reasonably file a claim if its business was significantly reduced.
>> I believe you can.
>> I think insurance companies may say you can't, but I don't agree with that at all.
>> Because, for instance, you could have a fire.
>> And if you had a hotel that had multiple buildings and you had a fire in one of those buildings, you would have a business interruption claim based upon the losses for that particular affected area.
>> So to me, it doesn't necessarily fly.
00:20:46.418 --> 00:20:56.98
>> Now, there are ways you try to get around, the big problems getting coverage in the COVID-19 situation is whether not you had physical damage to the property.
00:20:56.98 --> 00:21:04.699
>> The carriers take the position that you have to have physical damage and that just even having to clean up COVID-19 is not good enough.
>> They're taking that position.
>> There are lots of novel legal theories that are contesting that and other things as well.
>> But that becomes the real problem.
>> So sometimes there are other ways that you can find coverage through what's called civil authority, meaning that there's a government shutdown of your property.
>> And sometimes in some cases, yeah, that means you're completely shut down, but other times it's not.
>> I'm in Florida, and I think its true for many of the other states.
>> Shut down orders did not include hotels because they were considered essential businesses.
>> If you're occupancy is dropped from your typical 65% or so down to 7 or 8%, in my view, you've got a business interruption claim.
00:21:45.163 --> 00:21:55.75
>> Though hotel owners and operators may be wading through these lawsuits for some time to come, the event may usher in a new era of casualty coverage for commercial properties.
00:21:55.75 --> 00:22:05.825
>> One congressional proposal that would require insurers provide business interruption coverage in the event of a viral pandemic was introduced to the US House of Representatives on April 14th.
>> Mike Thompson, a democratic lawyer in California, is primary sponsor of the Business Interruption Coverage Act of 2020.
>> The measure was referred to the House Committee on Financial Services.
>> The bill has ten co-sponsors, all Democrats.
>> Meanwhile, according to the National Law Review, at least ten state legislatures are entertaining proposals that would require insurers to cover business revenue loss because of the pandemic.
>> While lawmakers debate the issue, in healthcare, scientists work to develop a vaccine for COVID-19, viral contagions will remain a threat.
>> How do we deal with the next pandemic?
>> Here's really-
>> We're gonna have to do something better so that we have a different mechanism for keeping businesses working besides just using things like the PPP CARES program, which is inefficient, at best, at really determining whether or not you have a claim, a viable claim.
>> Whereas when you have an insurance policy and you have the entire adjusting process, you have a way of determining whether someone is entitled to and to what degree they are entitled.
>> Again, the problem here is insurance carriers are not really in a position to underwrite an entire pandemic.
>> There are pandemic policies out there.
>> They do exist.
>> They're extremely expensive.
>> I'm sure they've gone away now.
>> I've never seen one, but I do know that they exist.
>> One of the things I have been advocating for decades is more event insurance.
>> Because hotels get stuck holding the bag in most cases with a force majeure clauses.
>> And most cases, the groups are walking away and leaving hotels in a position where when when you've lost so much business, survival is very much in question.
>> And if it were the case that it was common in meetings industry for meeting planners to buy event insurance, maybe that would even be required by the hotels in order to book a meeting, that would go a long way toward avoiding this problem.
>> Because then the insurance companies would be insuring what they're insuring.
>> But they're doing it in a more, not necessarily a case by case basis, but a more localized basis where they're not necessarily exposing themselves to billions of dollars of claims.
>> Hartwick also anticipates a change in the way the insurance industry pays claims.
>> And he sees the federal government getting involved in creating a solution.
>> There are a couple of ways to look at what changes and what might happen.
>> There's a short-term view and a longer term view.
>> So the industry always learns from major events, and this will be no different whether it's a natural disaster of the kind that we normally think about, a hurricane, tornado, earthquake, or or an event like this.
>> So shorter run, there have been various proposals in Congress.
>> So some have proposed in Congress what's known as a Pandemic Risk Insurance Act, which would be modeled after the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, which was adopted in the wake of 9/11.
>> And under that program, there would be a requirement for.
>> It would be a federal program.
>> However, some of the losses would be shared by the private insurance sector.
>> And insurers would essentially be obliged to participate in this program.
00:25:12.463 --> 00:25:24.94
>> Insurers, because they're of the belief that pandemic risk is not insurable under any circumstances, do not support this federal legislation, the Pandemic Risk Insurance Act.
00:25:24.94 --> 00:25:31.709
>> In part because it creates a liability on their books of some 50 billion with a B dollars of potential loss.
>> There is another proposal out there whereby there would not be a financial burden on insurers.
>> And this is essentially a federal partnership with insurers in other entities that would be willing to essentially pay businesses for their business interruption losses up to three months of business interruption loss.
>> However, insurers would quickly pay the money to the businesses and then would be reimbursed by the federal government.
>> So the idea there is that the government would use the insurance industries' infrastructure, which it uses regularly to pay claims to millions of businesses over a span of years, that that infrastructure could be used by the federal government.
>> Insurers would simply be reimbursed.
00:26:23.495 --> 00:26:30.64
>> So the idea is that there would be a structure in place to very quickly pay business interruption claims.
00:26:30.64 --> 00:26:43.367
>> The claims would be triggered by, the details haven't been worked out, but will be triggered by an official declaration of a pandemic and certain other criteria.
>> What is likely to happen longer run, and by longer run I mean beginning within the next few months and then extending on for years.
00:26:53.575 --> 00:27:08.68
>> Is some insurers and reinsurers will begin to devise products whereby there may be some coverage for pandemic risks that businesses face, or perhaps for other economic shocks in general.
00:27:08.68 --> 00:27:10.198
>> Thanks so much for tuning in today.
>> This is episode number 280, and you could find the show notes, resources, links, and comment section for this episode at lodgingleaders.com/280.
00:27:19.445 --> 00:27:29.13
>> Thanks to Robert Hartwig, PhD of the Center for Risk and Uncertainty Management at the University of South Carolina's Darla Moore School of Business.
00:27:29.13 --> 00:27:32.740
>> Gregory Riehle, formerly of the resort Hotel Association.
>> Robert Zarco of Zarco, Einhorn, Sulkowski, Brito, attorneys at law, and Sanjay Patel, CEO of MHG Hotels.
>> If you like we've heard today, please consider sharing it.
00:27:41.816 --> 00:27:48.24
>> There are links at the bottom of the show notes for each episode which make it super easy for you to spread the word.
00:27:48.24 --> 00:27:53.809
>> If you haven't done so already, please visit us online at lodgingleaders.com and subscribe to the podcast.
>> There are links for subscribing on iTunes, Android, and Stitcher.
>> There is no cost to subscribe.
>> All it means is that you'll automatically be notified when the next episode is released.
>> And if you're enjoying the show, please consider leaving us an honest review on iTunes.
00:28:09.566 --> 00:28:14.74
>> It really does help us out, and I promise I read every one of them on the show.
00:28:14.74 --> 00:28:16.539
>> Thank you so much for listening in today.
>> I look forward to seeing you next week.
>> Take care and long live lodging.
>> Thanks for listening to the lodging leaders podcast at www.lodgingleaders.com.
As the hospitality industry struggles to mitigate the massive loss of revenue caused by the coronavirus pandemic, hundreds of hotel owners are filing lawsuits to force their property insurance providers to cover their financial casualties.
Meantime, state and federal lawmakers are considering legislation that would mandate U.S. insurance companies pay for business losses related to COVID-19.
Such a payout could surpass $600 billion, reported Best’s Insurance in May.
American Property Casualty Insurance Association, a trade group, puts the payouts even higher. In June, the association reportedly estimated payouts to would cost insurers $255 billion to $431 billion a month.
The amounts are not sustainable and would ultimately make many insurers insolvent, say insurance industry experts.
Hotel owners say they deserve payouts because they’ve paid premiums for years to cover high-loss scenarios such as the one they’re facing now.
In almost every case, insurers are refusing to pay, saying policies exclude losses caused by a viral plague or COVID-19 has not caused any physical damage to hotel properties that result in a stoppage of business.
It’s fixing to be an epic battle.
In this episode of Lodging Leaders, we examine the issue of business interruption insurance for hotels negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
We feature Sanjay Patel, CEO of MHG Hotels in Indianapolis who has filed a lawsuit against his insurance provider; Robert Zarco, a partner at the law firm Zarco Einhorn Salkowski & Brito in Miami who specializes in litigating business interruption insurance claims on behalf of business owners; Gregory Riehle, a lawyer and hospitality consultant and former CEO of the Resort Hotel Association, a hotel insurance group; and Robert Hartwig, Ph.D., a clinical associate professor and director of finance at the Center for Risk and Uncertainty Management at the University of South Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business who’s co-authored a white paper about the un-insurability of businesses affected by viral pandemics.
A year ago, Darshan Patel, CEO of Hotel Investment Group in San Diego, California, was one of the first hoteliers in the U.S. to step up and offer properties to overwhelmed hospitals seeking places to care for COVID and non-COVID patients as well as vulnerable populations. As the crisis eases and Hotel Investment Group works to return the hotels to business, Patel is negotiating with local governments to pay for the wear and tear on the properties. Patel is not alone as many hoteliers are unexpectedly dealing with problems that state and local governments’ urgent decisions have created, including property damage, increased costs and eviction bans. This report is the second in a two-part series examining the pros and cons of opening hotels to alternative uses during the pandemic. It is part of Long Live Lodging’s special coverage of the coronavirus crisis and its impact on the hospitality industry.
Dhruv Patel, president of Ridgemont Hospitality, in October shared a bittersweet moment with his parents, Pravin and Sima Patel, when the family business sold the first motel that Pravin had built from the ground up more than 30 years ago. But they rest assured knowing it was the right decision because the 22-room property is being converted into affordable housing for military veterans at risk of homelessness. The transaction is among hundreds taking place across the U.S. as state and local governments work with non-profit agencies to create affordable housing solutions for vulnerable populations amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In Episode 310 Long Live Lodging reports on the financial and legal aspects of what it takes to convert a hotel into long-term housing. This report is part of Long Live Lodging’s special coverage of the coronavirus crisis and its impact on the hospitality industry.
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