How Do You Insure Damage to a Hotel Room?

I was sitting around the campfire trading stories with my college buddies recently when one of the guys said he had a story that would interest me.   He then related how his family was attending a function out of state so they were staying in a nearby hotel.  When they arrived his wife had hung up the daughter’s dress on one of the sprinkler heads that extend from the walls.  These heads are typically aimed at the microwave or other cooking device found in a suite. 

A while later his daughter grabbed her dress a bit too eagerly and accidentally broke the sprinkler head.   He said he then heard a high-pitched hissing noise and then saw a very forceful stream of water shooting out from the spigot and plastering the facing wall.   After a few minutes of frantically but unsuccessfully trying to figure out how to stop the water the drop in water pressure triggered the fire alarm for the entire hotel.  He then told us how he and his soaking wet family then had to trudge downstairs and wait outside beside all of the other confused but dry guests who were giving his family a wary eye.

Afterward he sheepishly approached the front desk and announced that he was the lodger in the now-soaked room.  Surprisingly they were very sympathetic and accommodating.  All they requested was his homeowners insurance information.  I then explained to the others sitting around the fire that your homeowners policy provides very broad world-wide coverage for accidental “property damage” for which you are legally-liable.  It won’t cover everything, like a car accident, but in this very real case it would apply.  The fact that the front desk knew to request the information shows that they have seen similar situations in the past.

The world-wide liability coverage found on a home insurance policy is the same as that found on a renters insurance or condo insurance policy and is another very good reason why renters and condo owners should have their own policy.

If you have any insurance questions or stories that you think would make for an interesting blog please email me at