Q&A: Running a bed & breakfast

I would recommend HomeProtect, especially to someone doing B&B.
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1. Give a quick overview of your bed and breakfast business:

No. 11 is an annex room attached to our extended 1950's farmhouse in the picturesque village of Aynho, which is known as The Apricot Village. We have one spacious room which can sleep 3 people, an attached conservatory for breakfast and a modern en-suite shower room.

All are self-contained and can be shut off from the main house for our privacy. We are lucky enough to be close to 3 major wedding venues, Silverstone racing circuit and Blenheim Palace. I run the B&B on my own and, as it’s still a relatively new business, my hours vary depending on the number of bookings.

2. What prompted you to start a B&B?

No. 11 was born when my son moved out permanently from his downstairs annex room and started his new job in London. In the 4 years he was away at university I looked into all the aspects of letting his room and it was a good excuse to refresh the decor and furnishings and get rid of the Monty Python Posters on the walls! He still stays there when he comes home but now he has to book!

3. What do you love about running your B&B from home?

The flexibility of earning an income when it suits me, the different people we have met and the fact that it helps pay off the student loan! I used to be a travel agent in a previous life and I have been heavily involved in the community so it’s an extension of knowledge gained through those jobs.

4. What challenges do you face, whilst running a B&B at home?

Very few challenges. Advertising on Airbnb, Trip Advisor and Facebook take some administrative juggling but it fits in nicely with my other home-based jobs. Ironing the cotton sheets is a pain but I can cope!

5. Have you had any complaints from neighbours or other members of the community about any aspect of your B&B business?

No, we don't have any immediate neighbours and have no parking issues. I think it is welcomed as we have few alternatives to the local hotel which can be double the price!

6. What were the most important criteria you used when making the decision to buy home insurance?

I needed something that would not only cover the house but also the B&B and I didn't want to buy two insurances.

7. What was the most obvious advantage you felt HomeProtect offered?

That you could offer me the bed and breakfast cover and it seemed simple to negotiate. I didn't have to wade through lots of difficult questions, you seemed keyed up to the business model of a B&B.

8. Had you struggled to buy home insurance from other insurance companies that covered running your B&B?

I went to my usual provider first and they were unable to offer me cover at all, hence why I searched and found Home Protect.

9. Do you think the investment in our insurance was worthwhile? Why?

Insurance is a must for anyone doing this, you must approach it like a business and cover yourselves in any eventuality. Plus, an added bonus was my HomeProtect insurance, including the house as well as the guest room, was cheaper than my previous insurance for just the house!

10. And lastly, are you likely to, or have you, recommended HomeProtect to a friend?

Yes, I would recommend HomeProtect, especially to someone doing B&B. There seem to be very few companies doing it, yet there are thousands of people letting rooms. Airbnb do offer their own insurance but there will be a time when your booking may not come through that channel and you can have a wider audience if you have your insurance elsewhere.

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