Bermuda hotels assess insurance cover

Businesses seriously affected by Fridayå‘s hurricane were yesterday assessing insurance coverage for damage sustained in the storm, including what they might receive for loss of business.
The Fairmont Group of hotels said its two Bermuda properties were “extensively” insured for both property and business interruption which would reduce their total bill to, by estimates, between $5 million and $10 million.
Head of investor relations Emma Thompson could not, however, put a price tag on the gross cost of the devastating storm.
Ms Thompson said that information would not be available until a complete assessment of damage was completed in coming weeks.
The group is having to close down their Fairmont Southampton property for between two and six months. The Hamilton Princess remains open although one quarter of its rooms will need repairs after suffering water damage in the weekend storm.
Ariel Sands hotel is also closed for repairs with general manager John O’Brien telling The Royal Gazette yesterday that the property would be shut for at least a week. Mr. O’Brien said insurance assessors were currently on-site looking at damage but he said he expected to recoup little for loss of business.
“We are looking at this right now but we may not have (business interruption) coverage.
“We most likely don’t have this as the cost of (business interruption coverage) is so high and not really worth it when you consider that storms usually hit during this time which is not our busiest period,” he said.
Mr. O’Brien explained that historically the hotel’s slowest period was the last four months of the year and that any insurance pay out for loss of business would be low as based on occupancy rates from this time of year.
MEF Enterprises were also dealt a blow by Fabian with the hurricane virtually destroying its three Elbow Beach ventures - Mickey’s Beach Bar, Lido Restaurant and The Deep nightclub - but management could not yet say how much of its loss of business would be covered by insurance.
The restaurant group - owners of many of the Island’s popular eateries including Little Venice, La Trattoria and L’Orientale - also suffered loss of business at some of its other restaurants either because of roof damage to restaurants or lack of power.
Little Venice Group director Gioacchino DiMeglio told The Royal Gazette that the company’s level of insurance coverage could be better assessed once chief financial officer Theresa Chatfield was able to return to the Island, with flights having been cancelled through yesterday.
But Mr. DiMeglio could not even say yesterday if their beachfront operations would re-open. “It may be a long time. We may make that decision in the next week or two but the damage is extensive.
“Mickey’s is completely washed out. And there is structural damage to Lido.
“We are assessing damage with technical (professionals) and management of Elbow Beach. A decision has to be made on whether we re-build or knock down,” he said.