Insurance for B&B Inns, Is Expedia Still Providing False Information about Your Inn?, Lawsuits, Brie & Potato Strata

What We Heard From Innkeepers

Insurance for Bed & Breakfast Inns

Many innkeepers responded to fellow innkeepers having their insurance canceled by Farmers Insurance. We chose a few to include here. A couple of agents contacted us directly.

  1. Hospitality Insurance Agency: – Here’s the insurance agent I use.  Damian Petty – Agent/Broker: Leavitt Recreation and Hospitality Insurance Agency, CA License # 0C46696, Phone: 253-531-4470 | Fax: 866-629-8823 |
  2. My name is Shawn Hankel and I do a lot of work with Bed & Breakfast/Resort Insurance. I received your info from the president of The MN B&B association about some changes with quite a few of your customers that are with Farmers. I have three carriers that are specializing in the hospitality niche and they have been very complete and competitive. One in particular had been really standing out. Please let me know if you would like to have a conversation about them. I appreciate the time and hope we can work together. Shawn Hankel,218-927-3712 phone,
  3. We just renewed our specialty coverage for B&B’s with Liberty Mutual Insurance. Guess Farmers Insurance is out of the game. You can certainly call our agent, Scott Roberts @ TRC Insurance in Washington. (877) 637 1858 x10 ,Julie Szmania WARM SPRINGS INN & WINERY
  4. We just renewed our specialty coverage for B&B’s with Liberty Mutual Insurance. Guess Farmers Insurance is out of the game. Not sure what’s available nationally, but you can certainly call our agent, Scott Roberts @ TRC Insurance in Washington. (877) 637 1858 x10 ,Julie Szmania WARM SPRINGS INN & WINERY
  5. Hello, if I can be of any service please call on me. Sincerely, Mitchell J Pies


Expedia Class Action Update from PAII

On 7-26-19, representatives for Expedia and the Plaintiffs (Bed & Breakfasts, Inns) appeared before a Federal Magistrate as ordered. Expedia requested a trial; the presiding Judge ruled that no trial was needed as there is “plenty of evidence” and the parties were ordered to settle, which would include operating terms for Expedia*. Despite working with a mediator, no settlement was reached as Expedia “dug in their heels”. The Plaintiffs’ legal team moved for summary judgment (a decision on the merits of the case) … and that is the present status of the case.

(*The Class Action Suit identified that Expedia lists lodging properties that do not provide inventory to them and have not contracted or authorized them to do so. The listings state ‘no rooms available’ (or some variation) which is false, as Expedia does not know the property’s inventory. Additionally, “bait and switch” directs travelers to other properties who are paying Expedia’s commission. A settlement would define how Expedia could list these properties.)

Is Expedia Still Providing False Information about Your Inn?

The law firm representing your fellow innkeepers has asked us – you – to help provide current information on Expedia’s practices. In other words, is Expedia still listing false information on room availability for B&Bs, Inns, or other lodging properties?

If you are ‘unaffiliated’ with Expedia, that is, your property is listed on Expedia but you do not have a contract with them and you do not supply room inventory to them, PLEASE take a few minutes to answer this 7 question survey. And, we do ask you to identify yourself (to legitimize the survey) and indicate whether the Law Firm may contact you. They are especially interested in your experience with Expedia, so you’ll see a question on ‘share additional details’

The survey will close on Friday, August 16th.


3 Way to Improve Your Mobile Website Performance

  1. Mobile-First Google uses mobile-first indexing. The first thing to increase website performance for mobile is run it through Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test and fix any mistakes that occur.
  2. Keep the Design Simple – The average time people are willing to wait is 4 seconds, too many features can make that 10, 15 or even as much as 30 seconds. Complicated web design can make it hard for users to find what they need, increasing your bounce rates. Dump all the unnecessary widgets and features.
  3. Compress Images and Files  High-resolution images are important but often they are too large – more than 5 MBs. This makes it too long to load. The solution is to optimize all the images.  This is true for your non-mobile website as well.


Recent Headlines On ADA Websites

Non-ADA Accessible Websites Remain Costly Liability Exposure For Foodservice & Hospitality Businesse

Domino’s Pizza is locked in a legal battle over the future of web design

U.S. Bank also redesigned our business banking website in 2019, …. of revamping our website and focusing on ADA compliance standards as well. Twin Cities Business Magazine.

Daytona Beach resident Joel Price filed 130 federal lawsuits – according to court documents he is legally blind. His latest suit was filed against the city of Edgewater in June. At the core of the suits is Price’s claim that, as a blind man, he cannot access information others can view on the city’s website, which is in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

ADA lawsuits are one of biggest legal threats facing small businesses, watchdog says Betty Jo Toccoli, president of the California Small Business Association (CSBA). She says many of the lawsuits have no basis, and that scammers and unethical attorneys are filing hundreds of complaints.


37 Astonishing Email Marketing Stats You Need to Know

If you aren’t convinced (mostly because you don’t like email newsletters) read this article and you’ll want to reconsider.

  1. Email marketing is 40 times more effective than Facebook or Twitter at getting new customers
  2. 90% of emails are delivered whereas only 2% of your Facebook fans see your post
  3. Including a call to action button instead of a text link can increase conversion rates by 28%
  4. 28.5% is the roi on email marketing compared to direct mail’s 7%.

And many more in an info-graphic with links to each email study here.

PS. Most innkeepers under-estimate how CLOSE their customers feel to them and why they feel valued by your newsletters. One traveler told us how nice it felt to be invited back (and that was from a 200-room hotel!)


Brie & Potato Strata

This one is from Southern Living


  • 1 large sweet onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 large Yukon gold potato, peeled and diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 (8-oz.) Brie round*
  • 1 (12-oz.) package sourdough bread loaf, cubed
  • 1 cup (4 oz.) shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 8 large eggs
  • 3 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

And From Foley House in Savannah:


Sausage and Potato Waffles


2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

12 oz breakfast sausage patties

2 cups mashed potatoes

2 eggs beaten

1 cup gluten-free flour

1/2 Tbsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 Tbsp fresh chives

Avocado slices



Heat oil over medium-high heat and brown sausage until cooked. (You can use the sausage patties in their original form)

Mix cooked sausage, mashed potatoes, eggs, flour, baking powder, salt, black pepper, and chives in a large mixing bowl until well combined. The mixture will be very thick.

Spray waffle iron with olive oil spray and preheat it on medium-low. When hot and ready, spread the mixture in the waffle maker, close the lid, and cook for about 3 minutes.

Serve warm and top with avocado slices.