The puppy which could cost one hotelier £122,500

If you’re facing the prospect of a cold, miserable Tuesday morning, spare a thought for Chorley-based hoteliers Thomas and Christine Price, who look set to lose their business after a puppy took out one of their customers.

The Prices, who run the six-bedroom Elms Hotel in the Lancashire town, were ordered by a court yesterday to pay £42,500 worth of compensation after the barman’s six-month old labrador knocked over an elderly customer in the car park, who then needed extensive surgery to her knee.

But when the Prices approached their insurance brokers to cover the costs, they discovered they had not covered the hotel – despite taking their premiums, which means they will need to cover the compensation payments, as well as legal costs which they expect to top £80,000.

Yesterday, Price told The Telegraph he was devastated. “Yes, the lady got injured and because it happened on our property we were held liable and we accept that,” he said.

“All through this our insurers were telling us they would deal with it and in the end it turns out they hadn’t covered us. How were we to know we had a certificate of public liability insurance that was worthless?”

Proof, if proof were needed, that when it comes to insurance, it pays to double-check your policy.

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