Professional walking tour guides deliver sight-seeing experiences as fascinating as they are invigorating, whether a tour of a historical or cultural site or nature path. They share their in-depth knowledge on foot-guided, predetermined routes, often in urban settings, sharing intimate perspectives of a place that entertains and educates.  

From city-based culinary walking adventures, heritage walks, street art tours, ghost walks, and group or family journeys traversing the wilderness, walking tour guides provide clients with an organized, cost-effective way to explore their surroundings.

However, no small business or profession is without risk, and walking tour guides are no exception.

A professional walking tour guide leading his customers on a trail.

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Why Do Walking Tour Guides Need Insurance?

Many unforeseen problems or accidents can arise on a walking tour without warning, such as:

  • One of your clients suffers an injury, be it a sprained ankle, dehydration, or worse, if they’re struck by a vehicle in traffic while touring a city.
  • A client is the victim of a crime like a pick-pocket who snatches their mobile phone or other valuables.
  • While on a tour, you accidentally bump into one of your clients carrying a hot beverage, causing it to spill on them, and they suffer a burn or damage to their clothing.
  • A client is unimpressed with your services and alleges you failed to deliver the advertised experience.
  • A competing walking tour operator in the same area accuses you of infringing on their turf and stealing business from them, and they sue you for lost income.

That’s why every walking tour guide or operator should carry a business liability insurance policy to cover the cost of claims or lawsuits related to their services. 

Even if your clients sign an accident liability waiver, without liability insurance coverage a single incident can cost you thousands of dollars, ruin your reputation, and upend your business.

What Does Walking Tour Guide Insurance Include?

An insurance policy should be customized to reflect your potential risks or threats. In general, a walking tour guide insurance policy includes the following:

  • Commercial general liability (CGL) insurance: Also called general liability insurance, CGL covers expenses related to third-party bodily injury or property damage claims due to an accident or negligence.
  • Errors and omissions (E&O) insurance: E&O insurance protects you from financial damages or losses related to your professional services, including allegations of negligence, errors, misconduct, or failure to deliver a service as promised.
  • Cyber liability insurance: Cyber liability insurance covers the cost of a data breach or cyber-attack losses. You can be liable for damages if a hacker steals or exposes your clients’ confidential information.

There may be other types of insurance you need to build a comprehensive policy depending on your location and services, including:

  • Commercial property insurance: If you run your walking tour business out of an office that you own, rent, or lease, you’ll need commercial property insurance to cover the cost of damages or losses from fire, water damage, theft, and vandalism to that commercial space as well as your business contents and electronics. It applies even if you run your business out of your home.
  • Commercial auto insurance: If your services include driving your clients to various destinations, you need commercial auto insurance. A private-passenger car insurance policy is not designed to cover the cost of accidents involving a vehicle used for business purposes.
  • Umbrella liability insurance: If a claim maxes out your general liability insurance or commercial auto insurance coverage limit, umbrella liability insurance provides an extra layer of financial support.
  • Employers’ liability insurance: If you own a tour operating company and have full- or part-time employees working for you, you might need employers’ liability insurance in your policy to cover the cost of employee-related claims or lawsuits if they get hurt on the job. Employers’ liability insurance complements provincial workers’ compensation insurance.

Speak to a licensed Zensurance broker about the insurance you need, know what exclusions are in that policy, and get their advice on the recommended coverage limits you should have.

How to Get Affordable Walking Tour Insurance

Insurance providers don’t charge the same amount or offer the same level of coverage for the insurance policy you require. You need to explore your insurance options before guiding your clients on an exploration of their surroundings. 

Fill out an online application for a free business insurance quote from Zensurance. Let our experts find the policy you need from one of the more than 50 insurance providers in our partner network. 

They can advise you on what type of coverage to have, customize it to suit your needs, and ensure you get a certificate of insurance quickly to help keep the spring in your step and your walking tour business hopping along.

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About the Author: Brandon Bowie

Brandon Bowie is a Team Lead, Professional Lines at Zensurance.