A Guide to Airbnb Insurance

If you haven’t heard of Airbnb yet you’re missing out. We now have the opportunity to travel in whole new way. They have provided us a trusted and well-established Airbnb community at our fingertips, consisting of like-minded individuals who seek unique travel experiences.

But there’s confusion, while most holiday makers only need travel insurance, hosts themselves are faced with an array of different policies that could apply to their scenario. In this guide we’ll try and help explain the kind of insurance you will need as an Airbnb host and how it will protect you.

What’s in the guide?

Do Airbnb provide insurance?

“The Host Guarantee is not insurance and should not be considered as a replacement or stand-in for home-owners or renters insurance. Hosts may want to consider independent insurance to cover valuable items like jewellery, artwork, or collectibles which are subject to limited protection under the Host Guarantee. See our Host Guarantee terms for more details.

We strongly encourage all hosts to review and understand the terms of their insurance policy and what it covers and does not cover. Not all insurance plans will cover damage or loss to property caused by a guest that books your space.” - Airbnb

Being the responsible company they are, Airbnb do provide their own guarantee for their hosts. It covers up to £600,000 in damages which occur during an eligible booking.

However, Airbnb themselves stress this is not an alternative to regular insurance policy and there are some risks not covered within the guarantee.

Airbnb hosts have in the past expected a little too much from the Airbnb Guarantee; however, the company are very clear about what is covered and what is not, but few read the full terms and conditions to understand the insurance.

 

As of 22nd October 2015 Airbnb have also introduced public liability in the form of a Host Protection Policy. This insurance is to protect the landlord/host against claims made them by a guest in their home during their stay. It’s a great development from Airbnb aimed at encouraging more hosts on to the site who may previously have been concerned about the level of protection provided. Unfortunately what this won’t cover is a liability claim which arises outside of a stay. So though you’re well protected while you have guests, cover is still required for the rest of the time.

You shouldn't necessarily rely on a regular home insurance policy either. Often home insurance policies include or may have an extension for paying guests in your home but some don’t and it’s vital you make your insurance company aware. It’s your duty to provide your insurer with all the details about your home and non-disclosure can leave you with no cover.

Airbnb insurance guide

So what insurance do Airbnb hosts need?

There are a few elements of cover you might want to look for depending on your own needs and type or let:

Liability insurance- As we mentioned before, Airbnb do provide this now but only for claims that arise during a stay - but what is it? A third party may have an accident whilst at your property and decide to claim, this can be especially costly as claims go. If they are injured or if their property is damaged and you may be considered liable, you’re legally required to provide compensation. Liability insurance is designed to cover the compensation so you won’t be left out of pocket.

Airbnb Host Protection only includes insurance for liability related to a guest during their stay and they give some examples to illustrate this-

‘A guest breaks their wrist after slipping on the rug and brings a claim for the injury against the host.’

However, if the following were to happen-

‘A postman trips on a loose step which is not cemented properly whilst on your property and suffers a broken ankle.'

The scenario has no relation to your listing with Airbnb and therefore would not be included in the cover provided by Airbnb's host protection.

So public liability cover is an important consideration when thinking of what you’ll need from an insurance policy.

Loss of booking income- This cover enables you to claim back some of the rent you lose if an insured event, like a fire or a burst pipe, means you can’t host for a while. There’s usually a limit on how much you can claim and for how long, but it’s worth having in place if you are reliant on income coming in even if you can’t have guests.

Buildings- The Airbnb Guarantee has got you covered for some elements related to your buildings there are limitations and it won’t cover damage that’s not related to your bookings. In particular it’s worth remembering that the neither the Airbnb Guarantee nor the Host Protection will cover storm or flood damage to your home. Though a standard home insurance policy will insure buildings, it may not include cover if you are letting out a room because the terms a likely to be different for these scenarios. What you can get are specialist policies which cater specifically for varying circumstances around letting and include terms within their policy wordings. It’s why we prefer to speak with our customers before they buy a policy, so we can ensure you have the correct cover for your circumstances.

Home care emergency- If you go for a more comprehensive policy you can sometimes have this included or available to add. It’s certainly worthwhile to include it if you can. This feature will come into effect if an emergency situation arises that if left could cause further damage to the home e.g. a burst pipe. You’ll usually have a 24 hour number to call for someone to come out and fix the problem before it gets any worse. If you've got guests staying this could be vital so their stay is not disrupted and you can keep generating money from the property.

Airbnb insurance guide

Your contents- Hopefully you won’t experience any problems on this front as the Airbnb community have a review policy for both guests and hosts - so it’s likely your guests will be just as willing to keep you happy as you are willing for them to have a comfortable stay. Accidents still happen and Airbnb include some aspects of your contents within their guarantee, but again, if damage is caused that’s nothing to do with your bookings, then you won’t be covered. There are different levels of insurance to consider when covering your contents. You can choose basic cover for perils like fire, storm, flood and theft, or include risks like accidental damage.

Accidental damage- Limited cover is provided by Airbnb - if you can it may be better to claim through them to protect your No Claims Bonus. Just remember Airbnb won’t cover damage which is not caused by a stay within your property so it’s best to cover all bases and have this in place on your insurance policy too.

Types of Insurance depending on your type of listing

Airbnb has a wide variety of different property types listed and there’s no way they could all be covered by the same policy. We've compiled a list of different properties we found and have provided links to the insurance cover they’d most likely require.

The most important thing to remember is to be clear about how you are using the property. We prefer to speak to our customers where they require a more specialist policy and ensure we've got the correct cover in place for the circumstances.

 

 Type of listingRelated Insurance
Lodgers Private Room (In your home) – Up to 3 lodgers https://www.towergateinsurance.co.uk/lodgers-insurance
Bed and Breakfast Private Room (Bed and breakfast) – 3 rooms and no more than 2 people per room https://www.towergateinsurance.co.uk/bed-and-breakfast-insurance
Guest House Shared Room- guesthouse/ Private room- Guesthouse https://www.towergateinsurance.co.uk/hotel-and-guesthouse-insurance
Private Property Private property (where you don’t live) – Entire place https://www.towergateinsurance.co.uk/landlord-insurance
Static Caravan Static caravan on private land https://www.towergateinsurance.co.uk/static-caravan-and-leisure-home-insurance (cover for private land only available over the phone)
Holiday Home Entire Place- Holiday Home rented https://www.towergateinsurance.co.uk/holiday-home-insurance
Leisure Home Wooden Chalet, Static caravan, wooden lodge on a park https://www.towergateinsurance.co.uk/static-caravan-and-leisure-home-insurance 
Buy to Let Landlords Whole property or private room https://www.towergateinsurance.co.uk/landlord-insurance
Glamping Yurts, Pods - Holiday Park Insurance https://www.towergateinsurance.co.uk/caravan-site-insurance

If you're still unsure which is best for you, call our team and find out on - 0344 892 1750

Sources

https://www.airbnb.co.uk/about/about-us
https://www.airbnb.co.uk/guarantee
http://www.cnet.com/uk/news/airbnb-beefs-up-liability-insurance-offering-for-hosts/
https://www.airbnb.co.uk/help/article/937/what-is-host-protection-insurance

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