Renting your home can be very lucrative, especially if you have a unique offering, know how to position your property on the market, and can find the right clients. Airbnb has become the option for doing this for many people, with many of them turning it into a lucrative and full-time business. Doing this has some challenges, and homeowners often worry about damage done to their property by their guests. Should this happen, the question becomes whether Airbnb insurance will cover it.
Host Damage Protection from Airbnb
Airbnb introduces different types of protections as part of their Aircover, which is the official Airbnb damage policy. Under Aircover, the company covers damages caused by guests up to $3 million. Aircover also provides cover for when a guest is hurt on your property and for income lost if a guest causes damage that leads to the host losing bookings.
Aircover does not cost the host extra, but it gives them peace of mind in knowing that they will be covered for various incidents, including property damage.
What Does Airbnb Cover?
The Airbnb cover is quite extensive as it covers:
Unexpected and extra cleaning costs due to the activities of a guest. Let’s say a guest hosted a party on a property and spilled wine on the carpet. Airbnb will cover the cost of cleaning the carpet, as that is an unexpected and extra cost to the host.
Damage to boats, parked vehicles, and other vehicles due to the actions or activities of a guest and their invitees
Damage to the home, valuables, furnishings, and belongings attributed to a guest and their invitees
It is important to note that the Airbnb damage policy UK does not cover loss of currency, damage that can be attributed to normal tear and wear, and various other things. Make sure you check the exclusions before using the platform.
Starting The Reimbursement Process
To ensure you get reimbursed for any damage under the Airbnb insurance for guests, the company recommends that you follow three steps. First, you need to document all the damage done. You can do this by providing photographs and videos of the damage. If you have security cameras installed in the areas where the damage happened, the video they recorded will be very useful in your claim.
Second, you need to file an Airbnb cover for hosts request within 14 days of the guest leaving your property. If not, you reduce the chances of receiving your reimbursement. You can do this through the Airbnb Resolution Centre on their website.
Third, you wait for the guest to pay. The guest is given 24 hours to pay for the damage. If they do not pay or respond to you, you should contact Airbnb support after the 24 hours are up. If you want to involve support when filing the Aircover for Hosts request, you have to specify this when sending the request, and you have 30 days to send all the evidence you have gathered.
Cover for Cleaning and Pet Fees
As mentioned above, a guest and their invitees can do so much damage to a property that it ends up requiring deep cleaning. Additionally, the guest is expected to pay pet fees if you charge them, but things do get out of hand. For example, their dog might chew through your sofa or scratch your wooden floors.
Host damage protection can kick in to reimburse you for the damage so caused. These costs will be attributed to the additional cleaning fees and repairs due to pet damage.
Many Airbnb hosts want to avoid such guests because they do not want to go through the hassle of getting reimbursed after they leave. Fortunately, they can use companies like UpperKey, which provide Airbnb concierge services and screen all guests to ensure there will be no issues when they leave.
Host Liability Insurance
In addition to covering your property in case of damage, Aircover also protects you from financial damage. It does this through its liability insurance cover, which protects hosts if they are found legally liable for injuries sustained by their guests or if their guests' property is damaged or stolen when staying on their property.
This insurance also protects you if your guest does something that causes you to be held liable. For example, they could back up into another car or property, doing damage you are responsible for.
Hosts should understand that liability insurance does not cover all situations. For example, it does not cover assault, battery, acts committed by intoxicated persons, sexual assault, or mould and fungi.
Does Home Insurance Cover Airbnb Damage?
Now, you may be wondering whether your homeowners insurance could cover damage done by Airbnb guests. This type of insurance is generally used to cover damage caused by wind, fire, and other types of bad weather, and it is often coupled with liability protection in case someone is injured on your property.
However, it doesn't cover damage done by Airbnb guests except under very specific circumstances.
Some insurance providers will cover damage caused by guests if you rent out your property occasionally. The typical limit is 90 days a year, but this varies from one insurance provider to the next.
Others only cover you if you do not make more than the cap they have set for home sharing. You might find an insurance provider who will cover all damage done as long as you do not make more than £2,000 per year on the property, for example.
Remember that every insurance company has its own definition of “occasional home sharing”. It is therefore best to talk to your insurance company to see how they define it and the circumstances under which they will cover your property.
Some insurance companies will require that you add a special exemption to your insurance policy to cover such damage. Most of them view your property as a business if you start hosting Airbnb, so they require you to purchase business insurance instead.
You Should Still Have Homeowners and Personal Liability Insurance
From the discussion above, you can see that Aircover doesn't cover every situation, and there is always the chance of your claim being rejected by Airbnb, especially if you don't have enough evidence.
UpperKey advises that hosts have additional insurance including homeowners and personal liability insurance to cover everything else that Aircover does not. Although many of their features and functions overlap, having these different types of covers available ensures you are covered completely from anything that might happen to your home or guests when they stay in your property.
Mishaps are a part of life and no matter how careful you or your guests are, your home is always at risk of getting damaged. Airbnb provides cover for damage up to $3 million if your guests cause that damage. Hosts should report incidents immediately to ensure they get their reimbursement without any issues.