More homeowners are connecting with sites like Airbnb to rent out a room or their entire house for extra income, but before taking the rental plunge, homeowners need be aware of the risks involved and how their homeowner’s insurance is affected in such enterprises.
Renting on sites like Airbnb can bring potential income but can also come with a whole host of problems. According to one Airbnb host, “There’s one risk that’s even more expensive than vacancy: destruction. If your guest trashes your home, you could (theoretically) lose tens of thousands…”
Horror stories abound, like the story of one Californian women who was left holding the bag for thousands of dollars in legal fees when one guest refused to leave and refused to pay. And according to The New York Times, while Airbnb does come with insurance “for hosts with every stay, the policy has numerous exclusions, and Airbnb requires a host to file a claim within 14 days of a guest’s departure, or before a subsequent guest arrives, whichever is sooner.”
It’s not just damages and potential legal fees that homeowners need to mitigate risks for but liability coverage as well.
Homeowner’s insurance comes with personal liability, which is designated for residential, but by renting the home on Airbnb, the home has become a business. Also a regular home insurance policy won’t cover theft or vandalism caused by renters. Perhaps most poignantly, if the insurer discovers that the home is being rented out on Airbnb or a similar service they may drop the policy and claims might be denied.
To mitigate risks, and not get dropped by their homeowner’s policy, people that are renting their homes out on Airbnb need a special policy: short-term vacation rental insurance. At Cappuccino Insurance, we work with several companies that offer short-term vacation rental insurance. Cost varies by size of home and how much coverage you desire. Please contact us to learn more.