If you’re looking to earn some extra cash, you may have considered renting out your home with Airbnb, the world’s most popular house-sharing application. However, before you open your home to guests, it’s important to know what type of home insurance coverage is necessary to protect your property against damage and yourself against personal liability claims.
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This article will answer some of the most common questions that people have about renting out Airbnb properties.
To simplify the process, contacting an independent insurance agent can help inform you of your current coverage rates for Airbnb properties. Or an independent insurance agent can guide you through all of the insurers that provide the best coverage at the most affordable rates. Whatever your needs, working with a professional insurance agent is a wise decision.
Does homeowners insurance cover Airbnb?
In most cases, homeowners insurance doesn’t offer coverage for Airbnb rentals.
Homeowners insurance is primarily offered as a type of coverage that protects the occupants of a home. This includes your spouse, children, and family members who reside at the property. Generally speaking, homeowners insurance covers the cost of repairing damage to your home and offers personal liability protection in case someone is injured while on your property.
However, some homeowners insurance policies enable policyholders to rent out their property to private individuals. Typically, these policies only have coverage for short-term rentals and may require you to purchase a specific endorsement, which is added on to your existing homeowners policy to cover temporary rentals.
With home-sharing platforms like Airbnb, the rules are much less black and white.
First, you should be aware that Airbnb offers its own coverage for hosts, including the host protection insurance policy and the host guarantee. Essentially, this offers up to $1 million of coverage per rental. This may come as good news, but be aware that there are numerous exclusions to coverage, as well as a complicated claims process should something happen while guests stay on your property. See “What type of coverage does Airbnb offer?” below.
Second, if you intend to rent out your home on a regular basis, insurers generally view this as a business activity and it is excluded unless you have a business insurance policy in effect. Some policies may deny coverage depending on how much money you generate from the Airbnb rent, so be sure to understand the fine print.
Or if you plan on renting out your entire home for an extended period, you should seek out a landlord insurance policy. This policy covers the home and structure of the property, but won’t provide reimbursement for damage caused by regular wear and tear or for the loss of your tenant’s personal property.
To understand what options you have, contact an independent insurance agent. These agents can provide you with the answers you need and clear up any confusion you may have about your homeowners insurance policy and Airbnb rentals.
What type of coverage does Airbnb offer?
Airbnb offers host protection insurance and host guarantee protections, which are included with the price of your rental under fees. Here’s a breakdown:
|Host protection insurance||Host protection insurance functions like a liability policy. This means that host protection covers the costs of injury/property damage claims made against you by third parties up to $1 million of protection per incident. It’s important to note that Airbnb's host protection liability insurance extends its coverage to anywhere associated with your property, including the grounds of your home or shared elements such as your condominium building's lobby. Host protection also applies to vehicles, trailers, and mobile homes if they are listed on Airbnb's website as accommodations.|
|Host guarantee||The host guarantee is coverage against damage that guests inflict on your own property, offering coverage up to $1 million of protection per incident.|
What is not covered by host protection insurance?
The following is Airbnb’s information about its host protection insurance (HPI):
“Airbnb’s Host Protection Insurance will act as primary insurance and provides liability coverage to hosts and, where applicable, their landlords, subject to certain conditions, limitations, and exclusions.”
“If you have questions about how this policy interacts with any homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, you should discuss your coverage with your insurance provider. Some policies protect homeowners and renters from certain lawsuits that result from injury to a visitor, while others do not. It’s always a good idea to let your insurance carrier know about rental activity in your space even though liability arising during an Airbnb stay should be covered by the Host Protection Insurance policy.”
Of course, HPI’s coverage and exclusions ultimately determine whether your homeowners insurance policy is used for coverage.
Exclusions to Host Protection Insurance
What are the main items excluded from the HPI Program? The HPI Program excludes:
- Aircraft, autos, and mobile equipment
- Assault and battery
- Chinese drywall
- Communicable disease
- Contractual liability
- Cross suits
- Distribution of material in violation of statutes
- Electronic data
- Employment-related practices
- Expected or intended injury
- Exterior insulation and insulation systems
- Fungi or bacteria
- Liquor liability
- Loss of, or damage to, certain property
- Nuclear risks
- Personal and advertising injury
- Products and completed operations
- Product recalls
- Punitive or exemplary damages
- Sexual assault
- Silica, silica dust, lead and asbestos
- Workers' compensation and employers liability
Which companies offer home-sharing coverage?
In response to the growth of the home-sharing industry, there are a number of insurance companies that have taken the initiative for homeowners who rent out their homes through Airbnb and similar sites. These include:
- Liberty Mutual
- Verisk Analytics
- Allstate HostAdvantage
- Progressive Homeshare
- Proper Insurance
- State Farm
- Shelter Insurance
- Allstate HostAdvantage
- Progressive Homeshare
- Proper Insurance
Bear in mind that Airbnb coverage can vary significantly by state, city, and neighborhood. Although Airbnb’s host protection and host guarantee are offered free for hosts on the platform, each state has its own laws, particularly for high-density urban places and tourist destinations.
Depending on these laws, it can be tricky to decipher whether you qualify for host protection insurance and the host guarantee agreements. As an example, some cities like Los Angeles, Denver, and New York City require:
- Complying with current zoning laws
- Approval for commercial permits/licenses, and/or
- Paying additional taxes when renting your property through Airbnb
Ignoring these regulations may disqualify you from the benefits of Airbnb host insurance. Furthermore, if your home is part of a homeowners association (HOA) or condominium board, you may have to deal with more requirements for approval and compliance with insurance than for privately-owned homes. For a clearer picture of what types of insurance you’ll need, consult an independent insurance agent today.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Paul Martin
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