Do You Need Landlord Insurance If You Rent Your Home as an Airbnb?

Find out which type of coverage you need if you decide to become a host.
Christine Lacagnina Written by Christine Lacagnina
Christine Lacagnina
Written by Christine Lacagnina

Christine Lacagnina has written thousands of insurance-based articles for by authoring consumable, understandable content.

paul martin Reviewed by Paul Martin
paul martin
Reviewed by Paul Martin

Paul Martin is the Director of Education and Development for Myron Steves, one of the largest, most respected insurance wholesalers in the southern U.S.

Young couple entering their house rented for vacation. Find Airbnb Landlord Insurance.

As a homeowner, choosing to rent out your property as an Airbnb can be a rewarding experience, but it does not come without its own set of risks. If you’re new to Airbnb, you might be unsure of what kind of protection you need and what the company provides. That’s why it’s important to find out the answers straight from the experts: independent insurance agents

So if you decide to rent out your home as an Airbnb, do you need landlord insurance, or does the company’s insurance provide enough coverage? We’ve got the answers from an independent insurance agent to help you answer these important questions and much more. 

Here’s a deep dive into all the coverage you’d need to rent out your home through Airbnb or even by yourself.

Do I Need Landlord Insurance to Rent Out My Home as an Airbnb?

You will probably need landlord insurance to rent out your home as an Airbnb. The big issue is liability coverage. You need additional coverage beyond what’s provided by your homeowners insurance or condo insurance in order to rent out your property, since these policies do not provide coverage if you use your home as a business. 

But whether you decide to get landlord insurance or go for the coverage provided directly through Airbnb is up to you. Your independent insurance agent can also help you decide.

What Does Airbnb’s Insurance Cover?

When you decide to list your home to rent on Airbnb, you’re protected free of charge by the company's Host Protection Guarantee. However, this is not an insurance policy. Airbnb's Host Protection Guarantee offers up to $1 million of property damage protection.

Airbnb does offer an optional insurance policy that hosts can purchase called Host Protection Insurance (the HPI Program), which provides liability insurance of up to $1 million to protect against third-party claims for personal injury or property damage. 

The main differences between the two coverages are as follows:

  • Host Guarantee: Airbnb's Host Guarantee protects hosts from damage to their unit's structure or contents by guests who rent out their property. This isn't an insurance policy and doesn't replace your home or condo policies.
  • Host Protection Insurance: This is an insurance policy to cover hosts against liability claims from guests or other third parties related to bodily injury or property damage. It only acts as primary insurance coverage for Airbnb stay-related incidents.

Host Protection Insurance quick facts:

  • Available for Airbnb hosts and landlords
  • Available no matter what other insurance hosts have
  • Offers protection against bodily injury and property damage claims by third parties
  • Landlords and homeowners associations are covered under certain circumstances
  • Acts as primary insurance coverage for incidents related to an Airbnb stay
  • Up to $1 million in protection is available
  • Available whether you’re renting your entire home or just a room

Be sure to review Airbnb's coverage options in-depth to determine which fits your needs the best.

Does Airbnb Insurance Cover Theft? 

Your personal possessions are considered private property, and therefore, are not covered by Airbnb’s HPI program. In the event that any of your possessions are stolen, you will need to file a claim through your homeowners or renters insurance policy. 

How Much Coverage Does Airbnb Provide?

Both Airbnb’s Host Guarantee and Host Protection coverages offer limits of $1 million in protection. The Host Guarantee Program has a list of coverage exclusions, such as:

  • Collectibles
  • Rare artwork
  • Jewelry
  • Pets
  • Cash and securities
  • Personal liability

The Airbnb HPI program covers bodily injuries and property damage that result in the third party suing you, the host, for the damage. 

Some unique situations Airbnb's coverage may protect against include guests:

  • Slipping on the floor and breaking a leg
  • Falling in the shower and injuring themselves
  • Injuring themselves in the on-site gym or pool
  • Dropping an object on another guest and injuring them 
  • Damaging the physical structure of the building

If you return home after a guest has rented your house and your kitchen cabinets are scratched or there’s a big hole in your wall, the HPI program will not cover the losses. You'd need to go through your homeowners or renters insurance policy to make a claim for the damage. 

Airbnb will also not cover any damage caused by earthquakes, flooding, or sinkholes. 

Host Protection Insurance also excludes the following:

  • Fungi or bacteria
  • Electronic data
  • Contractual liability
  • Communicable disease
  • Assault and battery
  • Pollution

This list is far from exhaustive. In order to protect against these risks and other exclusions not covered by Airbnb’s insurance, you might want to consider a business insurance policy if you decide to rent out your home regularly.

How to Qualify for the Host Guarantee Coverage

You have to take immediate action to qualify for Host Protection with Airbnb. Here’s how it works:

  • You only have a total of 30 days after an incident occurs to complete the entire claim process through Airbnb’s Host Guarantee. 
  • First, you must make an attempt to come to a resolution with the responsible guest within 14 days of checking out from your property. 
  • If the guest refuses to compensate you for damages, you must contact Airbnb and provide documentation of the incident. Documentation includes proof of ownership, related pictures to the incident, and descriptions of the damage to your property. 
  • If you fail to meet these timeframes, you could potentially be disqualified from receiving any reimbursement.

Knowing Airbnb's requirements for its Host Guarantee coverage ahead of time can help you avoid potential issues with possible claims down the road.

What Does Landlord Insurance Cover?

Landlord insurance is a special type of business insurance designed to protect individuals who rent out their property to third parties. Policies typically cover the following:

  • Liability: Covers lawsuits filed by third parties for injuries or property damage while staying on your property.
  • Commercial property: Covers damage caused to your rental property by natural disasters, fire, theft, vandalism, and more.
  • Loss of income: Covers income you lose if your rental property becomes temporarily uninhabitable following a storm or other disaster.
  • Workers' compensation: Covers any employees you may have if they get injured on the job.

Landlord insurance provides protection beyond what’s offered by Airbnb’s coverage. Your independent insurance agent can help you determine if you should purchase landlord insurance before becoming an Airbnb host.

Why Do I Need Additional Protection as an Airbnb Host?

You might want to consider additional protection to fill in the gaps in the coverage provided by Airbnb’s offerings. Also, it would be a good idea to have your own insurance in the event that Airbnb goes under as a business. That way, your own coverage would still be in place to protect you no matter what. 

Be sure to have a talk with your independent insurance agent to figure out if you’d benefit from an additional policy as an Airbnb host.


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Does Homeowners Insurance Cover My Airbnb?

At its core, homeowners insurance is designed for personal risks, not commercial risks. That ultimately means that your general homeowners insurance policy will most likely not cover your Airbnb. Standard home insurance policies also typically only provide coverage for renting out your home in the short term, if at all.

However, many insurance companies now offer home-sharing liability policies that can be purchased monthly. Other companies require an additional endorsement that can be temporarily added to your homeowners insurance policy. 

Some insurance companies will even consider listing your home on Airbnb as a business and require you to get business insurance. This all means that it’s best to let your independent insurance agent know you’re planning on listing your home on Airbnb. 

More Reasons Your Existing Coverage May Not Be Enough

Some renters insurance programs state a clear period per year where you can’t rent out your rental, with an average of 90 days being the industry norm. Other policies may deny coverage depending on how much money you generate from renting out your rental, where more than a couple thousand dollars in profit a year could disqualify you for coverage.

To be sure, investigate each insurer’s definition of "occasional home-sharing." You could potentially run into problems with your insurance company if your lease does not permit you to participate in home-sharing. In most cases, breaking the rules will result in your claim being denied.

To see whether your current policies are sufficient to cover your Airbnb rentals, contact an independent insurance agent. With their expertise, you can get clear information about your current policies regarding rentals as well as your options for insurers that provide Airbnb-based insurance coverage.

Common Risks of Renting Out Your Home

As with any other business endeavor, renting out your home comes with a unique set of risks. While some hazards may be more obvious, others are less apparent and may require additional planning to diminish before you decide to become a host.

Some of the most common risks of renting out your home include:

  • Property damage: If you end up with disrespectful or just plain clumsy tenants, your property’s structure or furnishings may get damaged or destroyed.
  • Theft: Dishonest tenants may also steal from your property or business in some way, whether it’s inventory or money.
  • Business expenses: Turning your home into an Airbnb requires quite a bit of extra work and capital. Once your home becomes a rental property, it needs to be stocked regularly with toiletries and more.
  • Failure to get tenants: One less obvious risk is the inability to get tenants to rent out your property at all, which could lead to a serious loss of investments.

Your independent insurance agent can help you address these concerns and more if you decide to rent out your home as an Airbnb.

What If I Decide to Rent Out My Home without Airbnb over the Summer?

As long as you don’t rent out your home regularly, your homeowners or condo insurance won’t exclude coverage to incidents that occur while you’re renting your property out. 

However, certain insurance companies do require you to purchase an endorsement to cover even one short-term rental. Also, standard homeowners and condo insurance policies exclude coverage if you decide to rent out your home regularly, because that then constitutes a business.

In this case, if you’re just going to rent out your home for one summer, you’d be covered under your regular insurance policy. If you don’t plan to go through Airbnb and also don’t plan to rent out your property more frequently than on an occasional basis, you should be covered. 

Just make sure to double-check your specific policy with your independent insurance agent to be certain that your insurance company doesn’t require an additional endorsement.

Should My Renters Have Insurance, Too?

No, it’s not necessary. Renters are protected by their own homeowners or condo insurance while staying at an Airbnb, the same way they’d be covered if they were renting a hotel room. 

Homeowners and condo insurance protects renters from causing damage to the Airbnb. It also protects their personal property while staying there, such as if there was a fire on the premises. That being said, coverage is likely to be more limited than it would be within their own homes.

Is Airbnb Insurance Available In My Area?

Airbnb coverage varies by state, city, and even neighborhood. Although Airbnb’s Host Protection and Host Guarantee are free for hosts on the platform, each state in the U.S. has its own laws. This can make it tricky to decipher whether you qualify for protection under both the Host Guarantee and Host Protection agreements.

Some cities like Los Angeles and New York require complying with current zoning laws, being approved for commercial permits, and/or paying extra taxes when you rent your property through Airbnb. And just like most insurance policies, ignoring these regulations may disqualify you from the benefits of Airbnb Host Insurance.

On top of this, you must also take into account not only state and city-level regulations, but also factor in approval from your homeowners association (HOA) or condominium board for approval. Since these entities often deal with shared property and amenities, approval can be more difficult to obtain. 

Here’s How an Independent Insurance Agent Can Help

When it comes to answering your important questions about insurance for Airbnb hosts and all other coverages out there, no one’s better suited to help than an independent insurance agent. These agents search through multiple carriers to find providers who specialize in business and landlord insurance, deliver quotes from a number of different sources, and help walk you through all of them so you can find the best blend of coverage and cost.

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