Airbnb is the most popular home-sharing service -- it accounts for as much as 17% of all available short-term room occupancy in some U.S. cities -- and it offers insurance to those who list their homes on the site. The insurance is called Host Protection Insurance and is free of charge. It's a nice perk, but it doesn't cover everything, so hosts need to be aware of what losses they are still susceptible to.
What Does Airbnb's Insurance Cover?
Airbnb’s Host Protection Insurance is insurance that provides primary -- meaning it will cover damages before another insurance policy -- liability coverage for up to $1 million for third-party bodily injury or property damage claims.
For example, Host Protection Insurance should cover a guest slipping on a rug and filing a lawsuit against the host. It also should cover a guest if they are injured in an on-site gym or any damage a guest might cause to a third party. An example of a third-party liability lawsuit would be if the guest were to drop a suitcase on the foot of a third party who, in turn, blamed the host or property owner.
Property damage claims are a little more straight forward. Host Protection Insurance covers damage to the physical structure of the home or dwelling itself. It does not cover a homeowner's or renter's personal property, including things like furniture, jewelry and other belongings. For example, if a guest broke a window or put a hole in a wall, those damages would be paid out by a property damage claim.
Host Protection Insurance coverage is provided through Lloyd’s of London, an international specialty insurance company.
What Airbnb Host Protection Insurance Will Not Cover
Airbnb's Host Protection Insurance does not cover everything. It has some conditions and limitations. They generally will not cover any damages a guest might cause to a renter's personal belongings, or intentional acts that are not the result of an accident. It also will not cover accusations of slander or defamation of character, or property issues (such as mold or bed bugs).
As mentioned earlier, Host Protection insurance does not cover a homeowner's or renter's personal property. Items like electronics, a watch or art collection and furniture typically fall under the personal property and belongings definition. For example, say a guest slashed a hole in a leather couch. Airbnb's insurance would not reimburse you or pay for a new couch because a couch is considered personal property. That's the same for any theft by your guests. You'd have to turn to your renters or homeowners insurance policy for reimbursement.
Airbnb Insurance In Different Countries And Within U.S. States
The insurance coverage offered by a company might also differ between countries, states, or municipalities. Airbnb’s Host Protection Coverage is only available in 16 countries and differs between states in the U.S.
In Illinois and New York, Airbnb’s Host Protection Insurance has a coverage limit of $1 million per occurrence and $1 million per host, per policy year. In the other 48 states, the coverage limits are $1 million per occurrence, per policy year, each location is limited to $1 million and the aggregate of a policies claims cannot exceed $10 million. Countries where Host Protection Insurance is available have the same limits as the majority of states in the U.S.
How Homeowners And Renters Insurance Couples With Airbnb
For damages caused by a guest that are not covered by Airbnb's Host Protection Insurance policy, standard homeowners or renters insurance might those scenarios. However, depending on the frequency that Airbnb guests stay, a host might need to purchase an endorsement or commercial policy.
Another complication is whether local laws allow tenants and homeowners to rent out their dwellings. If it's legal and permitted in the state, then most homeowners and renters insurance policies should extend to cover the occasional rental you have through Airbnb. We explore more of that here.