Airbnb’s insurance policy for hosts has matured as the company has grown, and it needed to. An estimated 11% of adults in the U.S. have used Airbnb or a similar service and those hosting them want to do so without worry.
But Airbnb’s Host Protection Insurance doesn’t cover everything. There are a number of things Airbnb hosts needs to keep in mind when they rent their home.
Understand What Airbnb Will Cover
First, it’s important to understand what Airbnb’s Host Protection Insurance will cover. The insurance provided to hosts by Airbnb – free of charge – is not unlike other insurance policies. It offers up to $1 million of liability and property damage claims from third parties.
For example, if a guest were to slip and fall in a temporary rental and file a lawsuit against the host, Airbnb's Host Protection Insurance would likely cover that claim. It would also cover a lawsuit against the host from someone injured by the guest on accident – if the guest dropped a suitcase on another tenant in an apartment building, for example.
In some cases, Airbnb’s Host Protection insurance will even cover lawsuits a guest might make against others. For example, say a guest is using a condo building’s gym, falls and then sues the condo board.
These are great coverages to have as a host but the policy provided is hardly comprehensive. There are a number of things Airbnb’s Host Protection will not cover. The good news is homeowners and renters can do things to mitigate the financial risk of these things happening.
Airbnb Will Not Replace Damaged Or Stolen Belongings
If guests steal or damage personal belongings, such as a television or a couch, Airbnb’s Host Protection Insurance will not cover them. Same would be the case for any other personal property, such as a watch that is stolen.
Most homeowners and renters insurance policies will cover the personal property of the host, but they need to look at the fine print of their policy first. Every policy has its own definition of “commercial activity” and if Airbnb guests are staying too frequently according to an insurance company, they might deny coverage or damage or stolen items. Homeowners and renters shopping for policies should be mindful of the number of guests they host – they might have a need for an endorsement to cover it.
Slander And Defamation Of Character Are Not Covered
These two scenarios are unlikely, but possible and Airbnb’s Host Protection Insurance will not cover either.
Slander is when someone says something untrue about another to one or more people. Defamation is the damaging of someone’s character with untrue statements that can be either spoken or published. Both can be grounds for a lawsuit.
Mold Or Bed Bugs Aren’t Their Problem
Any injuries or lawsuits that might arise from issues with a property, such as mold or bed bugs, are not covered by Airbnb’s liability protection. Airbnb cannot be there (nor should it be) to inspect every home rented to guests. It is the responsibility of the tenants or owner to keep their place in a safe, liveable condition.
Intentional Criminal Acts Are Not Covered
This one should go without saying. Host Protection Insurance will not cover liability lawsuits related to any intentional criminal activity.
For example, say a guest is assaulted by a host – who commonly rent only a room or couch and remain home during a guest’s stay – and then files a lawsuit against them. Airbnb’s Host Protection insurance will not cover any damages the host might have caused to their guest.