Airbnb Insurance: How It Protects Hosts

Update: In late 2021, Airbnb rebranded its host protection program from "Host Protection" to "AirCover for Hosts." The program is largely the same as before, with a few improvements. The protection is still included automatically for every Airbnb host at no extra cost.

Airbnb provides two main kinds of coverage to its hosts: host damage protection and host liability protection, each of which has a $1 million limit. Host liability protection covers claims made against you by guests, while host damage protection pays for damage to your property caused by guests.

Additionally, your existing renters or homeowners insurance might also protect your property from damage related to Airbnb or other home-sharing services. However, coverage often applies only as long as you're renting your property just occasionally — a term that may be defined differently by different insurers.

What does Airbnb host protection cover?

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Airbnb's host damage protection covers damage to your belongings caused by guests staying on your property, up to $1 million. Unlike the host liability protection, this program isn't a form of insurance, although it has some similarities to the personal property coverage on a regular home insurance policy.

Host damage protection pays for damage to your property, or your belongings, if it's caused by a guest. It also pays for any extra cleaning costs, as well as lost income if you need to cancel a booking.

Examples of damage covered by host protection

  • Vandalism
  • Accidents
  • Broken plates
  • Pet damage
  • Smoke/fire

After an incident, you have 30 days in total to complete the entire claim process. First, you must contact the guest to ask them to pay for their damage. You have 14 days after your guest checks out to contact the person and notify Airbnb if the guest refuses to compensate you for damages. You must then provide documentation to Airbnb of the incident, including proof of ownership, as well as pictures and descriptions of the damage. Failure to adhere to any part of this timeline could disqualify you from receiving any reimbursement.

If your claim is successful, you may receive compensation equal to the actual cash value of your property — meaning the item's worth minus any deductions for physical depreciation. Unfortunately, unlike with your regular insurance, there's no way to upgrade to guaranteed replacement coverage.

You aren't protected by Airbnb's damage protection if your property suffers damage from weather-related events or if your guests injure your pet. Any costs from mold or mildew are also excluded from this type of insurance by Airbnb. It also doesn't provide coverage of special items you might own such as jewelry, collectibles or artwork.

What does Airbnb's liability insurance cover?

Airbnb's host protection liability insurance protects you if a guest or another individual makes a claim against you.

For example, if a guest breaks someone's property or accidentally injures another person in the lobby or hallway of the building your rental is in, and the victim makes a claim against you, your Airbnb liability insurance would cover you.

Airbnb's liability insurance extends to all areas associated with your property, such as your apartment building's lobby. It also applies to automobiles and mobile homes if they are listed on Airbnb's website as accommodations.

Host protection doesn't apply in every situation, though. For example, it doesn't cover acts of assault and battery, mold or fungi, acts committed by intoxicated minors or adults, or sexual assault.

Airbnb's liability insurance doesn't cover damage to your property, either. This is where Airbnb's host damage protection comes in.

Does renters insurance cover Airbnb?

Either your renters or homeowners insurance policy might cover some property damage caused by guests, including those participating in home-sharing programs like Airbnb. Typically, a renters insurance or homeowners insurance policy still protects your property as long as you only rent it out occasionally.

For example, your renters insurance might say that you can't rent out your home for more than a certain number of days per year — usually 90. In other cases, a renters policy might deny coverage if you make more than a couple thousand dollars annually from home-sharing. Each insurer has its own definition of "occasional home-sharing," so it's best to talk to your provider if you plan to participate in Airbnb.

As with Airbnb's own insurance agreements, you could run into problems with your renters insurance if your lease doesn't allow you to participate in home-sharing. If you fail to inform your insurer that you're hosting Airbnb guests or do so against your insurer's rules and you have to make a claim, it will probably be denied.

How Airbnb insurance compares to Vrbo insurance

Airbnb's host protections are substantially more generous than Vrbo's, especially after its upgrade to AirCover for Hosts.

Airbnb vs. Vrbo: Automatically included host protection

Host protection$1 millionX
Liability coverage$1 million$1 million

The big difference between the two companies is that Airbnb includes $1 million of host protection, while Vrbo doesn't include any by default. This coverage pays to repair or fix damage to your rental caused by a guest, including accidents, vandalism and pet damage.

As part of the new AirCover program, you'll also be compensated for lost income if your rental is unavailable due to guest damage.

By contrast, Vrbo offers optional damage protection plans to its renters, but you can't purchase one as a host. Instead, Vrbo recommends that you purchase your own insurance.

Both companies offer $1 million of host liability coverage that pays if a paying guest or other visitor is injured on your property. It'll also cover damage done by visitors to common areas of your rental, such as the hallways of an apartment building. Both companies provide primary coverage, meaning that the liability protection will kick in before your own liability insurance goes into effect — a good thing that could save you money.

Is Airbnb insurance available everywhere?

Although Airbnb insurance is available for free to any host on the platform, states within the U.S. have their own laws regarding home-sharing that could determine whether you qualify for protection under AirCover for Hosts.

To access Airbnb's insurance services, you must cooperate with your local laws and landlord or condominium board rules regarding home-sharing services. In some cities, like New York, this might mean complying with zoning laws, applying for commercial permits or paying extra taxes when you rent your property. If you ignore these kinds of regulations, you may be disqualifying yourself from the benefits of Airbnb insurance.

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