06 Aug 2015 Airbnb
Have you ever heard of Airbnb? If not, I’m sure you’ve heard of a service similar to it. According to Airbnb’s website, they’re a trusted community where people can list, discover, and book unique destination accommodations via the internet or their mobile phone. Airbnb connects people with exclusive travel experiences at the right price point.
Airbnb sounds like an innovative service for today’s technologically savvy vacationer, right? That’s what it sounded like to me, too! But as your trusted source of insurance information, it’s my duty to inform you of how insurance coverages fit into this puzzle. Here’s what you’ll need to consider before utilizing Airbnb’s services.
The scenario is that you’re the “host” – you’ve invited a vacationer to borrow your property for a specific amount of time. Hosting on Airbnb is a responsibility. If you live in a condo association, are renting or leasing property, or have other specific circumstances where you don’t have 100% control of your property, hosting with Airbnb is still possible, but a little more complicated. You must comply with the specific regulations designated by the association or your landlord.
Checking to ensure you’re compliant with local laws and code is very important since the regulations read a little differently depending upon the state, town, and/or city (here are the regulations for Boston, MA).
When you are a host through Airbnb, they provide a Host Guarantee. The Host Guarantee provides up to $1,000,000 in coverage for lost or damaged items due to theft or vandalism (this must be caused by an Airbnb guest). Airbnb clarifies that this is not insurance and should not be used as a replacement for homeowners or renters insurance. The Host Guarantee does not protect against cash or securities, pets, issues of personal liability or shared or common areas at the host property. Other specific items have limited coverage; such as artwork and collectibles.
Since each insurance company is a little different, before agreeing to be a host; it’s a good idea to contact the agent that manages your homeowners or renters insurance policy. The specific question that you’ll want to ask is – “Does my policy provide coverage if I’ve accepted payment from a short-term renter? If so, what coverages will be excluded (if any)?”
*Authored by Amanda Spittell.
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For more information about this topic, or to get answers about your current insurance situation, stop our office in Franklin, Massachusetts or give us a call at (800) 941-3317.