I think we need to start our own mutual insurance company and monetize this Airbnb phenomenon like everyone else is doing with their cleaning/booking/etc. services!
Although insurance products have been in existence for the second or vacation home rental business, the industry hasn’t really caught up with the growth of Airbnb yet. As several folks have mentioned, regardless of whether Airbnb’s coverage and “guarantee” be good or bad, running a commercial business – of short term rentals or anything else – out of your home or apartment may not be permissible under your homeowner’s or renter’s or your landlord’s insurance policy (and may void that coverage) or may breach the provisions of your or your landlord’s mortgage agreement if the property is financed. Commercial operations = higher risk, and insurance companies will not voluntarily take on additional risk they have not priced into the existing coverage premiums. Plus insurance companies do not have the protection, depending on jurisdiction, of the many government licensing, inspection, and customer and employee safety regulations that would be in place for, as examples, a beauty shop or convenience store housed in an apartment building. If I’m running a hotel I better be sure I’m don’t have fire code violations if I want my insurance claim to be paid. Airbnb is an immature business model that jurisdictions have just begun to regulate in the past few years. That creates uncertainty for insurers in gauging risk levels and being able to price to cover them. Before I stumbled upon Proper insurance, I was looking at commercial bed & breakfast policies.