I had a guest who set my Nest thermostat to 65F at the height of Summer, resulting in my HVAC condenser freezing up and nearly $4000 of repairs.
I took screenshots from the Nest app, proving that the guest set the AC to this unreasonable temperature on the specific dates/times, I even attached the HVAC repairman’s invoice stating that “due to customer setting the condenser froze up…”…yet, AirCover refused to provide me with even a dollar of compensation and stated the following:
“We’ve determined that the reported damages are consistent with ordinary wear and tear, which isn’t included under the Host Damage Protection Terms. It appears the reported damages weren’t caused by a responsible guest or invitee of the guest, which means they aren’t eligible for reimbursement under Host damage protection. To be eligible, the reported damages must have been caused by a responsible guest or an invitee of the guest.”
I especially don’t understand that part about damages “weren’t caused by a responsible guest…” We have proof that the guest set the AC to 65F!
Has anyone else had a terrible experience with AirCover? It would appear that their claimed host coverage is non existent!
I’m sorry that you had this major repair bill.
I recently posted a topic on what a reasonable AC temperature setting and folks here didn’t say that it shouldn’t lower than ‘x’ because that could damage the AC resulting in costly repairs. Some said a reasonable temperature is whatever the guest feels it should be. I asked ‘even if they set at 65F?’ and no one objected that that could damage the AC.
I just Googled whether setting the temperature too low could damage the AC. Most sites said it wouldn’t run ‘optimally’; a few said it could cause freeze and result in repairs. Some sites mentioned other maintenance type issues associated with the unit freezing resulting in needed repairs.
Please don’t shoot the messenger but my take on this is that it is not common knowledge that the temperature should not be set to 65 lest the AC unit be damaged.
It would seem at the least that information would need to be part of your house rules (AND probably also a label on the thermostat) to have a hope for reimbursement. Ideally, a Host would ‘guest proof’ the AC system by having a thermostat that would not permit a setting that would cause damage. I’m guessing that a Nest thermostat could be setup that way?
Many of the Hosts here don’t have much confidence in AirCover. Do you have commercial insurance, like Proper, to whom you could submit a claim? Most here would strongly suggest getting a ‘real’ commercial insurance policy, rather than relying on AirCover.
“You can lock your Nest Thermostat from the Settings menu on your thermostat, or with the Nest app. Locking your Nest Thermostat is a good way to keep guests or children from changing your thermostat’s settings while still letting you and your family adjust your home’s temperature within the range you’ve set. Unless someone has the four digit PIN that you create when locking your Nest Thermostat, they won’t be able to unlock the thermostat or change any of the thermostat’s settings.”
People whose claims are paid don’t go looking for a place to complain. Airbnb doesn’t provide us information on which claims they paid, how much and why. So all we have are anecdotes about claims paid or unpaid, far more about the latter. I do remember someone posting about being paid several times including $6k for a pool table repair so it does happen.
Obviously if you are going to have a Nest that you are monitoring, don’t let the guests set it so low. I don’t know why you took screenshots instead of action like telling the guest they can’t have it that low and or raising it from the app.
All you should count on for Airbnb is bookings and payment. At that kind of cost I’d check with my STR insurance and see if they will cover it.
That message you received from Airbnb is the standard cut and paste they send everyone when they reject a claim, I’ve seen it posted many times before.
Of course it’s absurd to say that some Airbnb rep can determine that a damage wasn’t caused by a guest, since they can’t possibly know that. And the wording of that message is infuriating to hosts who’ve had guests damage things- they should just say “We won’t pay for this” and leave the BS out.
The bottom line is that you should never depend on Airbnb to cover anything despite their flowery, lying language about how protected you are. You really need your own str insurance to cover any expensive repairs or replacements and self-insure for the small stuff that would cost less than the insurance deductible by upping your price by a couple bucks a day, and setting that $ aside in a special fund so replacing or fixing things is taken in stride as part of being in the hospitality business.
Doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put in damage claims to Airbnb, just don’t be dependent on it or shocked when they reject it.
Thanks for all of the responses. Very helpful. Agree with everything that’s been said - seems as though AirCover is not worth relying upon AT ALL.
I should have stated that my Nest was locked to 74F on the guest’s arrival and she complained that she was too hot, so she wanted it unlocked so that she could set the temp to 65F. She was visiting from Saudi Arabia, so I believe her Celsius to Fahrenheit conversion was way off in her mind too.
In hindsight I should have dug my heels in and agreed to have it locked to a lower temp like 71F perhaps, but not totally unlock it for her.
Anyway, damage is done now.
I will look into getting separate short term rental insurance - thanks for the tips.
Sorry, but I agree with Airbnb, your HVAC had another issue and shouldn’t have died from setting the temp to 65F. Doing so might’ve accelerated it’s demise, but it wasn’t the actual cause.
What about your own STR insurance?
Didn’t have any…but am looking into it now!
Unlikely. It was 86F outside and the AC was set to 65F for around 12 hours solid without stopping, resulting in the condenser freezing up. I had TWO professional HVAC repairmen confirm to me that this excessively low setting was the cause.
Sounds like a claim that’s very unlikely to succeed to me.
Our previous HVAC system in the front half of our house was undersized and lower quality. It ran solidly every summer day to try to get the house down to 76 degrees. At least several days were over 100 each summer. Granted, that wasn’t 65 degrees. But the system ran flat out, every hot summer day, for years. Years.
We replaced both of our HVAC systems this summer (big house). The bill was $30,000 for properly sized and top-quality systems.
If your system failed after running full power for 12 hours, I believe it was due to go.
I doubt whether any STR insurance would cover the HVAC under these conditions, so it seems very unlikely to me that Airbnb would do so. I know they’re very unreliable for paying claims, but this seems like an unreasonable claim to me.
The efficiency of all HVAC systems (which determines how hard the system “works”) is based on the temperature differential between inside and outside. In your situation, the difference is only 21F. I live in Phoenix where outside temps are routinely over 100F and occasionally as high as 120F. We get temperature differentials of over 21F practically every single day (and most of the night) from May through October and sometimes the differential is as high as 40F. You believe what you want, but that’s physics. Your system has/had another problem.
Well we’re just having to take this one on the chin. I’ve used the AC for years without problem until the 65F incident this Summer. The repairs are done and the Nest is locked to 72F - forever.
Hope you guys don’t get any massive HVAC repair bills anytime soon…
What does your STR insurance say about this? Do they cover your repairs for this situation?
I only have standard homeowners insurance through Statefarm. I haven’t gone out to get separate STR insurance yet…but I plan to now.
I haven’t bothered to approach StateFarm about it yet, but I guess I could.
Be cautious about telling StateFarm that you’re using the property for commercial purposes. They could decide to drop your coverage.
Be sure to tell StateFarm that you’re using the property for commercial purposes. Never a good idea to misrepresent things, especially when you file a claim.
You may have to look for new homeowner’s as well as STR coverage, but you’ll be really glad to have it when a guest breaks their leg on your doorstep and sues for $1,000,000.
While humans have a great deal of variance as far as what they consider to be a comfortable temperature (I run cold and would almost never use AC at all) you should read some articles about what is considered to be optimal average temperature for people.
72 is plenty cool enough for me, but the average is considered to be 70. I would lock it at 70, not 72, as many guests might find 72 to be too warm.
Excellent points! Will bear this in mind.
You’re right…a lot of variety as to what people find an acceptable temperature. Its definitely been a learning experience.