I think they’re overpromising on the background checks, too.
I’d rather they just say “We’re just a booking site and move money from one hand to the other. That’s all we do”.
The host guarantee and background checks/review system give a false sense of security. We may be better positioned if we pretend they don’t exist. In the last year I’ve kept more $ in reserve to cover disasters because I don’t even feel assured I could collect on the deposit, much less the “host guarantee” if something went wrong.
As Dusty said, I interact with a variety of people, very few of them vetted, and have only rarely run into that <5% of terrible humans.
I think if you want a verified ID, you should check it yourself at the door. If you want a background check, you should arrange for a rental contract, as some hosts do, and conduct your own. Just don’t be surprised if many guests decide to book elsewhere.