Coronavirus and extenuating circumstances (EC)

So how long do you think it will be that Airbnb will allow EVERY guest to claim EC because of the coronavirus?

Per Airbnb: Coronavirus outbreak

The World Health Organization has declared the coronavirus outbreak a global health emergency. Impacted hosts and guests can find info on our Extenuating circumstances policy for the coronavirus outbreak

I’m not trying to be callous but I’m worried that once the coronavirus reaches the point that it has spread worldwide that any guests can use it as an excuse. What’s to stop Airbnb from declaring the flu as an EC? Measles, etc.

I had 3 EC this winter and honestly I did not believe any of the guests. We never get to see the documentation and it’s so easy to forge Medical notes.

Does anyone have any ideas on how we can convince Airbnb to start providing travel insurance?

I send this feedback nearly every week but of course I never hear back:

"Please consider offering Trip Insurance to our guests. Extenuating Circumstances are hurting hosts who depend on their bookings to support themselves and their families.

Every other travel-related industry offers this service. Why doesn’t Airbnb? "


This article claims that most travel insurance policies would not cover a cancellation due to the WuFlu.

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Generally speaking, I wouldn’t believe The Sun if it said it was dark outside, I’d go and look.

However, they have got it about right. Travel insurers will on pay out (for UK folks) if the FCO issue a “do not travel to xxxx”.



I’m totally with you on this… it’d actually be a very nice additional income stream for Airbnb and at the same time protect both guests and (especially) hosts!

Personally I maintain annual travel insurance and do not see why other people think that it’s fine to not buy insurance and expect other people to carry the losses for them!


Well if it makes you feel better, here is the source article.

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It’s a UK thing, that newspaper has a dreadful reputation, and quite rightly so.



Even a stopped clock is right twice a day. :cowboy_hat_face:


So even regular trip insurance isn’t covering folks fears of the coronavirus but Airbnb says that hosts have to bear the brunt.

Per the article referenced:

For travelers who have booked a trip to China (or other destinations in Asia) and simply no longer wish to travel due to fears about the outbreak, unfortunately, a standard trip cancellation policy will not provide reimbursement. Being worried about traveling to a destination is not a covered reason under standard trip cancellation insurance. A policy with an added optional Cancel For Any Reason upgrade will provide this coverage, however, a Cancel For Any Reason upgrade isn’t available under all policies and it usually increases the premium by approximately 40%.


It is EC. World flu epidemic.

Don´t let your frustration of money lost conflict your judgement.

I’m thinking if they are worried about the Coronavirus, if they think they might catch it on the way here, or worse, have it already, please, please, please cancel. Yes you will get your money back. I can’t imagine what it would cost me if they were quarantined at my house.


I agree with you about the travel insurance, but I also think Airbnb has their existing EC policy because it’s attractive to guests and they are unlikely to change it. At best, they would figure out a way to make hosts pay for insurance to get paid for guest EC. I can imagine something very similar to the existing Flexible/Non-Refundable cancellation policy where the host gets paid less but still gets paid if the guest cancels (non EC), except that the guest doesn’t pay less and the difference will go to Airbnb as insurance.

Specifically regarding coronavirus, I’m not sure if they’ll go as far as to allow EC just because a guest is afraid to travel, but I bet it’ll still be much easier for a guest to cancel. However, for this pandemic, ECs are the least of your worries. Do a Google search for news articles on how coronavirus is affecting airlines. You can expect it to have a very similar affect on hotels/STRs. The main revenue loss is not going to be caused by travelers cancelling trips they’ve already booked, but by all the potential travelers that decide not to book their travel at all.


Yes, I’ve noticed that I’m only getting booking for the US and Canada right now. I suspect that even these bookings will slow down. To be pro-active, I’ve brought my pricing down a little.


I’m not concerned by people canceling who shouldn’t; I’m concerned about people not canceling who should.


I only had one Chinese tour booking from an Alaskan agency that specializes in marketing to China, and they cancelled yesterday, just before their deposit was due.

I am planning a trip in December, I will be buying travel insurance which I usually do not. I am very concerned this could really impact everything. Schools will close, parents will not be able to work, the entire economy is at risk.
This is a serious threat.


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Double check you will be covered, I bought my insurance early for the current trip to Japan, a day later and no coverage.

Just an fyi - we use World Nomads. They seem to offer the best rates that we have found. Start your insurance a few days before your trip. Otherwise, you may not be covered, depending on circumstance.

We actually had to file a claim once last year - Amy’s gallbladder decided to act up and she had to cancel her 3 week trip to Europe. The insurance covered everything that was non-refundable. Well worth the $200.

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The same thing happens with an I guess with every accommodation website. The sites preffer to issue EC like this rather face multiple sues from guests.
They agree to lose the fees and don’t care about hotels and especially - us.
I myself ordered a trip for this Wed to Romania and already was looking how to cancel for free, but I guess there’s no way to.
How long? I guess it’ll take several months until the proper vaccination would be found and produced for everyone. And then since it’d be available and, I believe, compulsory for to make for everyone, the situatition would come to be like with a flu. Meantime - I almost don’t have bookings not only on Airbnb, but from any other channel. :frowning:

I’ve seen a significant downgrade in the number of bookings. Firstly (I think) based on individual concern about travel, and the new trend this week is forced cancellation due to postponement / cancellation of large public gatherings, eg the game developers conference in SF in March that many were traveling in for. There’s going to be an increased activity led by HHS around ‘social distancing’ by reducing risk of large groups congregating, and this will affect those of us in major cities reliant on event-based bookings. Bookings are down at least for me, in San Francisco. Don’t know if its a concern about this state, or is happening all over.

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Yes, I’m seeing a similar trend in Boston. I’m just starting to move into my busy season but already I’m bringing my rates down, running promos and still March is only half booked. I’m usually booked up by now. I haven’t even had a new booking or inquiry in about a week.

I’m realizing now that I might walk away from STR and sell the house and buy a smaller place.

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