Extenuating circumstances refund

We are hosts in Australia and just had a client cancel the day before they arrived due to vehicle accident.
Air bnb have paid us in full for the 2 week stay but are now saying they will be refunding their client in full and the monies will be deducted from the revenue from our upcoming stays.
Our strict cancellation policy if no refunds apparently does not apply under these circumstances. Can anybody throw some light on our rights here ?
Pete and Kim

Yep. Welcome to the extenuating circumstances policy. We as hosts are also travel insurance for guests.

Did the CSR reopen your calendar for bookings?
the EC policy sucks and you haven no say in it.
Did you ask the guests if they had travel insurance on their credit card?

Hi @Mickamice

When you sign up to using Airbnb you sign up to their Extenuating Circumstances policy which applies both to hosts and guests.

If you wander over to Airbnb’s Help Centre it will give you details about how it works for both parties.

In essence it covers either hosts or guests who have to cancel for circumstances out of their control such as being in a car accident, death or illness of one of the party travelling, bad weather conditions etc

Hopefully Airbnb have opened up your calendar so there is an opportunity for a last minute booking.

Thankyou for responding
Yeah it seems that way !

I have never had this discouraging experience but I assume it’s only a matter of time. This is my biggest beef with Airbnb (the lower-your-price and instant book pressure are small potatoes compared) – that they force us hosts to provide travel insurance. Why oh why do they not sell travel insurance themselves? I can’t imagine it would be anything but lucrative for them. Just add a button for the guest to click on, easy-peasy. Get on the trains, planes and automobiles – and cruises and tours and almost every travel-related product – bandwagon and make some easy money.


Thankyou I agree totally!

Thankyou yes they had no insurance on cc

Totally agree with you

Over three and a half years for me now and have never once had a claim - I don’t think it’s half as frequent as being on host forums makes you think :slight_smile:

@GutHend - maybe one of your infamous surveys.

How many hosts have had a guest claim EC?
How many claims were the guests successful in pursuing ?


I haven’t had a guest file an EC claim on either of my beach area condos in 4 years. However I’ve Had to use it 2x so Airbnb would find other accommodations for my guests (broken a/c 95 degrees & water heater stopped working).

Due to guest cancellations related to hurricanes & flooding, although my homes were undamaged, I’ve lost 4-6 weeks of revenue in both 2017 & 2018. It’s the nature of rentals.


The problem is not only that we are travel insurance for guests, getting a doctor to give a letter is pretty easy. Let’s say the guest has travel insurance and aware of Airbnb extenuating circumstance policy. He goes to his doctor for a letter. He claims insurance and gets Airbnb to refund him his money. This is a crooked way to double your money in no time.

Having an extenuating circumstance policy is a noble idea for hosts and guests but it’s open for abuse.

I saw a cancelation option where you give a 10% discount but no refund then possible. I have not read how it works. But could be an option. Increase your rate by 10% and give a discount of 10%. I think the guest can choose normal or discounted no refund option. If I could force only 10% discount no cancellation option it could have worked.

The 10 % no cancellation does not include extenuating circumstances. So in my view the no cancellation booking has no protection as why would you cancel except if something has happened?


Thanks for clarifying.

Effectively, there is no such thing as an Airbnb non-refundable policy.



@JohnF xactly. Blech!!! Pbbbbbth!


Been on ABB for a year and had two already. Yippee.

One was legit and I told them to do the EC route when they told me the circumstances.

The other was a complete bullshit fabrication of a man-child that didn’t like being told to wait his turn (aka “if it rebooks I’ll refund”) and I have his temper tantrum in writing on the app.

ABB needs to get travel insurance and stop making that US.

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I’ve had a few cancellations over the years, one or two of them being ECs. I know that it’s me being old school but if a guest cancels I assume that I won’t get paid for their ‘stay’. That (don’t all yell at once) seems right to me, I wouldn’t want to pay to not stay somewhere after a car accident or because of a serious illness.

And as @Annet3176 says, it’s the nature of rentals and it works both ways. It looks after us as hosts too in the event of some drama that means we can’t accommodate guests. And, sigh, we do sign up for it when we first join so can’t really complain afterwards.

Luckily I’ve never had a guest cancel without a good spell of notice and have always been able to fill the dates. I see it as my responsibility towards my business. Airbnb don’t want people to book with me, just to book with them, anywhere will do. So these things happen and it’s up to me.