Get the correct insurance for your property!

I’ve spent days trying to get quotes for buildings and contents insurance that will cover me for renting rooms on Airbnb or any other web sites ( which I do also) I rent 3 rooms and have been flat out all summer, back to back bookings so it’s proved at least to be a successful platform for me to advertise on. But dear hosts…do not blindly carry on renting rooms (or entire properties) without making sure you are covered for public liability insurance and many other boxes your insurance company will now ask you to ‘tick’…and there are many more from normal residential house insurance policies. Ive had sleepless nights about some dear soul (guest) tumbling down my twenty Victorian stairs and when getting home deciding after advice from their lawyers to sue me. My insurance before I rented rooms was about £300 a year, I live in UK. Today I got the cheapest quote for just under £1000 but I’m covered for everything. So tonight I can sleep, if my guests wreck my house or set it on fire, or fall down those flight of stairs I am covered. It’s a mission as many insurance companies wouldn’t touch me…Airbnb hasn’t got great ratings with them and let’s face it they look for every loop hole, but it’s worth the time and effort finding the right insurance and paying more for peace of mind. If any UK residents wish me to pass on info of the company and underwriters I found let me know…they are happy (of course!) for me to pass on their details!!

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I am in the US, and for Liability insurance I go through State Farm and have a $5,000,000 Umbrella Insurance policy. It’s roughly $360 annually.
I originally had it for $1,000,000 but had to up it for my work.

Air1…Does this cover a commercial activity at your home, such as an AirBnB? $360 seems so reasonable.


Yes, I’d be shocked if you can get a liability policy for that cheap that will cover business activity.

But I’ll call State Farm to see what they say!

ALSO! Please realize that the airbnb policy pays out ACTUAL CASH VALUE - not replacement cost - they will DEPRECIATE everything that is to be repaired or replaced and you will not be able to replace it. If your house burns down, do not expect air to build you a new one!

but will the airbnb policy pay if someone is injured?I dont care if somebody breaks something… thats cheap to replace, someone falling and breaking an ankle isnt.

There is no way one can get full policy for that. Air type rental is classified as high risk. Our policy does not cover any damage to contents.

I’ve also read several accounts of people getting dropped immediately from their insurance companies when they asked about this – so protect yourself and inquire anonymously or through a 3rd party. We are looking into a reasonably priced commercial policy and hoping to see where we end up after all our costs – it may not be worth it to continue renting on AirBNB. I don’t understand why AirBNB isn’t just getting in front of this problem and working with an insurance company to come up with a product that is affordable, protects us, and makes quite a bit of money for some enterprising insurance company that gets all our business. If hosts start taking themselves off AirBNB due to insurance liability, their billion dollar business is down the tubes. Let’s be realistic – the vast majority of hosts are operating illegally and likely in violation of numerous safety codes.

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I totally agree with you Chigohost, that’s why I looked into my insurance as I was quite aware I was probably operating illegally or at very least wouldn’t be covered by my last insurance if a guest sued me for falling down a flight of stairs in my house or tripping over the dog! I have one friend who is already considering coming off Airbnb because she discovered her insurance won’t cover her and she’ll have to do what I’ve done and go under ‘Hotel and Guest House’ insurance which she just can’t afford. Our premiums here in UK are nothing compared to the States (especially if you live in hurricane/tornado parts) but I am now paying four times more than I did before hosting. The thing I’ve found with Airbrn is its all set up to cover themselves and I think more could be done to protect their hosts where insurance is concerned, and as you say, could be quite enterprising and profitable for them to do so! They take guests money immediately and hosts don’t get paid till after the guest checks out which could be two months if booked way in advance, and there will be loop holes in the insurance they ‘offer’ for sure…they have it all tied up to their advantage. In fact I am worried now that my insurance company could find a loop hole if my house burns down as my insurance with them could overlap with Airbnb insurance, however I’ve not signed into any Airbnb policy, need to read their T & Cs about that.
As you say, a billion dollar business like theirs could go down the tubes if hosts start getting sued because they are operating illegally due to lack of the correct insurance policies.

You might look at It is sponsored by the Vacation Rental Association. Only has US providers however. - Bob

Air host insurance is mainly for damages! Like when a guest broke my table… I had to submit a claim of what happened, first confront the guest, who denied, then upload photos of the damages and cost or repair or replacement. Air paid.

I know in specific well-publicised cases, they may have paid out on liability, but mostly their Host Insurance is about damages…

Bob, this looks good… but as others have mentioned. I am SCARED TO DEATH to even enquire! Will they alert my current provider I am doing a vacation rental!??

I have my tax license… so I am legal there… but insurance… the giant elephant in the room no one wants to see!

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Chicago, so true and I could not agree more!!! We need that desperately! Would be great if they paid it for us too!

DC, on my broken furniture, Air paid me full replacement cost.

That’s very interesting - thanks!!

I was completely open with my insurance agent. As a matter of fact I just have a basement rental now and plan to build a 6 guestroom lodge in the near future. When I had to up it from 1 to 5 million for work, he said the extra expense was worth it due to me planning on having guests on my property. Just repeating my conversation, now I’m a little worried!

Air1… was the umbrella policy meant to cover guests in the basement rental? Because that is what I have too. I am afraid to ask my insurance agent, because folks here have posted that they were immediately canceled just for enquiring!

I don’t even want to ask a different agent in case they would alert my current carrier!

The umbrella policy was originally because I work for an airline and drive my personal vehicle on airport property. In my discussion with my agent, I mentioned renting and building the large lodge in the future and he said that would be a perfect reason to get and keep the umbrella policy. It also covers my boating and automotive as well (assume if there is an accident and I am sued).
So he was fully aware of my plan and future plans. I may call him and see what he says.

Air!, ask on our behalf, OK? We are afraid to talk to our own agents!

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I bet it does not cover you for Air- they assume you are renting the basement to monthly tenants. I think you will be for surprise when you make the claim.

Hi Alba - a really helpful post. I would be very grateful if you could send the details of the insurers you have used for your UK home. Thanks in anticipation. Derek