Guest-initiated claim through Host Protection Insurance

Does anyone have experience having a guest initiate a claim against you through Host Protection Insurance?

We had a nightmarish guest a month ago who didn’t say a peep during her 2-day stay. When my cleaner arrived and discovered her mess (bags of garbage left outside, raw food on the deck, shot glasses strewn around the cottage, vomit-stained bedding, missing kayak paddle, etc.) I reached out and let her know that we would be requesting additional payment for the damages.

Immediately upon hearing this, she suddenly had her own list of “concerns”, including spiders in the pedal boat, no roof over the BBQ (so they got wet when it rained), and a full bottle of dishsoap being insufficient. But her biggest concern was that our sloped, gravel driveway caused extensive damage to her two vehicles because they got stuck. She claimed that our driveway was unfinished and we failed to inform her of its condition, putting them at risk. Once they were stuck, they apparently incurred damage to their tires, rims, brakes, rotors, and paint job.

Our driveway is gravel, which I didn’t mention to her, but our listing pictures clearly show a cottage in the middle of a forest, and it’s pretty standard across the board that cottages don’t come with paved roads or driveways. Lesson learned, I’ve already updated our manual. But the slope is not that steep and there’s really no way that much damage could have been caused to her vehicles. I had previously told her that we have a friendly, helpful neighbour and at no point did she reach out to me to let me know they were having trouble getting up the driveway. If she actually caused that much damage to her cars, it was her own doing.

I’ve been awarded some of the damage costs through the Airbnb Resolution Centre, but now I’ve received notice that she has initiated a claim through the Host Protection Insurance and that a third party will be investigating. I’m wondering if anyone has had a similar experience (i.e. guest claims damage caused by host) and what the outcome was (or even what I can expect during the process).

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. This is our first bad experience with an Airbnb guest.

I always assumed it was only for the use of a host. I’m surprised that they were able to place a claim.

I’m guessing it will be dismissed if the guest did not report the damage immediately and did not get an estimate within a specific time frame.

If guest waited days to report the damage, one can speculate the possibility that it occured elsewhere and is trying to scam Airbnb.


Was it worth the $100 or whatever you got from it?

Once you asked for money it went downhill fast it seems.

Curious to know how much you asked for and ended up getting?


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In hindsight, it definitely wasn’t worth it. Another lesson learned, but one that really annoys me since guests can basically get away with bad behaviour if they create some bogus claims of their own. We asked for about $200 and received $108 (they did not cover additional cleaning costs and depreciated the cost of a new kayak paddle).

I’m not sure what the time frame guests have to report damage, but I’m assuming she reported in time. I think she made a counter-claim in the Resolution Centre immediately after I made ours and that counter-claim has now been transferred to the Host Protection Insurance.


I’m so sorry that this happened to you. We had almost the exact same situation with a previous guest: zero communication, found damage to the house, as soon as we mentioned the damage suddenly they sent this weird, long message about all of the things “wrong” with the house and said they wanted to make a claim against us for the “damages” to them. (Clearly a dramatic attempt to get out of paying for their damages.) As you know, your guests’ claims about getting rained on and spiders are ridiculous, and their claims about your driveway sound outlandish as well - they are likewise trying to get you to drop the charges.

It’s maybe a little late now since they already started a claim, but I’d recommend taking screenshots of all your communication with the guests, and do not communicate directly with them from here. In our case, the fact that they didn’t say anything until we brought up the damage charges - a week after they checked out - completely ruined whatever case they had. The guests never opened an actual claim against us, in part because we reached out first with our documentation of how weird they were being. We were awarded the full damage amount and never heard from the guests again.

Personally, I find such drama on guests’ part ridiculous, and while there’s a certain degree of letting things go, my philosophy is that it’s important to leave honest reviews, and walk the line between being understanding of normal wear and tear/cost of business while also holding people accountable for actual bad behavior. I know some hosts like to keep the peace as much as possible, even if that means eating damage costs (and sometimes being afraid to leave honest reviews!), so I guess it’s up to you where you want to take it from here and how you want to handle future instances of damage. In the future I would definitely report such messages to Airbnb right away, and bring your screenshots of the timeline before they have the chance to initiate a claim. And please review them honestly.

Anyway, I hope that helps. Best of luck, and remember that this will pass. Our bad guests were an outlier and we’ve had so many wonderful guests since then :slight_smile:

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Thanks @NorthernLights. It sounds like our situations were very similar. I’ve only communicated with this guest through the Airbnb messaging, so they have all of our communication, and we stopped communicating as soon as the Resolution Centre got involved. I notified her of the damages the same day she checked out, and she wrote back with her concerns later that evening. I tried to address her concerns (as ridiculous as they were) and be apologetic that she didn’t have a good experience but she just took that as disingenuous and it seemed to set her off further. Perhaps in the future, I’ll institute a “cooling off” period for myself and wait to contact guests about relatively minor issues. I can definitely see how your guests waiting a whole week to voice their “concerns” hurt their case.

I agree that, like your guests, she created this driveway claim to deflect from her own bad behaviour and attempt to get me to drop the issue with the Resolution Centre. But now that the Resolution Centre case is complete, it seems she is persisting with her claims. I can only hope that the third-party adjuster sees this too. Given the rainy weather she had, she likely did have some trouble in the driveway, but if she caused that much damage to her cars, I suspect that she didn’t take the right approach to getting herself unstuck.

Has anyone had a claim accepted through Host Protection Insurance? How does it work? Is there a deductible or does Airbnb’s insurance just pay it out and the host is not affected?

Maybe they were drunk and drove off of the driveway into the soft terrain? Do you have pics of the before and after driveway? It is pretty obvious to anyone who has ever been stuck there is a lot of evidence on the ground.

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Side note @JeMak- if you don’t have an exterior camera already, I’d recommend getting one. It can help discourage bogus claims in the future. I’m so sorry you have to deal with this one!

Why? Why be apologetic for non-existent bogus claims to someone who damaged your stuff and behaves this way?

When you have to deal with these types of people, that is not how to do it. They see gentleness and kindness as weakness and move in for the kill.

How you deal with these bully types is to make it clear that you can’t be intimidated, that they are messing with the wrong person.

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@gypsy We saw the driveway a week later. There were definite holes where they spun their tires. I’m sure that the ground was a bit mushy due to the rain and they had trouble getting traction. I guess my point is that this doesn’t cause damage to one’s tires, rims, brakes, rotors, and paint. My neighbour could have pulled them out with his truck if they’d only alerted me to the issue. We’ve had our tires spin on the loose gravel from time to time, but never to the point of damage to our car. We just readjust and try again.

@HudsonNY We are looking into exterior cameras now. Thanks!

@muddy I guess I was trying to take the high road. I see now how that backfired. Perhaps I was naive in thinking that someone who damages your property and leaves a mess behind would take ownership of that and pay up to avoid further confrontation. This guest was clearly looking for a fight.


Another case where requiring a security deposit up front would have probably scared off this guest.
This is what we do: depending on unit size, we state in listing and house rules that a deposit must be paid before arrival. ($200-$800 for bigger houses) Then we request money through airbnb or on their CCard after confirmed booking. AirBnb is okay with this and you can find other sites talking about it. Also we require guests have 5 star reviews to be allowed to instant book. If a 5 star guest books that we feel fine with, we waive the deposit, as it’s a bit of a manual hassle to request and refund. Guests with zero stars can’t IB and must request and then must answer a few questions and then pay deposit. Guests like yours here KNOW they are going to leave a mess, cuz they always do. And they won’t book your airbnb if they know the host will have a deposit to keep. So 99% of these problems are solved for you. If they book and won’t pay the deposit right away. Then you don’t give them codes or check them in. Then can cancel and you can give them whatever deposit.
I hope that helps. It’s been working great for us for about a year and hundreds of guests. only 1 bad guest smoked in unit and left a mess. We kept his $200 and left him an honest review. No messing with airbnb claims. If they just built a legit deposit system like this into the system they could really dominate even more because many property managers could just use the system and automate the deposit procedures that they now must do outside ABB system. (Contracts, deposits, etc)


I really like how you approach this! Excellent and thank you for sharing.
Just one point of clarification - the IB “required positive review” thing will not stop bookings from guests with 3 or 4 stars. It WILL stop bookings from guests who received a NO for “would you host again” from a prior host.

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Interesting. In over a year. I have received instant bookings from guests with 4.5 stars. But never lower. And never an instant book from a guest with zero reviews, which I think is the most important since the newbies are usually the ones that don’t read.