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Has any host been sued by a guest in CA?

Hello, I am new to this and a friend suggested the possibility that a guest would sue and if I didn’t have enough insurance could take my house!!!

Anyone have experience with this or have Insurance recommendations?

Apparently you have to have commercial liability insurance, house insurance doesn’t cover it.

Your typical homeowners insurance policy would drop you if they knew you were hosting. These policies are not designed to cover the risks associated with transient occupancy. Results seem mixed as to which companies offer hosts insurance with proper coverages in various markets. If you were sued, the standard insurance policy would not cover you. You would be resting on Airbnb’s guarantee and a good attorney. I haven’t yet heard of instances where the host guarantee was called upon for legal defense. If you don’t have sufficient funds to cover any damages awarded to the guest you could indeed lose your house or more.

Some recommend forming an LLC and marketing your property as such. Be certain at the very least to carry proper insurance. There are a few that have policies specifically for the needs of hosts and other more standard carriers offer commercial policies.

why are you accused???


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I am most certainly not accused. I just wondered if anyone else has been and whether it is a frequent occurrence and whether anyone can recommend a particular insurance.

I liked Scott Roberts http://www.trcisu.com/

Hi thanks. Does this company offer short-term rental or landlord insurance?

Ps. Bless Nolo! Here’s some info.
Insurance Questions When Renting Out Your Home Short Term
Understand insurance and liability issues when you rent out your home on Airbnb.

Need Professional Help? Talk to a Lawyer.
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By Stephen Fishman, J.D. Share on Google Plus Share on Facebook
It has become commonplace for homeowners to rent their houses out for a short period of time (less than 30 days) through short-term hosting platforms such as Airbnb. This can be a great way to earn money. The vast majority of such rentals are uneventful, but now and again tragedy can strike. In one widely reported case, for example, an Airbnb renter in Texas was killed when a tree holding up a backyard hammock he was laying on collapsed onto his head. This case makes clear that, before you become a short-term rental host, you should think carefully about your liability for any injuries someone has while staying at your home and whether you have adequate insurance coverage for property damage or loss. Here are some of the key questions to consider.

Who’s Liable for Renter Injuries?
Accidents can happen even in the best maintained homes. If you slip and fall on the stairs in your own house and break your leg, you can probably turn to your health insurance to cover the costs. But what if the same injury happens to one of your renters? If this renter files a lawsuit against you, claiming his broken leg was caused by your negligence in not keeping the stairway properly lit, the cost of hiring a lawyer to defend against the lawsuit will run into many thousands of dollars. And this doesn’t include the cost of any legal settlement or court judgment. So who will pay?

Does Your Hosting Platform Provide Insurance Coverage?
Some short-term hosting platforms provide liability insurance to their hosts, others don’t. Airbnb’s Host Protection Insurance program provides primary liability coverage for up to $1 million per occurrence in the event of third party claims of bodily injury or property damage. This coverage is subject to a $1 million cap per listing location. This insurance may also provide coverage if a guest damages building property. This often includes claims filed by a landlord against a host who has rented out his or her unit. Hosts need not pay extra for this coverage, it’s part of the service Airbnb provides and is included in its basic fee. This insurance is “primary coverage,” meaning it provides coverage up to the $1 million limit whether or not the host has other insurance coverage.

Other hosting platforms provide no insurance coverage. For example, HomeAway does not provide liability insurance coverage to protect you against the type of renter accidents described above. Instead, HomeAway recommends that hosts obtain their own short-term rental coverage from the insurer CBIZ that has created a specail combination homeowner’s and short-term rental insurance policy.

Does Your Homeowners’ or Renters’ Insurance Policy Cover Short-Term Rentals?
Your own insurance policy may provide some protection when you’re renting out your home on a short-term basis.

Homeowners’ Insurance
If you own your home or condominium, you undoubtedly have a homeowners’ insurance policy. Homeowners’ insurance provides coverage for damage to or loss of your home and possessions and liability insurance in the event an accident occurs on your property. So, if a renter suffers an injury in your home, and you’re properly insured, your homeowners’ insurance company will be required to pay for your defense and any settlement or damages up to your policy limits. However, without insurance, you’ll have to pay all these costs out of your own pocket.

Before renting your home to anyone, you should read your policy carefully. Homeowners’ policies vary from insurer to insurer and from state to state, but they almost always exclude coverage for homeowners who are running a business in their homes. If you earn money by frequently renting out your home to short-term paying guests, your insurer could claim you’re running a hotel or bed and breakfast business and deny coverage if one of your guests has a problem.

Most homeowner’s policies do provide coverage if you rent your home only one time per year, for a single special occassion like the Super Bowl. However, some insurers may require advance notice of such rentals or require you purchase an “endorsement” (an add-on to your homeowners policy) provide more coverage for the renter. Other policies may provide coverage if you rent your home only for a limited number of days per year–four weeks is a common limit. Such coverage may also be subject to a notification requirement or be conditioned on purchasing an endorsement.

Call your insurance company and specifically ask if your policy covers short-term rentals by paying guests. Make clear how often you plan to rent out your home, whether you’ll be at home while renting, and how many people you’ll be hosting. Send a follow-up email outlining your insurer’s answer, and ask for confirmation so that you have everything in writing.

What should you do if your standard homeowners’ policy doesn’t provide the coverage you need? If you continue to live in your home and simply rent out a room, you can typically obtain “unit rented to others” coverage by paying extra. This may be all the additional coverage you need. If not, you’ll need to obtain a landlords’ insurance policy that provides coverage for short-term guests. Such coverage is more expensive than a homeowners’ policy—anywhere from 15% to 25% more, depending on the level of coverage. Contact an insurance broker or agent who handles such coverage.

Renters’ Insurance
If you’re a renter, renters’ insurance provides coverage in the event your personal possessions are destroyed or stolen, and liability protection if someone is hurt in your dwelling. Your landlords’ insurance only covers the building structure, not your personal property or liability. Thus, for example, a renters’ policy provides coverage if a guest in your apartment trips and falls and suffers and injury or damages your property.

However, renters’ insurance is subject to the same limitations as homeowners’ insurance. It ordinarily provides coverage for tenants who have occasional guests, but not for those engaged in the business of renting out their apartments to paying guests.

Who Pays for Property Damage Caused by Short-Term Renters?
What happens if a guest damages your home or your personal property? If the loss is covered by your homeowners’ or landlords’ policy, you’ll be reimbursed by your insurer. However, if your homeowner’s or renter’s policy doesn’t cover your short-term rental, your insurer may refuse pay you for your loss. To fill this gap, some hosting companies have begun to offer their own insurance or reimbursement plans. For example, Airbnb has a “host guarantee” in which the company promises to pay up to $1 million to a host for property damage caused by a renter. However, Airbnb makes clear on its website that the guarantee is “not insurance,” and does not cover cash and securities, collectibles, rare artwork, jewelry, pets, or personal liability. HomeAway offers damage protection insurance of up to $5,000 for an extra fee.

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For some reason, this makes me think of this image…


does the insurance that Airbnb offer cover accidental damage (guest forgetting a oil frying pan on the stove and burning the house?)

“Excluded Property” means any of the following:

  1. Currency, money, precious metal in bullion form, notes or securities.
  2. Land, water or any other substance in or on land; except this exclusion does not apply to (i) land improvements consisting of landscape gardening, roadways and pavements, but not including any fill or land beneath such property, or (ii) water that is contained within any enclosed tank, piping system or any other processing equipment.
  3. Animals, including, but not limited to, livestock and pets.
  4. Standing timber; growing crops.
  5. Watercraft (including, but not limited to, boats, yachts, jet skis, and similar craft), aircraft, spacecraft, and satellites. This watercraft exclusion does not apply with respect to any watercraft which is a Covered Accommodation. However, this exclusion does apply to vessels that, at the time of the loss, are in transit, or are moving greater than 10 feet from their usual fixed location and moving faster than one mile per hour.
  6. Vehicles (including, but not limited to, automobiles, scooters, vespas, and motorcycles). This exclusion does not apply with respect to any vehicle that is a Covered Accommodation. However, this exclusion does apply to vehicles that, at the time of the loss, are in transit, or are moving greater than 10 feet from their usual fixed location and moving faster than one mile per hour.
  7. Underground mines or mine shafts or any property within such mine or shaft.
  8. Dams, dikes and levees.
  9. Property in transit, except as otherwise provided by these Airbnb Host Guarantee Terms.
  10. Transmission and distribution lines beyond 1,000 feet of the Covered Accommodation.
  11. Any damage to any property that is not in, at, or on a Covered Accommodation.
  12. Real property owned by a party other than you and that you do not control.
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The Airbnb Host Guarantee pays Covered Losses only and does not pay for any of the following (“Excluded Losses”):

1) any losses caused by a Guest or Invitee after the expiration of the booking period shown in the applicable Listing.
2) losses or damages for Covered Property, which arise out of any one booking of a Covered Accommodation by a Responsible Guest, in excess of the Limit.
3) in the case of Fine Arts, losses or damages if the Fine Arts cannot be replaced with other of like kind and quality and any loss or damage from any repairing, restoration or retouching process.
4) any losses, damages, cost or expense of whatsoever nature, directly or indirectly, caused by, relating to or resulting from any of the following:

  • (i) Excluded Property;
  • (ii) acts of nature, including, but not limited to, earthquakes and weather related events such as hurricanes and tornadoes;
  • (iii) excessive use of electricity, gas, fuel, water or other utilities provided for the Covered Accommodation;
  • (iv) indirect or remote causes;
  • (v) interruption of business, loss of market and/or loss of use, except that the Airbnb Host Guarantee does cover Booking Income Loss;
  • (vi) loss, damage, or deterioration arising from any delay;
  • (vii) mysterious disappearance, loss, or shortage disclosed on taking inventory, or any unexplained loss of inventory;
  • (viii) enforcement of any law or ordinance (i) regulating the construction, repair, replacement, use or removal of any property, including removal of debris, or (ii) requiring the demolition of any property, including the cost of removing its debris;
  • (ix) animals, including injuries to animals, veterinary care, boarding, medications, and all other services associated with animals; or
  • (x) identity theft or identity fraud.
    5) any losses, damages, cost or expense of whatsoever nature, directly or indirectly, caused by or resulting from any of the following, regardless of any other cause or event contributing thereto:
  • (i) any hostile act or act of war, terrorism, insurrection or rebellion;
  • (ii) actual or threatened malicious use of poisonous biological or chemical materials;
  • (iii) nuclear reaction or radiation or radioactive contamination;
  • (iv) seizure or destruction under quarantine or custom regulation, or confiscation by order of any governmental or public authority;
  • (v) contraband, or illegal transportation or trade;
  • (vi) any dishonest act, including but not limited to theft, committed by you or any persons or entities retained by you to do anything in connection with Covered Property, unless such persons or entities are a Responsible Guest or Invitee and such act is done without your knowledge; or
  • (vii) lack of electricity, fuel, water, gas, steam, refrigerant, sewerage, telephone or internet services due to external factors.
    6) the following conditions:
  • (i) faulty workmanship, material, construction or design from any cause;
  • (ii) deterioration, depletion, rust, corrosion or erosion, inherent vice or latent defect;
  • (iii) Ordinary Wear and Tear;
  • (iv) settling, cracking, shrinking, bulging, or expansion of foundations, floors, pavements, walls, ceilings or roofs;
  • (v) changes of temperature or relative humidity; or
  • (vi) damage caused by insects, animals or vermin (including pets);
    provided, that any physical damage resulting from any of the conditions listed above will be covered by the Airbnb Host Guarantee if not otherwise excluded under the Airbnb Host Guarantee.

7) any losses, damages, claims, costs, expenses or other sums directly or indirectly arising out of or relating to mold, mildew, fungus, spores or other microorganism of any type, nature, or description, including but not limited to any substance whose presence poses an actual or potential threat to human health. This exclusion applies even if there is (i) any physical loss or damage to Covered Property; (ii) any peril or cause covered hereunder, whether or not contributing concurrently or in any sequence; (iii) any loss of use, occupancy, or functionality; or (iv) any action required, including but not limited to, repair, replacement, removal, cleanup, abatement, disposal, relocation, or steps taken to address medical or legal concerns.
8) any fees that may be charged to a Guest by a Host for additional individuals invited to, or otherwise provided access to, the Covered Accommodation who are not included in the Guest’s booking of such Covered Accommodation.

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So, there is no exclusion for accidental damage.

That being said, I wouldn’t count on the Host Guarantee, and would instead make sure your actual insurer provides the proper coverage. If they won’t, another company will.

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That’s interesting. So a) there’s no coverage after checkout time and b) if the registered guest leaves before the other person/people in their party the remaining people/person is still accountable.

Am I understanding that correctly?

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You are.

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Excellent. I’d wondered about that. I’ve had a few occasions where the registered guest has left a few hours before the ‘invitee’ (all with no problems) and I’d wondered what the situation was regarding Airbnb.

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