Insurance options for room rental in the US?

Two years ago, I looked into insurance options for room rental in the US. The choices were barely adequate, so I only offered my space on Airbnb for a limited amount of time.

I am looking for insurance that covers both liability (personal & bodily injury) and property damage at the replacement value (or better) level. Of course, I want a reasonable price.

Last time, I learned about:

  • Peers, which offers only liability
  • Proper insurance, which doesn’t do room rental
  • Some product from Farmers that won’t take you if you also have a long-term tenant

I’m thinking about doing Airbnb again. Have things changed for the better?

In my research on vacation home insurance I ended up going with an independent agency. They ‘shop’ my policy every year and call me and explain the what I have and answer any questions. I am able to customize exactly which coverage I want and at what valuation. When I started out I had a national company (State Farm) who gave me their ‘cookie cutter’ policy and from then on all they did was send me a bill every year until the company suddenly decided my house was ‘too close to the beach’ and dropped me. The State Farm agent said sorry, nothing they could do. I feel much more confident discussing ‘what if’ situations with my current agent.

It is important for a host to do “Responsible Hosting”. Airbnb would not have to pay out a claim to an irresponsible host. “Responsible” means "having permission of your Home Owner’s Association " or permission from your apartment complex. I know a few hosts who have asked their neighbors, but are ignoring that short-term rentals are forbidden by the HOA.

One friend here in Orlando brags that her room is in a “gated community”. Yeah, a gated community in an upscale neighborhood whose HOA would never allow short-term rentals.

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