I wanted to let you all know what happened so you can avoid it. I called GEICO when I first started using Airbnb about 18 months ago and asked if they would cover me if I had short-term rentals through Airbnb in my home. They said yes and I was off and running. I found this forum a few months ago and started learning from other hosts. I saw a bunch of posts about homeowners insurance and thought I should double check if GEICO still covers me since so many people said most companies in the US don’t cover homes with short term rentals within them. And so many people said Outdoorsy’s $1 million policy is a joke.
GEICO said again, “Yes.” But the customer service rep was not convincing me. So I hung up and called again. This time a rep said she would call the underwriter to double check but that she seriously doubted they covered me. She got back to me and said I am not covered with a short-term rental. I thanked her and started searching for a company who would cover my primary house with the bottom floor rented out. I only found two companies (CBIZ and Proper). Proper had better rates and better coverage so I went with them. When I called GEICO back to cancel my policy she was confused and said “your policy is still active.” And I said, “Yes, that is why I’m calling to cancel it since I have new insurance now.” She said, “That’s weird. We have a ‘do-not-renew’ tag on your file and I don’t know why it is there. But it’s good you got new insurance because it looks like we weren’t going to renew you.” What frustrates me the most about this is that they did not tell me this in advance. And I would have had to scramble to find a new insurance policy. They also did not give me the option of stopping my Airbnb. It was simple for them to just drop me. So I’m looking for new auto insurance now as well. But I wanted you tall to know if you call to check on your homeowner’s insurance make sure you say “I’m considering starting an Airbnb and wondered if it would be covered.” I hope this helps someone!
I hope you go online and leave them crappy reviews all over the internet.
Thank you very much for posting this. I have Geico for my auto insurance. They keep asking if I want homeowner insurance with them. The only reason I haven’t switched is that I have a pit bull mix and they won’t insure residences with pit bulls or pit bull mixes. I have Safeco. Every year when I renew I remind the broker that I am an Airbnb host.
We were dropped by my partners Homeowner’s Insurance too, and had to scramble. A word of advice – do NOT deal with an insurance Agent, deal l only with an insurance Broker. Only a Broker can deal with insurance companies; Agents can only for for their Broker.
I am a new host and just checked to see if my homeowners insurance company would cover me if I ran an Airbnb business in my basement apartment. What I was told is that they are okay with it as long as it is only two bookings per month and no more than two people at a time. The two people part is fine but not the two bookings per month. Interesting that two bookings of two weeks each would be okay but not the whole month booked by more than two separate guests. Any progressive companies out there willing to support this?
I’ve been struggling with the same issues. After some googling, I found Proper Insurance. Their policy completely replaced my homeowners insurance and they were awesome to work with over the phone. I’m never dealing with Geico again.
Proper and CBIZ seem to be the only two companies in the States that currently cover short term leases. At least those are the only two I was able to find after a lot of research.
Comet too…and someone from Farmers in California came on and said they now have a product for it. Insurance companies should ALL get on the ball and start creating a product for something that is so desperately needed.
When I started renting I called the agent that helped me find my original home owner insurance – Sterling Insurance, an insurer based in the Saratoga Springs area area of upstate New York – and I lucked out. The Adirondacks has a long, long history of folks renting their vacation homes, meaning they both occupy and rent - I was able to easily get a rider to my policy that covers renting.
I have a similar situation. Our agent contacted our policy holder, Vermont Mutual, and we were able to get an inexpensive rider added to our home owner’s policy.
Yes, I’ve just signed up with farmers. They have a company called foremost deals with vacation rentals. Price is great. I end up moved everything with them and bought 2M umbrella policy.
Thanks for the letter and info.
I’m a longtime State Farm customer and we are actually in one of their test groups carrying STR insurance. They are considering if this is something they want to go into. So far so good! Extremely reasonable price.
Do you have any good info about the insurance issues we face for AirBnB? I noticed you were thanking someone for a letter. Thanks
I am now looking for insurance but found Proper to be very expensive–double what others quote. I am in Florida and it is also how crazy some of the quotes have been. ALL of Florida has the possibility of hurricanes, yet many of the insurers who send quotes do not include wind. My existing insurance company, which has been very reasonable in the past said they would drop me if I was on Air B&B.
I found a Farmer’s agent who said they allow him to shop around for policies if Farmers does not offer it, his quote seems very reasonable. The quote is with Allied American Underwriters, it is about $800 more expensive than my standard homeowner’s policy, which is cheap for Florida. His full-coverage cost is $2,600. My HO policy now costs $1,800 and is about to expire. Other companies wanted a LOT more.
Lloyd’s via several carriers. Lamonte and Collings in Bradford Ontario.
I am also in Florida and have been looking for insurance. I now have my HO policy with Olympus Insurance. I visited the agent and was told that if I even gave a hint that I was going to rent my policy would be dropped. The policy he is offering is with Allied American and includes both HO and rentals (Air B&B). This policy is about $800 more than my HO. It is about one-third what my previous HO only policy was with Tower Hill, who also does not cover rentals. Think he is in Illinois or Wisconsin–smurphy at farmersagent.com. Reading the policy, part of it is with Lloyds. It is adjustable in that I added our shed as an external building.
When I previously went to my local agent and said I was ‘thinking’ about renting out a room she told me not to even mention it, that the insurance company would cancel my policy immediately.
I found a broker in Chicago who set up a Lloyds of London policy under Allied American Underwriters. The existing policy had a cheap rate. The new policy was about $500 more than my previous policy–several other policies were two or three thousand dollars, or more than my existing homeowner’s policy.
Whenever you change insurance companies they send out an inspector. I was worried about that, unnecessarily. The guy who came out did a walkthrough and left in about 10 minutes.
I will be glad to provide info to anyone who needs it about the agent or company.
Welcome to my world! My insurer, Lloyd’s of London (US broker) sent me an email last week notifying me they were doubling my policy rate and the payment was due the first week of November.
I had contacted the insurance providers you mention and their rates were a lot more.
I contacted several dozen brokers and found 10 companies that insure for STRs. The one I chose is 50 percent cheaper than the previous rate.
I suggest you contact John Butler at Butler Insurance in Ocala, Fla. He was very helpful. <[firstname.lastname@example.org]