Renting your home on Airbnb too risky if you're not insured

“Don’t rent out a room in your house or apartment through Airbnb or a similar service without making sure both you and your guests are insured.” -

This article from an Insurance site warns against renting out your home on Airbnb unless both you and your guests are insured. How do you make sure that your guests are insured? By asking them for a certificate of insurance, showing proof of their renter’s insurance in place.

While I agree that this is ideal, users of Airbnb are using the site because it is fast, easy and no-hassle. I can’t imagine that a host will get many bookings if they ask for this kind of information. However, should a guest damage anything in your home, is it worth the money you’ve made on Airbnb? Think carefully about this and weigh your risk tolerance before accepting a guest.

I don’t think most people would know what a certificate of insurance is, let alone go through the trouble of trying to find one or pay for anything additional. If a guest doesn’t need it at a hotel or a hostel, then why would they need it at an airbnb rental?

Question is how much is covered under travel insurance that travelers have or most credit cards carry… I’m hoping most of it is already covered through “regular” travel insurance.

It’s not just about insurance. It’s about getting Airbnb to respond to you in the first place when things go wrong! I have to say I’m rather alarmed by the lack of response, indeed, the outright neglect, of our troubles on Airbnb’s part. We came back home last week to find that the Airbnb guests who were using our home had left it in a terrible state. We found blood on the guest bathroom floor, our food cabinets had been rampaged, our toiletries (which we had put away) were used, our daughter’s cupboard had been gone through and her clothes strewn all over the bed, our furniture re-arranged and left there…and a thank you email from the guest as if nothing had happened. All this, we were willing to overlook, and take as a lesson to be learnt in choosing our future guests. But when we found that the window latch in the kitchen had been broken, and my husband’s bike was missing, this took the experience to a whole other level. We called the guest, and have tried to resolve it with him over the phone and via Airbnb messenger to no avail. All they are willing to give us is 80 euros which does not even come close to covering the cost of the broken window and missing bike.

But what is most surprising of all at this stage, is that it took Airbnb a WEEK to respond to our URGENT claim. I called them the day after we arrived, and we’ve only just heard back in the form of an email. Granted, we have only been on Airbnb for less than a year, but in this year we have been model hosts and have only had the most positive reviews from those who have stayed with us. We have gone out of our way to ensure the comfort of our guests, and with pleasure. To have our home treated in this way, and then to receive no response from Airbnb, only adds to bitterness.

I’m personally disgusted at Airbnb’s claim that it has a Host Guarantee package. The stress alone is not worth it. If it takes them a week to get back to hosts who call them URGENTLY, then I’m not putting my hopes up about their Host Guarantee scheme. So disappointed in Airbnb.

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Alia, I’m sorry to hear about your poor experience. These kinds of stories are always terrible for fellow hosts to hear. Did you end up getting a satisfactory resolution from Airbnb? I would love to know how the resolution process went, as I’m sure would others.

Thank you for your concern, Cyn. Unfortunately, it gets from bad to worse. It took Airbnb a week to get back to us, only to let us know that we had three days to provide them with all the information (police report, quotes from builder for damaged items…etc). After that, our case would be nullified. To top it off, they removed our conversation with the guest, and put us in a position where the police couldn’t get all the information they needed. I will keep everyone updated. With Airbnb, it’s so good when it’s good, but when it gets bad, it’s so so bad.

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So sorry to hear. I’ve always been responded to promptly by them. They have not always solved the issue but they have responded. I could never share my interior space with a guest. My place is part of the house but separate and lockable. They have their own space.

Please, stop spamming us. I will need to flag you if I see one more of your responses. :frowning:

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so, what about asking a damage deposit? if this lister had a $500 damage deposit that would have covered the breakage and bike, yes? how does that work? does airbnb put a hold on that amount on the credit car like car rental places do? ive seen listings with $1500 deposits or more

The damage deposit won’t cover liability. Air does put a hold on the card but does not collect unless there is a claim, and even with a claim you still have to confront the guest and provide proof of the damage and upload evidence of how much it would cost to repair or replace. You have to ask the guest if they will pay, after making the accusation, which is never comfortable. :slight_smile: If there’s a dispute and you cannot agree, then Air rules. But you better have your evidence ready, and quick… Within 48 hours. :slight_smile: Think of it like going on Judge Judy. :slight_smile: Just because you can collect $1500 does not mean it’s easy or smooth to claim on it.

Some information I just received from a site called Roomorama:

Many rental owners and property managers have questions in regards to property and liability coverage insurance for short-term rentals.

Is my homeowner’s policy enough?
Do I need business liability?
Do new regulations affect my coverage?
Where can I find a specialty carrier?

Roomorama has partnered with Proper Insurance Services to bring you an all-inclusive insurance policy that protects both the property owner and property manager. It is designed to fully replace the current coverage on the property. Click here for more information.

Property Owner Benefits: The most comprehensive vacation rental insurance policy available today. All-risk coverage for building(s), contents, business income, and business liability. No short-term rental exclusions and peace of mind.

Property Manager Benefits: All property managers added as additionally insured for $1,000,000. Commission income protection endorsement built into every policy. A best-in-class referral for your owners when they ask about insurance.

Proper’s team is ready to help you. They can review the current coverage you have, help explain the exposure, and facilitate an online quote. Please contact Proper for more information at:

W| E| P| 888-631-6680

Proper Insurance Services, LLC

Coverholder at Lloyd’s of London

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We hope this service in collaboration with Proper Insurance will help to answer your most pressing questions in regards to property and liability insurance.

Kind Regards,
The Roomorama Team