Should I Ask Primary Guest to Add Names of Guests to Reservation

Airbnb has this procedure: How do I add the full names of all guests to my reservation? - Airbnb Help Center

I had an email exchange with Airbnb that said that if I am sued by someone staying here who is not a registered guest that the Airbnb liability insurance will not apply to protect the Host.

Here it is: “With regard to your concern, only the registered guests are covered under liability insurance and for the total number of guests for a listing only the guests who are registered on reservation should be less or equal to the listing occupancy.”

So it seems to me that it is very important that the primary guest gets all entrants to the property to be registered guests. My rules also therefore require that anyone entering the property, inside or out, for however long/short, even if not overnight, be registered as a guest, stating that otherwise they are trespassers (since the duty under the law to a trespasser is far lower than to an “invitee” as it is called under the law).

So, do you think a Host should ask that the primary guest add names of guests to reservation? Do you think my rules protect me if the person who sues is not a registered guest? How do you protect yourself from a non-registered guest suing you since Airbnb’s insurance will not apply?

I understand that a primary guest might look askance at such a request, though if more and more Airbnb Hosts, realizing their personal liability, did so and it became the norm, perhaps they would not.

By the way, it took quite a few repeated attempts to get Airbnb to answer the direct question of whether I am covered if a person who is not a registered guest – but who is with the group of the primary guest – sues me. First they just provided various links that did not answer the question, Finally, finally, they said ‘no.’ I encourage you to reach out and ask, in writing, Airbnb the same question.

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You would be foolhardy to rely on Airbnb’s “insurance” for anything. You need your own STR insurance with public liability cover.



I can’t imagine anyone hosting without their own own STR insurance. Plus, in some areas, not having STR insurance will prevent a host from getting a license.

I have never asked for all names and because our rentals are one-bedroom one-queen bed apartments so I suspect it would affect occupancy. My own STR insurance needs only the prime renter’s name.

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Getting your own STR insurance in Massachusetts is not required by law.

Getting your own STR insurance is expensive.

Undoubtedly many if not the majority of Hosts in the U.S., I am supposing, rely on it.

Even if you had STR insurance in the U.S., availing yourself of the Airbnb liability protection would likely decrease the potential liability exposure for your insurer. That is not irrelevant because if your insurer does not face exposure, or far less exposure, that would likely be a factor considered when your insurer decides whether and how much to increase your premium after the lawsuit .

Why not take a belt and suspenders approach that reduces your liability exposure, whether insured for or not?

Why not make your House rules state that anyone entering the property must be a registered guest and is otherwise a trespasser?

Why not ask that the primary guest add the names of the guests to the reservation so that later, at a lawsuit, someone not intended to be a guest can claim to be one?

Why not, why not, why not just have proper business insurance cover in the first place.

If you do then have an issue, let your insurers and Airbnb sort it out between themselves, that’s what you pay them for.



Two things: 1) Many Hosts are occasional hosts. Commercial insurance is not cost effective at the scale of their hosting. That is why Airbnb offers its liability insurance. 2) The insurers can sort it out, of course. But if I can have rules and procedures in place that make it less likely that my insurer will need to pay out, then I am likely to have lower premiums in the long run. An ounce of prevention.


Am I missing something? What liability insurance does Airbnb offer?


I require the first/last name and age of all guests via AirBNB/VrBo messaging. No info, no booking. No one has ever complained. I don’t require them to be added to the reservation (too much hassle for them - requires accounts).

And I have STR insurance. I had a guest run a car into the house. AirBnB was useless. I cannot emphasize this enough. They wanted $30-$40k in damage listed out one item at a time by me in their app w/ a photo. At that level of destruction an adjuster is needed to do estimates, etc. It takes a professional & Air does NOT do that.

The guest’s personal insurance covered it but the agents tried to twist my arm off to use my insurance. I had to get the guest to ride them to get things moving. It was a nightmare even with insurance. I can’t imagine what we would have done without it.


I don’t know where it’s the law and where it isn’t. But I do know that any host would be foolish to rely on the offerings from Airbnb.

Yes, it can be expensive but it’s a necessary part of the job.


Instructive story! Oe thing we discovered on Airbnb property insurance (different from liability) is that it covers damage only to the rental property. So when a guest let the tub overflow into our home below, Airbnb insurance would not cover because the damage was to our property, not the rental property. Homeowners insurance would not pay because commercial use of the home.

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By your way of thinking the occasional Host – which was the origin of the Airbnb story – is just not economic.

But I suggest a middle way of rules and procedures that could protect such a Host.

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That is not true. (Well sort of) I live in MA, There are no home insurance policies that cover STR and if your insurance company finds out, not only will they not cover your claim they will drop you.

The only option in. MA is to purchase Proper Insurance which cost me an extra $2000 a year.

I agree, never thing that Airbnb’s host coverage will protect you.

Finally, I personally require in my rules that all guests be listed with their full name, age and current address and I also require that the booking guests profile picture be a clear picture of their face without obstructions and that every guest has a selfie sent.

I currently don’t allow visitors due to COVID but when I did, I required the same info.

I also state that they may be required to show government ID and proof of vaccination when they arrive (but I really never ask).

I very rarely have to do a background search on a guest (If my gut is screaming) but this helps plus I think it discourages bad actors and also they know they can’t sneak in guests.

I also make the first guest to arrive be the booking guest because it could turn into a third-party booking which I never allow.


Your reliance on Airbnb is naive to the extent of foolishness, as is your belief that having a statement in your House Rules will lessen your exposure to litigation.



@HostAirbnbVRBO So if a guest sets your house on fire, causing extensive damage, perhaps even totalling it, and you have no str insurance, and your normal house insurance won’t cover the rental unit, who do you think is going to pay? Do you honestly think Airbnb is going to pay for a new home?


We require full names of all guests but don’t actually confirm that with an ID check on arrival I must admit. The reason that we give is that, in the event of a fire or flood or similar, our first responders require the full names of everybody staying in the premises.


We go one better, we require either passports or DNI (Spanish ID cards) to be presented for every guest, which we then scan and register with la Policía.

No ID, no bed. Simples.


We are required in Massachusetts for liability and yes, it is crazy expensive and difficult to find a carrier. Local real estate agents often know nothing about it.

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I didn’t say that I rely on Airbnb Host Liability Protection. In fact, I have insurance through Proper. BUT I’d like to take advantage of the insurance provided by Airbnb to the extent possible, and I have crafted my rules and procedures to do so. To me, that seems prudent.

But many Hosts do rely on Airbnb’s Host Liability Protection for whatever reason(s). Many might rent out just occasionally. I am less willing than many Hosts on this thread to simply demean them as foolish. Airbnb rolled out their liability coverage for a reason. Some people rely exclusively on it, while others might simply wish to take advantage of it as part of their coverage.

I was hoping to explore here how Hosts take advantage of it, what rules are necessary or advisable to do so. Instead I read many posts from Hosts, perhaps from other countries where laws are different or from Hosts who are not occasional but more ‘in the business’ happy and smug to not engage in any analysis of what a Host can do to take advantage of Airbnb host liability insurance but simply dismiss as ‘naive’ or ‘foolish’ the kind of reliance that Airbnb sought to induce with its program.