Supplemental short term rental insurance?

Having guests cause damages is something many hosts experience, but having “a few situations lately” that involved thousands of dollars in damage would indicate that you need to take a hard look at why you are attracting bad guests to your listing. How do you vet guests? Do you or a co-host keep an eye on the place? Do you have external cameras to monitor how many people are going in and out?


If you don’t have sufficient insurance coverage I would suggest you look for another insurer

I have sufficient coverage I am not the OP :slight_smile: @bigDeeOT

Exactly - I don’t want to make a claim on my homeowners insurance and have the rates raise. After the deductible its not really worth it. I am hoping to protect myself in the way that the security deposits/host insurance used to but no longer seem to anymore.

1 Like

We have security cameras where allowed and I am a meticulous host. This isn’t about me as an insufficient host as I have been doing this for years and hosted thousands of guests. I only host couples. Contractors are very hard to come by so labor rates are 4-5x what they were 2 years ago in my area.

For example someone put something not flushable down my toilet and I incurred $1800 in plumber bills for a couple of labor hours and lost $800 in revenue. Before ANYONE says I am paying too much for a plumber… that was the cheapest I could get after 10+ calls. No one else would show up for many days and I only have 1 toilet.

These are the kinds of problems I would like supplemental insurance for. I am only asking about insurance or maybe a security deposit option. I am not asking for advice on how to host differently.


But see this post: Guests likely have ZERO clue about your Airbnb "House Rules"

where @James333 says: “An additional $xxx.xx refundable security deposit is required after booking. (This alone scares off 99% of problem guests IMO)”

He is API-connected and can have a security deposit.

1 Like

I am skeptical that insurance would cost-effectively cover this for the reason you mention:

That would apply to supplemental insurance as well.

I think that Hosts needs to look to other means, like a security deposit, signage on the toilet seat (“Do not flush anything other than toilet paper; Do not flush so-called flushables”), documentation (video) that the problem was caused by current guest (I realize that this is not foolproof as blockage might. not be immediate).

Ultimately, it is a cost of doing business because nothing is foolproof.

1 Like

I certainly had no intention to offend you, sorry you took it that way. But when hosts report that they have had damages from multiple sets of guests, other hosts often offer suggestions for what might be leading to that. And when you post on a public forum, you can’t dictate the type of responses you get.

I would never suggest that a host paid “too much” for a repair, as I would have no idea what the going rate is for services in their area. I stayed for a month with a friend in Denver years ago and noticed that all of her faucets dripped, which was not a good thing in drought-stricken, water-restricted Denver that summer. When I mentioned the dripping taps to her, she said she knew, but had been procrastinating, as “It costs $300 here just to get a plumber to walk in the door”.

She wasn’t a handyman type at all and as I have replaced plenty of worn faucet washers, I offered to do it for her, which she was skeptical of, as she thought it required some special skills, but I assured her I could,and did. But I wouldn’t have attempted to unplug a toilet that didn’t respond to simple plunging.


One thing we do – and I don’t know that this would at all have helped you – is put in 32 oz of Green Gobbler enzymes each month in the toilet to help clear it out.

We actually have never had a plug in the toilet. The Host for which I am co-Host feels that this is an unnecessary expense. It well might be. But we apply it, monthly in the toilet, and 4 oz in each drain at each turnover at a cost of just under $20/month. That $20 is nothing compared to a possible plumbing bill.

So that $20/month is the ‘insurance’ I pay, along with the signage, to try to prevent the damage. Soon I will be on OwnerRez, which will cost $55/month and can include the security deposit, a legal signed agreement, identification and address of the guest. That’s more ‘insurance.’ [AND other benefits, like the potential for direct bookings – partial ‘insurance’ against Airbnb future actions that greatly increase competition or otherwise hurt our business.]

So that’s how I’m trying to address the kinds of issues you mention.

My Host says “Why do this when we have had no problems?”

I say “Why play Russian Roulette?”

Just because we haven’t experienced damage yet doesn’t mean that the bullet won’t be in the next chamber.

Because past results are not a reliable indicator of future results. Outlier events happen; when they do they can hurt. A lot.

@naybrown86 I too think your best option is getting set up with API so that you can take security deposits as @bigDeeOT suggested:

(btw, @bigDeeOT are you an Occupational Therapist or does the OT stand for something else?)

1 Like

I went through something like this last year with a guest who was “vetted” through Airbnb. The guest did a considerable amount of damage (about $10,000). He also broke all of the house rules. Like that really mattered!

I have insurance through Proper Insurance as my homeowners insurance doesn’t have a comparable short term policy available. Several other homeowners insurance companies I checked with were more expensive for a comparable policy. Not advocating for Proper Insurance, but I would suggest, as Airbnb does, that you have other insurance rather than relying only on Airbnb Aircover. Shop around and compare.

I did not submit the claim with Proper Insurance, as in trying to evict the guest, Airbnb had me start a claim for damages through Aircover as a way to get the guest out. In the end, I had to refund the guest the money they had paid for the days left in their reservation they couldn’t use because I was evicting them. Muddy gave me some other advice after this about what to do, and I will follow Muddy’s advice if this ever happens again. I was supposed to have had a security deposit held by Airbnb, but in the middle of all of this, Airbnb informed me they no longer allow hosts to have security deposits.

I do take photos that are date and time stamped before every guest arrives. I meet the guest in person, and go over where things are in the house, etc. before handing over the key. I live close by, notify the neighbors there is a guest staying, and encourage them to call me if there is any concern or problem. I also check up on the house frequently, and also do yard work, etc. I also do as much due diligence as I can in vetting the guest before they book. The damages occurred inside the home, so no cameras would have recorded what was going on.

I make sure the guests communicate through Airbnb only - just a little texting when they are on their way to the house to be sure they can find it and what time they will be there.

I was lucky in that Airbnb covered about half of the damage. It was a lengthy process to submit the information. The platform was very glitchy so uploading photos of the damage was difficult and sometimes not possible. You are handed off from one person to another, and keep resubmitting the same information over and over again. You are also on a tight time frame to submit the information AirCover requests.

Depending on the person helping me, some people understood what the damage entailed, and other people did not. One thing I had to explain multiple times over was the door quote was made up of three parts (the guest kicked one door in). One quote was the physical door. One quote was for priming and painting the door. One quote was for delivery and installation of door. Separate quotes from three different contractors/vendors equals one new, primed and painted and installed door. I sent this in as a single quote for the entire finished product, with details about the individual quotes. Several of the people I was communicating with asked if there were three doors, or two doors, or what??? Over and over I kept sending the same quotes and information in, until finally I explained that it was like love and marriage - you can’t have one without the other. The door (one door) needed to be purchased (quote #1), then primed and painted (quote #2) and then delivered and installed (quote #3). For whatever reason, that seemed to do the trick.

I was given to a “special agent” who handles security concerns (the guest had ammunition, a weapon, was drunk, drugged, and was out of control). The “special agent” also required photos, detailed explanations about my side of the story, and, of course, got the guests side of the story. In the end, the “special agent” told me Airbnb had investigated the concern, and had acted on it. They were not at liberty to say what action they had taken. The guest is still on the platform with several fake 5 star reviews from fake hosts that claim the guest was staying with them during the time the guest was at my home. So much for security or vetting a guest! Be warned!

I’ve tried the signs posted about what you can and can’t put down the sink/toilet/etc. Very few guests pay any mind. They just throw the signs away and do what they want. Pictures showing the signs before the guest arrives, however, might help make your case the guest ignored the house rules.

So, if you are doing many of the things the others are suggesting here, and it is a current problem due to lack of available contractor help, perhaps you might look for a handyman type company or person, or a property management type company that will handle these issues when they come up under some sort of contract, rather than try to get individual contractors in. It might be more effective to have these services on call to allow you to quickly resolve the issues. Also, do take photos of the rental before the guest arrives and try the OwnerRez suggestion. There are many good ideas presented here and certainly worth thinking about and trying some of them.

1 Like

I am so sorry that this happened to you.

You did all the right things (got insurance, time stamped photos, signage, orientation). None are guarantees.

I would take exception with the notion that Airbnb ‘vets’ guests. As you now know, they don’t.

I’m curious whether you are putting the rest of the claim – what was not covered with AirCover – through your Proper policy.

Your suggestion of having one contractor – a ‘handyman type company’ – is a good one.

And, yes, signing on with OwnerRez, where you CAN take a credit card and security deposit, is very wise and informed advice.

I’m wondering whether you think that certain house rules, or better, a signed contract via OwnerRez, insurance through OwnerRez, would have materially helped you.

Best to you and thank you for sharing.

I can’t imagine how that’s even possible. If a guest doesn’t book and stay, how could a review be submitted? I’ve seen fake reviews before, but it’s a matter of a couple of hosts booking each other’s places and leaving reviews.

As for the security deposit that “used to be held”- it was never held. Airbnb never actually collected security deposits, or put a hold on a guest’s credit card. It was only there as a “You could be charged up to this amount”, but if the guest denied they cause the damage, and refused to pay, either Airbnb insisted they pay, or more often, you had to file a claim under whatever AirCover used to be called. So it wasn’t really any different than the way it works now.

I’m glad you were successful in getting something, though. And it’s the height of absurdity and adding insult to injury that if a guest is problematic and they need to be made to leave, that they are refunded for unstayed nights. So they can trash your house, refuse to pay, and waltz away with a refund, while the host is left to spend countless hours submitting photos and estimates, and explaining the same thing endlessly to brain-dead CS reps.

1 Like

Thank you, Glen and Muddy, for your responses. Always good to have additional questions, thoughts, and information. Makes for a well rounded, educational discussion.

This is from the Airbnb site about verifying a guest and a host. I figured there was some checking Airbnb did, perhaps not as much as they claim in the following, but, in the end, it is probably a situation of “if the credit card clears, the guest is good to go”.

Most people I talk with about their Airbnb’s are under the impression a guest is “vetted”. Probably, most people read the following and remember “keeping our airbnb family safe is one of our top priorities”. “We submit the above information to one of our approved background providers”.

I never was a believer that every guest is checked out, but I did think Airbnb might have caught this guest for several reasons. My instincts were this guest was not what the guest put forth. I should have followed my instincts, and I didn’t.

Background checks

Keeping our Airbnb family safe is one of our top priorities. If we have at least an accurate first name, last name, and date of birth for a Host or guest, we’ll perform a background check at the following times (only in the USA and India):

  • Guests: 10 days before the check-in date of their reservation (or later in the case of bookings within 10 days of check-in)
  • Hosts: When the Host logs in after creating a listing, or when a stay or experience is booked—whichever comes first

How they work and what they entail

  1. We submit the above information to one of our approved background check providers
  2. They check the person’s identity against public records or available databases, as outlined below:

For everyone who transacts on Airbnb: We check the OFAC list, which includes terrorist designations.

For those who live in the US: We check certain databases of public state and county criminal records as well as state and national sex offender registries.

For those who live outside the US: We may, to the extent permitted by applicable laws and to the extent available, obtain the local version of background or registered sex offender checks.

What they mean for you

Find out how the results of a background check can impact your stay or your ability to use Airbnb.

Why you can’t rely on them alone

Background checks aren’t the only factor to consider when deciding whether a guest or Host is suitable—they don’t guarantee that a person won’t break the law in the future.

Why? Because background checks have limitations. Sure, they may help identify past criminal conduct or other red flags where records are available, but not always:

  • There may be gaps in public record searches due to the way certain databases are maintained
  • Online databases might only be updated periodically by local governments—which Airbnb doesn’t control or direct

As a result, these database checks may not reveal comprehensive or recent criminal record activity. Continue to use your own judgment and follow these sensible safety tips.

Regarding the security deposit situation, I did try to submit a claim for the security deposit. I repeatedly asked the resolution center when and how I should go about doing this. I was repeatedly told it would be handled by the resolution center after the resolution center verified my claim. A huge runaround until the very end, when the claim was settled. Then I got an email explaining that Airbnb no longer handles security deposits and there was no mention of any way to put in another claim for the security deposit. I can’t find that email response right at the moment - there are dozens and dozens of emails to go through in communications with the resolution center. So, I may not be explaining this clearly or correctly, but I did try to put in a claim for the security deposit per Airbnb procedure in the amount that is noted in my listing with no success.

Hosts aren’t allowed to charge guests a security deposit through our Resolution Center or outside the Airbnb platform . Instead, we inform guests at the time of booking that their payment method may be charged if they cause damage during a stay.

If activated for your Airbnb listing a security deposit can help you avoid paying for minor breakages and unforeseen problems out of your own pocket. This means you won’t be forking out for a brand new set of wine glasses if your guests happen to drop a tray full one evening!

and from Airbnb tips:

Your guests will be pleased to discover that, according to Airbnb security deposit policy, they don’t have to pay a security deposit on booking your property. No additional payment is requested following a reservation. Instead, the system will store the guest’s payment information.

If you find your favorite comfy armchair badly damaged or brand-new wine glasses completely broken you have 14 days (following guest check-out) to make a claim relating to compensation or your losses.

Prior to making an Airbnb security deposit claim, you will need to take photos or shoot a brief video recording any damage. You should also record any information that might support your claim – i.e. the value of the damaged items etc.

To file a claim you will need to visit the Airbnb Resolution Center. You will have to send photographs, receipts, invoices and other information confirming the value of your damaged items.

After making a claim, prepare to be patient – the security deposit isn’t collected immediately. First off, your guest is given 72 hours to respond to your complaint. If they accept the amount requested, then you will receive compensation in 5 to 7 days.

But what happens if your guest declines the claim or doesn’t respond? In this case, the process of getting your expenses covered gets a little bit more complicated. You will need to involve Airbnb to intervene and help resolve the dispute.

Airbnb will conduct their own investigation, and decide whether or not you are eligible for financial compensation. If Airbnb makes a resolution in your favor you can simply sit back and wait for the money to arrive in your account.

Glen, I did not try to make a claim for the remainder with Proper Insurance, as part of the agreement with AirCover when you accept their offer of payment is that if you turn a claim into another insurance company for the same claim, Airbnb can ask for their settlement back. Airbnb does not do full replacement value, so my understanding was, if I submitted a claim for the remainder I felt was owed (full replacement value) from what Airbnb determined the value was, I would be filing the same claim twice, with two different insurance companies. I’m probably not right, but after several months of turning in the same things over and over again, answering the same questions over and over again, and dealing with this whole thing on a daily basis that ate up hours of my life, I just didn’t want to risk losing anymore of my sanity, so to speak. It wears you down. Bear in mind, I had no experience with any of this, and I started out filing the claim with the Resolution Center because Airbnb directed me to do this immediately as the first step in trying to get the guest out of my house. Airbnb refused to do anything unless, and until, I began the claim. By then, you are caught up in the daily maelstrom. I would have needed two or three of me to figure out if I would have been better off filing with Proper first, or if I really needed to start the claim with the Resolution Center to get the guest out.

Muddy, I understand your disbelief, but this guest is still on the site a year later, despite everything. I have no idea how. The guest had no reviews before staying with me. Many of my first timers don’t have reviews. The guest joined the site within a few days of booking my home. This is true of some of my guests - especially the ones who are the parents of younger families in my neighborhood who are staying at my place to visit their kids and grandkids.

Yet, towards the end of the long process of submitting all of the “evidence”, I checked the guest profile, surprised to see it was still there, along with a 5 star review from a host that claimed the guest had stayed at their home the entire month - impossible as the guest had booked my home for two weeks of that time. I reported this to the person who was doing the “security concern”. Nothing. The final response was Airbnb had completed their investigation and had addressed the issue. Due to privacy concerns, they could not discuss what the resolution was. A few months later, I checked again, and there was another 5 star review from another host, who claimed the guest had stayed with them during the same time period.

Yes, it is sad and ironic the only way I could get the guest out was by agreeing to refund the unused part of the reservation. Per Airbnb suggestion, BTW, as they said they could not cancel the reservation without the guest agreeing to the cancellation, regardless of what was going on. And the guest had to agree to cancel the reservation for me to have him removed. Muddy, you suggested some ideas about dealing with this type of situation if it ever happens again. I pray that it doesn’t!

I don’t know if having a signed contract about house rules, a real background check, or the ability to have really had a security deposit that I might have gotten would have materially helped me. I am hoping someone who has had a similar experience, but using something like OwnerRez or even their own signed contract they send to a guest before they accept the booking can tell us if that option is a viable one.

Thank you both so much for your thoughts and comments. I always learn something from both of you. Hopefully, someone else can share their experiences with the signed contract for house rules, security deposit, background check, and other ideas that have been presented from others here on the forum.

I’m hoping this looks somewhat like how I wrote it! It shows up here in two different windows two different ways! Wish I was more computer savy!


Wow. Thank you for your explanation. It’s really helpful.

I don’t think you did anything wrong.

I do think if you were on OwnerRez and had a security deposit and could’ve charged their card, could have had an insurance policy and a signed contract that you would have been MUCH BETTER off. That’s not in any way criticism. It’s just my understanding, which is why I am in the process of getting on OwnerRez.

Perhaps @PitonView or @gillian or @James333, @georgygirlofairbnb, @busymumsy could share their thoughts on OwnerRez because your experience is raising very important issues and the exposure Hosts have relying solely on Airbnb.

Further, you’ve raised issues on the value of insurance like Proper once you’ve gone the AirCover route. I do wonder if you had started with Proper insurance where you’d be, not just now but a year from now when the premium renewal comes due.

I do have house rules, which I will incorporate into my agreement, that if I eject the guests that they forfeit the fees for the remainder of the stay. But I don’t know if that is enforceable.

I have other terms, like the guest paying all costs of litigation, but I don’t know if that’s enforceable as well.

But the insurance, which can go to $5,000 (I think) plus the ability to charge the credit card with OwnerRez might go along way in deterring the damage, or if the damage occurs, receiving an easier reimbursement. That’s at least part of my motivation in going the OwnerRez route but I don’t know how it would really turn out in real life.

It is viable. If the guest is judgement proof (they have no assets/money) might be a key issue.

Bottom Line: I think, depending on how you configured the contract and the settings/insurance on OwnerRez that you might have been much better off in such a situation as this. I am very curious on feedback from others if they agree/disagree and if they can point out specifically the kinds of ‘settings,’ legal terms, insurance and other provisions within the setup of OwnerRez or other API channel manager that would have helped you.

I use decals from Etsy that are applied to the toilet seat. They can’t throw them away.

So this is one of my House Rules; don’t know if this might have covered you:

If the ‘no parties or event’ rule, maximum occupancy of six (whether overnight or not) rule, or no pets rule is violated, the Host can view or enter the property and with video and sound recording devices, and the guests are subject to being ejected from the property with the reservation cancelled without refund.

@SeattleSue I wasn’t doubting what you said about the guest still having an account and having what are obviously fake reviews, I’m just bamboozled as to exactly how reviews can be faked if the guest never actually stayed somewhere. It’s a head scratcher. I suppose someone could say in the review that the guest stayed for a month, when they only booked for a night, though.

1 Like

no I believe you. Another host in my area had an emergency call out for a blocked toilet and they quoted him $700 for the call out plus $750 for the repair, and they demanded up front payment before they would even start the job, which took @20mins to fix. UGH.
We have a plumbing tool we use to pump the pipes, it’s a manual thing, gross and messy but def worth the DIY when we know the high costs of calling out a trade. It’s worth watching and learning from the plumber how to do the basic unclogging jobs.

often the clogging part can take a week or two to manifest so you can’t know who was actually the cause.


We call that an auger or a snake. And it’s definitely one of the best purchases we’ve ever made. I just realized it never comes up in those, what does a new host need, etc conversations. But from now on I hope I remember to recommend getting an auger/snake. And don’t mess around with the little ones, right? It’s a go big or go home situation. Paid for itself immediately.

1 Like

agreed! I’ve used my ozone machine 2 times this week so that also is one of my “must haves” and the plumbing stuff might just one of those “pray you never need to actually use it” expenses.