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To share or not to share – a risk vs reward assessment

Airbnb, HomeAway, Homestay, TrustedHousesitters… just some of the homesharing platforms revolutionising the accommodation industry. Are you ready to join the sharing economy juggernaut and unleash your inner hotelier?

The Rewards

The rewards are plain to see. You can:

1… reduce the cost of a great holiday, avoid spending money on “pet care” when you are away, make some extra cash out of your home – either by letting your entire home when you are away, or letting a room in your home whilst playing host.

 

 

2… meet lots of interesting people you may never have had the opportunity to otherwise meet. Hear stories from your guests about where they are from and the places they have been. And share your knowledge too about your local area, to give your guests a more personal experience.

 

 

The Risks

But, what of the risks?

3…you’ve let your home to public enemy no. 1, and it’s trashed! Unsurprisingly home insurers are not overjoyed at the prospect of insuring a property where one of the key underwriting factors – YOU – has been removed from the risk and replaced by someone you met online. The health warning here is that if you don’t take sensible steps, your home might be uninsured.

 

 

Eek! “I don’t think I’ll take the risk”, you say. Well, thankfully there are lots of checks and balances in place to help you make the right decision about who to welcome into your home, to keep you and your belongings safe.

Mitigating the risks

  1. Trust. How do I know that someone is trustworthy? Many platforms have in place verification processes to identify both hosts and guests. This may include detailed profiles, personal reviews etc. You can also do your own due diligence… research the reputation of the sharing platform, read reviews of hosts by guests, check social media profiles, get in touch with the platform directly, run a search of a potential guest’s name on a search engine…
  2. Insurance. Exciting and innovative insurance options, like HostCover from GUARDHOG, are specially designed for the sharing economy because they are on-demand. You just buy the cover you need online for the nights you are hosting – no landlord, or other annual commercial insurance policy required – enabling you to share with the peace of mind that if something, however unlikely, does happen – you’re covered.
  3. The hassle factor. And if changing bed linen, checking online profiles and managing bookings all sound like too much hassle. Fear not, there are even companies, who for a percentage of your booking fee will manage this for you – meaning hassle-free ‘reward’ for you!

 

At GUARDHOG, we think there are great experiential and financial rewards for everyone ‘sharing’ – and that with the correct checks and balances in place, the rewards outweigh the risks. What do you think?

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