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Make hay while the sun shines

open book

Local residents often cash in on the influx of visitors to there are – just like during the upcoming famous Hay Festival on the border of England and Wales. But are these Airbnb ‘hosts’ insured?

For both authors and literature lovers arriving for the Hay Festival at the end of May, the accommodation options have never been more varied. As well as camping on site and local B&Bs, there is today’s growing trend for homesharing.

With over 600 listings on Airbnb in Herefordshire and Powys combined1, letting out your home or a room through platforms has become a popular choice for many local homeowners. There’s even one especially for the Hay area – www.visithay.co.uk.

Live like a local

But, in a survey, 90% of people were unsure if they had comprehensive insurance to cover themselves and their homes when ‘sharing’. Renting a private, residential home in the Hay-on-Wye area to paying guests, particularly at busy times, such as during the Hay Festival, has many benefits. Not least, regular home owners can earn some extra cash from what is likely their biggest asset. Guests get a more local experience, while bringing the tourist pound to areas less visited. But, what if something, however unlikely, goes wrong?

Our very own Top Hog Humphrey Bowles says, “Home-sharing platforms have put in place many checks and balances to help the growing number of people participating on their platform, ‘share’ safely. The one thing they all have in common, though, is that they all recommend hosts have their own insurance in place.”

Only when you need it

“Many traditional insurance policies, however, simply don’t work for the sharing economy, as they don’t cover commercial activities – ‘hosts’ making money from their homes,” continues Humphrey. And just like the Hay Festival, which is on for just a short time each year, over the course of a year, most hosts only share their homes for what amounts to just a few weeks too.”

“That’s why we’ve designed Host Cover – an on-demand, pay per stay, home-sharing insurance policy. It seamlessly replaces the parts of a normal home insurance policy that are invalidated when hosts share their homes and can be bought only for the nights you need it. In other words, only when they have guests to stay. And with the cost starting at £1/night (depending on the size of your property), it makes insuring your property when you are home-sharing, accessible and affordable too.”

Peace of mind

Sylvia Fairclough, Brecon Beacons property owner and homesharing host, says “The right insurance is something you should sort out as soon as you start to think about homesharing. Airbnb hosting brings in extra income, and you get to meet people from all over the world. GUARDHOG’s hassle free ‘pay-per-stay’ insurance, which links seamlessly to my Airbnb hosting calendar, gives me peace of mind so I can relax and enjoy being a host.”

It could be a timely wake-up call for this year’s Hay Festival hosts – check your home insurance, or you might be faced with a bill for repairs if an accident happens when you have a paying guest…

 

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