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Why do Airbnb hosts need host insurance?

Posted by Guardhog Team on October 6, 2020 · Blog

So you’ve decided to delve into the depths of being an Airbnb host. Congratulations! There is one thing that is going to be crucial to your success as an Airbnb host, and it is something that you must consider and sort out before you get started: making sure that you have the appropriate insurance in place.

Inviting complete strangers into your home is obviously risky. We’ve all seen the horror stories in the press about wild parties that have got out of hand and occasions where hosts have had to claim hundreds of thousands of pounds, as well as deal with the stress of making a claim.

That’s where we step in. Here at GUARDHOG, we have created hassle-free pay-per-stay insurance cover for short term hosts that acts as an extension to your homeowners insurance policy. Our HOSTCOVER has been designed to make insurance claims quick and easy. 

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Does my current insurance not cover me as a host?

The quick and blunt answer to this question is: no, probably not. In fact, becoming an Airbnb host can actually invalidate your current policy in most cases. This is due to the fact that being an Airbnb host is categorised by insurance companies as a form of “business activity”. This is because they have B&B’s (which are small businesses) in the same category as short term rentals, even though they are completely different practices and require different forms of protection.

Now there are some insurance companies that will allow you to become a host on their home insurance policies, but this is something that you should definitely not assume is the case with your particular program. Before you become a host you must call your provider and make sure that they are happy with you being a host. If not you will have to switch providers.

It is important to note that our HOSTCOVER is only valid when you have a valid home insurance policy in place, and is not a substitute for home insurance. Our cover is an extra level of protection in case anything does unfortunately go wrong. 

By having strangers in your home, you are increasing the amount of risk that your home insurer has to take into account. If you do not notify your insurer, they will invalidate your policy as you will have not provided them with important information that affects their decision to insure you. They may even reject a claim even if it has nothing to do with Airbnb, due to what they call “non-disclosure” (withholding important information). 

Does the platform I use not cover me?

There’s no use pointing fingers at any one platform, because they all have the same problem: they do not cover you for all the possible problems that can arise.

As an example though, we will use Airbnb, as a lot of hosts believe that they are covered by Airbnb’s Host Guarantee. The Airbnb Guarantee has a pot of up to $1 million that will be used for property damage protection. This may seem like all the money you would need if anything went wrong, however, this pot covers every Airbnb listing worldwide. All 6 million+ of them.

So what does the host guarantee cover? It covers all damage to properties, rooms and possessions. Unfortunately, these are the things that are not covered:

  • Personal injury and property damage claims from third parties.
  • Damage to shared or common areas of the building that aren’t part of the listing itself.
  • Money and securities.
  • Damage caused by a pet.
  • Damage from ordinary wear and tear.

There is also the Host Protection Insurance program which covers third-party claims of bodily injury or property damage. Again though, this does not cover certain things, such as:

  • Property damage due to things like pollution or mold.
  • Damage or injury from something done intentionally (not an accident).
  • Loss of earnings.

You can find out more by visiting Airbnb’s help centre where they have frequently asked questions and a lot more information. 

The reason that Airbnb does not pay out on every kind of possible claim that can occur, is because they are not an insurance company and are in fact not backed by any form of insurance. They have never claimed to be and so they actually have no obligation to pay claims at all. 

As a host, you are putting yourself in this position of risk out of choice and so it is entirely up to you to make sure that you are covered and not Airbnb’s. They make it very clear on their platform, that all hosts should buy the correct form of insurance in order to protect themselves as much as possible.

Airbnb logo on a phone

How can we help? 

We offer a range of insurance products for your home-sharing needs.

And we do it in a simple, cost-effective, time-efficient way:

  • We are backed by some of the most respected insurers in the industry.
  • We have a UK based team of experts available via email and phone. 
  • We’ve built bespoke technology that allows you to sync multiple calendars with your GUARDHOG policy.

You can find out more by visiting us at www.guardhog.com or by giving one of our expert team members a call on 020 3927 4080.