Recently, Airbnb had announced that they would be improving their claims process for Airbnb’s host protection policy. In it, they describe not receiving many claims. Specifically, “Instances of property damage on Airbnb are quite rare. On average, significant claims of damage happen less than .004% of the time.” Quite impressive to be sure, however people in the Airbnb community seem to think otherwise.
It may be worth explaining what exactly Airbnb’s host protection policy actually is. Airbnb markets this service as “free liability insurance with coverage of up to $1 million.” While this seems like an adequate amount of coverage, it is important to know what is covered by this plan and what is not.
First and foremost, the host protection insurance is designed only to respond to incidents that are a result of a stay through Airbnb’s platform. That means that if you also have a website, or rent on VRBO, you will not have coverage for stays attributed to these other platforms. This is reasonable seeing as Airbnb would not want to cover claims not associated with them. This however is not a point of contention regarding people’s dissatisfaction with Airbnb’s insurance process.
The Community Responds
Comments from the Airbnb community were largely negative, with complaints about the time allowed to file a claim and the amounts of payouts being the most common. While Airbnb markets the host protection plan as a viable means of insurance, it is important to know that it is anything but. As mentioned before, host protection is a free service offered by Airbnb. There are no contracts that are signed or policies with Hosts as named insureds. Because of this, it is very possible that claims made to Airbnb can be either declined or receive minimal payouts, all at the discretion of Airbnb. This can often leave potential damages unresolved or improperly indemnified. This is the driving force in why short-term rental insurance exists. By having a policy that is paid for and has a named insured, the insured is entitled to the coverages described in their policies should a covered loss occur.
To this end, Proper Insurance provides unparalleled coverage for properties operating as short-term rentals. Whether an insured suffers damage from a tenant or an act of nature, our policy is designed to respond to the perils associated with operating a short-term rental. With liability coverages for things like liquor and communicable diseases, our insureds rest easy knowing that they have the best coverage in the industry.