You probably would never expect this to happen to you. But a family in Calgary, Alberta, Canada found their Airbnb vacation rental property completely trashed by four houseguests who threw a drunken post-wedding bash at the home, resulting in more than $50,000 in damage.

An unprecedented level of intentional damage was done to the home, as the partygoers defaced the property owner’s artwork, blocked up plumbing and destroyed furniture.

As the home was an Airbnb rental, the Host Protection Guarantee might cover the homeowners’ loss up to $1 million. With “over 100 people” who were allegedly in attendance at this bash, the short term rental owner will be lucky if a lawsuit doesn’t crop up with one of the partygoers.

What if this were your property? Would you be prepared to face the extensive damage? What about the emotional impact of the damages? How can you prepare for the worst?

This article explains some of the precautions you can take to help protect yourself and your investment in the rental property. Essentially: screen your guests, read guest reviews, and ask for a security deposit.

Also, make sure you have commercial liability insurance to protect your property. The Airbnb Host Protection will only cover up to $1 million, and if any lawsuits were to be filed, that money will be quickly consumed in court costs and attorneys’ fees. You also only have a 72-hour window to file a claim with Host Protection, which doesn’t give you a lot of time, especially if you’re not in town to see the damages for yourself. Commercial insurance for your short-term rental will be your safety net to cover all situations, particularly if you aren’t using Airbnb to list your property.

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