Virginia Beach has consistently offered a variety of lodging options for tourists including Hotel/Motels, Bed and Breakfast Inns, Country Inns, and short-term rentals. With over 2,000 registered short-term rentals, the city designed regulations to address public and safety concerns and to protect the personality of their neighborhoods. Beginning November 1st, 2019 the regulations include the following significant items:
- Hosts must obtain a conditional-use permit to be renewed every five years
- If hosting to more than 50 guests, hosts must obtain a special event permit
- Hosts must obtain $1,000,000 in liability insurance coverage
The remaining restrictions include the number of guests allowed per bedroom, off-street parking for guests, and the number of rental contracts allowed in a 7-day period; with safety regulations such as functioning smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Update: Changes to the current short-term rental ordinance in Virginia Beach were outlined in the public Planning Commission meeting on March 10th, 2021. The most significant change would be creating overlay districts, specifically areas with direct beach access, where short-term rental will no longer be allowed to operate. See further pending changes and the full recommendation here. The City Council is scheduled to consider these ordinance changes in April.
The Proper Liability Insurance
Without defining the type of liability insurance, the city leaves hosts with three basic options: personal liability, premise liability, and commercial general liability.
Personal liability and premise liability specifically exclude coverage for bodily injury or property damage arising from “business activity.” Premise liability also limits coverage to the premise only; if your guest were to bring a dog and that dog was to bite the neighbor off-premise, the claim could easily be denied.
On the other hand, commercial general liability is found in business insurance policies and protects the insured against claims of bodily injury or property damage they could be found legally liable. It provides coverage pertaining to business activity and extends beyond the premise, i.e. dog bite off-premise. This is the most comprehensive liability insurance a host can purchase for their Short Term Rental business.
Proper recommends that cities define the type of liability insurance in the regulation to be “commercial general liability” as too often “personal” or “premise” liability will not suffice for short-term rentals.
Call Proper today to discuss the difference in insurance coverage and secure the correct insurance for your Short Term Rental Business – (888) 631-6680.