Airbnb has transformed the way people travel.
Instead of staying in a hotel with no character, you can now stay in the home of a local.
Plus, it tends to cost much less than a traditional hotel.
The service doesn’t just benefit guests, however.
Hosts can make an excellent side income renting out a room or even their entire house on Airbnb.
But if you’re considering this exciting opportunity, you may have some reservations.
In particular, how does Airbnb affect your homeowner’s insurance?
Does Airbnb provide insurance to protect hosts, and what does that protection cover?
In this guide, we’re going to provide the answers to these questions.
We’ll take a look at every aspect of Airbnb insurance, from how you get it to what it covers (and what it doesn’t).h
Why You Need Airbnb Insurance
Home sharing makes new forms of travel and income generation possible, but it also comes with a new set of challenges that previously only hotels and other short-term rental businesses faced.
When you invite an Airbnb guest into your home, there is the chance that they might injure themselves.
The guest might then choose to sue either you or your landlord (depending on the case) for damages.
This could result in an expensive, painful, and frustrating situation for you as a host.
On the other hand, it’s possible that a guest could damage something in your home.
If it’s just something small like wine spilled on a rug or a scratch on the wall, you can usually resolve the issue privately with your guest.
But what if a guest completely trashes your Airbnb property, leaving holes in the walls and the door hanging off its hinges?
Damage of this scale isn’t going to be something that you can just sort out with a payment through Airbnb, or even through a security deposit.
In both of the above situations, having proper insurance is crucial.
It can save you time, money, and headache.
But what exactly are your options for getting coverage for property damage and liability claims?
Luckily, Airbnb provides insurance to cover hosts for almost any situation that occurs on their property, as well as a third type of insurance for Airbnb experiences.
Read on to the next section to find out how it all works.
Understanding the 3 Types of Airbnb Insurance
Early in the company’s history, the founders of Airbnb realized that the service would not work without proper insurance coverage for all its hosts.
To mitigate risks for property owners, the company partnered with Lloyd’s of London, one of the biggest names in insurance, to cover damage and liability claims that occur in Airbnb rentals.
But what exactly does Airbnb insurance cover?
The coverage breaks down into three different categories, all of which cover different situations that a host might encounter:
1. Airbnb Host Guarantee
To start, we have the Host Guarantee.
The Host Guarantee protects hosts against any damage to their home that results from a guest staying there.
It provides up to $1 million USD of property damage protection in every Airbnb listing in every country.
The coverage protects all rooms and all possessions in the home or unit during the time that a guest stays there.
As with any insurance coverage, there are some exceptions.
The Host Guarantee doesn’t cover damage to any shared or common areas of the building that aren’t part of the actual Airbnb listing.
For instance, if a guest breaks a mirror in the lobby of your apartment building, the Host Guarantee won’t cover that (though Host Protection Insurance might, as you’ll see below).
The Host Guarantee also doesn’t cover damage caused by pets and any cash or securities that are damaged.
It’s also worth noting that protection for jewelry, collectibles, and artwork can be more limited than for other property, though you should probably have separate insurance for such things, anyway.
Finally, the policy does not cover ordinary wear and tear.
For instance, you can’t make a claim if having Airbnb guests caused your mattress to wear out faster than usual.
2. Airbnb Host Protection Insurance
Up next, we have Host Protection Insurance.
This policy provides Airbnb hosts with up to $1 million USD in liability protection against third-party claims of bodily injury or property damage that have to do with an Airbnb stay.
We know that’s a lot of insurance jargon, but the gist is that the policy protects you as a host from lawsuits in the event that a guest hurts themselves on your property.
It also protects you from lawsuits on the part of your landlord or neighbor in the event that a guest causes damage to your apartment building or to your guest’s property.
For reference, here are a few examples where Host Protection coverage would apply (straight from Airbnb’s website):
- A guest breaks their wrist after slipping on the rug and brings a claim for the injury against the host.
- A guest is working out on the treadmill in the gym of the apartment building. The treadmill breaks and the guest is injured when they fall off. They bring a claim for the injury against the host and the landlord.
- A guest accidentally drops their suitcase on a third party’s foot in the building lobby. The third party brings a claim for the injury against the host and the landlord of the host’s building.
Of course, there are some situations that Host Protection Insurance doesn’t cover.
To start, it doesn’t cover intentional acts that aren’t the result of an accident.
For instance, (and we’re never saying you would do this) you intentionally harmed your guest, the coverage would be void.
The policy also doesn’t cover “Accusations of slander or defamation of character.”
We assume this relates to situations where a guest files a lawsuit in retaliation for a bad review that you leave them, but we can’t be sure.
Your best bet to protect yourself from this is to always be polite in your public reviews and privately report the details of bad conduct to Airbnb.
Finally, Host Protection Insurance doesn’t cover issues with the property itself (such as bed bugs, mold, or asbestos).
And it doesn’t cover auto accidents that occur during or relate to an Airbnb stay.
3. Airbnb Experience Protection Insurance
The final type of Airbnb insurance to discuss is Experience Protection Insurance.
This coverage is very similar to Host Protection Insurance, except that it covers anyone leading Airbnb Experiences.
If you’re not familiar with Airbnb Experiences, they’re a way for locals to provide visitors with interesting local experiences.
This could be anything from a walking tour to a bar crawl to a cooking class.
Experiences are a way for locals to earn money through Airbnb without having to bring guests into their home.
And they provide visitors with a way to not just stay in a city, but experience it through a local’s eyes.
With all the benefits of Airbnb Experiences, however, there also come risks.
Mainly, there’s the risk that someone participating in an experience could injure themselves and then decide to sue you for damages.
It’s also possible (though less likely) that someone participating in an Airbnb Experience could cause property damage that a third party could decide to hold you liable for.
Airbnb Experience Protection Insurance provides you with up to $1 million USD in protection against both personal injury and property damage claims related to an Airbnb Experience.
For instance, if a guest were to trip and fall during a walking tour you led, then the policy would protect you against any liability lawsuits.
Airbnb Insurance FAQ
To conclude this guide, here are the answers to some common questions about Airbnb insurance.
1. Does Airbnb insurance affect my homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy?
Generally, it should not.
At least, having Airbnb insurance coverage should not in and of itself affect any other insurance policies you have related to your home.
That being said, using your home as a short-term rental could potentially affect your coverage, just as working as an Uber driver could affect your auto insurance.
It’s always best to consult with your insurance agent to figure out how listing your place on Airbnb will affect your renter’s insurance or homeowner’s insurance policy.
This way, neither party will be in for any nasty surprises in the event that an incident does occur.
You can also consult this guide from Airbnb, which goes into more detail about the specifics of how their insurance interacts with homeowner’s and renter’s insurance policies.
It’s helpful to have this information handy when talking about Airbnb with your insurance agent.
2. Do I have to sign up for Airbnb insurance?
No, you do not.
By listing your home on Airbnb, you automatically consent to insurance coverage through Airbnb and do not have to take any additional steps.
3. Does Airbnb insurance cost anything?
No, it doesn’t.
All Airbnb insurance is free to you as a host.
4. Is Airbnb insurance available in my country?
Most likely, yes.
Airbnb provides some form of all the above insurance policies we discussed in all countries where they operate.
The specific insurance company may vary based on your country and any applicable local laws, but the coverage will always be in place.
5. How do I file an Airbnb insurance claim?
To file an Airbnb insurance claim, you should first contact Airbnb.
They will then connect you with their third-party claims administrator, who will assist you with the rest of the process.
6. Do I need commercial insurance for my Airbnb property?
In general, no.
That is, you do not need business insurance or other commercial insurance simply to list your home on Airbnb.
However, you should always check to ensure that you don’t need insurance of this nature in order to comply with local permits related to short-term rentals.
Airbnb will guide you through this process when you sign up to be a host.
7. How do I reduce the risk of an accident occurring while a guest is staying with me?
While it’s impossible to prevent all accidents, you can take steps to ensure that your home is safe and that guests know what to expect.
In particular, make sure that all your house rules are clearly written in the description.
If there are areas of your home where guests shouldn’t go, make it clear to them (and even lock certain rooms, if necessary).
And, of course, ensure that you minimize risks of tripping by fixing loose rugs or carpet.
For more information on how to make your home safe (and comfortable) for guests, check out our list of Airbnb host tips.
8. Does Airbnb insurance replace my homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy?
No, it does not replace this coverage, especially in terms of complying with any rules related to the terms of your lease or mortgage.
However, in the event of liability incidents, Airbnb’s policies do serve as the primary coverage.
That is, they replace any such coverage that your other insurance provides for.
Matters of this nature can get complicated quite quickly, so it’s best to check with both Airbnb and your insurance agent just to be sure.
Start Hosting (and Earning) on Airbnb Today
We hope this guide has answered all your questions about Airbnb insurance.
The world of insurance coverage can be confusing, but it’s reassuring to know that Airbnb has put the coverage in place to protect you as a host from any expensive lawsuits related to a guest’s stay in your home or participation in your Airbnb Experience.
Interested in learning more about how to get started listing your home on Airbnb?