Guest blog post by Kristy Galecka, Senior Property & Casualty Underwriter and Garage Specialist, J.M. Wilson
Travel booking sites like Airbnb are changing the vacation industry.
Instead of relying on a hotel, vacationers can choose from a budget-friendly private room in a 3 bedroom apartment downtown, an entire house for the weekend of the big game, or someone’s vacation lake house.
I gave this Airbnb thing a shot a couple months ago as my partner and I planned a trip to Chicago for a day.
I am not going to lie, I was a little apprehensive about the fact that I would be staying in a stranger’s home and wasn’t totally sure how the whole thing would play out but, we went with it.
We arrived in the early afternoon, just like any normal hotel stay, and instead of “checking in” we were greeted with a friendly and personalized welcome from the owner.
We were not the only couple staying at this home, in fact, there were three bedrooms rented for the night.
As you can imagine the house was a house and there was one shared bathroom, which never actually posed an issue, but it was a little awkward having to communicate with the other couples about bathroom time.
In terms of meals, we ate out for all of our meals but could have stayed in and used the kitchen as needed. The living spaces were all shared as well if desired.
All in all, I’m not sure if I would stay in a multi-family rental space again, mostly because of the lack of privacy, but it was a great experience that saved some money for our quick trip to Chi-town.
As Airbnb continues to grow in popularity, many are drawn to becoming an Airbnb host as a way to earn some easy extra cash.
Just like how hotels deal with risks, if your insured is planning on becoming an Airbnb host, there are risks and exposures to consider as well.
Some of the risks and exposures are covered by Airbnb with their Host Protection Insurance program. On their website, Airbnb states:
The Host Protection Insurance program provides primary liability coverage for up to $1,000,000 per occurrence in the event of a third-party claim of bodily injury or property damage related to an Airbnb stay.
What does that mean?
The Host Protection Insurance Program will cover claims such as:
Guest injuries such as breaking a wrist when slipping on a rug in the house.
Third-party injuries on the premise where the guest is at fault –- coverage would cover the host and the landlord, not the guest.
Having this protection seems great, however, it doesn’t cover every possible risk. The Host Protection Insurance Program is basically going to cover premises liability only, excluding personal & advertising injury. Depending on the accommodations your insured has on their property, additional coverage might be a good idea.
What are some exposures that should be addressed?
Here are some exposures that a Managing General Agent (like J.M. Wilson!) is able to consider when underwriting your risk:
Swimming Pool (must be completely fenced in with a self-locking gate)
Non-Motorized Boats (i.e. kayaks, canoe, paddle boards, etc.)
When considering these risks, your underwriter will need to know some additional information about certain exposures, such as how many ATV’s or non-motorized boats are on the property, acreage of lakes, ponds and hunting land, and the size of any boats and pontoons.
Finally, all hosts should consider putting together a set of rules/guidelines that are presented to each vacationer at the beginning of their stay. Encouraging a safe and loss-free vacation is best for your insured and the renter.