14th November 2022
Your Insurance Obligations as an Airbnb Host
What happens when you’re an Airbnb host, and you have no clue on your insurance rights? What happens when damage is accrued when you’re not there? Here are some things to consider with regard to your obligations as an Airbnb host, and how to ensure your insurance rights.
Airbnb has long been growing in popularity in New Zealand. However, some Kiwis soon found out they didn’t have the insurance cover they thought they did have before turning their home into an accommodation provider.
Opening your home to strangers will always come with a risk. While this is obvious, the skyrocketing of housing and traditional rentals has made many Kiwis turn to renting out their homes in this way. To that end, let’s explore your rights as a host and how you can ensure proper coverage in the event of damages.
Airbnb provides hosts with the guarantee to people renting their homes out by providing insurance cover, though it should not be used in place of traditional insurance.
This host guarantee coverage allows some coverage to damages caused by guests, but the coverage is subject to some conditions. Some of these being that claims must be lodged before your next guest arrives, or within two weeks of the incident occuring.
Theft of cash, jewellery and art, for example, are not covered by Airbnb.
“Hosts can get caught out with these terms and conditions, but if you make yourself aware of what the host guarantee includes and excludes, you might not even need to make a claim on your personal insurance,” says Marcel Wratt, Intermediate Underwriter at MAS.
Therefore, it is vital for new hosts to speak to their insurers about the extent of their coverage, and to let them know they are planning to become, or have recently become, an Airbnb host.
“Intentional or malicious damage is a common exclusion for most policies, including MAS’s standard policy, but in an Airbnb scenario, we can provide an extension to cover potential damage with a limit imposed,” Wratt explains.
This insurance extension will provide some leniency to both new and old hosts, making it possible for guests to still be held accountable for their damages even when the host was not aware of any incidents within the 14 day time limit set by Airbnb.
1. Talk to your insurer to establish what cover you have and what additional cover you need
2. Read up on Airbnb to know what you’re getting into, including the host guarantee and host protection policies. Timeframes for lodgings is also worth looking into, as some guests have been known to overstay their welcome.
3. Inspect the property immediately prior to and after your guests’ stay. This ensures no damages have occurred, but if there are any, you can take note on who was staying at your residence more effectively. If you are unable to inspect the property yourself, have someone you trust do it for you.
4. Arrange a tailored commercial insurance policy if you are intending your property to act as an Airbnb commercial use property.