UK homeowners who are Airbnb hosts (i.e. they let out a room, or their whole home, to paying guests) are being warned to check they have adequate insurance. Failure to have the correct cover could mean that any claim made under a home insurance policy – even one not associated with a guest – could be rejected, potentially costing hundreds or even thousands of pounds.
Steve Bradley, MD of one of the UK’s leading insurance broking websites, UKinsuranceNET.com, explains: “While hosts are automatically covered by own Airbnb’s own Home Protection package up to US$1 million (about £780,000) for third party claims of bodily injury or damage to property, including claims arising from guests themselves who have been injured, the insurance is by no means fool-proof, leaving gaps in your cover.”
Mr. Bradley cites examples of instances that are typically not covered by the Airbnb Host Protection package:
- theft of cash or personal possessions;
- damage to property in shared or common areas of the property;
- personal liability;
- malicious damage caused by a guest
- injury to – or the theft of – your pet or pets; and
- limitations on the amount of cover provided for items of particular value (such as collectibles, jewellery and works of art).
He adds: “Although Airbnb’s Host Protection scheme is designed to work alongside your existing home insurance, hosts should note that in many cases, your home insurance policy will become invalid if you are letting all or part of your accommodation to paying guests or tenants.
“This means that in the event of an Airbnb host making a claim – even one not associated with a guest – that the claim may typically not be paid out.
“Because Airbnb is a relatively new concept, hosts may believe they have adequate cover when in fact they don’t. To meet this need we have launched our own bespoke Airbnb insurance. The policy enables hosts to tailor the cover to their own particular needs and circumstances, the type of property for which they are hosting and any additional areas of insurance needed. The inclusion of cover against malicious damage caused by your guests, for instance, might be a particular case in point”.
Mr. Bradley adds that with the Airbnb policy, there areother optional extras and endorsements available, making it suitable for a range of different situations, including those where a second home is being used for holiday lets.