A big part of letting out your property or room is built around TRUST, which is why we recently saw Airbnb improving their new guest standards and party house bans to help protect hosts, guests, and communities.
However, even with these continued improvements in standards and guest verification, hosts should still ensure their most treasured possessions are adequately covered and have a specialist insurance policy in place.
A good example of this was covered in a recent article by the Metro, which highlighted an Airbnb property being let out in London to a supposed family of four, only for the host to find over 500 people went to their property for a private party. Unfortunately, the party escalated and resulted in the property having over £450k of property damage and progressed into a legal case with Airbnb. Thankfully no-one was injured but Airbnb de-listed the property and cancelled bookings at the property leading to a loss of earnings for the host whilst the property was being repaired.
Although, these instances are rare and in this particular case had a large claim cost, the even smaller property claims can soon add up to £1,000’s and also have an impact on earnings whilst the property is being repaired or items replaced.
Elsewhere, we have discussed before the pros and cons of the protection that Airbnb gives its hosts if something goes wrong. Although they do offer some cover, it is important as a host you are aware of the protection they give you versus having a specialist host insurance policy in place.
Many hosts will also perceive their traditional household insurance policy will cover them for any damages that are guest-related, however,following our research in 2019 * 100% of insurers in the UK will not cover damages caused by guests if you have not previously informed them of hosting at the property. At Pikl we specialise at providing insurance solutions for the sharing economy and in particular, short term letting on platforms such as Airbnb, booking.com and HomeAway. Our range of products can be provided as a ‘Top up©’ to a Host’s existing household policy or as a policy that covers their property and hosting cover for any guest-related injuries or damages.
If you are currently involved in letting out your property or a room on these type of platforms it’s worth reading the previous blog article from our CEO Louise Birritteri on ‘Top insurance tips before letting out your property’.
We are committed to working with the sector to help educate and raise awareness of the insurance gaps within short term letting. Naturally, any improvements to innovations and standards will help mitigate damages caused by guests, but to make sure you don’t get yourself into a Pickle put your TRUST in an insurance policy from a specialist insurer to alleviate any unexpected surprises.
Pikl, preserving the things you love.
*The ‘Insuring the sharing economy in 2019’ report is based on a combination of mystery shopping and a series of qualitative interviews with representatives of the UK’s largest insurers, who manage 90% of the gross written premium (GWP) in the UK property insurance market. The survey group represents £4bn of a market worth c£4.5bn, source: Deloitte UK household insurance seminar September 2017 (which pulls together a summary of PRA returns by insurers). It was the most recent report published at the time of the survey.