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In this article we give you the essential guide to what Airbnb host insurance covers in the UK and the role that a specialist provider can play in giving you enhanced insurance. First off, we will discuss what is Airbnb’s insurance policy.
What is Airbnb insurance? The chances are that you’ve asked this question if you are thinking about making money by renting out your property on a short-term basis. When you list your entire property or room on Airbnb, you’re entitled to its insurance cover free of charge. The programme is designed to protect you as a host against liability claims up to US$1 million (around £600,000) per listing that occur during a guest’s stay in your home.
For customers wondering about what Airbnb does cover, the company sets out what the programme gives you, but it’s broadly described as ‘third party claims of bodily injury or property damage.’ The platform also says its insurance ‘may also cover claims if a guest damages building property’ and provides examples of what it can cover.
If you let your property or room out with Airbnb you’re also offered a separate promise that is designed to cover hosts in the event that their property or possessions are damaged during a guest’s stay. Once again, this programme may cover against damages up to $1 million, at no additional cost to the host; however, it should be noted that this amount is the total pot that covers all Airbnb hosts worldwide rather than a per-listing cap.
The platform differentiates this promise from its liability cover on its website, stating the former ‘is not insurance and doesn’t replace your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance’. It’s also worth noting that Airbnb does not cover for reasonable wear and tear of the host’s property and possessions – this is where a security deposit may also be needed.
As an Airbnb host, you can also choose to add a security deposit to your listing – an amount between US$100 (around £74) and $5,000 (around £3,688) – and claim on this deposit within 14 days of your guest(s) checking out if they had caused any damage to your property. This, Airbnb states, can be useful for ‘smaller, simpler accidents – like a broken glass.'
Should the cost of replacing or repairing the damaged item exceed the security deposit amount, this is where Airbnb offer some limited cover. However, it’s worth looking further into the types of claims you wouldn’t be covered for (see section below).
Of course, the host needs to consider whether a hefty deposit might put off prospective guests when advertising their property – a problem that some hosts have reported encountering on various forum sites.
As stated on its website, Airbnb’s insurance does not cover liability claims arising from, for example:
Airbnb also states that claims relating to the following are not covered in relation to property damages:
The cover that Airbnb does offer is limited and, in most cases, it is safer to take out additional insurance so that you can ensure you are adequately covered in case the worst happens. In our blog, ‘Is Airbnb’s Host Guarantee enough for you?’ we discuss this topic in more detail.
Many customers are surprised to learn when finding out how Airbnb does affect home insurance that they are not covered. This is because most insurers will class this as commercial use and exclude cover for this under their policies. Even if your insurer says they are happy to still insure you, key aspects of cover are likely to be missing.
Check out 'Will you home insurance cover short term guests?' for more details on how most standard insurance does work for Airbnb. Pikl can provide Top-Up cover that is designed to work alongside your standard home insurance policy to cover guest related incidents. If you decide to take out cover with us, you will still need your main home insurance in place to cover non guest related claims.
If you decide to get additional insurance elsewhere, at the very least you’ll need to inform your insurer that you’re planning to let your property on Airbnb so that they’re aware. This requirement falls under the Consumer Insurance Act 2012. You need to confirm with them that they will still cover your property for any claims not related to your hosting activity and that you will take out another insurance policy which protects the hosting. Your insurer may decide not to continue insuring you even if you aren't asking them to cover your Airbnb activities and so it is vital you speak to them first.
With our host cover starting from £1.50 per day, buy Airbnb Insurance and find out how easy it can be to access affordable, comprehensive protection for your short-term lets.