Specialist insurance for Airbnb, JustPark & more…

We preserve the things you love so you can focus on being a great host.

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Sharing your things can get you in a pickle.

No matter how diligent you are, even careful guests can have accidents and occasionally a guest might abuse your trust.

Sharing accidents

We provide insurance to get you out of a pickle and back into action

We’ve designed our company from the ground up to meet the needs of the sharing economy quickly and easily.

Sharing insurance

What we offer

We’ve teamed up with a panel of leading insurers to compare the market so you get the right cover at the best price.

Modus Axa Geo

All-in-one plans

Pikl

Buy your home or landlord insurance with us

Include the right coverage for your specific sharing needs

  • Short-term lets on Airbnb, etc.
  • Sharing a room or annex
  • Letting your parking space
OR

Universal Top-Ups™

Existing Insurance +

Keep your existing home insurance

Top-up your coverage for your specific sharing needs

  • Short-term lets on Airbnb, etc.
  • Sharing a room or annex
  • Letting your parking space

Guide to Airbnb Insurance

In this guide you’ll find out about:

  • Airbnb’s Host Protection Insurance.
  • Airbnb’s Host Guarantee.
  • What is the security deposit on an Airbnb listing?
  • What doesn’t Airbnb insurance cover?
  • Why your home insurance policy isn’t enough.
  • How you can ensure you’re protected as an Airbnb host.
  • How Airbnb insurance differs to Pikl insurance.
  • What is Airbnb’s Host Protection Insurance?
  • What is and isn't covered.

What is Airbnb's Host Protection Insurance?

When you list your entire property or room on Airbnb, you’re entitled to its ‘Host Protection Insurance’ 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.

On its website, Airbnb sets out what the Host Protection Insurance covers you for, 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 ‘should cover,’ including:

  • A guest breaking their wrist after slipping on the rug and bringing a claim for the injury against the host.
  • A guest accidentally dropping their suitcase on a third party’s foot in the building lobby, and the third party bringing a claim for the injury against the host and landlord.
  • A guest falling off a treadmill in the gym of the apartment building when it breaks, and bringing a claim for the injury against the host and landlord.

The Host Protection Insurance, Airbnb states, is available to hosts ‘regardless of their other insurance arrangements, but will only act as primary insurance coverage for incidents related to an Airbnb stay.'

What is Airbnb’s Host Guarantee?

If you let your property or room out with Airbnb you’re also offered a separate ‘Host Guarantee’ that is designed to protect hosts themselves in the event that their property or possessions are damaged during a guest’s stay. Once again, this programme provides protection for damages up to £600,000, 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 the Host Guarantee from its Host Protection programme, stating the former ‘is not insurance and doesn’t replace your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance’. The Host Guarantee also 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.

What is the security deposit on an Airbnb listing?

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 the Host Guarantee is designed to offer 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.

What doesn’t Airbnb insurance cover?

In its Host Protection Insurance information, Airbnb states the programme does not apply to claims arising from, for example:

  • Intentional acts, such as assault or sexual abuse (by the host or other insured party).
  • Loss of earnings.
  • Communicable diseases.
  • Acts of terrorism.
  • Asbestos, lead or silica.

You can find a full list of what is and isn’t covered by this programme on Airbnb’s website.

Under the Host Guarantee, which the platform stresses ‘should not be considered a replacement or stand-in for homeowner’s or renter’s insurance,’ claims relating to the following are not protected:

  • Cash and securities.
  • Pets.
  • Personal liability.
  • Shared or common areas.

There are also limits on the amount of cover offered for valuable possessions, ‘such as jewellery, collectibles and artwork,' with Airbnb advising hosts to ‘secure or remove such valuables’ when letting their property and to ‘consider independent insurance to cover such items.'

In essence, even though Airbnb rightly aims to protect its hosts, it concedes that you are not necessarily fully covered by the programmes it offers and suggests you need to seek additional insurance.

Why your home insurance policy isn’t enough

Although Airbnb has improved and tightened its safeguarding measures over the years, the occasions where theft, damage and worse have occurred during a period of letting are well documented and continue to concern prospective hosts.

You may think that your home insurer will cover you against these risks. In most cases however, your main home insurer is unlikely to provide the cover you require.

Most insurance policies are not designed to cover sharing economy activities.

If you rent your room out on websites such as Wimdo, Homestay and Airbnb, your insurer will class this as commercial use and most will exclude this under their policies. Those that do are likely to have a raft of exclusions written within their terms and conditions that will severely restrict what you can claim for. If your insurer says they are happy to cover you, you might not be covered for as much as you think you are. Whether you’re doing it for a living or a bit on the side, treat your money making enterprise like a business and do your homework so that you know what your insurer’s level of cover is.

Because the risk of loss or damage to your property and possessions could increase substantially while guests are staying in your home, the majority of home insurance policies will not provide cover for such situations, meaning additional insurance will need to be secured.

At the very least however, 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.

If you attempted to make a claim and your home insurer was not aware of the Airbnb activity, they could record this on the Claims and Underwriting Exchange (CUE) database, which could, in some cases, make it difficult for you to get insurance again.

You could be liable for thousands of pounds.

Home insurance policies usually exclude liability claims against if you if this is as a result of letting out your home. If a paying guest injures themselves on your property and hold you liable, they may decide to sue you for thousands of pounds. Whilst it is true that Airbnb’s Host Protection Insurance can cover you for a maximum of $1 million worth of liability cover per case in the event something like this occurs, serious injuries can incur damages well in excess of this. In addition, they have a maximum limit of $10 million so if the total number of claims worldwide reaches this limit then you may not be fully covered. What would you do if you had to foot the bill?

Your insurance premiums could rise.

The premiums for standard home insurance policies are usually calculated based on who is staying at your home and how many people are living there. Their premiums aren’t designed to favour people who allow any number of paying guests into their premises. Insurers that do decide to cover you are likely to charge a higher premium if you rent your property out on a short-term basis due to the increased risk. What’s more, your insurer may decide to charge you individually each time you decide to bring a paying guest into your home, which could be costly.  Also bear in mind that if any claims did occur then this would affect your no claim bonus, which could see the cost of your insurance rise even higher at the next renewal. When factoring in your potential earnings, it’s vital you take this into account or it might eat into your profits. As a cheaper alternative, consider shopping around for an additional insurance product that is specifically designed to cover your needs. Taking out a policy with a specialist insurer like Pikl is likely to be a cheaper option and any claims made through us as a result of bringing in guests, are unlikely to affect your no claims bonus with your main home insurer either.

You might not be allowed to have regular guests.

To mitigate the risk of having short term tenants in your home, your insurer may only allow you to have paying guests on an occasional basis. This may be fine for people who want to make the odd bit of money on the side but those who want a regular income stream will effectively be without protection if their insurer puts a limit on how many times you can do this. 

You could be breaching the terms of your mortgage contract or lease. 

As a side note, it’s worth considering that most mortgage lenders and leaseholders do not allow borrowers and tenants to offer short term lets of their properties so check your contract first. If you’re not sure, call your mortgage company or leaseholder. If you don’t do your homework you could be evicted from your property or have your mortgage invalidated. However, bear in mind that your mortgage lender is primarily interested in protecting the asset they are investing in. It likely that they would be more comfortable with this activity if you had the right protection so consider getting additional insurance elsewhere if your primary insurance cover isn’t adequate.

But what if my home insurer says it OK. Doesn’t that mean I’m covered?

Insurers are not likely to cover you if you leave your door open for strangers to walk inside your home, steal your things or damage your property. Many won’t see allowing guests into your home as much different either. It’s difficult to predict what a lodger will do in your property until they have settled in for a sustained period of time. To counteract this, many insurers restrict what you can claim for if you decide to let your property out on short term basis, which is why your cover might end up being very little. In most cases, if your insurer does agree to cover you, it means your insurer has agreed to add your guest as a lodger or additional family member. Whilst your home insurance may not be invalidated and they will still accept claims that would normally occur if the hosting activity did not exist altogether, key aspects of cover are likely to be missing.

If your home insurance provider is happy for your policy to continue while you have guests through Airbnb, they may let you know you’re covered. This usually means one of two things:

  1. They will cover you for everything included in your home insurance policy and will treat your guests as if they are a family member.
  2. They will cover you for everything included in your home insurance policy unless it’s been caused by a guest. They may say they will put an endorsement on your policy for the guest.

However, the drawbacks in considering your Airbnb guest as a member of your family include not being covered for:

  • Any deliberate or malicious damage caused by the guest.
  • Theft by a guest.
  • In some cases, accidental damage by a guest.
  • Public liability if a guest or their travelling companions injure themselves on your property.
  • Legal expenses to defend or pursue property or injury claims.

If an endorsement has been placed on the policy for a guest, you will not be covered for any damage the guest has caused, such as fire, explosion or escape of water. An endorsement is a clause included in the insurance contract to expand or restrict cover, usually applied by the underwriter who is reviewing your situation. See the second part of our blog on how to talk to your insurer for further details

Contrary to what you might think in an age when home sharing platforms are seeing immense popularity, most home insurers are somewhat behind the times in reflecting the risks in their policies. 

How you can ensure you’re protected as an Airbnb host

People who decide to open their homes to paying guests through Airbnb, or any other sharing platform, should have access to an affordable yet comprehensive solution to their insurance needs while guests are staying. Since more often than not such lettings are not covered adequately under primary home insurance policies, there’s a clear need for supplementary cover that’s easy to arrange and works alongside your main policy.

Pikl covers you for damage that’s caused by a guest to your buildings or contents, including:

  • Fire or explosion.
  • Escape of water or oil.
  • Accidental damage or malicious damage to property.
  • Theft by a guest without forced entry.
  • Public liability if a guest or their companions injure themselves on your property.
  • Legal expenses to defend or pursue property or injury claims.

We work on the basis that you have bought your primary policy of insurance and have let your insurer know you will be letting your property on a short-term basis to guests, for which you are supplementing your cover with an additional insurance product from Pikl.

This approach makes it far cheaper for you to get the best deal when having guests. It also means that if you need to claim under your host insurance, it shouldn’t affect your main policy’s no-claims discount.

How Pikl differs from Airbnb insurance

  • Pikl’s products are insurance contracts; Airbnb’s host guarantee is not insurance, while its host protection programme is an insurance contract between Airbnb and its own insurer.
  • Hosts are fully covered by Pikl’s insurance; they are not with either of Airbnb’s programmes.
  • With Pikl insurance, the host has full control over the claims process; with Airbnb host protection insurance, the host is not party to the contract and therefore has no input in the claims process.
  • The cover Airbnb offers is included for all hosts; with Pikl you pay for the cover you need, even if you only have guests for a day or two. Our cover starts from £1.50 per day.

Airbnb Host Guarantee

Airbnb Host Protection Insurance

Home insurance + Pikl

What is it?

Programme designed to protect hosts in the event of damage to their own property or possessions

Programme designed to cover hosts in the event of guests’ claims of injury or property damage

Short-term insurance for Airbnb hosts, supplementary to their primary home insurance

Is it insurance?

No

Yes, but between Airbnb and its insurer

Yes

Cost?

Free to all Airbnb hosts

Free to all Airbnb hosts

Paid for on a per-day/35-day/90-day/annual basis. Prices start at £1.50 per day

Is the host fully covered?

No

No

Yes

Is the host a party to the contract?

No

No — as the contract is between Airbnb and its insurer

Yes

Has the host got any control over, or interaction with, the claims process?

No

No

Yes

Does the cover synchronise with existing home insurance?

No

No

Yes

Can the host opt into or out of cover?

No

No

Yes

What is and isn’t covered

The table below provides a quick comparison between Pikl’s host insurance and the cover offered by Airbnb in terms of what is and isn’t covered.

It’s important to note that because Airbnb does not offer a direct insurance policy with its customers, limits are not provided and therefore any claims made by hosts are considered at Airbnb’s discretion.

 

Pikl Host Insurance

Airbnb Host Protection/Guarantee

Policy excess/franchise

Main policy £250*; theft franchise of £500, which means claims are only paid if they exceed £500

(It’s unclear, but feedback on forums suggest they don’t pay out for replacement keys or small items – so unlikely they will cover claims under £1,000)

Accidental damage to buildings and contents by a guest

Yes

It’s unclear — no official limits at Airbnb’s discretion

Malicious damage to buildings and contents by a guest

Yes

It’s unclear — no official limits at Airbnb’s discretion

Theft by a guest of building and contents

Yes

It’s unclear — no official limits at Airbnb’s discretion

Public liability for injury to guests

Yes (£2m per person per injury event)

£10m total worldwide limit

Legal expenses to pursue or defend legal claims

Yes £50,000

No

Key/replacement locks

Yes

No

Alternative accommodation

Yes

No

Fire and explosion caused by a guest

Yes

It’s unclear — no official limits at Airbnb’s discretion

Escape of water/oil caused by a guest (e.g. burst pipe)

Yes

It’s unclear — no official limits at Airbnb’s discretion

Standard home insurance claims events, e.g. storm, flood, subsidence, heave, collision, theft (not by guest)

No

No

Cover for investigations by HMRC

Yes

No

Identity theft

No

No

For further information, see our Guide to Pikl Host Insurance.

airbnb cover for hosts explained

What Airbnb provides

Provides support for minor incidents

Helps mediate repayment of damages between hosts and guests

Offers the only sharing platform with protection

Guarantee is a marketing promise not insurance (so it’s not regulated)

Guarantee is a pot of $1m to cover everyone worldwide

The $1m host protection insurance provides insufficent cover in our view for large guest injuries

Cover contains a significant number of exclusion and limitations (e.g. shared areas of your property and other areas you’d expect to be covered)

Won't my home insurance cover guest damages?

In a recent survey, 100% of home insurers said they would not cover guest-related incidents as standard.

Host Insurance
Home Insurance

Fire caused by a guest

Escape of water caused by a guest

Accidental or malicious damage caused by a guest

Theft by a guest

Guest injuries

Guest causes damage to third-party property

Fire caused by a guest

Escape of water caused by a guest

Accidental or malicious damage caused by a guest

Theft by a guest

Guest injuries

Guest causes damage to third-party property

Why work with us?

Get the best deal

We work hard to find you the best deal on your insurance. and with Pikl products the more you buy the more you save.

No app, no hassle

There’s no app to ‘tap-on’ and ‘tap-off’ when you’re hosting. Just keep a record of your hosting calendar in case we need it.

Free expert advice

We love speaking with customers over the phone. We have a trained team of expert advisors ready to help you make sense of your insurance needs.

Call us on: 0800 254 5171
or
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