Protecting Your Property Archives - Pikl

What insurance do you need for holiday lets?

Estimated Read: 10 minutes.

With more people looking to take advantage of alternative holiday experiences, letting out your holiday home to paying guests could be a smart way to bring in extra cash. Before you attempt to capitalise on this trend, it is important to make sure you are protected if something happens. Here are some of our top insurance tips.

Residential home or landlord insurance may not cover you

If your property was previously a home that you lived in, a residential home insurance policy is unlikely to cover you. If you previously let the property out to tenants, your landlord insurance policy may not be suitable either. It is best to check what you are covered with your current insurer before you let your property out. However, if you have not switched your insurance over yet, you may need to find an appropriate insurance policy that can cover you for holiday lets.

Check with your holiday home or second home insurer.

If your property is an additional home, you may already have a holiday home or second home insurance policy. You will, however, need to make sure this cover also includes insurance for claims caused by having guests in your property. A traditional holiday home or second home insurance policy are often designed to cover personal use of the property by yourself, friends, or family members and so cover for paying guests is usually inadequate. Cover for things like theft or liability insurance for injuries may be excluded if you let a paying guest into your home. In the first instance, it is best to check with your current insurer first and ask them if there is anything specific that you are not covered for.

You may need specific insurance for holiday lets

When running your property as a holiday let, one of your main concerns should be getting cover for any claims caused by having paying guests in your property if you want a high level of cover. A specialist insurance policy that can cover you for holiday lets may be the best option for you. Write down a list of things you would like to have cover for before getting quotes. A good holiday let insurance policy can cover you for things like:

  • Theft by a guest if you have let them into your home.
  • Legal cover and liability insurance for things like guest injuries and 3rd party damage.
  • Malicious or accidental damage by your guest.

What cover does Pikl offer?

Pikl provides specialist insurance for short-term letting, including cover for properties that are run as holiday lets. If you already have insurance elsewhere, we offer a ‘Top-Up’ insurance policy. Your insurer can still continue to cover you whilst our cover can insure your home for any claims caused by your guests. You will still need to let your insurer know that you are intending to do this but alternatively, we can also cover your primary property insurance as well as cover for your guests. Our insurance for when you have short-term guests can cover you for:

  • Public liability including cover for guest accidents involving bodily injury.
  • Legal cover to defend or pursue legal claims against guests.
  • Accidental, malicious damage and theft cover if caused by a guest.
  • Alternative accommodation for you or your guest if your property is being fixed as the result of a guest related claim.
  • Fire and escape of water damage caused by a guest.
  • Loss of keys and replacement locks cover if renting out your entire property.

The above is an example of some of the cover we offer. If you are not comfortable with the level of cover your insurer provides, getting a specialist insurance policy is a relatively straightforward way of covering this gap in insurance.

Will HomeAway cover me if something goes wrong?

Estimated read time: 8 minutes

If you rent out your property to guests through HomeAway, you might be wondering what you are covered for if a guest has an injury or causes damage to your home. Whilst HomeAway does offer some level of cover, it’s important to understand what this protects you for and what it won’t or you could end up seriously out of pocket.

Does HomeAway offer insurance?

If you list your property on their website, HomeAway does provide insurance but this is only for liability claims, which are designed to cover you against risks that you as a host may end up being held responsible for. HomeAway offer up to $1 million (or the equivalent UK amount) of cover per listing free to all of its hosts. This makes their cover similar Airbnb’s Host Protection Insurance, which you can find out more about in our Airbnb guide. The insurance provided by HomeAway covers liability claims brought against the host for incidents such as:

Guest injuries. For example, if your guest fell down the stairs and hurt themselves they may hold you responsible and decide to take legal action.

A guest damaging 3rd party property. An example of where this could be relevant could be your guest lighting up a cigarette and accidentally setting fire to your neighbours property.

A guest injuring a 3rd party. Think back to the fire scenario above. If the neighbour was injured in the fire then they may decide to hold you liable.

What HomeAway does not cover.

Given that HomeAway only covers liability claims, this does not make it comparable to what you would expect from a home or landlord insurance policy. Here are some notable things that HomeAway does not cover:

Damages above $1 million. You might be thinking this is unlikely that a claim could cost this much but it depends on the type of claim. If a guest is injured badly and unable to work again, the costs could mount up. A serious injury could require lifetime care. If you factor in loss of potential earnings, some claims could cost more than $1 million, which could mean you may have to fit the bill.

Damage to your own property is not covered. If a guest burns your house down, you’d need your insurer to cover you for this if you don’t want to pay for damages out of your own pocket. However, many insurers will not cover claims caused by paying guests (more on this below).

If the guest injures you then you won’t be able to use HomeAway’s insurance to take legal action against the guest.

If the damage/injury caused by the guest is deemed to be deliberate or ‘malicious’ then this won’t be covered either. HomeAway’s insurance is designed to cover you against scenarios that are caused accidentally.

You won’t be covered if you have been deemed to have acted negligibly. This is a fairly standard principle followed by most insurers. However, it isn’t entirely clear how ‘negligible’ has been defined. This could give them wiggle room in deciding whether to cover your claim or not.

What to do if you need more cover.

If you are worried about whether you have the right level of cover, the next step to take is to talk to your insurer. However, we spoke to top UK insurers that confirmed that most do not provide adequate cover for Airbnb, HomeAway or similar platforms. Our Airbnb and home insurance article discusses this subject in more detail and is a good place to start before you contact your insurer. If your home is covered under a second home or holiday home insurance policy, your cover for guest related claims may still be inadequate and so it’s important to check with your insurer first. If you have already spoken to your insurer and you are not happy with your level of insurance cover, a specialist insurance policy may be able to fill this gap.

What does Pikl cover?

Pikl provide specialist insurance for short-term letting, including cover for properties that are let out on websites such as HomeAway. If you already have insurance elsewhere, we offer a ‘Top-Up’ insurance policy. Your insurer can still continue to cover you whilst our cover can insure your home for any claims caused by your guests. You’ll need to let your insurer know that you are intending to do this but alternatively, we can also cover your main home or landlord insurance as well as cover for your guests. Our insurance for when you have short-term guests can cover you for:

  • Public liability including cover for guest accidents involving bodily injury.
  • Legal cover to defend or pursue legal claims against guests.
  • Accidental, malicious damage and theft cover if caused by a guest.
  • Alternative accommodation for you or your guest if your property is being fixed as the result of a guest related claim.
  • Fire and escape of water damage caused by a guest.
  • Loss of keys and replacement locks cover if renting out your entire property.

The above is an example of some of the cover we offer. If you are not comfortable with the level of cover HomeAway or your insurer provide, getting a specialist insurance policy is a relatively straightforward way of covering this gap in insurance.

The truth about landlord insurance and Airbnb.

Estimated Read: 8 minutes.

Perhaps you are a landlord that uses your property as an Airbnb during tenancies. Or maybe you allow your tenant to sublet on Airbnb. If either of these apply to you, you might not be covered by your landlord insurer.

What landlord insurers think about Airbnb.

We spoke to the UK’s top landlord insurers and came back with some interesting results. In a survey of insurers that we conducted, we found some concerning trends:

Half of landlord insurers we spoke to said they wouldn’t cover Airbnb claims even if they occurred in between tenancies. That could mean no payout on your claim despite having no tenant in your property. An overwhelming 75% of landlord insurers we spoke to said they would cancel a customers policy if an Airbnb claim occurred during a tenancy.

What could that mean for me?

If an Airbnb guest damaged your property, you might have the pay for the repairs yourself if your insurer will not cover you. Worse, if your insurer decided to ‘void’ your policy (cancel it from the start date as though it never existed in the first place), you may struggle to get insurance after this.

What might I not be covered for?

Typical things not covered by insurers when it comes to Airbnb or similar platforms are:

Accidental or malicious damage by your guest. If you regularly do Airbnb, the chances of this happening could increase.

Theft by a guest. Theft is usually only covered if there has been forced entry.

A guest getting injured and holding you responsible. If your landlord insurer does not cover you for Airbnb then you might not have liability cover to help you if this happened.

A guest damaging someone else’s property. Like the guest injury scenario, you might not have liability cover for this if a 3rd party sued you for damage caused by your guest.

If your guests injure someone else then you might not be covered for this either.

Why don’t landlord insurers cover Airbnb?

Long term tenancies typically require a minimum period of 6 months and so the risk could be seen as more predictable. By also letting out your property on Airbnb, there could be an increase in people using the property, which could increase the likelihood of a claim occurring. Unlike long term tenancies, stringent background checks of guests are not a requirement on platforms like Airbnb.

What actions should I take next?

Inform your insurer.

Ask what they will and will not cover you for.

Think about when you are likely to use your property as an Airbnb. Whether this is done in between tenancies or during a tenancy could affect whether your insurers is likely to cover you or not.

Finding a landlord insurer that also provides adequate cover can be difficult. A specialist provider such as Pikl could provide cover for both your standard landlord insurance and Airbnb (or similar platforms) should you require this.

What does Pikl cover?

Pikl provide specialist insurance for short-term letting, including cover for properties that are let out on websites such as Airbnb. If you already have insurance elsewhere, we offer a ‘Top-Up’ insurance policy. Your insurer can still continue to cover you whilst our cover can insure your home for any claims caused by your guests. You will need to let your insurer know that you are intending to do this but alternatively, we can also cover your landlord insurance as well as cover for your guests. Our insurance for when you have short-term guests can cover you for:

  • Public liability including cover for guest accidents involving bodily injury.
  • Legal cover to defend or pursue legal claims against guests.
  • Accidental, malicious damage and theft cover if caused by a guest.
  • Alternative accommodation for you or your guest if your property is being fixed as the result of a guest related claim.
  • Fire and escape of water damage caused by a guest.
  • Loss of keys and replacement locks cover if renting out your entire property.

The above is an example of some of the cover we offer. If you are not comfortable with the level of cover your insurer provides, getting a specialist insurance policy is a relatively straightforward way of covering this gap in insurance.

The quick guide to landlord insurance

Estimated read: 5 minutes

If you are a landlord, you might be wondering why you might need specific insurance. It is not compulsory, but there are several good reasons to considering getting landlord cover to help you stay protected. We discuss what landlord insurance can cover and some other important points to consider.

Some mortgage providers require it.

If a buy to let mortgage provider has lent you thousands of pounds, there is a good chance they will want you to insure it. Many require you to get insurance as part of their mortgage terms.

Protect your investment.

Your property is worth a lot of money.  Buildings insurance can protect you against things like flood or fire and damage that may cost you to put right if you did not have cover. If your property is furnished, contents insurance can cover you if things like furniture or appliances are damaged. If you do not insure yourself, you may have to pay thousands of pounds of damage if something goes wrong.

Insure yourself against loss of rent.

What would you do if your tenant stopped paying rent? Some landlord insurance packages offer rent protection insurance in the event the unexpected occurs and your tenant is unable to pay. If you financed your property with a buy to let mortgage, you could lose it if you are unable to keep up with the payments.  

Cover against legal costs and injury claims.

No matter how diligent you are, accidents can still happen. If a tenant had an accident on your property and they held you liable, they may decide to sue you for negligence. Liability cover can protect for this if it does happen. If you are held liable for a criminal offence, you may be able to get legal cover to defend you in court and cover you for legal costs. Legal cover may also cover some of the costs of evicting tenants.

Cover for home emergencies.

If your insurance package includes home emergency cover, you can get protected for emergencies in your property. Typical events covered could be things like your boiler going down, an electricity failure or blocked drains. This type of cover could be especially useful in cases where paying for an emergency call out from a tradesman would otherwise cost you £100s.

Accidental damage.

If your property is regularly occupied with tenants, there is a high chance at some point of your tenant damaging your property, such as a spillages and breakages. Bear in mind that the damage would have to be accidental in order to be covered.

What standard landlord insurance might not cover.

Cover will vary from insurer to insurer. There are some things however that are generally not covered or that you may need to notify your insurer about:

  • If your property will be unoccupied for an extended period of time, not all insurers cover this.
  • If your tenant type changes. Some insurers only cover specific types of tenants (such as professional tenants or students). If you are thinking of getting a different type of tenant in after your cover has started, be sure to let your insurer know.
  • Subletting your property. This is where the property is leased out to someone other than the tenant. Most insurance policies (and mortgages) do not allow this. If you or your tenant is intending to sublet, be sure to check that you are covered.
  • If you intend to also use your property as an Airbnb, many landlord insurers will not cover this and you may need to find cover through a specialist insurance broker. Check out our landlord article about Airbnb.
  • If your house is in multiple occupation (HMO). This is a property owned by a private landlord and shared by multiple people. It generally applies to properties with shared communal areas where the number of tenants would be considered as a multiple household living under one roof. This could apply to a number of different properties including bedsits, shared houses and hostels. If you are considering turning your property into an HMO, you will need specialist insurance for this.
  • Tenant belongings. This wouldn’t normally be covered by landlord insurance. Your tenants will be responsible for insuring their own possessions.

Think about what you need cover for.

The important thing to think about is what you actually need cover for. Is loss of rent protection important to you? Are you worried about tenants accidentally damaging your property? Not all landlord insurance policies have the same cover. Make a list of everything that is important to you and this should help you when you go shopping for insurance.

Insurance for house swaps: Key things to consider.

Estimated Read: 5 minutes

If you have read our guide about how to do a house swap holiday or have been house swapping for a while, it is important to check you are covered by your home insurer before you exchange. What you might not realise if that the cover provided by many insurers is inadequate, meaning that you might not have the cover you may usually expect from your home insurer if you needed to make a claim.

What insurers say about house swaps.

In a survey of the UK’s top insurers, we found that the overwhelming majority of them would not provide adequate cover for policyholders that did house swaps.

88% of insurers we surveyed said they would not provide any cover for people that did house swaps. Even if your insurer does not cancel your policy, you might not have cover in your own home for things like:

Malicious damage. Even if you have built a good relationship with your fellow house swapper, you do not always know who you are letting into your property. If your relationship turns sour and your house is maliciously damaged, you may end up paying for the repairs yourself.

You can limit the risk of theft in your property by locking valuables away. However, this is not always practical and you may want this covered by your insurance. However, most home insurers do not cover theft unless there has been forced entry (e.g. a burglar breaking into the property), which would not apply to house swappers that you let into your home.

Accidental damage could easily occur. Given that this is the most likely thing that could happen, it is another thing you may want to check with your insurer to see if you have cover for this as this type of damage by a guest is often excluded.

If your guest is injured and holds you liable, you may need liability cover. A serious injury could cost thousands of pounds if you don’t have cover for this. The same could apply if the guest damages another property or injures a 3rd party such as a neighbour.

Why most insurers don’t provide comprehensive cover for house swaps.

The insurer will not know who is staying at your property and may find it safer to exclude cover for this. If your fellow house swapper normally lives overseas then this may complicate things further and may be unappealing to many home insurers as recovering any damages may be difficult. Here are some tips to make sure you get the right insurance.

1 . Speak to your insurer.

Speak to your insurer first unless your policy documentation is crystal clear. If you wait until you need to make a claim, you might not be covered and the insurer may cancel your policy.

2 . Tell then you are considering a home swap holiday.

Give them as much information as possible so that everything is recorded in case you need to make a claim.

3 . Ask them if they exclude any specific features of cover.

Will the cover you currently get be different when a house swapping guest stays at your property? If your insurer says that you have cover, be specific and make sure that nothing has been excluded.

4 . Get confirmation in writing.

If your insurer confirms that you are covered, get them to send you a letter or an email if it is not spelt out in your policy documentation.

5 . Consider specialist insurance if your cover is not adequate.

We have already established that many home insurers do not provide adequate cover for house swaps. However, the cover provided by individual insurers can vary. Consider talking to a specialist provider such as Pikl if you struggle to get the cover you need.

What cover do you offer?

Through our ‘Top-Up’ insurance policy, you can get cover for house swap claims including:

  • Public liability cover for guest accidents involving bodily injury.
  • Legal cover to defend or pursue legal claims against guests.
  • Accidental, malicious damage and theft cover if caused by a guest.
  • Alternative accommodation for you or your guest if your property is being fixed as the result of a guest related claim.
  • Fire and escape of water damage caused by a guest.
  • Loss of keys and replacement locks cover if renting out your entire property.

You will need to let your home insurer know that you intend to take out cover with us. Alternatively, you can also get a quote with us for your main home insurance as well as our Top-Up cover.

How Airbnb protects its hosts.

Estimated Read: 10 minutes

Unlike some platforms, Airbnb does offer some level of protection for hosts if something happens at their property. Solely relying on Airbnb if something goes wrong however could put you at risk. We discuss what they offer, what they might not cover and how you can protect yourself.

What does Airbnb cover you for?

Airbnb offers two types of protection free of charge to all of its hosts. One of these is the Airbnb Host Guarantee and the other is its Host Protection Insurance Programme. In essence, the Airbnb Host Guarantee covers damage to the hosts’s property. By contrast, the Host Protection Insurance Programme covers liability claims where the guest or another third party (e.g. a neighbour) brings a claim against the host, such as where the host is sued for something that went wrong.

What kind of things does the Guarantee Cover?

The Host Guarantee is designed to cover claims where the damage caused by your guest exceeds your security deposit or in cases where there is no security deposit listed. The level of potential cover offered is up to $1 million (or the UK equivalent) of property damage. An example of where you might claim could be where a guest accidentally damages something in your property.

What the Guarantee doesn’t cover.

Airbnb also clearly lists several things on its website that it does not cover, including:

  • Wear and tear. This is also likely to be excluded by insurance companies (including Pikl) but it is important to note that that if you have several guests stay at your property over the course of the year then the chance of damage caused by wear and tear may increase. It is important to keep your property maintained.
  • Valuables. Ideally, you should keep any valuables outside of the property or locked away if that is not possible but if that’s not something you can or want to do then bear in mind it could be excluded from their Guarantee. For a full list of what is excluded, check out their website.
  • Personal injury claims. This is covered by Airbnb’s Host Insurance Protection Programme.
  • Shared or communal areas. You may not be covered if the guest damages a shared or communal area that is not part of the listing.

The above is easily found on Airbnb’s website. However, when you look further into its terms and conditions, there are a whole raft of potential exclusions woven that may limit what you can claim for.

The Guarantee is not an insurance contract.

This is stated explicitly in its terms and conditions. This means that unlike an insurance contract, you cannot complain to an insurance regulator such as the Financial Ombudsman if something goes wrong. If you need to make a large claim and you are not covered by your home insurer (more on this below), you may need to pay for any damages out of your own pocket if Airbnb refuses to cover any damages.

The process for claiming is not straightforward.

Before you make a claim, you will be required to resolve the dispute with the guest first. This may not be appropriate for every case, such as where criminal activity has occurred. You also have a short window where you are allowed to claim.

Contrast this with insurance cover. With an insurance company, you may have to submit evidence but you will be unlikely to have a short deadline (many will give you up to 180 days). You will not be required to resolve the dispute with the guest directly first either.

Unclear terms & conditions.

There appear to be several potential exclusions and the wording is not always clear.

A good example of unclear wording is the stated $1 million worth of property damage cover. The $1 million cover is actually worldwide cover for every Airbnb host, not $1 million per property. There are thousands of Airbnb hosts and this means you are probably covered for significantly less than many people may realise.

Another potential minefield is a clause stating that Airbnb will be ‘entitled to exoneration’ if the property covered or the ‘risk associated with that property’ changes materially. How something is deemed as a ‘material change’ is unclear.

What does Airbnb Host Protection Insurance cover?

The Airbnb Host Insurance Protection Programme covers hosts for up to $1 million for liability claims brought against the host. Potential scenarios where you may need this type of cover could be where a guest is injured, holds you responsible and decides to take legal action against you. Or maybe your guest accidentally damages your neighbour’s property and the neighbour takes action against you. Without liability cover, you may have to pay for any legal costs and subsequent damages yourself. Unlike the Guarantee, Airbnb’s Host Protection insurance is an insurance contract and it is great that Airbnb offers this cover free of charge to all of its hosts.

What Host Protection Insurance doesn’t cover.

Despite being insurance there are still some limitations as to what you will be covered for. It’s important to be aware of them so you know what to expect if a claim was made against you.

Loss of earnings.

If you lose income as a result of your property being damaged due to a guest related claim, you will not be able to use this cover to claim any potential future earnings you may have lost as a result of a claim. You would typically need legal cover elsewhere to claim for something like this.

$1 million cover may not be enough.

You will get up to $1 million cover per listing if you are an Airbnb host. This may seem like a lot. However, if a guest has a serious, life changing injury then the potential damages may exceed this. Imagine that your guest is young and has a lucrative career. If they earn a decent wage, have 30 or 40 plus years of work ahead of them and require lifetime care, it is quite easy to see how the cost of a claim could exceed $1 million. If you were unlucky enough to have a large claim made against you by your guest or a third party, you may have to pay thousands of pounds out of your own pocket if Airbnb is not prepared to cover any damages above $1 million.

Won’t my home insurer cover me?

You may be thinking that your home insurer will cover you for Airbnb related claims. However, based on our research, most home insurers do not cover Airbnb or similar platforms. Most landlord insurance policies do not provide adequate cover either. If your property is covered by a holiday home or second home insurance policy, you may want to check that you are covered for claims caused by paying guests staying at your property.

How specialist insurance can help.

Many standard insurance policies are not designed to provide adequate cover for paying guests, which is why you could be at risk if you listed your property on Airbnb. A dedicated insurance policy on the other hand can fill this gap in cover.

Pikl provide specialist insurance for short-term letting, including cover for properties that are let out on websites such as Airbnb and holiday homes.

If you just need cover for paying guests, you can ‘top up’ your existing cover by taking out one of our policies. This can include:

  • Public liability cover including cover for guest accidents involving bodily injury.
  • Legal cover to defend or pursue legal claims against guests.
  • Accidental, malicious damage and theft cover if caused by a guest.
  • Alternative accommodation for you or your guest if your property is being fixed as the result of a guest related claim.
  • Fire and escape of water damage caused by a guest.
  • Loss of keys and replacement locks cover if renting out your entire property.

We can also cover your main home, landlord or holiday home insurance if you want the convenience of having all of your cover in the same place.

If you are not happy with the level of cover provided, getting insurance with us is simple and getting a quote only takes minutes.

How does renting out your parking space affect home insurance?

Estimated Read: 5 minutes.

Many people may not realise that renting out their parking space for extra cash may not be covered by their home insurance if something happened and they needed to make a claim. Before you rent out your parking space, you may want to check with your insurer. Here are the important facts you need to know.

Many insurers won’t provide cover.

A survey of the UK’s biggest insurers revealed that many of them do not provide adequate buildings or contents insurance for claims caused as a result of customers renting out their parking space.

1/3 of home insurers in the UK we spoke to confirmed they would restrict cover for customers that rented out their parking space. If this applies to one of your insurers, key aspects of cover that you would normally expect to be covered for may be missing. However unlikely it is that something bad could happen, you could be taking an unnecessary risk without the right insurance.

If your home insurer does not provide any cover for your parking space, you may end up paying for property damage if your guest’s vehicle crashes into your home. You could be liable for injury damages if your guest drives into someone and be seriously out of pocket if liability cover is not provided.

Why don’t all insurers cover this?

Some insurers may class renting out your parking space as ‘commercial use’ and already exclude this type of activity in their terms and conditions.

Will I be covered by the parking website?

Many people that rent out their parking space do so through a parking website. The website itself may require guests to waive any responsibility if something happens. It is not clear however that you will be completely covered.

At the time of writing, parking websites do not provide specific cover for damage to your property. If your guest does not have car insurance and your home insurer will not cover you, that could leave you having to pay for damages.

Do I need specific insurance?

We would recommend you contact your insurer first and ask them if there is anything they are not prepared to cover you for. If you do not notify your insurer, they may cancel your policy or decide not to cover your claim. If you are not able to get adequate cover, a specialist provider like Pikl can provide cover if needed.

You will still need to speak to your insurer first to let them know you are intending to take out our cover. Alternatively, we can offer cover for your main home insurance as well as cover for renting out your parking space. 

Why your home insurer might not cover your Airbnb

Estimated Read: 5 minutes.

Many people are not aware that most insurers do not provide adequate cover for platforms like Airbnb, HomeAway and Booking.com. We discuss this in more detail and how to make sure you have the right insurance.

Airbnb and HomeAway offer some cover

Before we talk what most home insurers do cover, it important to point out that some of the platforms themselves do provide some measure of protection. If you list your property on either of these platforms then you will get some cover if something goes wrong. However, the protection offered is limited and is no substitute for a dedicated insurance policy. Our article for HomeAway and Airbnb discussed this in more depth if you are interested in what they offer.

How does home insurance work with Airbnb?

We surveyed 90%** of the UK’s property insurers and asked them how they would react if they found out a customer had listed their property on Airbnb or similar platforms.

All of the insurers we spoke to confirmed that they would not cover Airbnb, HomeAway or similar platforms automatically unless their customers had disclosed this beforehand. If you have not already told them that you are using your property as an Airbnb, your insurer may not cover your claim if something goes wrong. Over half of insurers said they would not provide any specific cover for Airbnb even if their customers told them they were doing this. That could mean no cover for things like:

Deliberate damage caused by a guest.
Theft by a guest with no forced entry (e.g. if you let the guest into your home).
Accidental damage caused by a guest.
Legal liability (e.g. if a guest is injured and holds you responsible).

Some insurers even confirmed that they would cancel their customer’s policy altogether if they found out that they were letting paying guests into their home. If you contact an insurer, they may recommend a business insurance policy (such as insurance for running a professional bed and breakfast). However, for customers not doing such businesses full time, these types of insurance policies may be expensive. They may also burden you with unsuitable terms and conditions such as health and safety regulations. These policies may also not offer adequate cover for things like the like the personal contents in your home.

What insurance do I need for Airbnb and what does it cover?

Attempting to get cover by ringing round insurers or using comparison sites is tricky as the cover offered by each provider is varied. 86% of insurers we spoke to said they did not take any specific steps to educate their customers about using Airbnb or similar platforms. That means that the only way to find out what each insurer offers is by writing down a list of the things you want covered and contacting each insurer to ask if they cover them. Not ideal if you do not have a lot of time on your hands. Luckily, we did a mystery shop of some well known insurers and brokers to give you an idea.

On the table above, the left hand side lists the kinds of things you may expect an insurer to cover you for if you listed your property on these platforms. For example, if you let a guest into your home and they stole something from you, this would be classed as ‘theft without forced entry’ as the guest did not need to break into your house to steal something. If you have at look at what each insurer said they would cover when we spoke to them directly however, you can see that many insurers were not prepared to cover anything at all. Some insurers were prepared to cover some things and not others. Calling round home insurers to get adequate cover is not straightforward, even if they say they offer specific ‘Airbnb insurance.’

I’m an running an Airbnb. What could this mean for me?

Your insurer may cancel your policy or stop your claim if they find out that you have not told them. If you have told them that you are hosting on Airbnb, you may want to ask if there is anything that they are not currently covering you for. Insurer policy wordings are regularly updated and it is best to contact them directly in addition to checking your documentation. If you have not already checked this out, you could be risking £1,000s worth of damage if you need to make a claim and are not covered.

How to stay protected.

It’s important you speak to your existing insurer first to find out if they will cover you. Write down a list of things that are important to you or that you would typically expect to be covered for before speaking to them. If you are not happy with the level of cover you are getting, you may want to consider speaking to a specialist broker such as Pikl that can cover you for this.

How specialist insurance can help

A specialist insurance policy specifically designed to cover your for platforms like Airbnb, HomeAway and Booking.com may give you more peace of mind and may be able to give you a higher level of cover so that your property is covered. Pikl insurance has been specifically designed to cover you for things like this.

Pikl provide specialist insurance for short-term letting, including cover for properties that are let out on websites such as Airbnb. If you already have insurance elsewhere, we offer a ‘Top-Up’ insurance policy. Your insurer can still continue to cover you whilst our cover can insure your home for any claims caused by your guests. You will need to let your insurer know that you are intending to do this but alternatively, we can also cover your home as well as cover for your guests. Our insurance for when you have short-term guests can cover you for:

  • Public liability including cover for guest accidents involving bodily injury.
  • Legal cover defend or pursue legal claims against guests.
  • Accidental and malicious damage by a guest.
  • Theft or attempted theft by a guest.
  • Alternative accommodation for you or your guest if your property is being fixed as the result of a guest related claim.
  • Fire and escape of water damage caused by a guest.
  • Loss of keys and replacement locks cover if renting out your entire property.

Getting cover with us with easy and relatively straightforward. We know that the world of insurance can be confusing. If you have any queries, our UK based team will be happy to help.

Do you manage other Airbnb properties?

If you are a company that manages multiple Airbnb properties for clients, offering insurance as part of your service offering can help you attract more business. If this applies to you, check out our page for businesses to see more regarding what is on offer.