The truth about landlord insurance and Airbnb. - Pikl

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.