The internet is replete with stories of people who have suffered serious, not so serious and downright silly accidents while staying at AirBnBs.
In this example, in 2018 in the US, a woman staying at an AirBnB failed to take a glass cover off a stove top, which subsequently exploded when she turned on the burners to make some scrambled eggs.
Then in 2019, a property let through AirBnB in Victoria’s Box Hill was trashed to the tune of $45,000 after a wild teenage party got out of control. The house was left with massive holes in the walls. Decorations were ripped from the walls and police investigated whether anything was stolen. In 2018 a young boy suffered head injuries while playing on a swing set that collapsed on him at a Queensland AirBnB.
These are just a handful of real-life accidents and misfortunes that have happened at properties rented through the popular platform since it launched in 2008 in the US and in 2011 in Australia. AirBnB does provide some cover for properties listed on its site. For instance, it offers a US$1 million host guarantee which can cover damage done by guests.
But this isn’t the only protection you need, says John Clark, Steadfast’s broker support manager. “There’s a number of different insurance policies it’s sensible for hosts to take out if they rent their home or investment property through AirBnB,” says Clark.
These include home building insurance, home contents insurance and general liability insurance. It’s also sensible to take out rental insurance to cover loss of income.
“There’s a number of different insurance policies it’s sensible for hosts to take out if they rent their home or investment property through AirBnB”
“While AirBnB does have a master liability policy in place, it only covers AirBnB activities, it does not cover property ownership,” Clark explains. “That’s why it’s important to ensure you have other insurance policies.
Because there are many other risks you face when you own a property from which you need to be protected aside from the potential risks that could emerge from running an AirBnB,” he adds.
AirBnB insurance housekeeping
There are other steps it’s important to take when you run an AirBnB aside from making sure you have the right cover in place. “It’s really important to tell your existing home building and contents insurer you are operating an AirBnB,” says Clark.
“If you don’t do this and a guest damages your property, you may find your policy will not respond,” he adds.
Additionally, home building and contents policies generally exclude claims arising from business activities. This typically includes income earned by letting your property through AirBnB.
It’s a good idea to talk to your Steadfast broker if you’re running an AirBnB and you want to make sure you’re appropriately covered. That’s the best way to ensure you’re properly covered in the event a guest on your property suffers an accident or causes damage and makes a claim against you.