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True risks of Airbnb still up in the air

  • Adroit Insurance and Risk
  • June 28, 2016

While Airbnb offers hosts and visitors flexibility and financial benefits there are also risks to consider when you interact with this behemoth of the “shared economy”.

There are over 60,000 Airbnb users in 34,000 cities around the world. The home rental business has gone from strength to strength since it launched only eight years ago in San Francisco. You may have used it yourself, or have a friend who rents out their property using the service.

Airbnb allows visitors access to places they wouldn’t normally experience, from tourist-free neighborhoods to treehousescastles , houseboats and more. Often for a lot less than they would pay for traditional accommodation such as a hotel, hostel or Bed and Breakfast.

The decreased costs, increased access to unusual properties and new places, ease of use via the app and lack of need to acquire tourism accreditation are just some of the advantages that attract Airbnb’s guests and hosts.

The lack of conventional overheads keeps the cost of staying at an Airbnb and the cost of turning your home into an Airbnb low. However, this also brings risks that you may not have considered.

If you are acting as an Airbnb host and don’t inform your insurer the cover of your Home & Content Insurance as well as any Residential Landlords Insurance may be compromised.

Airbnb have their own branded insurance product, Host Protection Insurance, which provides a level of cover for registered Hosts who list their properties through the webpage for both damage to the Buildings & Contents and also claims made by third parties for personal injury and/or property damage up to $1 million.

However, the full extent of the cover is not readily available and it is important to note that within the Airbnb terms of service there is a recommendation that Hosts obtain their own appropriate cover.

You should also keep in mind that if you are renting and you list your home on Airbnb you risk being evicted.

Be informed of the risks involved, contact an insurance risk adviser today.

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