Airbnb and short-term vacation rental hosting is a relatively new business model compared to established industries like hotels or managing rentals as a landlord; therefore there aren’t many insurance companies that offer comprehensive policies for Airbnb and short-term rental property owners. As an Airbnb host, it’s imperative that you have an insurance policy that safeguards every aspect of your business: from your home and property to your rental income, as well as yourself, your family, and your guests.
In this article, we’ll explore what kind of insurance coverage Airbnb offers to their hosts, what you need to be looking for in an insurance plan, and how Proper Insurance offers the best insurance for Airbnb hosts.
Why You Need an Insurance Policy for Your Airbnb
You most likely already have a homeowners insurance policy on your property. But as you plan to turn your home into an Airbnb or vacation rental space, things get a bit complicated.
There’s a lot of contention about what an Airbnb property is in the eyes of insurance agencies. When you rent out your place as an Airbnb, it turns your property into a business pursuit which—when you read the fine print—immediately voids your homeowners insurance, potentially leaving you without protection even for a claim that has nothing to do with Airbnb guests.
Some believe that a landlord insurance policy is the way to go; but Airbnb guests aren’t considered “tenants,” since their stays are short-term.
And as the final blow, commercial insurance policies aren’t fit for short-term vacation rental spaces either because it still severely lacks the loss of income and liability coverage you need.
So what’s a rental property owner to do?
You need a specialized, comprehensive, and tailor-fit insurance policy that covers the property with aspects of homeowners, landlord, and commercial insurance policies so you have a safety net for anything that will happen to you, your guests, or your Airbnb space.
AirCover for Hosts Has Limitations
Airbnb offers an insurance program for hosts called AirCover. It’s automatically included when you register to be an Airbnb host.
AirCover for Hosts includes Host damage protection, Experiences liability insurance, and Host liability insurance, which provides hosts with up to $1 million in coverage of any untoward events during the duration of the guests’ stay. This might include damage to your property or belongings by guests, a guest’s injury, or loss or damage to guests’ property.
However, AirCover for Hosts has a lot of limitations. Airbnb won’t be able to protect you and your property when it gets damaged due to natural calamities like floods and earthquakes or loss of income due to circumstances beyond your control such as renovation, property damage and repair, and the like. Airbnb even recommends you get additional coverage since AirCover for Hosts isn’t a substitute for a homeowner’s property or liability insurance coverage.
What to Look for In an Airbnb or Vacation Rental Insurance Plan
There are certain aspects of an insurance plan you’ll want to make sure are present in the policy you’re planning to purchase for your Airbnb. Here are some features to keep in mind:
Loss of Income – Look for an insurance plan that covers loss of income due to circumstances that would prevent you from renting out your Airbnb. These may include renovation, construction noise from another property nearby, or even damage from a natural disaster or fire. While most landlord policies only cover ‘loss of rent’ based on the average rental income of your area, the loss of income clause will extend to the higher income from short-term rentals.
Property and Contents Insurance – Another consideration is protection of all the contents that come with your Airbnb space. This includes furnishings, furniture, bedding, and the like. Find a policy that covers replacement and repair of in-property belongings.
Liability Coverage – Say the guest that checked in to your Airbnb slipped on soap scum in the bathroom or fell down a flight of stairs. You could be held liable for an injury a guest incurs during their stay, so you need to have thorough liability coverage.
Location-Specific Coverage – Your property might be located in a place that’s prone to natural disasters like flooding, earthquakes, and other natural catastrophes. Your insurance plan should cover the damage to the property and the loss of income during the time needed to make repairs.
No Forced Entry Requirement for Damage or Theft – In the event of a theft, most standard homeowners, landlord, and commercial insurance policies require you to prove that your property was forcibly entered. Look for a tailored insurance policy that has a clause that won’t require you to prove that your property was broken into.
The Best Insurance for Airbnbs
Luckily, there are insurance companies that are tapping into this niche market to provide Airbnbs, Vrbos, and other short-term rentals an insurance plan that’s custom-fit for the specific needs of this type of business venture. Thanks to its early start in this market and exclusive focus on short-term rental properties, Proper Insurance offers the best insurance for Airbnb hosts.
Proper Insurance was established to cater to the needs of Airbnbs, HomeAway, Vrbos, and short-term rental spaces. Proper understood that there were unique needs and created a way for Airbnb hosts to get a three-in-one comprehensive insurance plan that has elements of homeowners, commercial, and landlord insurance plans, effectively replacing all these insurance types.
A Proper Insurance base policy offers a $1 million general liability coverage, with an option to extend it to $2 million. Their policy already tackles all that was mentioned above in what you need to look for in an insurance plan, with a couple more specific coverages such as pets and animal liability, off-premise amenities coverage, liquor liability, bed bug infestation protection (ew!), and squatter protection.
Proper effectively covers you on any occupancy type: for when you’re living in or using your property, for short-term rentals (occupancy of fewer than 30 days), for tenants who want to rent your property for longer, and for off-season times when the property is unoccupied. Visit their site to get a quick 5-minute quote on their services!
All these factors considered, Proper Insurance offers the most holistic and comprehensive insurance plan for your Airbnb property, guests, and even you as the host.
Other Airbnb Insurance Policy Alternatives
There are a handful of other insurance companies that offer insurance plans that cater to your needs as an Airbnb host, but CBIZ Vacation Rental Insurance, HostAdvantage by AllState, and American Family’s Temporary or Second Home Insurance are solid options.
CBIZ Vacation Rental Insurance – CBIZ is considered one of the pioneers in serving the unique needs of short-term vacation rentals. Serving in all 50 states, they offer specific policy coverages to meet the needs of vacation rental property owners.
AllState HostAdvantage – A well-known and established insurance company, Allstate lets their homeowner policyholders extend their coverage to a short-term rental through the HostAdvantage by AllState program.
American Family – American Family offers a budget Temporary Rental Insurance and Second Home Insurance to make sure that the properties you plan on renting out on a short-term basis or your vacation house are all covered in the times that you’re not occupying them. Think of this as an adjusted homeowners’ and landlord policy tailor-made for your needs.
As an Airbnb property owner and host, you’ll want to cover all the bases for your property, whether you’re living in it as an owner, renting it out for guests, or some combination of the two.
Proper Insurance offers a thoroughly comprehensive insurance plan that covers you, your property, guests, and even off-property amenities. CBIZ, American Family, and HostAdvantage by AllState also offer customizable policies tailored for Airbnbs and short-term vacation rentals.
We recommend getting a quote from Proper Insurance and others to compare insurance coverage options.
Whatever company and insurance plan you choose, make sure you thoroughly read the fine print so you can put your mind at ease that whatever happens, your insurance provider has got your back.
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