Does Home Insurance Cover Airbnbs?

Contributor, Benzinga

Insurance is a critical part of any business, and Airbnbs are no exception. You already have a homeowners insurance policy to cover damage to your home resulting from storms, fires and theft. Does home insurance cover Airbnbs? Once you turn your home into an Airbnb, your home insurance is unlikely to cover claims related to your business. Learn more about homeowners and Airbnb insurance. 

Best Airbnb Home Insurance

Which Airbnb home insurance is the best? Here are some of our favorite homeowners insurance providers — get in touch to learn more and compare quotes.

Best For
Ratings, price and customization
N/A
1 Minute Review

Lemonade home insurance provides a top-rated homeowners insurance experience that’s easy and hassle free. Award-winning customer service and digital, super-fast everything from just $25 a month.

Lemonade uses technology to simplify the home insurance claims and sign up process. You can buy a policy in just a few minutes by answering a few simple questions, and some claims can be  paid instantly using its innovative AI technology. 

The app has high user ratings and keeps you connected with your policy. Lemonade may also donate a portion of your premiums to a charity of your choice each year through its Giveback program. 

Best For
  • Those looking for an ultramodern home insurance experience
  • Those looking to switch from other homeowners insurance coverage
  • Tech-loving homeowners who want fast, efficient home coverage
Pros
  • Get coverage in as little as 90 seconds
  • Most claims paid in less than 3 minutes
  • Leftover premiums support charities you care about
  • Buried utilities and equipment failure endorsements available
Cons
  • Not yet available in all states
Best For
Excellent claims process
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1 Minute Review

The Hartford is one of the most trusted providers of various types of insurance, including property, casualty and business insurance. Homeowners and rental property owners alike will find solid coverage backed by strong financial ratings.

Best For
  • Excellent claims process
Pros
  • Financially strong
  • Ranked No. 1 by JD Power and Associates for claims paying
Cons
  • Slower than average quote time
Best For
No Recent Claims
N/A
1 Minute Review

Allstate is one of the best-known insurance companies in the business and for good reason. It offers a range of coverage options so you can tailor your coverage to your needs. You can apply for a policy through a local agent or online. Even if you buy a policy online, you can still get assistance from a local agent, which can be helpful when it’s time to file a claim. 

Allstate’s claims process is clear and you can track it online so you know exactly what’s going on. It also has a mobile app that you can use to pull up ID cards, take photos for a claim and pay your bills. Allstate is a good choice for those with multiple policies and who like personal service.

Best For
  • Home owners with multiple policies
  • Home owners without a recent claim
Pros
  • Ease of online service or through an agent
  • Clear claims process
  • Useful mobile app
Cons
  • Average customer satisfaction for claims
  • Optional coverage like yard and garden not available in every state

Take the following steps to learn more about Airbnb and home insurance.

Review Your Home Insurance Policy for Airbnb Coverage

To find out whether your home insurance provides coverage if you rent out your home on an ongoing basis, review your policy documents. It should address whether it will provide coverage when you rent out your home. If you’re uncertain after reading your policy, or if you don’t want to read an insurance document (which is understandable), you can also contact your insurance agent or company, which can advise you whether Airbnbs are covered. 

Your home insurance company may allow you to purchase an endorsement for Airbnb coverage. If not, you may want to purchase home-sharing insurance or landlord insurance. 

Making Passive Income with a Rental Property

While renting out a home as an Airbnb might seem like a side hustle, it brings in income. That makes it a business in the eyes of your insurance company. Homeowners insurance policies are designed for residences, not businesses, which means it’s unlikely to cover business activities. If you’re starting a business, the right move is to get business insurance. That includes an Airbnb business. 

Risks of Home Sharing

Renting out your home, or rooms in your home, comes with risks. They include:

  • Guests injuring themselves while renting
  • Guests injuring someone else on your rental property
  • Guests damaging your property (intentionally or accidentally)
  • Guests damaging your neighbor’s property
  • Guests stealing items from your property

These are just a few reasons why it’s critical to have the right insurance coverage in place if you’re an Airbnb host. 

Home Insurance Versus Home-Sharing Insurance

Homeowners insurance protects your residence(s) from catastrophes. It helps you repair or rebuild your home if it’s damaged as a result of a covered event (also known as a peril). It also covers your belongings and other structures on your property. 

Home insurance also includes another essential type of coverage — liability insurance. Liability insurance covers you if you’re sued because of property damage or injuries caused by a member of your household. Liability coverage typically includes no-fault medical insurance, which means that if someone is injured in your home, they can file a claim for their medical bills with your insurance company without having to file a lawsuit. 

Home-sharing insurance protects property you own when it’s being used with a service like Airbnb. It covers a range of situations, including property damage while your home is being rented out, theft of your property and liability claims related to your rental activity. It’s geared specifically to people who do short-term rentals. 

Another option is landlord insurance. Landlord insurance protects the structure of your home while it’s being rented out. It also offers liability protection if someone is injured on your property and you’re found responsible. For example, if a court found a railing wasn’t properly maintained and that caused the accident, your landlord insurance liability coverage could cover the cost of your defense and any awards by the court. It may also cover lost rent while the property is being repaired from a covered event, and you may be able to add on optional types of coverage for tenant vandalism and other situations. 

Airbnb’s Host Protection Insurance and Host Guarantee Coverage

Airbnb helps protect hosts by offering Host Protection Insurance and Airbnb’s Host Guarantee. 

Coverage of Airbnb Insurance

Take a closer look at these 2 types of coverage. 

Host Protection Insurance

This is Airbnb’s liability insurance program. It provides up to $1 million in liability coverage if a host is found responsible for an injury or property damage to a guest or another third party. It doesn’t cover damage to the host’s property. Like any insurance coverage, there are exceptions and exclusions, so it’s important to read the policy language closely. 

To file a claim, you’ll need to submit an intake form, and then the insurance company will send out an adjuster to review the claim. Adjusters are insurance professionals who determine how much an insurance company will pay for a claim. After the adjuster reviews the information, you’ll receive information about the status of your claim and the settlement amount, if applicable. 

Airbnb’s Host Guarantee

Airbnb makes it clear that the host guarantee is not an insurance policy. It does offer up to $1 million in property damage protection. It includes protection for damage to your property and belongings caused by guests or their assistance animals. It doesn’t cover theft of cash and securities like savings bonds, wear and tear and bodily injury or property damage to guests. 

To use the host guarantee, you’ll need evidence of the damage. Next, you’ll need to contact your guest and request reimbursement within 14 days or before your next guest checks in, whichever is earlier. Your guest has 72 hours to respond to your request. If the guest won’t pay the full amount, you may be reimbursed by the host guarantee. 

How to Choose the Best Home Insurance for Airbnb

To choose the best home insurance policy, start by getting quotes from multiple insurance companies. Be specific about your needs and that you’re planning to be an Airbnb host. That way, the insurance company can let you know whether it offers home-sharing insurance, landlord insurance or endorsements for your home insurance policy that might provide valuable coverage. 

An endorsement is an add-on to a policy. Endorsements increase the cost of your policy, but they provide additional coverage. 

Once you get multiple quotes, compare the coverage carefully. Look at the deductibles, coverage limits and exclusions. Choose a policy that offers the coverage you need from a reputable, responsive company. 

Airbnb Insurance by City

Airbnb insurance doesn’t vary by city. The laws regarding Airbnbs do, however. Some cities, like New York City, are extremely restrictive when it comes to how Airbnbs are operated. Los Angeles only allows primary residences to be used for short-term stays (less than 30 days). It also doesn’t allow buildings subject to the city’s rent stabilization ordinance to be used for Airbnbs. 

If you’re uncertain of the laws in your area, consider consulting a local real estate attorney for assistance. 

Insuring Your Airbnb

There’s a lot involved in starting a business. Don’t hesitate to reach out to insurance professionals for assistance in getting the right insurance in place. Benzinga’s insurance articles are another resource for learning more about insuring your business. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q

Does having an Airbnb invalidate insurance?

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Does having an Airbnb invalidate insurance?
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A
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Airbnb doesn’t invalidate insurance. If you have a traditional homeowners insurance policy, it may not cover claims related to your Airbnb, but that doesn’t mean the coverage isn’t valid. You could still use it for claims related to your home that don’t involve your Airbnb business. 

 

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Q

Can an Airbnb Host sue me as a guest for damage?

1
Can an Airbnb Host sue me as a guest for damage?
asked
A
1

An Airbnb host could theoretically sue a guest. The Host Guarantee has a process in place for hosts to follow to get reimbursed for damage caused by guests. They’re required to follow the process to get reimbursed, and it involves the host working with Airbnb (not filing a lawsuit). Filing a claim with Airbnb is free for hosts, while filing a lawsuit is an expensive proposition. It makes more sense to use the Host Guarantee and Host Protection Insurance than to file a lawsuit. 

 

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