Airbnb AirCover | What it is and How it Works

Airbnb AirCover | What it is and How it Works

Insurance is important, particularly when you are running a business. And operating an Airbnb is essentially a business. Most cities and states require Airbnb hosts to obtain a license or permit, follow laws and regulations governing short term rentals, and pay taxes.

Airbnb offers its accommodation hosts AirCover, an insurance / protection program that covers both liability and property damage and has evolved over the years since its pioneering entry into the OTA market. AirCover automatically applies to all hosts, regardless of whether they have obtained other forms of insurance policies or not, and consists of:

  •  	Host Damage Protection
    
  •  	Host Liability Insurance
    

AirCover also includes liability insurance for hosts of an Airbnb Experience.

Airbnb Host Damage Protection

What is Airbnb Host Damage Protection?

Airbnb Host Damage Protection (previously Airbnb Host Guarantee) is a property damage protection program for hosts. It provides coverage of up to $1,000,000 to hosts for damages caused by guests and their pets during their stay that exceed the security deposit amount or if no security deposit has been requested. The program covers hosts for damages from the time of check-in until check-out.

What does Airbnb Host Damage Protection cover?

The Host Damage Protection program covers hosts for:

  • Damages caused by an Airbnb guest (or others) to your property

  • Damages caused to your belongings by a guest (or others)

  • Damages caused to your property or belongings by a guest’s pet

  • Unexpected cleaning costs due to the behavior of a guest (or others)

  • Income lost if you are forced to cancel confirmed future Airbnb bookings due to damage caused by a guest (or others)

Keep in mind, Host Damage Protection does not cover costs that are meant to be covered by the cleaning and/or pet fees that you charge. Rather it covers unexpected costs related to additional cleaning such as cleaning out smoking odors in a non-smoking Airbnb or damage by a pet such as having to replace a chair that was chewed up by a guest’s dog.

What Airbnb AirCover is and How it Works

What does Airbnb Host Damage Protection not protect?

The Host Guarantee program doesn’t cover hosts in the case of:

  • Theft of cash and securities such as money, savings bonds, and stock certificates

  • Theft of valuables such as jewelry, collectibles, and rare artwork

  • Theft of host’s pets or livestock

  • Damage to property and/or belongings from ordinary wear and tear

  • Damage to property and/or belongings from acts of nature like earthquakes and hurricanes

  • Personal liability due to bodily injury to guests or third parties

How does Airbnb Host Damage Protection work?

If you experience any of the damages covered under the Host Guarantee program, you can file a claim.

  1. Collect evidence of the damage caused. This can take the form of photographs and videos, as well as estimates and receipts of repair.

  2. Notify both the guest and Airbnb of the damage caused. You have 14 days after the guest checks out to do so. The Airbnb Resolution Center is the preferred way to notify, though you can also choose to send a message to the guest on the Airbnb app stating your intention to file a reimbursement request with Airbnb for the damages they caused. The guest will then have 72 hours to respond to your request.

  3. If the guest agrees to pay the full amount you requested and then sends the payment, Airbnb will process it and send it across to you.

  4. However, if the guest refuses to pay the full amount you have requested or does not respond, you will be eligible for reimbursement under the Airbnb Host Damage Protection program. You must fill and submit the Host Damage Protection Payment Request form and send it along with your documentation of the damages within 30 days of when the damage was caused.

  5. Once your form is submitted, you will be contacted by an Airbnb Support Ambassador to begin resolving your claim in accordance with the Host Damage Protection terms and conditions.

Airbnb claims to have fast tracked its reimbursements to hosts, paying out at an average of 9 days. Further, Superhosts get access to a dedicated support line and priority in both claim routing and reimbursement.

Key Takeaway

Make sure you are familiar with the fine print of the Host Damage Protection program as soon as you list on Airbnb. This will ensure you are aware of its terms, conditions and exclusions prior and know what can and cannot be reimbursed. As stated by Airbnb itself, Host Damage Protection is not an insurance policy.

Also note, Host Damage Protection does not apply to Airbnb hosts in mainland China and Japan, hosts of Airbnb Experiences as well as those who offer accommodations through Airbnb Travel LLC. The Host Damage Protection program does however apply to all stays booked on Airbnb, including open homes stays.

Airbnb Host Liability Insurance

What is Airbnb Host Liability Insurance?

Airbnb Host Liability Insurance (previously known as Host Protection Insurance) is a primary liability insurance program. It covers hosts’ legal responsibility to a guest or third party who gets hurt or has their property damaged or stolen during their stay at the Airbnb. The insurance program provides liability coverage of up to $1,000,000. As a primary liability insurance, it generally applies first, regardless of the other insurance policies the host may have obtained.

What does Airbnb Host Liability Insurance Cover?

Airbnb Host Liability Insurance covers a host’s legal responsibility in the case of:

  • Bodily injury to a guest (or others)

  • Damage to property belonging to a guest (or others)

  • Theft of property belonging to a guest (or others)

during the length of the guest’s stay at the host’s Airbnb (from check-in until check-out).

It also covers a host’s legal responsibility for damage caused by a guest or third party to

  • Common areas like lobbies

  • Neighboring properties

Airbnb Host Liability Insurance covers all types of locations including residential property, mobile homes, buses, airstreams, watercrafts, treehouses, yurts, and other such unique locations that are parked and used as accommodation.

The insurance also includes coverage for claim investigation costs and expenses as well as costs of defending a formal complaint such as a lawsuit.

What Airbnb AirCover is and How it Works

What does Airbnb Host Liability Insurance Not Cover?

Airbnb Host Liability Insurance does not cover hosts for:

  • Bodily injury to guests and/or third parties that are not a result of an accident (i.e. intentional harm)

  • Damage to guests’ or third parties’ property that is not a result of an accident

  • Damage to host’s property and/or belongings caused by a guest (or others)

  • Expense or loss as a result of assault or battery, directly or indirectly, committed or alleged to have been committed by an insured party

  • Bodily injury, property damage, or other loss arising out of the actual or alleged transmission of a communicable disease

  • Cross suits, i.e. any claims brought by one insured party against another

  • Damage due to loss of, loss of use of, damage to, corruption of, inability to access or inability to manipulate electronic data

  • Loss or expense due in any way to sexual assault of any person committed or alleged to have been committed by any insured party

How does Airbnb Host Liability Insurance Work?

If you have experienced any of the above-mentioned incidences covered by the Host Liability Insurance program, you can file a claim.

  1. Complete the Host Liability Insurance intake form

  2. The information is sent to Airbnb’s third-party insurer

  3. The insurer appoints an adjuster to review your claim

  4. The adjuster will get in touch with you to discuss the claim and gain more information

  5. The adjuster investigates the claim you have filed

  6. The claim is settled in keeping with the terms of the Host Liability Insurance policy as well as any laws and regulations applicable in your area.

How Do I Enroll in the Airbnb Host Liability Insurance program?

There is no need to apply. All Airbnb hosts, all over the world, are automatically covered under AirCover and its Host Liability Insurance as soon as they list a property on Airbnb. (Airbnb’s Host Liability Insurance does not apply to hosts in Japan and mainland China as well as hosts who offer accommodation through Airbnb Travel LLC and those who host Experiences.)

How Do I Opt Out of the Airbnb Host Liability Insurance program?

Hosts can choose to opt out of the program at any time by emailing Airbnb at epi-opt-out@airbnb.com with a request to do so. Make sure you:

  •    Use the same email address associated with your Airbnb host account
    
  •    Include your full name
    
  •    Include the phone number associated with your Airbnb host account
    
  •    Include the exact title of your listing
    

Airbnb hosts in the UK however cannot opt out of the Host Liability Insurance program.

Key Takeaway

Like any insurance program, Airbnb Host Liability Insurance is subject to policy terms, conditions, and exclusions. Don’t wait until you need to file a claim to read the fine print. To learn more, read the comprehensive program summary.

Conclusion

Whether you rely on Airbnb insurance exclusively or have additional protections, your best bet is to protect yourself from such incidents occurring in the first place. Making a habit of screening your guests is a crucial preventive measure as is ensuring they sign a short term rental agreement prior to stay. Opting for external insurance is also highly advisable as it can protect you during incidences not covered by Airbnb such as theft and excluded belongings and property. You can also opt in for protections that are relevant to your Airbnb vacation rental’s location such as coverage for natural disasters. For a detailed understanding of vacation rental insurance including types of coverage and cost, check out our Guide to Vacation Rental Insurance.

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