Airbnb host protection insurance program

Understanding the Airbnb Host Protection Insurance Program

In our last post we covered the Airbnb Host Guarantee Program. Hopefully you found it helpful and understood the primary coverages offered under the program. We’re going to cover the Airbnb Host Protection Insurance Program in today’s post but let’s review the differences between these two again.

Airbnb Host Guarantee Policy and Airbnb Host Protection Insurance
A comparison of the Airbnb Host Guarantee Policy and the Airbnb Host Protection Insurance

What does it cover?

The Airbnb Host Protection Insurance Program has a $1,000,000 USD* limit for liability with respect to third-party bodily injury or property damage claims related to an Airbnb stay. What exactly does this mean? Third party bodily injury claims are physical injury claims suffered by any party other than yourself and for which you are legally liable (responsible) for the damage caused. Third party property damage claims are claims for damaged property that anyone other than you suffers and for which you are legally liable (responsible) for.

The reason you’d be considered legally liable for any liability claims is because as the Airbnb host, you control the property that would lead to any liability losses. You are covered as an additional insured under the policy as well as any person providing host related services on behalf of you (the host), including full or part time domestic staff, family members or roommates. The cost of any settlements is covered under the policy as well as  investigation costs to investigate the claim, claims costs to handle the claim and defense costs to defend you in court.

The limit is per listing location but is not available in all countries.

The current countries where this program is offered are:

Airbnb host protection insurance program

This program will act as primary insurance (meaning you don’t need to have any other insurance policies as this one will be the first policy to respond to any claims) but only with respect to Airbnb stays.

Examples of third party bodily injury claims:
  • A guest slips on your steps after a day of rain and suffers a concussion for which they have to be hospitalized and sues you as the Airbnb host.
  • Your dog bites a guest and they need stitches for the bite and they sue you as the Airbnb host, citing physical injury and mental anguish.
  • Your guest is leaving the building of your listing and is rushing to catch an Uber to the airport. They rush out of the elevator and end up crashing into an old lady. The old lady falls and breaks a hip. She sues you and the guest for her injuries.
Examples of third party property damage claims:

Airbnb host protection insurance program

  • Your guest smokes outside and doesn’t extinguish their cigarette properly and throws it into the neighbor’s yard, causing their garage to burn down. Your neighbor sues you for the property damage to their garage.
  • Your guest is using the bathroom in your listing and they back up the toilet so that it overflows all over the apartment, causing water to also flood into the 2 apartments below you. Your neighbor’s sue you for the resultant property damage to their units and their personal property.

*Certain conditions, limitations and exclusions may apply

What does it not cover/exclude?

There are 25 exclusions found under Airbnb’s Host Protection Insurance program. Most of these are standard commercial liability exclusions. For most hosts, the ones they need to pay attention to are:

  • Intentional acts where liability isn’t the result of an accident (i.e. you meant to cause bodily injury or property damage)
  • Accusations of slander or defamation of character
  • Property issues (e.g. mold, bed bugs, asbestos, pollution, silica/silica dust, Chinese drywall)
  • Sexual assault (sexual abuse or molestation of any person committed by or alleged to have been committed by any host)
  • Loss of earnings (from any interruption to your ability to host and earn revenue)
  • Acts of terrorism
  • Communicable diseases (any losses or damage that arise out of either actual or alleged transmission of a communicable disease)

Why should I not rely on the Airbnb Host Protection Insurance Program as my only liability insurance policy?

1. This only offers coverage for Airbnb related incidents/claims. If a stranger walks in front of your house and slips on your sidewalk and they sue, the Airbnb policy will not respond.

2. Airbnb only offers up to a max of $1,000,000 USD. In some countries which are extremely litigious and if the bodily injury or property damage suffered is very severe, $1,000,000 may not even be enough for defense costs, much less enough to pay for any settlements that are awarded in court. Imagine your guest burns down a house in Sydney, Hong Kong or Vancouver, where houses are well over the $1,000,000 limit provided. Guess who will be on the hook personally for any remaining settlement, not to mention any defense costs which exceed the $1,000,000 limit. If you have another liability insurance policy (which covers short term rentals) you will be able to also claim under that policy and have a higher limit of liability to cover you in the event of any claims.

3. Airbnb may not pay for the claim or defend you if they deem that you are legally not liable, or you violated their terms and conditions somehow, or there’s no coverage for the claim. If you have another liability insurance policy (which covers short term rentals), you have another recourse for the claim to be covered. Even a small claim at $25,000 will most likely be a massive setback for most hosts. You don’t want to have to resort to selling a kidney to pay for a claim.

How do I file a claim?

If you need to file a claim, use Airbnb’s contact center and they will route you to their third party claims administrator through the insurance company. If you try and call Airbnb instead, they will most likely tell you that you need to submit your claim through their Resolution Center so you should just go through there rather than calling as they will likely need a written notification of a claim being opened.

We hope you’ve found this post helpful. If you have any specific questions on the Airbnb Host Protection Insurance Program, feel free to ask and we’ll try our best to answer.

Happy hosting!