Does your homeowners insurance cover your Airbnb property?

August 5, 2020

Learn how your homeowners insurance works when you rent your property with Airbnb

An Airbnb property bedroom with a bed and amenities

You've pulled out your best decorations, cleaned until the place was spotless, and taken some beautiful pictures. You're almost ready to list your property on Airbnb! But before you book your first guests, there's one more question to consider: Does your homeowners insurance cover your Airbnb property? We'll dive into it today, so read on!

Does a standard homeowners insurance policy cover Airbnb properties?

Home insurance or homeowners insurance is meant to protect your home from things like natural disasters, fire, theft, and other such losses. While many policies will cover a guest or two here and there, regularly sharing a space through a service like Airbnb is very different. 

Frequently renting your home out to short-term tenants is usually called "home-sharing." While Airbnb allows you to review and be selective with guests, there are a number of additional risks brought on by such a venture that go beyond the normal scope of what homeowners insurance covers

Beyond increased risk to your property, having frequent guests visiting your home or property can often increase the risk that one of those people may sustain an injury while doing so. From an insurance perspective, this means that the risk of a liability claim increases, which often can't be covered by your basic homeowners policy in home-sharing circumstances. This is especially true if your property is designed to be rented to large groups of people simultaneously. In such a case, the limits of your liability protection would likely need to be much greater. 

For these reasons, most basic home or homeowners insurance policies will not cover your property while it is being used for a home-sharing service like Airbnb. But that doesn't mean there aren't options!

So what sort of insurance policies cover Airbnb and home-sharing services?

When it comes to insuring your property while participating in home-sharing, there are a number of ways insurance companies handle coverage. As such, the solution will vary depending on your insurance provider and the policies they offer. 

While some homeowners policies might offer coverage for home-sharing in the form of endorsements, others may require you to get a separate policy altogether. This is usually because using your property for home-sharing services like Airbnb is considered to be a business by most insurance companies. Your basic homeowners insurance policies provide property and liability protection, but this coverage likely won't extend to your property when it is used to carry out business operations.

As such, some insurance companies may offer protection for hosts in the form of a business insurance or commercial insurance policy. There are some insurance products designed specifically for home-sharing businesses, and may include both property and a liability coverage. However, this can often be achieved with separate business property and general liability policies, too. 

What does Airbnb's Host Protection Insurance and Host Guarantee cover?

First and foremost, it's important to understand that the "Host Guarantee" is not an insurance policy. Although similar in some aspects, it is specifically designed to protect hosts from damage to their home and possessions caused by a guest. 

Airbnb does offer an insurance policy called "Host Protection Insurance." It is designed to protect you from liability claims of bodily injury and property damage. However, this is only meant to cover the host from "third-party claims of bodily injury or property damage related to an Airbnb stay" - that last part is key.

For example, if you have Airbnb guests for half the year, and you live in it for the other half, Host Protection Insurance will not offer protection for the half that you're inhabiting the dwelling. 

Furthermore, this also means it does not cover certain perils that may occur while a guest is staying but are not related to the guest, like damage from natural disasters. For example, if you have a guest, and a serious storm damages your property while they are there, you may not be covered; your standard homeowners policy may be inactive during their stay and Airbnb's Host Protection Insurance doesn't cover such perils.

While these options can certainly be helpful, it's always important to speak to your insurance carrier to understand how these various policies work together. 

How to make sure your Airbnb property has proper insurance coverage

As you can see, insuring your Airbnb property does not have a one-size-fits-all solution. That's why it's so important to make sure that you understand exactly how your current insurance handles home-sharing. Before you list your property on Airbnb, or any other home-sharing platform like FlipKey, VRBO, or Homeaway, make sure to reach out to your current insurance provider.

Make sure to tell them exactly what it is you plan to do and which home-sharing platform you plan on using. Are you only planning on renting it out every so often, or will you be listing it for the majority of the year? Are you renting a single room or your entire house? Will you be living there in between guests, or will the property remain vacant when there are no guests?

Then, ask them how your current homeowners insurance and liability policies handle home-sharing. If you plan on getting Airbnb's Host Protection Insurance, ask them how it interacts with your current policy. Are there any potential coverage gaps? If so, can they cover your needs with an endorsement, or do they recommend a separate business or commercial policy?

Insuring your Airbnb property can sound intimidating at first - there is certainly a lot to know. However, once you've sorted out the details with your insurance provider or agent, you can enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing your property is covered. 

A welcome sign outside an Airbnb property

Insuring your Airbnb property isn't always a clear cut process. For more information on how Germania Insurance can help protect your home and property, request a free quote online or reach out to one of our trusted agents today!

When you’re filing a claim, great customer service is essential. Since 1896, Germania Insurance has been the Insurance Texans Trust for great coverage and outstanding customer service. But don’t take our word for it! Hear what our customers have to say

Read more: Taking care of your insurance is just one part of preparing your home for Airbnb. Check out our blog to learn how to get ready for your guests!

by Geoff Ullrich

About the Author

Geoff Ullrich is a writer and Content Marketing Specialist at Germania Insurance.