Whether you’re a current Airbnb host, or are thinking of becoming one, one of the biggest questions people ask is whether it is safe to host on Airbnb. A Google search on on the query turns up hundreds of thousands of pages, often with mixed information.
Some sites say that Airbnb is safe, and that it is a great way to earn extra money. Other sites are filled with horror stories about guest stays that have gone wrong. While some of those stories are true, it’s a known fact that the majority of Airbnb stays go throughout without issues. Over 2MM stays occur via the Airbnb platform on any given night.
In fact, in 2017 travelers took 49 million trips with Airbnb. Of those, only one in 25,000 resulted in a significant property damage claim.
It’s time to end the debate once and for all. At Airbnb, safety is a top priority. We’d even go as far as to say that their platform is one of the safest because of the many safeguards they have in place.
Let’s take a closer look at how Airbnb ensures their platform is safe for hosts, while also touching on some of the ways you can have a positive experience when hosting on Airbnb.
In particular, we’ll focus on the Airbnb protection programs that provide up to $2 million USD in coverage against the unexpected, along with some other essential tips.
How does the Airbnb Host Guarantee work?
The Airbnb Host Guarantee provides up to $1 million USD of property damage protection, and is included with all listings booked through Airbnb. It’s a comprehensive layer of protection that covers damage to a host’s property (home, unit, rooms, possessions). There’s no minimum claim amount to use the coverage, and there is no premium or deductible.
There are some limitations to the coverage however, such as the fact that damage and theft to jewelry, collectables, and artwork, are not covered. It might be frustrating, however it’s standard practice in the insurance industry. In fact, many property insurance companies require the insured to purchase additional coverage specifically for such valuables.
The other two limitations we’ll touch on here are the exclusions of coverage on shared/common areas of a property that are not part of a listing, or bodily injury claims from third-parties. In the past, Airbnb didn’t provide any protection against such incidents, however they’ve since introduced their Host Protection Insurance, which we’ll discuss below.
Understanding how Airbnb Host Protection Insurance works
While the Airbnb Host Protection guarantee kicks in when a host encounters property damage, Airbnb Host Protection Insurance is designed to assist with incidents involving property damage or bodily injury. Examples where Host Protection Insurance comes into play include:
- A guest breaking their wrist when they slip on a rug, and then claim the host is liable.
- When using the treadmill in the apartment complex fitness center, the equipment malfunctions, causing the guest to fall. They then bring a claim against the host and landlord.
- A guest accidentally injures a third-party when they drop their luggage on the other person’s foot in the building lobby. The third-party then brings a claim against the host and property owner.
Airbnb Host Protection Insurance also covers property damage in some circumstances, beyond what the Airbnb Host Guarantee covers. For example, the insurance covers common areas of a building, outside of the direct listing. For example, a building lobby, clubhouse, or swimming pool.
Airbnb Host Protection Insurance is included in every Airbnb listing and acts as primary coverage for Airbnb hosts, and landlords (when they are named in a lawsuit). This means that in the unlikely event a claim were to be filed, the claim would first go to Airbnb, and they would cover up to $1 million USD. Any liability beyond what Airbnb covers, would then shift to the standard homeowner/landlord insurance policy.
Are security cameras allowed in Airbnb listings?
Although security cameras are a popular tool for people to secure their home, their use in properties listed on Airbnb is controversial due to guests’ expecting privacy during their stay. We’ve discussed the topic in-depth here, but we’ll deliver provide a brief recap now.
If you choose to install security cameras within your Airbnb, you must disclose the fact, and their location within your Airbnb listing. Areas such as bathrooms, dressing rooms, bedrooms, and other areas where privacy is a must, are always off limits.
Our advice to Airbnb hosts is that if they choose to install security cameras within their property, they limit the devices to outdoor areas. Doorbell cameras and floodlight security cameras are the best types of security cameras Airbnb hosts can purchase.
Going beyond insurance and guarantees
Although guarantees and insurance are helpful, they’re only helpful, after the fact. Fortunately Airbnb takes a holistic approach to host safety with numerous other safeguards built into their platform.
For example, on Airbnb, prospective guests have to agree to your house rules before making a reservation. This alone goes a long way to keeping things orderly. Additionally Airbnb also enables hosts to require guests to submit a copy of their government ID, for verification, before a reservation is approved.
Airbnb also features a two-way feedback rating system where guests can rate hosts, and vice versa. The public nature of the reviews, means you can spot bad actors before approving a reservation.