Airbnb has revolutionized the hospitality industry, as both homeowners and investors are successfully earning revenue through the platform. Offering an Airbnb listing isn’t without risk, however. From property damage to liability lawsuits, Airbnb insurance can help protect hosts who have properties in Massachusetts from many of the risks that they assume.
Airbnb insurance is specialized landlord insurance for short-term rentals. Because the insurance is specialized, hosts should work closely with an agent who knows this insurance well when selecting a policy. A knowledgeable agent will be familiar with the nuances of these policies and able to make sure that hosts receive the protections they need.
Most Massachusetts property owners that list short-term rentals on Airbnb or similar platforms ought to carry Airbnb host insurance. A single claim could be financially devastating if the proper insurance isn’t in place, and this tends to be the best option for short-term rentals on the platform.
In some cases, landlords who offer short-term rentals outside of Airbnb-like platforms might also want this insurance. Before purchasing Airbnb host insurance, however, these landlords should speak with an insurance agent who specializes in short-term rental insurance. A specialized agent will be able to determine whether Airbnb host or another landlord insurance is better suited for the given situation.
Hosts generally receive two distinct protections from Airbnb at no additional cost. These are the platforms Host Guarantee Program, and the other is the Host Protection Insurance.
The Host Guarantee Program isn’t technically insurance but may offer a guarantee against guest-caused damage to the host’s property. Protection for the covered property is normally limited to $1 million.
Because this is a guarantee and not actual insurance, it shouldn’t be construed as a replacement for actual insurance. For instance, the guarantee program often excludes valuable items (e.g. antiques, artwork, collectibles), certain causes of damage (e.g. pet damage, routine wear), and certain areas (e.g. common areas not noted in a listing). Insurance might provide more robust protection for the space and items that a host owns.
The Home Protection Insurance is actual insurance against damage caused by guests and third parties, although this insurance might not be as robust as a host would like. The insurance is normally limited to only $1 million in coverage, which can quickly be exhausted in the event of a multi-person injury claim or fatal accident. Additionally, the insurance usually doesn’t provide coverage for lost income if a property is rendered unusable.
Many hosts want more protection than what Airbnb provides. If additional coverages or higher limits are desired, purchasing Airbnb host insurance through an independent insurance agent likely makes sense.
An independent agent can show hosts what coverages are available, and what situations specific coverages might include within their provisions. An independent agent can also compare policy options from different insurance companies, making sure that hosts get the protections they need at a competitive price.
Importantly, purchasing separate insurance generally doesn’t jeopardize Airbnb’s two included programs. In most situations, both the Host Guarantee Program and the Home Protection Insurance can remain in place even if additional insurance is acquired.
For help insuring one or more short-term rental properties that are located in Massachusetts, contact us at The Feingold Companies. Our agents have worked with many landlords in the state, and we’ll help you find the best Airbnb insurance that’s available for your properties.