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Airbnb and Home-Sharing Insurance: What You Should Know

Home Insurance

By Joanne Lemna | February 2, 2017

Airbnb and other home-sharing companies have become an increasingly popular option for Canadians. Hosts enjoy the additional income while guests appreciate the variety of units amenities locations and prices. While this arrangement is largely a positive one for guests and hosts alike there are always exceptions.

Such was the case inCalgary Alberta in April 2015when owners returned to a destroyed home after renting it out to four adults via Airbnb. Their guests had thrown a huge party and trashed the place resulting in an estimated $150 000 damages. Luckily Airbnb stepped in to assist these owners through their Host Guarantee which provides up to $1 000 000 to cover guest-induced damages.

According to Airbnb thisHost Guaranteeis “designed to protect hosts in the rare instance of property damage to their own possessions by a guest staying in the space. The Host Guarantee is not insurance and doesn’t replace yourhomeowner’s or renter’s insurance.��? This means that ONLY damage directly caused by a guest is covered . There is no liability coverage compensation for theft and it doesn’t cover damages to everything such as pets and cash. Airbnb also offersHost Protection Insurance but this only covers up to $1 000 000 in liability insurance if a guest is injured in your unit during their stay. This means that all other liability cases will not be covered.

While Airbnb offers basic protection there is still a lot a host will be on the hook for should something go wrong. For example if someone steals something from your home causes harm to a pet or damages a shared area you will have to cover all expenses. You will also be paying for costs associated with allliability claimsnot including injury. And regardless of the cause of damage you will receive no compensation for your loss of income while you repair your home or apartment.

So what about your regular home insurance?  Are you covered?

Steve Kee of the Insurance Bureau of Canada advises that hosts need to“check with your insurance representative to find out what you’re covered for and what some of the risks may be.��? Coverage will vary from policy to policy as well as from company to company. Discussing your options with anindependent insurance brokercan help you find the best option for you.

One insurance company Aviva has rolled out a specific home-sharing insurance policy. Available February 1 2017 Canada-wide this covers the following:

  • Fair rental value (compensation for loss of rental income)
  • Loss or damage to personal belongings or the buildings
  • Up to $1500 of a guest’s lost or damaged property
  • Liability arising with a short-term rental
  • Intentional acts criminal acts or failure to act by a guest

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