FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida. According to Airbnb, the company provides hosts with insurance coverage that protects hosts from liability. However, the coverage is subject to limitations and exclusions, and the policy could impact your ability to make a claim against your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance. For example, it is possible to see a situation arise where a guest gets hurt on your property and the Airbnb coverage tries to pass the ball onto your personal homeowner’s insurance or renter’s policy. Yet, if your homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance company learns that you rent your home through Airbnb, they may pass the ball onto Airbnb, saying Airbnb’s insurance is responsible for settling your claim. Going back and forth between two sets of insurance adjusters, each with their own policies and exclusions can be a headache in itself. Add to this the stress of having a situation where a person was injured on your property and the anxiety can quickly mount. If you are facing difficulties with an insurance claim, consider reaching out to Leader & Leader, P.A., an insurance claim lawyer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida who has the skill to navigate even the most complex insurance claims.
Yet, there are steps that homeowners can take today to protect themselves if they rent out their home through Airbnb. According to the Balance, the best way to protect yourself is to contact your homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance company and tell them you plan to rent your home on Airbnb. Ask them what your current policy covers and what it doesn’t cover. In some cases, your insurance company may need to add an endorsement to your policy to ensure that you are covered in the event of an accident or other claim. This might increase your insurance payments, but it may be well worth it in the event that something happens.
Part of the issue that can arise when you rent your home through sharing sites or through Airbnb, is that it changes the classification of your home. Your home may no longer be a primary residence; it is also a rental income residence. Even if you still reside in the home and rent out a room, you may have changed the way your home would be classified by insurance adjusters. It seems like a small change, but it changes the way actuaries will estimate your risk. Individuals could have their claims denied in the event of an accident or damage to their home if the insurance company learns that the person was renting out the property or even just advertising it on Airbnb. Even if the damage is unrelated to renting out your home, an insurance company can claim that you were dishonest when you stated how your home would be used when you took out the policy. They could declare your insurance policy null and void if hurricane or water damage destroys your home. This is why it is important that you let your insurance company know what is going on as soon as you post your room or house for rent on a home sharing website.
What are some damage events that your homeowner’s insurance won’t cover in the event of an accident? If a person is injured while staying on your property, you could face a lawsuit. Your insurance policy may not cover this unless you get special insurance to cover injuries of rental guests. If a guest starts a fire, by say, lighting candles in their room or smoking on your dry wood deck, your homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance may not cover the damages if the person was a rental guest. Lost income due to damage won’t often be covered, and homeowners should also consider the risk of criminal activity due to guests.
When changing your policy to include home sharing coverage, you may need to shop around. According to the Balance, your best bet is to find a policy that covers your home as your home was covered before you engaged in home sharing, but also includes added coverage for your home sharing activities.
If you have questions about how home sharing can impact your homeowner’s insurance coverage, consider speaking to Leader & Leader, P.A., Fort Lauderdale, Florida insurance claims lawyers who can help you navigate the complexities of insurance coverage when you plan to use your home as a rental property. Contact us today for more information.
Leader & Leader, P.A.
633 South Andrews Ave. Suite 201
Fort Lauderdale, FL33301