Renting your home often still allows you the freedom to have guests in or on the property. You may even welcome paying guests from time to time. Home-sharing services like Airbnb and VRBO have exploded onto the hospitality market. These services allow travelers to rent or share someone else’s home on a short-term basis.
However, if you enroll in a home-sharing service, you need to check your renters insurance. Providing these services means inviting people into your home — and those people may pose risks. An insurance policy can help cover liability risks on your property.
Renters Insurance Coverage for Home-sharing
Standard renters insurance usually covers renters and visitors that participate in home-sharing. These policies may cover both the property damage and liability risks that guests bring to the property.
Home-sharing platforms might also allow their hosts to enroll in supplementary liability coverage. This coverage may extend to renters, their guests and their landlords. Still, be wary. The liability coverage might protect the policyholder from injury risks and property damages that occur on their property. However, these policies often are not as comprehensive as a renters insurance policy. A renter might only want to consider buying this policy to supplement their existing insurance, not to replace it.
Getting the Correct Renters Insurance for Home-Sharing
Not every renters insurance policy will cover home-sharing risks. Before you take part in such an endeavor, be sure to talk to your home insurance agent. Your agent may be able to tell you how to modify your coverage to meet your home-sharing goals and how you may need to increase your coverage maximums to better address the potential risks these guests bring.
Furthermore, home-share hosts often have a legal obligation when they enter these ventures. Some localities require home-share hosts to carry specific insurance to ensure better protection over the risks guests may pose.
Additionally, home-share hosts often have to be careful that they don’t lapse from temporary home-share hosting to hospitality practices that may classify as commercial. There is a very big difference between running a commercial service — such as a boarding house — and a home-share service like Airbnb. Though home-sharing is a commercial activity, it often is not the same as having long-term guests.
Different states may define commercial hospitality differently from home-sharing. Therefore, renters should check local law and their insurance policies to see that they adequately cover their home-sharing ventures.