The Right Insurance For Short-lets & Airbnb Hosts

Insurance For Short-lets & Airbnb Hosts

Do you need specialist insurance for short-term lets & Airbnb hosting? Technically speaking, no, but you’d be wise to opt for an insurance product that is designed specifically for short-term lettings (e.g. Airbnb, Holiday lets etc), so you have a higher level of coverage and covered in all the right areas.

If you’re blissfully plodding along with a traditional home insurance policy or standard BTL/Landlord policies for short-term letting purposes, then there’s a good chance you’re either underinsured or uninsured, simply because those policies aren’t typically optimised to cover many guest-related incidents that incur in short-term letting situations.

Ultimately, if you’re renting out your property on home sharing sites such as Airbnb, HomeAway and Homestay, you’ll need specialist host insurance cover in place.

Specialist Insurance for Short-let Vs Traditional Insurance Products Vs Airbnb Host Insurance

  • Specialist Short-let Insurance
  • Traditional Home Insurance*
  • Airbnb’s Host ‘Guarantee’
  • Airbnb’s Host Protection Insurance
Specialist Short-let InsuranceTraditional Home Insurance*Airbnb’s Host ‘Guarantee’Airbnb’s Host Protection Insurance
Cover for minor property damage?
Insurance contract
Liability cover (e.g. guest injuries)?
Legal cover (e.g. recovering lost host earnings)?
High level of guest related cover?

* Depending on your home insurance policy, you may or may not be covered in these areas.

Does that mean your existing Home Insurance Policy is completely useless/inadequate?

Not necessarily. But maybe.

Most insurers won’t cover short-term lets/Airbnb unless their customers have disclosed it beforehand. So if you’ve had the conversion with your insurer and they’re happy to provide coverage, then you should be covered. Although, what your covered for will vary by provider and policy, so that’s something you may want to check.

However, it’s also important to note that many insurers point-blank don’t offer any specific cover for short-term lets/Airbnb hosts. So that means your insurer may cancel your policy if they find out that you have not told them. Moreover, you’ll unlikely be able to make a claim. That could mean no cover for things like:

  • Deliberate damage caused by a guest.
  • Theft by a guest with no forced entry (e.g. if you let the guest into your home).
  • Accidental damage caused by a guest.
  • Legal liability (e.g. if a guest is injured and holds you responsible).

Is the standard Airbnb insurance good enough?

If you’re an Airbnb host, you will benefit from two types of protection provided to hosts for free of charge:

  • Airbnb Host Guarantee – covers damage to the hosts’s property
  • Host Protection Insurance Programme – covers liability claims where the guest or another third party (e.g. a neighbour) brings a claim against the host.

While free is free – so we can’t really complain, and we won’t – it is important to understand the limitations of the protection provided by Airbnb. For example:

  • Personal injury claims are not covered;
  • The Guarantee is not an insurance contract, which means means that unlike an insurance contract, you cannot complain to a regulator (e.g. Financial Ombudsman) if something goes wrong;
  • Loss of earnings is not covered, which means if you lose income as a result of your property being damaged due to a guest related claim. You would typically need legal cover elsewhere to claim for something like this.

There’s a good article on pikl.com that goes into more detail, and does a much better job at explaining the intricacies of why you may want to consider opting for more than just the standard Airbnb freebies.

Insurance Provider For Short-lets & Airbnb Hosts

So, while this is not a sponsored blog post, I will shamelessly confess up to the fact that I was prompted to write this blog post after being contacted by a company called Pikl – they were eager to inform me about their “specialist insurance for hosts and owners” and even keener for me to spread the word.

According to the spiel on their website: “Without the right cover you could incur serious out of pocket expenses, especially if you were not able to repair your property in time for incoming guests. You could also incur significant legal liability and hassle if something went wrong. That’s why we’ve built our flexible insurance around hosts.”

It’s rare for me to entertain such requests [to share products or services off the back of random marketing emails], but on this occasion, after having looked into their company/products, I actually wasn’t repulsed by it all (which is my usual reaction).

Long story story: it seems as though Pikl offer a useful insurance service for short-term landlords, and their TrustPilot reviews seems to verify a legitimately decent service, so I thought I’d pass on the information (full disclosure: after signing up to their affiliate programme, but to be honest, I would have shared their information even if they didn’t have an affiliate programme. So the jokes on them!).

Specialist insurance for Short-term lets/Airbnb hosts
ServiceRatingFeatures
Rating

4.8

TrustPilot Reviews
Features

Two products available:

  • All in one insurance – This product covers the policyholder’s building and contents for the property whilst also covering guest-related incidents whilst guests stay in the property on a short-term basis, providing complete peace of mind under one policy.
  • Top up insurance – This works alongside a traditional home insurance policy and covers the policyholder for any guest-related incidents whilst guests are staying on a short-term basis. The product is flexible and can provide cover on a daily, monthly, 90 days or annual period (£99.99) which can be purchased directly from their website.

Available coverage:

  • Malicious and accidental damage
  • Theft
  • Liability cover (e.g. guest injuries or third party damage)
  • Legal cover (e.g. evicting a guest after their agreed period of stay)
  • Alternative accommodation
  • Fire and escape of water damage
  • Loss of keys and replacement locks
Get Quote

If anyone decides to give Pikl a spin, please drop a comment – I’d be interested in your feedback.

What about other Short-let/Airbnb insurance providers?

Good question.

You can rest assured, I didn’t just add Pikl without doing any due diligence and scoping out the market.

I did come across two other services that offer specialist policies for hosts, but opted not to feature them (although, I will give them a mention):

  • homeprotect.co.uk – their policy seemed okay, but they’ve had a few naff reviews on their TrustPilot profile, so I gave them a soft pass. Their score is still reasonable (at the time of writing this blog post), 4.2/5, but lower than Pikl’s. Moreover, Pikl seems to specialise only in insurance for hosts, while Homeprotect seem to be a brokerage for all types of policies.
  • Admiral – their Host Insurance seems to be an “add-on” for existing Admiral Home Insurance policies, so it seems to be pretty limited. But then again, if you’re an Admiral policy holder, or happy to take out an Admiral Home Insurance policy and buy the add-on, all good. They could be a good option.

Is Short-let/Airbnb insurance the same as Holiday Home Insurance?

Kinda’

But kinda’ not.

“Holiday home insurance” is normally for a second property, while short-term/Airbnb hosting insurance can be used to cover your primary residence. For example, if you’re renting out a spare bedroom on a short-term basis.

However, it is likely that “Holiday home insurance” will be adequate if you’re running an Airbnb operation outside of your primary residence.

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