Travel insurance for Airbnb guests is coming soon

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Emergencies and unexpected trip interruptions happen—and having to turn down a guest’s request for a refund can be tough. As a Host, you want to be sympathetic, but you also need to earn a living and avoid bad reviews.

 

To better support you and your guests, we’re introducing travel insurance. We want to give guests the opportunity to buy insurance for certain covered events that fall outside their Host’s cancellation policy. Starting in the next few weeks, guests in the U.S*., U.K.**, Germany, Spain, Italy, Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, and Portugal*** will be able to buy travel insurance when booking a trip on Airbnb.

 

We hope that when guests purchase travel insurance and cancel for a covered reason, it will reduce the possibility of guests asking Hosts for a refund outside of the Hosts’ cancellation policies. You can get more details in the Resource Center

 

Have you ever had a guest cancel at the last minute? Share how you handled it below.

 

*For guests in the U.S., the travel insurance plan is offered by Airbnb Insurance Agency LLC and underwritten by Generali US Branch. 

**For guests in the U.K., travel insurance is underwritten by Europ Assistance S.A. Europ Assistance S.A. is authorised and regulated by the Ministere de l’Economie et des Finances Direction du Tresor Service des Affaire, France. Deemed authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority, U.K. Subject to regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority and limited regulation by the Prudential Regulation Authority in the U.K. The nature and extent of consumer protections may differ from those for firms based in the U.K. Details of the Temporary Permissions Regime, which allows EEA-based firms to operate in the U.K. for a limited period while seeking full authorisation, are available on the Financial Conduct Authority’s website. Travel insurance is arranged by Airbnb UK Services Limited. Airbnb UK Services Limited is an appointed representative of Aon UK Limited, who is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Aon UK Limited’s FCA register number is 310451, you can check this by visiting the Financial Services Register or calling 0800 111 6768. Travel insurance is available to guests aged 18 and over. Full terms and conditions apply. FP.AFF.320.LC.

 

***For guests in the EU, travel insurance is offered by the insurance intermediary Aon Iberia Correduria de Seguros y Reaseguros S.A.U., assisted by Airbnb Marketing Services S.L.U. acting as Aon external collaborator for certain activities.


The insurance policy benefits and services are described on a general basis and are subject to certain conditions and exclusions. .

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20 Replies

Re: Travel insurance for Airbnb guests is coming soon

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 10

This is great news. I hope that mosts guests will go for this option, but let's see. I suppose it will depend also on how affordable it is. In any case, at least hosts now have some recourse should a guest start demanding refunds outside of the cancellation policy.

 

Yes, I have had guests cancel last minute. I started out with a Moderate cancellation policy but found that a lot of people were leaving it right to the deadline to cancel their trips in high season months. I got the impression that many of these guests had planned to do so, i.e. had booked the listing as an option without being sure if they were going to stay, or used it to apply for a visa.

 

So, I changed to a Strict policy, but that is not without any issues as some guests either don't read the cancellation policy when they book, or think that it shouldn't apply to them even if their reasons for cancelling are not extenuating. I have always offered to refund should I manage to rebook the nights and the guest has a genuine reason for cancelling, but with last minute cancellations, it's rare that I am able to do this, especially as I host long term stays.

Re: Travel insurance for Airbnb guests is coming soon

in
Gros Islet, Saint Lucia
Level 10

@Huma0,

 

Depending upon what's included and the levels of coverage provided, point of sale/booking travel insurance typically costs between 3-7% of the reservation total.  I made a post earlier today that showcased Expedia's travel insurance, and the cost was less than 3% of the non-refundable portion of the hotel reservation.

 

Since we travel frequently, we get annual travel insurance policies, but I surely would purchase a policy from Expedia, if necessary.  Especially since there have been several recent articles about expected travel disruptions:

 

https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/travel-chaos-flight-cancellations-2022/index.html

Re: Travel insurance for Airbnb guests is coming soon

in
Victoria, Australia
Level 10

@Helen744 We need this rolled out in Australia as soon as possible too. H

Re: Travel insurance for Airbnb guests is coming soon

in
Victoria, Australia
Level 10

@Helen744 I have had a lot of guests cancel with full refunds during covid lockdowns but recently people are basically cancelling close to their travel date . the most recent was three people staying ,one cancels which leaves two the day before  arrival . I refunded for the third guest as my policy is 'flexible' I have a flexible policy because many people were booking and unable to travel thru covid and people became angry at loss of booking monies even though they had read ,or not, the hosts policy. The rise of guests attempting to receive a refund by "scamming ', in other words treating the host as quasi travel insurance has made life difficult for hosts for no reason of their own . The actual necessity for a guest to provide proof as to why they cannot travel, or why they  need to run off halfway through a stay will be a weight off hosts minds.The review system built into these excuses by guests has been truly punitive to hosts ,good and bad.The rep system still also need reform but an impartial system should stamp out many of the 'I broke a finger nail 'and I want my money back guests  . Let them try it on the travel insurers who actually are trained to investigate small claims not the 'wet behind the ears ' reps currently causing a lopsided number of  punitive damages to hosts. H

Re: Travel insurance for Airbnb guests is coming soon

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Helen744 

 

All good points. 

 

I know that travel insurance can sometimes be quite difficult to claim on. I have never tried to claim myself, but once had a boyfriend who had a serious accident while in Cape Town (involved 27 stitches, including internal, if I remember correctly). He actually had three travel insurance policies and the documentation from the hospital, but none of them would pay out.

 

So, it makes me wonder if those 'I broke a finger nail' guests will continue to harass and try to extort hosts once Airbnb refuses to pay via the insurance policy.

Re: Travel insurance for Airbnb guests is coming soon

in
Gros Islet, Saint Lucia
Level 10

@Huma0,

 

Unfortunately, the insurance policies will not be read by many guests, and having them will not make guests communicate better, but should lessen the refund requests for situations that aren't covered or when the claim is denied.  As someone else said, at the very least the offering of travel insurance will empower hosts to push back on frivolous claims by pointing out that the guest had an opportunity to purchase travel insurance, and by refusing to do so they accepted the risk of losing their travel investment. 

 

So, here's my soapbox proclamation again.  For less than half the cost of the non-refundable Airbnb service fee (e.g. 7% for insurance vs 14% for service fee), a guest can obtain a policy that will reimburse them for all non-refundable fees and taxes, and their net out of pocket cost could be only the 7% for insurance vs the 64% (50% penalty + 14% service fee) or 100% of the reservation amount.  In most instances, the cost of travel insurance is less than the extended warranty policies that many of us buy, and are thankful that we don't have to use them.

Re: Travel insurance for Airbnb guests is coming soon

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Debra300 

 

Yes, hopefully it will do exactly that. It might not be a bad idea to message guests when they book/request to book reminding them that there is that option and that, if they choose not to go for it, the cancellation policy will apply and no additional refunds will be offered.

 

Re: Travel insurance for Airbnb guests is coming soon

in
Victoria, Australia
Level 10

@Huma0 We can only hope Huma. H

Re: Travel insurance for Airbnb guests is coming soon

in
Victoria, Australia
Level 10

The request for refund was at the 23rd hour of the 24 hours before travel in which people can cancel . Some people have also asked  to pay less by saying that the third person staying will not be here for the whole of the booking ?

Re: Travel insurance for Airbnb guests is coming soon

in
Zagreb, Croatia
Level 10

Better late than never, it sounds great but I will withhold my enthusiasm until we see if there is a catch like with famous and long-expected pet fee...

 

Re: Travel insurance for Airbnb guests is coming soon

in
Gros Islet, Saint Lucia
Level 10

@Airbnb,

 

Our listings already contain a photo for travel insurance with wording that says we recommend purchasing it, because we will not break our cancellation policy.  This past Northern Hemisphere winter we still had our share of guests who waited until the last minute, and tried to claim COVID as the reason.  I refused their requests, and reminded them that they made the reservation during the pandemic, and were aware of the possibility/consequences of getting the virus and not being allowed to travel.  For those who claimed that they were going to come the next month or two, I offered to let them change their reservation dates, but none ever took advantage of the gesture. 

 

IMO, too often people want to make reservations just as backups, and then want to cancel after they've arrived to the destination, and decide that their primary stay location is acceptable.

Re: Travel insurance for Airbnb guests is coming soon

in
Miami, FL
Level 2

Agreed! @Debra300 

A lot of guests this year (2022) are booking multiple rentals to hold them until they find a better price or whatever their intent, then the hosts are left flat broke at the 23rd hour! 
This is by no means fair to hosts, especially Super Hosts that work tirelessly into all hours of the night answering questions and providing information in great detail, only to have the guests book and at the last minute cancel, and get this.. Not even an explanation or a courtesy notification to the host to help the host understand why the guest even cancelled at the last minute!m

In my humble opinion, there are more guests that are playing games with the hosts than actually have a bonifide reason to cancel on the last minute, then they want a full refund and the host most likely can not fill those dates!  Any more cancellations and I’ll end up in foreclosure and bankruptcy! 

Re: Travel insurance for Airbnb guests is coming soon

in
Victoria, Australia
Level 10

@Jessica943 aside from brand damage being caused by 'the summer rollout ' ,I do think that hotel guests are typically those who do not communicate with hosts and who use the flexible policy  as if they are on a road trip, and book more than one place. On the  off chance they may miss out,and simply do not care that ,unlike hotels,these homes will not be filled if they cancel at the last minute. We need Airbnb to educate them that we are not hotels .H

Re: Travel insurance for Airbnb guests is coming soon

in
California, United States
Level 10

This is exciting!  I'm hoping for the best.  

 

At least pointing to a fact that they could have purchased it will go a LONG way.

 

Unrelated, but kinda related and mentioned above: I despise how the pet fee/policy was structured. . .

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