Replace Extenuating Circumstances policy with Trip Insurance

Status changed to: Under Consideration

We all understand the kinds of life events that can prevent travel. Rather than upsetting guests over non-refundable trips, Airbnb has shifted 100% of the financial loss to hosts by way of the extenuating circumstances policy. Why do guests not have some skin in the game when an issue arises on their end?

 

This isn't a fair practice. We choose our cancellation policies based on our market, personal economics, and degree of risk aversion. The extenuating circumstances policy creates a loophole over which hosts have no control.

 

If Airbnb is unable to offer trip insurance, they should allow hosts to choose two cancellation policies: One that applies for regular cancellations (currently implemented), and one that applies to extenuating circumstances (eg. no refund, 50%, full refund).

 



Response from Airbnb

Thanks for your feedback. It’s helping us understand how the Extenuating Circumstances Policy is affecting hosts. We agree that this issue is important and we’ve been taking a close look at multiple options to address it. While we’re not able to offer trip insurance at this time, we’re hoping to explore it as a possibility in the future. In the meantime, we’re collecting as much feedback as possible.

 

Comments
Len8 in
Atlanta, GA
Level 3

Extenuating Circumstances is a horrible, horrible dodge. Please stop this Airbnb.

Seattle Oasis in
Seattle, WA
Level 3

I completely agree.  I had an extenuating circumstance cancellation where the guest that booked still came to Seattle, as did 4/5 people on the trip.  As they were all unrelated parties and only 1 of the 5 people had a death in the family.  Airbnb rebooked them in another property I'm sure, maybe a little bit smaller.  So Complete win for last minute booking for that other host, a complete loss for me.    

 

Every other type of travel platform offers trip insurance.  I'm sure if Airbnb did it would become a multi-million dollar business venture.  Might even be something they would self-insure making even more fo the profits.  

 

If you truly feel like you are partners with hosts, this is a no-brainer.

Cormac6 in
Kraków, Poland
Level 10

 

@Gail & Beth

 

 

This man should never have booked, particular as you say he was a medical doctor and must have known his condition, the doctor would never have got insurance to travel as no company would indemnify him, and for this reason I think he should pay the complete fee, it not your fault that he is in denial about his worsening health condition.

 

Inna22 in
Chicago, IL
Level 10

I do not see a way to like this thread but I would like to add my support. I had a retroactive cancellation- the night has come and gone and only then refund was claimed. I had absolutly no chance of rebooking. I had other requests for that night that I of course declined at the time so this would have been guaranteed income if not for airbnb decision that made no sense to me.

Ann10 in
New York, NY
Level 10

Even if Airbnb is not able to offer trip insurance right now, they still could implement Allison's other ideas right now. Also, instead of having guests have a deposit on hold they could pay a Property Damage Protection Fee for like $59- $99. This would be an insurance to cover damage. Guests would be more likely to fess up. It has to be blanket insurance that covers everything. Then there would be no more need for the incompetent mediators that always choose in favor of the guest, even when the guests is clearly at fault according to Airbnb policies which the mediators don't know or choose to ignore.

Ann10 in
New York, NY
Level 10

Inna- You can file a claim with the AAA. Read the Terms of Service. I did it and it worked. You can ask me any questions you want. I can tell you what pit falls to avoid.

Adam & Carol in
Kissimmee, FL
Level 2

If Airbnb's main competitor can offer travel insurance, why can't airbnb? Surely partnering with an insurance company is a lucrative deal for both parties, and benefits both hosts and guests in the end. C'mon!

 

Andrea1063 in
Collingwood, Canada
Level 10

I live in ski country and winter conditions can change from day to day.  I have my own clause written - no refunds are offered for weather conditions. 

 

I suggest that guests or just people who may have looked at my listing add my city location to their weather and travel app so they know what's coming over the next week or two. 

 

IF I gave refunds for people using weather as a reason, it could happen to me every single weekend for real or as an excuse.  

 

 

Mike415 in
Baywood-Los Osos, CA
Level 2

Andrea, the point is it does not matter what you say. It only matters what Airbnb accepts as an excuse. And that is NOT fair to owners who wish to set their own conditions like yours

Andrea1063 in
Collingwood, Canada
Level 10

I don't disagree Mike.  I discussed this at length with an Airbnb support person when a person booked last minute.  I told them that we were expecting bad weather and they booked anyways.  Low and behold they wanted to cancel and wanted a full refund. 


I called Airbnb and said that I just can't do this.  I warned them and they booked and now I can't book anyone else who may have been intown already and needed a place to crash.  

 

Told them I was going to be putting a notice on my listings about winter road conditions.  I already have a strict cancel policy so I am not obliged, but also want people to take some responsibility before booking. 

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