On a daily basis we are seeing posts from hosts seeking information about insuring their properties while hosting, so I felt it is about time to lay out the landscape where hosting insurance is at in this country, (Australia).
Here is Australia we are fortunate to have a number of good insurance options available and, I would urge every host to take note of these options and use one or the other. This being a possibly less litigious society than the US, companies are more inclined to insure the hosting risk here! Also the volume of hosting in this country has risen to the point where companies are now seeing hosting insurance as a valuable addition to their risk portfolio.
Firstly there has been a lot of talk, and possibly misplaced trust, in Airbnb's Host Protection Scheme (HPS)! This product is more loaded to protection from catastrophic damage, has extreme limitations on it, and in general should not be relied upon for protection a host is likely to require in their hosting experience. Even Airbnb state you should avail yourself of other cover options before trying to use this product. Typical of the sort of claims that Airbnb have declined to adequately address are....... a host's kitchen benchtop which was ruined when a guest put a saucepan from the stove directly onto the bench. The entire kitchen benchtop had to be replaced with a cost of many thousands of dollars.....at the hosts expence.
Another hosts outdoor furniture setting was ruined by a guests careless cigarette burn to one of the cushions. Once again, they were on their own. These are the events that you need insurance protection for and will find satisfactory compensation from the HPS virtually impossible.
To insurance options:
If you have a household general insurance policy there is every possibility the company will cancel your policy if they find out you are in a short term rental agreement with a hosting platform. I have had this advice direct from 4 major insurance companies, so, I would consider this stance to be the norm!
Terri Scheer are specalists in Landlord/Tennant insurance but do not get involved with short term rental agreements with a hosting platform or a shared property situation. Great if you are a landlord who has a rental property on the open rental market but will not entertain Airbnb.
If you are listing a shared property (that is, on the same residential allotment) or a self contaned property and you are hosting a few guests per month there is a company called Sharecover! Above is a link to this company. This is the insurer I use, and is a part of the largest insurance group in Australia. Sharecover insures specifically for the Airbnb and the Stayz platforms. You only pay for cover for the nights that guests are on your property, and the cost of cover is from $3.50au per night. It does not take the place of general insurance....it's an addition to it.
You apply online in seconds and are issued a PDF of the policy document on the spot. You can literally insure as the guest walk to the door of your listing!
AAMI have just recently (In February) introduce an insurance package that works with the Airbnb operation and is additional to their general insurance policy. This is also a good option because it keeps all general insurance under the one umberella! As this insurance cover is new, I have not been able to find any details of it as yet but will post as an update when I can secure!
There is also another company who provide similar cover to the hosting community for an annual modest premium which is more for hosts with a full booking calendar. I believe this company is called LTM Risk Partners and is based in Western Australia and appears to be most active in Melbourne and Sydney.
All these companies provide either $10m or $20m public liability insurance but be aware that there are some traps where liability insurance is concerned!
Liability insurance will only cover guests and hosts on the insured property, and does not cover guests from their own negligence. If you allow guests to use bicycles that you may provide for them to cycle the local area there is no automatic liability cover beyond the perimeter of the insured property! If they injure themselves diving from the top of the wardrobe cupboard onto the bed....they will, once again, not be covered!
I suggest to all hosts to check out all of these companies individually and compare what each has to offer and make a decision based on what comes from 'the horses mouth', rather than depending on what I have stated here. I have selected a company and coverage that suits my needs but those will vary from host to host.
But, forget about the Airbnb's host protection scheme.....it is nothing more than a marketing tool and in reality provides no coverage for protection the average host would ever be likely to need!....cheers......Rob
@David256 David that staggers me, a broker I know who does a bit in this field gave me the information that AAMI were in the process of entering the home hosting insurance market. I am going to pursue that further today as I don't want to give out inaccurate information. Thank you for that post....I will lok into that further....cheers.....Rob
@David256 Yeah David, most insures are still in the formative process of hosting insurance and it may be that the person you spoke to was 'shooting from the hip' with regard to that comment. My source assures me that AAMI will be involved in this field, if they are not already. But as far as I know 'Host Rite' insurance and 'Sharecover' are the companies most active at this stage.
You may wish to ask another Australian CC poster from Melbourne, Veronica about her experiences with Host Rite. She has been the one promoting them, as I have Sharecover..
What you are refering to differs a little bit though. Insurance premiums are worked out on an actuarial basis where the premium charge must cover the 'perceived' risk plus the running costs in keeping that company operational.
When an insurance company agrees to cover your property risk, it does so on the basis that a given number of people live in that property at any given time, are permanent residents of that property and the risk varies little from day to day....and they issue a premium on that basis. When you home host, or short term rent out that property the risk differs entirely from that the insurnace company accepted....and therefore, they cancel your policy.
Now hosting insurance does not take the place of your general cover.....It does not cover acts of God, natural disasters! It only covers the ADDITIONAL risk guests are likely to cause to your property. This is why Sharecover, Hostrite, and a number of other providers are not replacements for your existing insurance cover, they are additional to it.
Also, as @Louise0 says you must establish that you are not contravening local government regulations with regard to short term rental. Local councils have different guidelines as to how short term rentals are seen and if they don't allow it, then that policy you have taken out to cover you will not be honoured.
You make sure you understand what you are entitled to with motor vehicle insurance, you must do the same with hosting insurance, the responsibility is yours to understand what you are covered for.....cheers.....Rob
Hi Robin, does your listing have a shared pool, this creating a headache around insurance. I’m thinking of keeping it for my family use only and not sharing it with guests having which so uld be a shame. Any ideas?
Hi Barbara, a swimming pool is something that is in the confines of your property and if your insurer accepts short term rentals then the swimming pool becomes a defined coverage item.
Where conflict comes in is where you let guests use something of yours on public property....push-bikes, kayaks, scooters, Jet-skis, something they will use beyond the perimeter of your insured space.
If your insurer is saying only nominated persons (family members, friends) will be covered if they use your pool, it is probably time to find another insurer!
I just rang AAMI on the 18/12/18 - they are not covering Airbnb.
like many people on Airbnb discovering that there own insurance companies are not covering them when the host lives in the same building as Airbnb guests, even if you just do it for say summer period the whole year of you personal building and contents Insurance is null and void. A bit alarming.
However husband and I did quite a bit of research. we have cancelled National Seniors I think it is with Alliance.... and have engaged SGIC. They know we have guests, they have covered our home and contents but not if Airbnb guests do damage. In that case we have asked about the cover that Airbnb give and we were satisfied that they will do the following for us when we have guests and I am satisfied with this. The underwriter is with Lloyd’s London.
Hello Sheila. This is Delano from the Airbnb Community Support team. I hope this message finds you well. I'm the one whom called you this morning.
Regarding your concern about the insurance we have in place for our Airbnb host's kindly read below.
The Host Guarantee is not an insurance and doesn’t replace your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance. It’s designed to protect hosts for damages to their own possessions, unit, or home in the rare instance of property damage by guests in listings. More information about the Host Guarantee is available here:
The Host Protection Insurance program is an insurance, and it’s designed to cover hosts in the event of third-party claims of bodily injury or property damage. If you’re covered under other insurance, Airbnb’s Host Protection Insurance program will be secondary to that insurance. If you don’t have other insurance, the Host Protection Insurance program could act as your primary insurance for qualifying incidents.
More information about the Host Protection Insurance program is available here:
For a few examples of what the Host Protection Insurance program covers, visit our Help Center:
I hope this helps. Let me know if you have other questions.