On another vacation rental site, they offer the guest insurance to cover damages in the apartment/house.
On the owner's rate page, they can stipulate the amount of insurance; $59 for $1500 etc. etc.
We've had excellent results using it, even down to paying for broken coffee cups to a scratched range top. There is little hassle in making a claim which is totally opposite of the procedure on AirBnb.
Has Airbnb ever offered anything similar?
1. Raise prices to cover damages.
2 Don't report damages to guests,they will leave bad review.
3 There are other company s that don't operate this way,try VBRO
We've just begun demanding a security deposit from "high risk" guests (large groups of under 30, no history, no profile). I first explain why they're high risk, and why we must require a security deposit of €xxx ( differs depending on our overall risk assessment), and if they agree to those terms, we will happily approve their booking.
About half the time, it scares them away, which is ok. I'm not inclined to accept high risk guests without a security deposit.
The other half agree, and as soon as they book, I "request money" in the amount of the agreed deposit through the Airbnb system. Airbnb collects it and sends it to us without commissions. I was, a bit surprised, but no problems so far.
When all is well at checkout time, the security deposit is given back to them in cash before departure (they must sign a receipt, of course).
With the extremely high volume of high risk inquiries this year, I'm loathed to continue to decline one after another. And besides, Airbnb doesn't look fondly on that.
So far, it's worked very well. No damages. And we have a real security deposit, just in case.
It's not fully Airbnb tested. It may ultimately violate some obscure rule and cause them to warn, suspend or delist. I really don't know. But I can't accept these risky guests without some security. And this is my only option on Airbnb.
Somebody noted that VRBO has this option. Yes, I know. But you can't apply it at your discretion. It's either a security deposit for all guests, or none.
I don't want to scare off the "good" ones, so the way I'm doing it with Airbnb is more suitable for my needs (provided Airbnb doesn't cut me off), because I can apply it "at will". That's important.
But... absolutely, positively... Hosts should never, ever make up some excuse not to give it back. Always give it back to the guest at checkout if everything is more or less ok. Always.
If anyone starts playing foolish games with this, I'm sure it will be put to a quick death. The guest always wins these fights, so please don't start one. If it continues to work well, it could solve one of the more prominent drawbacks to using Airbnb. And that would benefit all of us.