My house has flooded while no one was there

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My house has flooded while no one was there

Whilst the house had no one in it, the pipe burst and house is flooded and damaged. What’s the next step? Do I cancel everyone just by going to their reservation and cancelling ?

1 Best Answer

@Laura5333. First step I would think is to get the insurance assessor out asap so you know the full extent of the damage and the likely timeframe for repairs (so whether all future bookings are affected or just some). Be conservative with trades availability.

 

Then you can start to contact guests- depending on their plans they may be happy to defer or yes, get a full refund. Once you know you can contact Airbnb support if you just want to give full refunds, but I think there is value in contacting guests personally so they understand why and are more likely to re book later once you sort it out (goodwill).

 

Also ask Airbnb to provide assistance to guests with alternate accommodation.

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15 Replies 15
Jenny
Community Manager
Community Manager
Galashiels, United Kingdom

Sorry to hear about this @Laura5333 - hope the advice and support here has been useful!

 

Thanks to @Fred13@Frances3408@Mike-And-Jane0, and @Kitty-and-Creek0 for your advice and support!

 

Jenny

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Fred13
Level 10
Placencia, Belize

Caution with insurance company; first thing is fixing the damage (which is the most important) and then then the loss of income part.

They are already trying to say that air bnb isn’t covered in their “short term holiday leasing agreement” as it’s not a proper platform. When we signed up with them we stipulated repeatedly it’s going to be listed with air bnb and they still sold us the product for $8000 a year

Mike-And-Jane0
Level 10
England, United Kingdom

@Laura5333 what company insures you? To suggestive biggest short-term rental operator is not a proper platform is just ridiculous. Is there anything in the policy that specifically disallows Airbnb?

Suncorp. It’s apparently all short term holiday rentals which isn’t what they told us when we got the policy, over the phone we specifically said what it is we do with the house and that’s the policy they told us is best. We pay extra for landlords and they are trying to say we aren’t covered even for the whole event. Such a joke we pay like $8000 a year. The house was unoccupied for 24hrs it happened so it’s not a guests fault or anything 

@Laura5333. Do you live in the house at different times as well as that appears to be the sticking point for many insurers.

 

Here in NSW IAG have the same restrictions, but they also have a stand alone business for holiday rentals called Sharecover which is like an extension policy and you can choose periods to cover on a pay per night basis.

 

Suncorp also owns Terri Sheer, which is who my owners use. They specifically have Holiday Rental insurance for building and holiday landlord (not just ordinary landlord which is a different policy) and the words Holiday Rental are listed on the property details schedule. Interestingly the underwriter is AAI.

 

Under loss of rent it is up to $1,000 per week but then says if permanent tenancy. I do not know any insurer who will guarantee to insure future holiday bookings, but I'm not an expert. The estimate is there because it has also been a long term rental. There are shortcomings.

 

.

Yeah that’s not what we were told over the phone by suncorp so it’s ridiculous. We lived there from September to December and then all of Feb. I went back through our emails from when we signed up and it seems what we were emailed even had holiday rental in it and then it’s like we some how ended on land lord insurance which is so weird. The whole thing is a mess

Mike-And-Jane0
Level 10
England, United Kingdom

@Laura5333 Ouch. There is no doubt that typical landlord policies do not cover short term rental but if you were misled during the purchase this is not obvious. Is there an insurance Ombudsman where you are? My daughter recently used one in the UK and they put the insurance company straight pretty quickly.

Yeah that’s our next step, we want the recordings of our phone conversations because we no doubt 100% said the purpose of the property is holiday rental and going back through emails the policy disclosure statement they sent isn’t even the one we are apparently on.  We wouldn’t have paid all this money and gone with them if we weren’t covered so hopefully they come to the table. It’s been such a nightmare, even if they don’t come to the table for upcoming rent lost just the money for the massive renovation bill which is getting bigger the longer they take to do anything. I’m just not sure if being told the incorrect info on the phone will work

Mike-And-Jane0
Level 10
England, United Kingdom

@Laura5333 How bad is the damage? We had a leak once that caused the ceiling to be damaged but the rest of the room could be cleaned and dried out. We contacted our next guests and gave them the choice of putting up with the awful looking ceiling or getting a refund. They happily stayed and we fixed the ceiling before the next guests.

Yours sounds worse so Thebes advice is to contact the guests and then contact Airbnb to ask them to cancel due to an extenuating circumstance. This should come at no cost to you or them.

It’s pretty bad, it’s come through all the walls, the whole in the ceiling is massive, the Capet downstairs is ankle deep, beds all wet etc. I asked air bnb to cancel the guest today and the next one and they did and will waiver the cost if I send the photos / invoices/ reports for repairs. Insurance assessor was supposed to show this afternoon and didn’t. I wonder where we stand with loss of rent, it’s in our insurance but I’m just hoping that stands for Airbnb rentals too

@Laura5333. First step I would think is to get the insurance assessor out asap so you know the full extent of the damage and the likely timeframe for repairs (so whether all future bookings are affected or just some). Be conservative with trades availability.

 

Then you can start to contact guests- depending on their plans they may be happy to defer or yes, get a full refund. Once you know you can contact Airbnb support if you just want to give full refunds, but I think there is value in contacting guests personally so they understand why and are more likely to re book later once you sort it out (goodwill).

 

Also ask Airbnb to provide assistance to guests with alternate accommodation.

Great Thankyou! I have contacted insurance and hopefully have someone out soon. From the photos I got from my cleaner looks like months of Reno’s as it’s gone through the walls, through the kitchen downstairs, bedroom, ceiling collapse etc. our insurance covers loss of rent so fingers crossed that covers air bnb as it was pretty much booked solid untill December. I feel so bad for our guests 

@Laura5333. Make sure you take a copy of every booking and any invoices (download as a spreadsheet and PDF)  before you cancel, including the Guests full contact name and number.

 

Also I'd double check the definition of loss of rent with your insurance company; will help you understand exactly what you may be eligible to claim. Hope for the best but prepare for the worst in any claim situation.

 

It sounds like it will be a major undertaking. You are in a lovely part of the world I have visited on my way to Townsville and Cairns.

 

Good luck and let us know how you get on.

@Laura5333 

This is huge, such a mess for you to deal with. Thank goodness your insurance will cover you and you'll have professionals doing the heavy lifting repairs, and properly. Sending you support and patience! 

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