Renting a home or portion of your home as a short-term rental on Airbnb has become an increasingly popular way to make some extra money. Airbnb’s online platform may make it easier for you to list and advertise your vacation rental, but you will also likely need to consider home insurance coverage for your rental, so you are financially protected in case of covered damages.

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There are multiple ways you may be able to get renters insurance for your Airbnb rentals — through a home insurance policy, a separate home-sharing policy for long-term or frequent rentals or directly through Airbnb. Bankrate’s insurance editorial team has researched the short-term rental market, focusing specifically on Airbnb’s guidelines. Our analysis may help you understand Airbnb’s insurance offerings and decide if you need additional coverage.

Does homeowners insurance cover Airbnbs?

Your homeowners insurance might cover Airbnb losses, depending on the specific underwriting guidelines of the company. However, if you’re planning to rent your property on Airbnb year-round, you will likely need to purchase a separate insurance policy specifically designed for home-sharing. Technically, you would be operating a business out of your home, and standard home insurance policies don’t typically cover losses associated with properties used for business purposes.

Your home insurance policy might extend coverage to Airbnb rentals if you rent the home infrequently, like once every few months, but it is more likely that you will need additional coverage, like a standalone policy or home-sharing endorsement. For instance, Allstate offers a HostAdvantage endorsement on their home policy to cover home-sharing rentals. However, this may vary by company, so most professionals recommend speaking with your agent before formally renting your home.

What does Airbnb’s insurance cover?

If your homeowners insurance policy does not offer a home-sharing endorsement, you may need to explore additional coverage options. You might start with Airbnb’s insurance offering. Called AirCover for Hosts, Airbnb’s insurance policy for hosts includes damage protection and liability insurance. It also includes experience liability insurance for hosts that sell “Experiences” through Airbnb. This coverage is free and is designed to financially protect hosts as well as others involved in your rental, like co-hosts and cleaners. Here are the two key components of a standard AirCover policy:

AirCover host damage protection

Host damage protection provides up to $3 million in coverage to financially protect hosts if a guest damages the inside or outside of their property, including personal belongings, appliances and vehicles. It does not cover bodily injury to guests or other people, theft of cash or securities or damage from wear and tear. Some things it may cover include:

  • Damage to your home, property or belongings caused by guests.
  • Damage to your parked vehicles or boats caused by guests.
  • Lost income if other bookings must be canceled due to unexpected guest damages.
  • Extra cleaning required due to damage caused by gusts.

AirCover host liability coverage

The other component of AirCover is Host liability insurance. This is essentially Airbnb liability insurance. It offers up to $1 million in bodily injury liability coverage if a guest is injured on your property during their stay. It also includes coverage for a guest’s property that is damaged or stolen during their stay. Host liability insurance does not cover intentional damage or injury or situations covered under Host damage protection. Here’s what this policy type may cover:

  • Bodily injury liability for guests and other people.
  • Property damage coverage for guests’ personal belongings.
  • Property damage in common areas, like building lobbies, caused by a guest.

What does AirCover not cover?

AirCover for Hosts may offer protection for homeowners if guests cause damage to the rental property or are injured on the property during their stay. AirCover does not provide coverage for many perils included in a standard homeowners insurance policy, like wildfire, wind and lightning. Most insurance experts recommend pairing home-sharing insurance with an existing homeowners policy for increased financial protection.

How to file a claim with AirCover

If you need to file a claim with Airbnb’s AirCover for Hosts, you can start a reimbursement request online for a damage protection claim. You will have to log into your account and select which reservation you are requesting reimbursement for and follow the steps. For a Host liability insurance claim, you can fill out the liability claim form to submit, which will start the claims process.

Where to find insurance for Airbnbs

If you don’t want to rely on Airbnb insurance for coverage, you may be able to find a policy with home-sharing coverage from a private property insurer. Here are some providers that offer insurance for Airbnb hosts with home-sharing insurance:

Some insurance companies, like Proper Insurance, sell standalone home-sharing policies, while others offer endorsements for your homeowners insurance. One may be more cost-effective than the other or offer better protection, so speaking with an insurance agent before you host your first guest could help you determine which is best.

Insurance for other rental sites

If you rent your home through a site other than Airbnb, you’ll likely still need to have some type of short-term rental insurance in place to protect your investment. Here are some of the insurance coverage considerations from other popular home-sharing platforms:

  • VRBO: VRBO provides $1 million in liability coverage for stays that are processed through the HomeAway checkout platform. The policy does not include coverage for damage that tenants cause to your property.
  • FlipKey: While FlipKey doesn’t offer its own insurance policy for hosts, it does suggest that hosts talk with their insurance agents about their needs so that hosts have adequate financial protection.
  • Onefinestay: Onefinestay has an insurance policy for hosts, which covers theft and damage. However, the company does recommend that hosts check their existing policies for coverage and notes that hosts do have the option of purchasing their own coverage.
  • Booking.com: Booking.com provides homeowners and property managers with $1 million in liability coverage at no additional charge. Unlike Airbnb, homeowners must opt in for Booking.com coverage.

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