By now most people have heard of Airbnb. In case you have not, Airbnb is a service that allows people to put their home up for temporary rent. Its main use is for travelers who don’t want the same hotel, motel, holiday inn experience.
On the surface, temporarily renting out part of or the entirety of your home can sound quite lucrative. Especially for those who live in convenient areas near transportation, cities, retail, etc. Many travelers will pay top dollar to stay a weekend in an actual home. Why not rent out some space to travelers, what’s the worst that can happen? Even in a worst-case scenario, homeowners insurance will cover it, right?
Check With Your Insurance Company
Homeowners should be wary, however, because their homeowners insurance may not cover temporary renting. Most companies will not cover damages, injuries, or other liability concerns unless that homeowner purchases specific policies.
Additionally, homeowners temporarily renting out their entire home may run into another problem. Their insurance company may view it as a business. Homeowners insurance does not cover businesses, even if the business is a home. So business insurance will need to be purchased in order to cover any damages or injuries caused on the property.
Of course, a person could just forgo purchasing a new policy or adding on to a current one. They would be putting an awful lot of trust in complete strangers on vacation. In that case, any damages a temporary tenant creates will come out of the pocket of the homeowner.
This information is not meant to scare homeowners from putting up their homes on services like Airbnb. It can be lucrative and a very pleasant experience for travelers seeking a “homestyle” experience. But its important that homeowners know what they are getting into, so if something does happen to their home, they are covered.