What started as an idea of renting an air mattress for people clamouring to attend massive conferences in cities with sold-out hotels, Airbnb, has become a worldwide phenomenon.
If you’re looking to make extra money by turning your house into an Airbnb listing, it’s important to know the details of your home insurance. Creating an Airbnb turns your home into a business property. You need to manage the property: creating the listing, setting the price, taking photos, cleaning up, and managing insurance.
You need to protect your most significant investment from any risks that could cost you thousands. Airbnb has insurance coverage for hosts, but you do not want to take chances with your biggest asset. It pays to be informed.
Do I need home insurance for my Airbnb in Canada?
You may have home insurance but does it cover home-sharing services like Airbnb, Vacation rental by owner (VRBO), or HomeAway? By creating an income property, you’ve changed the terms of the contract with your home insurance provider. Speak to them about your plans, they may make a note of it on file, or they could tell you it voids your contract. A contract that has been voided means you have no coverage if you need it, even if it’s unrelated to Airbnb.
Before you rent, it’s essential to gather home insurance quotes from a few providers making sure they offer this protection. Airbnb covers everyone automatically, but there are limits to their coverage. If you need access to more money than Airbnb can provide, it’s nice to know you can turn to your provider for the excess.
Why do I need extra home insurance if Airbnb provides protection?
Airbnb provides two types of protection. All hosts receive automatic coverage after creating the listing.
Host Protection Insurance provides liability coverage to hosts from your guests. It covers up to $1 million in the event of third-party (your guests, your condo building, your neighbours) claim for personal injury or their property damage. This insurance acts as primary coverage. You would need to use your home insurance policy if you needed any additional coverage.
Host Guarantee protection offers up to $1 million of property damage protection. Host Guarantee protects hosts against damages, to their home or possessions, by a guest. While Airbnb contents insurance covers some items in your home, It does not include jewellery, rare art, or collectibles. It’s best to store valuable items elsewhere while your house is rented to avoid the risk.
$1 million seems like a lot of money but if someone falls off the second story balcony due to an unsecured railing and sues, is it enough to cover the medical bills? The Host protection insurance does not include the loss of earnings. If that person can’t return to work, you are personally responsible.
Airbnb states on their website that the Host Guarantee does not replace homeowners insurance. They advise you to speak to your insurance broker, understand the terms, and know what your coverage includes and doesn’t.
Need home insurance?
Where can I get additional insurance for my Airbnb?
In Canada, there are a select few insurance companies that provide home sharing insurance. You may have to switch providers entirely to access these services as they are add-ons to existing coverages. Compare house insurance quotes from the providers below, and make sure you understand what the policy provides and what it doesn’t cover.
Which insurance companies insure Airbnb in Canada?
Aviva provides coverage for loss or damage to your home and personal property. It covers intentional acts and loss of rental income (which Airbnb does not include). It covers up to $1500 of guest’s property and liability, should your guest sue you, from short-term rentals. They have a handy calculator right on their site to give you a rough estimate on a premium increase. My calculation for intermittent year-round short-term rentals added 20% to my home insurance rate. To add Airbnb coverage to your existing Aviva policy, you will need to speak with a broker.
Duuo is new on the scene and backed by the co-operators group. They offer $2 million in liability and 15 specific perils. The best part? You don’t need to switch home insurance providers. You would get Duuo in addition to your current home insurance and you pay only when you are renting out your unit.
April is an innovative insurance company and always launching new and intriguing products, so it doesn’t come as a surprise they play in the home sharing space. Some of their features include vandalism and theft during the rental period as well as water & sewer backup options. You must call a broker to add Airbnb coverage as part of your policy.
Square One insurance specializes in all home insurance. They have Airbnb insurance if you occasionally rent your home to others through home sharing programs. It covers accidental damage to your home and property as well as your exposure to personal liability. It does not include the guest’s property or their personal liability. It starts at $40/month, and you can pay monthly with no contracts.
Are you willing to pay a little extra for home sharing insurance or short-term rental home insurance? $20-$40 per month is less than one night’s stay at a place you call home. I called some other big name insurance companies who first told me, yes; they do provide insurance for guests. I dug a little deeper to find out it’s intended for long-term tenants or that I’d be taking out a commercial policy as if I was an actual hotel.
Airbnb is more than an inflated mattress and your home deserves more than your standard coverage provides. Before you rent out your personal property, it’s best to get a few home insurance quotes that provide an Airbnb endorsement. Airbnb can make you a lot of money, make sure it doesn’t cost you thousands with unnecessary risks.
Below is a quick video from Global News featuring Ratehub.ca CEO, Alyssa Furtado, on “Homesharing Considerations”
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