Keep Your Home Away From Home Safe with Short-Term Rental Insurance

As the world heals from the mayhem of COVID-19, you might notice that travel is picking up. Airport security lines are getting longer and roadways are getting more crowded with those making summertime road trips. People are using this increased travel time to make a little bit of extra cash by offering up their homes to anxious renters trying to avoid hotel and resort crowds. Services such as Airbnb and Vrbo have made it incredibly easy for homeowners to create a mini bed-and-breakfast of their normal homes. Hosts can rent out the entire house, or even just a smaller space or room of the house for use. Hosts can also create rules and guidelines for guests to follow, but of course, things don’t always go as planned. Especially when guests are on vacation, their carefree attitude can lead to common mishaps that create a headache for hosts in a heartbeat. 

If you consider renting out your home using one of these specialized programs, have you considered what backup you have in place if something were to go away? Don’t be too quick to say “homeowner’s insurance,” as most homeowners insurance policies don’t immediately cover situations that happen while guests are staying at your home or anything that happens in the time between renters. Some examples of unfortunate situations that could happen are: 

  • A guest is not used to your faucets and plumbing and accidentally floods the bathroom.
  • An unexpected storm rolls in and damages the roof of the house.
  • A burglary occurs, your front window is smashed, and some valuables are stolen.
  • A guest throws a party at your home and allows party guests to make themselves a little too comfortable while drinking adult beverages, inadvertently trashing everything in your home. 

These situations can cause thousands of dollars worth of damages, or worse, thousands of dollars in hospital bills from injury, meaning the extra cash you hoped to make will now be spent toward home repairs and possible legal fees. 

So what is a homeowner left to do? You can obtain short-term rental home insurance for exactly these situations. Short-term rental platforms are classified as business use of a house, which is normally excluded from homeowner’s insurance policies. Any insurance policy can vary in coverage, and you might get lucky and have some of your existing homeowner’s insurance cover some of the unfortunate situations listed above using the liability clauses; however, it’s a good idea to have one of our professional agents walk you through your current coverage and where the gaps are, making sure you’re covered for every situation. Short-term rental insurance traditionally covers the physical items in your home, or infestation issues if, say, a guest accidentally brings bed bugs from their home to stay with you rent-free. 

Before you start cleaning up your extra space and sign up for your favorite home rental program, make sure you are completely covered, and give yourself ample time for coverage to kick in. Most policies kick in after at least 30 days, so don’t book any guests until you’re ready. 

In case you missed it: Check out “Go Big or Go Home: Partying 101 and Special Event Insurance” to read more about how SOGO Insurance can help protect your parties, big or small.