The income potential of listing your home on a peer-to-peer rental website, such as 1 Airbnb or HomeAway, is tempting, but don't let a lack of insurance coverage cause unexpected financial loss.
If you are one of the millions of Americans choosing to participate in shared-home rental services, there are a few insurance issues you should be aware of.
In some cases, homeowners list only a portion of their home—such as a single bedroom—as available for rent, and they stay in the home during the time of rental. This could provide a sense of security that nothing will go wrong. In other cases, the whole home or unit is rented while the owner is away.
If you will list your home (or any portion of it) for rent, you'll first want to consult with your insurance agent. The reason is simple: some homeowners, condo and renters insurance policies will cover claims that occur during the rental; others won't.
You'll want to verify you have coverage in case a renter or his guest is injured at your home; a renter or his guest is injured while using your personal property, such as a golf cart or jet ski; a renter or his guest causes property damage to your home; a renter or his guest causes property damage to a neighbor's home or personal property; or a renter claims that you are responsible for damage to his personal property while at your home.
In addition to consulting with your agent prior to listing your home for rent, you should carefully review the terms of any insurance coverage offered to you through the rental company website. Note that the benefits of such insurance as advertised on the website might not provide full details about the available insurance, so consider contacting the intermediary's insurance/risk management department for details regarding specific terms and possible exclusions.