SAFETY, SECURITY AND PROTECTING YOUR PROPERTY
Whilst the Airbnb Host Guarantee may have its limitations, you are not limited in the ways you are still able to add additional independent protections for your property yourself. There are a number of options you have for doing so. These include:
Taking out Additional Insurance Policies
For true peace of mind, prudent Airbnb hosts should take out additional insurance policies.
Typically, these include individual home and contents insurance policies, rental insurance policies and landlord insurance policies. Some of the more comprehensive policies combine these into a single, standalone policy.
These policies provide a range of protections that often include protections for and against:
Many insurance policies have exclusion or limitation clauses that restrict protections or limit your ability to make claims. Because of the unique (and still largely ambiguous) legal status of short-term rental properties and rental arrangements like Airbnb, many “standard” protections are frequently not covered under traditional policies. Hosts often discover this only after the fact when seeking to make a claim.
Ensure that any additional insurance policies you take out do not include a business activity exclusion clause. Furthermore, ensure that your Airbnb activity does not legally constitute business activity if this will void any of the protections. Similarly, existing landlord insurance policies may not cover your Airbnb rental for the same reasons. Ensure you check that this is not the case for your policy.
Some new policies designed specifically for short-term rentals such as Airbnb allow you to get single, short-term policies that provide coverage for only the nights that you have confirmed reservations. This flexibility is useful for hosts that tend to primarily take only sporadic or ad-hoc reservations.
For hosts that more frequently or consistently book out their space on Airbnb, many of these insurance companies also offer longer-term cover in the form of 6 or 12 month policies (and often with a discount).
For maximum protection, find a policy that protects against liability, building and contents as well as lost business income.
Adding Safety and Security Equipment
You may wish to install safety equipment within your home.
Beyond the heightened level of safety and security you gain, one additional benefit is enabling you to then list any of those items as “safety amenities” on your Airbnb listing for guests to see.
Some guests search for properties that specifically have these safety amenities. This means that listings that don’t have them won’t show up in search results for those guests.
Adding safety equipment therefore provides a simple, yet useful way of differentiating yourself from other listings on Airbnb.
In addition to protecting your home and guests from accidents and emergencies, you may also wish to install security equipment to prevent and inform you of malicious guest activity.
There are a range of “smart home” monitoring services that will centrally monitor your home as well as alert you with instant notifications via text or email in the event that a potential safety or security issue requires your attention.
You’re able to install sensors that can monitor windows, doors and items of importance. These sensors will notify you about potential security concerns or malicious activity. For example, you may wish to be notified if a door is opened excessively over a short period of time or find out if your valuable items are being touched or compromised.
Here are examples of some security equipment you may wish to install at your place:
Legality, Notification and Consent
It’s important to remember that good hosts respect their guests’ privacy.
You must notify your guests about any security cameras or other surveillance devices that you’ve installed in or around your home and get consent where required.
The use of surveillance equipment may also be against the law in some places, so make sure you understand any applicable laws first.