Property owners go through a lot when it comes to renting out their homes. It doesn't matter if you do it independently or through Airbnb; there is always the worry that letting strangers stay in your rental could cause problems. Luckily, Airbnb has caught onto this fear, which is why they have brought host damage protection terms and insurance policies into effect, and it all comes in the form of something called AirCover.
AirCover replaces Airbnb's old Host Protection Program, offering more coverage on various categories such as pet damage and liability. It is fairly new, which means many hosts don't know too much about it yet, which is why we are here with this guide to tell you all about it and how you can make a claim using AirCover yourself.
What is AirCover on Airbnb?
Airbnb AirCover for Hosts is a new protection program from Airbnb that provides hosts with up to $3 million in damage protection, $1 million in liability insurance, and a 24-hour Safety Line. It is included free with every booking on Airbnb.
As a host with a property on Airbnb, you automatically fall under the AirCover protection scheme. This is the case regardless of whether you already have other forms of insurance before you sign up for an account. You don't need to enter any additional details to receive AirCover; it is a free addition to your profile. It doesn't matter when your property has guests in it, as Airbnb AirCover will always apply.
AirCover Airbnb hasn't always been around, and it actually expands on the older Host Protection policy that the platform had in place. It still protects both guests and hosts, but now there are more categories for coverage, such as pet damage protection, last-minute cancellations, and much more. The 24-hour Safety Line and a liability insurance policy are also new additions to AirCover.
The development of AirCover
It has been ten years since Airbnb first launched the Host Guarantee program. This host liability insurance gave anyone who advertised a property on Airbnb up to $1 million in coverage. While this was great for hosts if they had a short or long term rental, the platform decided that some changes needed to be made. That's why they scrapped the program and replaced it with AirCover Airbnb. This is a separate program that offers some of the same protections for a host Airbnb account, but there are also some additional coverages to give more peace of mind.
Some hosts struggle to fill up their rental calendar with Airbnb Travel LLC because they often place higher fees on things like cleaning and allowing pets. This can be off putting to potential Airbnb guests because they don't want to pay more than they need to, especially if they are clean and respectful. With Airbnb AirCover, this scraps the need for fees as the host liability insurance policy attached to it protects the property from any damage.
While there have been some great developments with this new Airbnb host guarantee, AirCover still has some similarities to the old program. The main one is that if you need to claim with Airbnb, you must go through the Resolution Center to try and resolve any financial losses or property damage. This is where you will talk to the guests and see if they can pay for the damage or if they can claim it through their travel insurance. If this doesn't work, that's when AirCover will come in to help and see if they can cover any unexpected cleaning costs or loss of personal belongings.
The importance of AirCover for Airbnb hosts
Since the introduction of AirCover, property owners have been able to take a sigh of relief. This is because you never know what could go wrong when guests stay on your property, and some insurance companies don't provide enough assistance in cases of accidental and pet damage, nor do they consider offering deep cleaning costs.
Here are some other reasons why AirCover is important for Airbnb hosts:
Host Protection Insurance offers primary liability coverage, which means it can help protect hosts from potential financial loss or legal expenses if a guest or third party makes a claim for property damage or bodily injury related to their stay.
Despite efforts to maintain a well-equipped and safe rental space, accidents leading to property damage can occur. Whether it's accidental spills, broken furniture, or damage caused by a guest's actions, the insurance can help cover repair or replacement costs.
Displaying that you have Host Protection Insurance can provide reassurance to potential guests. It shows that you take their safety and well-being seriously and are prepared to address any issues that may arise during their stay.
What's covered by Airbnb's AirCover protection?
Since AirCover offers additional protection for your vacation rental business compared to the previous program, there's no surprise there are many coverages to take advantage of:
- Pet damage protection
- Deep cleaning protection
- Income loss protection
- 14-day filing window
- Fast reimbursements
- Priority assistance for Superhosts
Host liability insurance
One of the best things about the new Airbnb AirCover protection is that it offers hosts up to $1 million in liability coverage. This applies when guests potentially injure themselves while on your property. It can also come into effect if any of the guest's belongings go missing or get damaged during their stay.
It's worth noting that this protection applies to guests and anyone else who helps you maintain your Airbnb rental, such as a property manager or cleaning staff. The liability insurance will cover you if you're found legally responsible for any injury, damage, or theft, but not if the damage or injury resulted from something done unintentionally.
Protection from property damage
The liability protection for your Airbnb rental may cover damage to your guest's belongings, but it doesn't cover damage done to your own items and property. However, separate coverage offers up to $1 million if you discover broken belongings and damage to the structure of your rental.
This protection also applies to additional cleaning fees if your guest leaves a mess and financial losses if you need to cancel any bookings until the problem is sorted. It is good to note that this protection doesn't apply to everyday wear and tear or damage done by natural events.
Pet damage protection
Guests are more likely to book with your vacation rental business if you allow them to bring their pets, especially since more people are starting to work from home now. However, pets can cause a bit of a mess, and you may need to pay a little extra for cleaning once they leave. That's why AirCover comes with pet damage protection which is included in the price at checkout.
Deep cleaning protection
Sometimes the standard cleaning fee won't cut it, and if the guest has made an especially bad mess, such as staining the carpets or smoking so much inside, the smell lingers. In this case, AirCover will cover the deep cleaning fees required before the next stay.
Income loss protection
When your property is damaged, or you need to close your bookings for deep cleaning, this can result in financial losses. But don't worry, Airbnb's AirCover will ensure you don't experience loss of income in such cases due to the income loss protection scheme.
Filing an Airbnb AirCover claim
Imagine this: You've had some guests stay in your rental property for a week. Communication wasn't bad, so you assumed everything would be okay. However, when you come to check out the guests, you notice the place is damaged and a huge mess. Now what?
If you are an Airbnb host and ever find yourself in your situation, this is how you can file an Airbnb AirCover claim:
- Take photos or videos of the damage caused to your property and ensure you include them in your claim. You might also want to contact a repairman or cleaner to get a quote on how much fixing will cost.
- Let the guest know about the damages and Airbnb by messaging the Airbnb Resolution Centre. Your guests will have 72 hours to reply.
- If your guest replies, owns up to the damage, and wants to pay, it will be paid through the app and sent to you.
- If your guest doesn't reply or doesn't want to pay, then you'll be eligible for AirCover. You must submit a Host Damage Protection Payment request form within 30 days of the damage and include your evidence.
- Once submitted, someone from Airbnb will contact you and let you know how they will handle your claim.
While you must submit your AirCover form within 30 days, we recommend that you should not start the resolution process any later than two weeks after your guests vacate your property. This gives you enough time to go through all the stages in the process and hopefully receive your money back.
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