If you are considering renting out your home, your guest room or even your couch your first step should be to contact us. Peer-to-peer home sharing opportunities such as Airbnb can be a great way to bring in extra money and are increasingly popular; however, they can also leave you financially vulnerable. If your renter starts a fire and damages your property or is hurt while renting your home, will you be protected?
Standard homeowners and renters insurance policies are designed for personal risks, not commercial risks. Some insurers now offer a home-sharing liability insurance policy that can be purchased on a month-to-month basis, but there may be exclusions and limitations. If you plan to rent out all or part of your home on a regular basis, many underwriters will consider this a business use and you may need to purchase a business policy—specifically either a hotel or a bed-and-breakfast policy.
For an occasional rental, some underwriters will take this situation into account when creating a homeowners or renters policy and, with sufficient advance notice, will extend your coverage to the renter on a one-time basis. Others may require the purchase of an endorsement to the policy to provide broader coverage for the renters in your home.
If you are the one using a peer-to-peer network to rent a space from someone else, check your own homeowners or renters insurance policy. In most cases, if your personal possessions are stolen or damaged off-premises, you can simply file a claim with your own insurer. And if you accidentally injure someone, you should also be financially protected.