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Is insurance for Airbnb or HomeAway hosts the next big thing?

Fri Jun 3rd, 2016 on     Homeowners Insurance,    

Thanks to the power of the internet, those people looking to put a few extra dollars in their pocket have seemingly innumerable options. Indeed, they could sell some personal property gathering dust on eBay, become a driver for a ride-sharing company like Uber or Lyft, or even rent out their home when they’re away through Airbnb or HomeAway.

If this latter idea seems a bit odd or even unwise to you, it is actually an exceedingly popular and altogether reliable way of earning a supplemental income. In fact, the market for these short-term rentals is so good that one insurance company has now come out with a new product marketed specifically for Airbnb or HomeAway hosts.

According to recent reports, Allstate is rolling a new out a new offering in six states — Utah, Tennessee, Michigan, Illinois, Colorado and Arizona — called HostAdvantage that is designed to serve as something of a filler for the gaps that may exist in the homeowners’ policies of those who rent their homes via Airbnb or HomeAway.

Specifically, HostAdvantage is essentially a rider added to an existing homeowners policy for an additional $50 per year, and which is designed to cover things that may not otherwise be covered such as damaged or stolen personal property.

While this is certainly an interesting idea, some have questioned whether this type of coverage is necessary given the broad coverage already extended by most homeowners’ policies and the fact that many rental sites like Airbnb already provide cost-free coverage to those renting out their spaces.

It remains to be seen whether this product catches on and is unrolled to other states. Given that short-term web-rentals are here to stay, it will be interesting to see how the insurance industry responds both through product offerings and coverage decisions on longstanding policies.

If your insurer has refused or denied payment under your homeowners’ policy, don’t give up. Consider speaking with an experienced legal professional who will fight to secure the coverage to which you are entitled as soon as possible.  

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