Airbnb today announced an additional liability insurance program that will provide U.S. hosts with up to $1 million worth of protection in the case a guest is accidentally injured anywhere in a host’s building or on their property during their stay. The Insurance extends to both hosts and landlords, where applicable, and represents the expansion of Airbnb’s protection programs which already include a $1 million Host Guarantee in case of property damage.
The company says that hosts won’t have to take any additional steps in order to be covered by the new policy – it’s being rolled out automatically to all of the company’s U.S. listings starting on January 15th, 2015. Airbnb says it’s now attempting to extend that program to its international customers as well.
The new program along with the property damage guarantee is meant to shore up customers’ concerns about renting out their homes on the service – concerns, which, in the past have occasionally proven valid. Prior to the property damage insurance program, some guests experienced the worst-case scenarios of giving strangers a key to their homes, ranging from having their furniture and possessions destroyed (and pooped on) to having their houses destroyed during wild sex parties and much more.
The new liability insurance represents a special effort between insurance companies and home-sharing industries like Airbnb, which had to determine the exact cases under which Airbnb’s insurance policies would kick in. For instance, if the host has renter’s insurance, that may take precedence in the matter. “That other insurance will be their first line of insurance, and Host Protection Insurance will apply after that has provided any coverage,” the new webpage about the program explains.
The program will not cover injury caused by defects in a location, like drywall problems, mold, bed bugs, asbestos, or pollution, notes Airbnb.