Home Insurance Experts Warn Of a Potential Wave Of Claim Refusals For Airbnb Hosts

Mass non-disclosure amongst Airbnb hosts in Ireland, insurers say.

As one of Ireland's leading house insurance brokers, Insuremyhouse.ie feel compelled to warn homeowners who are renting out space through Airbnb of potential pitfalls they may be heading directly for. We are fully expecting to see a surge of invalid home insurance claims in the next 12-24 months. This is due to the fact that many renting out space through Airbnb do not have adequate home insurance policies in place.

Recent figures released by Airbnb provided a number of key insights into their activity within the Irish market. We've compiled the results of the report for you here. One of the key takeaways from the report was just how popular the platform has become within Ireland over the last number of years with circa. 22,000 properties now being let out through the platform, either full homes or individual rooms within homes. These figures have supported suspicions that insurers have held for some time, that the majority of Airbnb hosts in Ireland do not have adequate home insurance policies and therefore will not be covered in the event of a claim.


Deirdre McCarthy, Manager of Insuremyhouse.ie, said that they were prompted to highlight the issue by Airbnb's rapid growth across the country;
"The figures suggest that over 22,000 properties should have specific tailor-made home insurance policies – while the evidence from insurers is that they don’t. It’s a precarious predicament and one that could see Airbnb hosts significantly out of pocket if they ever need to make a claim on their home insurance policy. If even a fraction of these hosts ever need to make a claim, say 5%, that could mean over 1,000 people could have their claim refused".

Insuremyhouse.ie would also like to warn people that it won't just be claims in relation to an Airbnb stay that will be denied. All claims during the period that they are renting out space through the platform will be denied for non-disclosure, even if no guests are present at the time of the incident. 
Ms McCarthy went on to add;
"People might mistakenly think that an insurer will only void a policy if a claim is made for something that happened when an Airbnb user was staying in the property. This has the potential to be a very costly mistake".

Insuremyhouse.ie have advised that anyone who has engaged with Airbnb to assess whether or not they fall into any of the 3 categories listed below, and if so to notify insurers immediately so they can be advised on how to proceed.

  1. Person renting out a room/ home when it’s their principal private residence.
  2. Person renting out a property for Airbnb only – not their principal private residence.
  3. Person renting out house on various platforms/ lettings.

 

The best place to receive advice relative to how you need to alter your existing policy is from your insurer or broker. Insuremyhouse.ie have recently launched a new tailored home share product to combat the surge in homeowners who are not adequately insured.

One of the main areas where people seem to be getting caught out is the assumption that the insurance liability Airbnb provide will be enough. However this is more geared towards the guests. Deirdre went on to add that "it’s not enough if the home insurance policy becomes null & void due to non-disclosure". 

Air bnb active listing Ireland
Airbnb statistics per region [Click to enlarge]

We have discussed this subject before but we believe that it is absolutely imperative that Airbnb hosts disclose their activity as soon as possible. We have already spoken to customers who were left stunned as well as significantly out of pocket because they didn't disclose activity to insurers. 

Ms McCarthy wanted to re-iterate;

"While not all insurers will cover this additional risk under a general home insurance policy, we have come to an agreement with several providers to make hosting an 'add-on' to a policy. The additional cost is by no means prohibitive. We now have several policies that will cater for Airbnb use of an owner-occupied property or even for full time Airbnb use. But the most important thing is to disclose it, so we can advise of the correct policy".

As stated Insuremyhouse.ie have created a brand new home share insurance product specifically for letting out a property through Airbnb. So if you are using the platform why not call one of our dedicated house insurance specialists on 01 603 2999 or click here to get started with your online quote.

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