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Airbnb Adds Liability Coverage for Hosts

Airbnb said on Thursday it would add liability insurance that covers hosts if guests are injured.


The peer-to-peer travel site Airbnb said on Thursday it would add liability insurance that covers its hosts if guests are injured.

The new policy provides $1 million worth of protection to hosts in the U.S. starting January 15.

Hammering out a novel insurance product that protects people who are making money from sharing their homes took years, said Airbnb product lead Jonathan Golden. “The insurance industry is not good at blending personal and business risk together, so we had to work with them.”

The new host protection insurance would also in some cases cover landlords and homeowner associations, said Golden. However, it is only the primary coverage in cases where existing coverage does not handle an incident. So if a host had existing renters’ insurance, for example, that would be the first call.

Since 2011, Airbnb has offered what it calls a Host Guarantee that protects hosts from damage to their property. Since 2012, it has been a $1 million policy, and it is now available in 29 countries.

When asked, a spokesman for Airbnb did not provide information about the history of injuries occurring in rentals. However, he offered some historical data on the Host Guarantee: It was used 400 times in 2012 out of three million total guests, and 700 times in 2013 out of six million total guests.

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