These days, travelers have more options available than ever when it comes to booking accommodations when they travel. You have your more traditional hotel, quaint bed and breakfasts, camping (or glamping!), and for the past ten years or so…we have Airbnb. For those who have booked with Airbnb previously, bare with us while we explain the magic to those who haven’t yet experienced it.
The Airbnb platform is part of the thriving “sharing economy” in which people literally share things like their cars, bikes, and even homes. Sometimes, everyone shares and pays for the thing together, as in the case of Zipcar. Other times, one person owns the thing and shares it with others when they aren’t using it, which is what Airbnb is all about. Airbnb hosts all over the world have opened up their abodes to travelers who are looking for a more unique experience. The options range from the super luxe (even actual castles) to the eco-friendly to your own private island to literal tents (in very cool spots). What we’re saying is, there’s something for everyone on Airbnb. Not only does it offer varying options, but it also allows you to do things like make breakfast to eat in bed or on your private terrace.
Before you book your excursion, though, you might be wondering whether travel insurance covers you if you opt for Airbnb. We’re happy to report that the answer is yes, but there are a few things you should keep in mind. Here’s the info you’ll need:
As much as we’d like to avoid them, cancellations are sometimes just necessary. With Airbnb, the “hosts”, or the people who are offering their accommodations for rental, get to select from one of three cancellation options, from a stricter plan that only offers a partial refund upon cancellation to a looser option that will enable travelers to cancel anytime for a full refund. Obviously, travel insurance comes into play for the stricter terms. If you break your leg in the days leading up to your trip and need to reschedule, for example, your travel insurance will cover whatever money you had insured that is not reimbursed by your Airbnb host.
When it comes to personal items, your travel insurance will cover you in the same exact way that it would if you were in a hotel. That is to say that as long as you are taking the appropriate precautions–locking your door while you are away, for example–Baggage and Personal Effects Loss coverage would help reimburse for items that are stolen while staying in an Airbnb, should that unfortunate event arise.
One important note is that if you choose to rent a room within a larger house rather than an entire apartment or house itself, you will want to keep your personal belongings locked in your room, and not in the common spaces. Same goes if you’ve booked a traditional bed and breakfast. If you leave your belongings closed and locked in the room you’re renting and something is stolen, this should be covered by your travel insurance policy. If you leave it in a common space and something goes missing, you may not be.
No matter where you’re spending the night, sometimes things go awry. You sit down in a chair, for example, and one of the legs break. If you get physically injured while staying in an Airbnb, your travel insurance policy will likely cover the medical expenses incurred during your trip. One important note, however, is that any further consequences of the injury may not fall under your travel insurance coverage. So if you aren’t able to go back to work right away and lose earnings as a result, for example, that would not be covered by travel insurance..
You know the example we just talked about in which you sit down on a chair and the leg breaks? If that same leg were to break because you decide to use it for firewood, you’re in a different boat. Travel insurance is not personal liability insurance and would not provide reimbursement for the Airbnb property damage.
We wish this one were covered, because it’s a bad feeling to arrive at the place where you’ll be staying to find that it looks nothing like the photos. Unfortunately, this is an issue you’d have to bring to Airbnb, and a refund would not be covered by your travel insurance. That said, from what we know, Airbnb is pretty on top of it when it comes to customer service, so take pictures and get in touch with them as soon as possible.
If you’re looking for travel insurance — Airbnb or not — we have you covered. You can get a free price quote to help you get started.