One of the best things about Christmas is that no two families do it the same but for many, it involves a road trip which inevitably results in screaming kids in the backseat from the moment you leave home till you arrive at the perfect holiday home. But if you’re on the other side of the fence and are about to rent out your holiday home, or use it as an AirBnb, here a few tips that’ll help you prevent a home insurance disaster.
Let your insurer know ASAP
If you’ve decided to rent out your holiday home or put it on AirBnb, letting your home and contents insurer know should be your first step, as failure to inform your insurer about the change is circumstance could be seen as a breach of contract and ultimately, will void your policy.
Something else to keep in mind is that, when renting out your home, insurance can get a little tricky in terms of securing cover. For example, now that you’re earning an income from your home, you may not be able to receive cover from your standard home and contents insurance provider because they aim to provide domestic policies, not commercial.
Choose your tenants wisely
Since you will quite literally be allowing strangers access to your most prized (and expensive) possession, it’s important to take the time to review your candidates thoroughly. Gather information on your potential guests by reading past reviews and references by hosts along with their profiles on AirBnb. But if you really want a glimpse into what your potential guests are like, check out their social media profiles to see what they typically get up to. And always go with your gut - if it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.
Your house, your rules
As your home is intended to be used for the holidays, it’s not unusual for a few parties to occur. But to make sure things don’t get too out of control, it might be a good idea to set out some terms and conditions before your tenants sign the dotted line. What you decide to include is up to you, but it should include guidelines on how you expect the home to be treated during their stay and might include things like a ‘no smoking in the house’ rule. If you’re listing your home with AirBnb, you can fill out its House Rules and House Manual form to do this.
Set out some safety instructions
While you’re jotting down your house rules, be sure to add in a few safety instructions too, which can be done with AirBnb’s Safety Card Manual. This could include informing guests of where fire extinguishers are located as well as any fire exits. Important or emergency phone numbers should also be listed, especially if your property is within a natural-disaster prone area.
Get a home inspection done
Like the old saying goes, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. While it’s one thing to conduct your own inspection, a professional may be able to pick up on things you might’ve missed. Depending on where you live, there are a number of housing inspection options. For instance, local home safety professionals or a realtor. And if no one is available, you can even put in a call to your local fire department - so you’ll at least know if your home or apartment is a potential fire hazard.
Consider AirBnb Host Protection Insurance or other insurance alternatives
If you are planning to be an AirBnb host, the best way to protect yourself against any liability issues is with AirBnb Host Protection Insurance. This insurance provides up to $1 million in liability cover if a guest injures themselves or has their belongings damaged on your property. However, it is worth mentioning that when it comes damage to your own property, AirBnb Host Protection Insurance may cover you.
In terms of alternative insurance options for those looking to rent out their home, ShareCover is available for those looking to rent out their home for a short period of time. This type of cover starts from just $5 a night and guarantees cover for damage caused by a guest.
Want to know how your policy compares? Check out out home insurance comparison tool today.