Risk vs. Reward: Hosting on Airbnb

Last Updated:
December 27, 2018
Karen Spencer
Time to Read:

Airbnb and other short-term rental sites provide a convenient and often cost-efficient way to travel, especially compared with more traditional short-term arrangements such as hotels.

What many people don’t consider are the added risks involved with having strangers stay in their home or other properties. Most insurance companies will not offer home insurance to Airbnb hosts.

It's typical for insurance companies to hold out until they can examine all the risks involved prior to providing an insurance product.

As of the writing of this newsletter, only one insurance company will allow for the insured property to be rented short-term, Aviva Insurance.

This is great for current Aviva customers but will likely be more expensive when switching from another provider.

Changing insurance providers may result in the loss of some insurance discounts.

Below are the four options available through Aviva for Airbnb hosts and the price of each option for a $1,000 homeowners insurance policy:

  1. Renting your entire home for up to 90 days - $200
  2. Renting your entire home for up to 180 days - $400
  3. Portion of your home, multiple short-term guests year-round - $200
  4. Entire income property to multiple short-term guests year-round - $400

Before signing up as an Airbnb host, we recommend you give us a call to review your coverage options and ensure you're not left with gaps.

Maximizing your coverage is only part of the process for hosting on Airbnb, we also recommend you minimize your risks with the following six tips:

  1. Emphasize the uniqueness of your listing.
  2. Keep it clean!
  3. Complimentary breakfast.
  4. Invest in a smart home.
  5. Use white linens to limit laundry expenses.
  6. Remove all valuable or treasured items.

EXTRA TIP: Share what is special about Ottawa and provide specific recommendations that are unique to your location and to our city. Getting to know your guests before check-in will also give you some insight to what they may find useful.

Check with your broker to see if Aviva’s Airbnb Home-Sharing Insurance is available to you and what the cost considerations are for your situation.