Insuring for Airbnb
Question from Joanne updated on 9th August 2017:
We recently changed our rental property from a long-term to a short-term, furnished rental - listed on Airbnb and BookaBach. We have also converted a room downstairs into an office space for us, in part to give us a reason for regular access and lower risk of damage/inappropriate use compared to a standard tenancy.
We're having a few issues with house/contents insurance. Essentially, we are getting shifted into the commercial building category. This means it is much more expensive and is triggering extra requirements around fire protection, etc. I also suspect our insurer is not adequately covering us for residential contents that we've furnished the accommodation with.
Do you have any recommendations for which insurers may be familiar with the Airbnb type scenario?
Our expert Myles Noble responded:
Thank you for your question which we are seeing come up more and more of late. Airbnb have a guarantee for the homeowner, kind of an insurance, that interacts with the host’s own dwelling insurance. I would also note that not all hosts will be letting via Airbnb - some will use other NZ sites that have no guarantees.
Most insurers will provide cover under a standard homeowners policy, subject to an additional premium, increased excess, etc. In your situation you would appear to be letting out the property on a frequent or permanent nature which may be why your insurer is insisting on commercial property terms being applied. I would suggest that you engage with an insurance broker who will be able to advise you on appropriate cover at the best terms available.
Myles Noble is head of claims and earthquake response for Crombie Lockwood. He also holds various advisory board positions in the insurance industry.