Airbnb Insurance in the UK: What Are Your Options as a Homeowner?

airbnb insurance uk

By The Hospitable Team

Renting out your property on Airbnb and its alternatives in the UK can be a lucrative option for anybody looking to earn extra money and use otherwise empty residential space. But accepting paying guests also means opening your home to strangers, posing certain unique Airbnb risks since you can never know how they would treat your property.

That means you need to protect your home and belongings against damage and yourself against personal liability claims with the right insurance. In this blog, you’ll find answers to the most common questions about Airbnb insurance in the UK and learn how it will protect you and your assets.

You may also want to check out our blog, where we share tips and instructions on how to Airbnb your house and host with confidence.

How Does Airbnb Protect Hosts?

Airbnb offers its hosts an insurance/protection program called AirCover for Hosts. It includes guest identity verification, reservation screening, $3m Host Damage Protection, $1m Host Liability Insurance, and a 24-hour safety line.

AirCover automatically applies to all hosts who list their properties on Airbnb and can give you some peace of mind so you can focus on providing a fantastic experience for your guests and making them happy with their stays at your property.

Although being an Airbnb host involves a lot of responsibilities and can be rather time-consuming, vacation rental management software like Hospitable can help you automate almost all repetitive tasks, making your life easier.

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When something happens and you can’t resolve your dispute with a guest, the AirCover program can potentially cover you. You just have to submit a reimbursement request with supporting documentation or start a liability claim through Airbnb’s resolution center.

Damage protection covers you if a guest damages your rental property or belongings during their stay and doesn’t pay for the damage that occurred when your place was vacant. Host Damage Protection covers hosts for:

  • Damage to their home, furnishings, valuables, or belongings caused by guests or people they invited to your home;
  • Damage to parked cars, boats, or other vehicles caused by guests or their invitees;
  • Extra cleaning costs required to get rid of stains left by guests or their invitees or pet accidents;
  • Loss of income if a host needs to cancel confirmed Airbnb bookings due to damage caused by a guest or their invitees.

Keep in mind that the Host Damage Protection program isn’t an insurance policy and doesn’t cover you for damage that isn’t included within its terms, such as

  • Damage from normal wear and tear
  • Loss of currency
  • Loss due to natural disasters, such as earthquakes and hurricanes
  • Other limitations also apply.

That’s why Airbnb strongly encourages hosts to purchase additional insurance to cover them and their property for losses not covered within the Host Damage Protection terms.

Host Liability Insurance covers hosts, co-hosts, and cleaners who are found legally responsible for a guest getting hurt or their belongings being damaged or stolen while they’re staying at an Airbnb. It’s important to note that Airbnb hosts in the UK can’t opt out of this free liability insurance program.

According to the terms, if the HLI program applies to the claim, the insurance includes coverage for claim investigation costs and expenses and costs of defending a formal complaint such as a lawsuit.

As you can see, Airbnb provides hosts with more protection than other booking platforms. But Airbnb’s website states that while AirCover for Hosts protects you while you’re hosting an Airbnb stay, it’s not a substitute for personal insurance. Some protection gaps could expose you if you don’t have additional cover elsewhere.

Besides, you may be required by law to maintain certain insurance, which would not be satisfied by AirCover for Hosts. Everyone’s situation is different, so Airbnb recommends each host contact their insurer to find out how—or if—their policy overlaps with AirCover for Hosts.

Does Your Standard Home Insurance Cover Airbnb in the UK?

Standard homeowner’s insurance generally covers repairing damage to your home caused by fire, wind, or other natural disasters, such as storms or floods. It also offers personal liability protection if someone is injured while being on your property.

But standard home insurance doesn’t cover commercial purposes. If you rent out part of your property or entire home regularly to generate income, insurance companies generally view that as a business activity that brings certain risks and responsibilities with it.

So, having paying guests stay at your property can invalidate your standard home insurance policy altogether, leaving you with no cover. Remember that standard homeowner’s insurance is not designed for the vacation rental market. That means you’d need to purchase business insurance instead. 

Does Landlord Insurance Cover Airbnb in the UK?

Landlord insurance typically covers properties rented for an extended time (a minimum of 6 months). Even though there are some similarities between being a landlord and an Airbnb host, most landlord insurers don’t provide adequate cover for Airbnb-style hosting. If a landlord rents out their property to paying STR guests, their policy will likely be canceled, or in most cases, any guest-related coverage will be restricted.

Do You Need Insurance to Host in the UK?

While, legally, you might not need any additional insurance to host with Airbnb, you should keep in mind that it’s rather risky. Airbnb’s AirCover for Hosts may not provide enough for your needs, and some areas may leave you exposed.

If something goes wrong, it can be expensive (and you’ll lose your income while repairs are completed). But proper insurance tailored for short-term rentals can help you avoid taking too much of a hit.

Whether you start a kid-friendly Airbnb or offer farm stays, you’ll need host insurance specifically designed to protect you against damages and incidents involving paying guests. It will give you extra protection on top of what Airbnb’s AirCover provides.

Listing your property on Airbnb and similar websites can give you exposure and allow you to reach millions of travelers, but you need to pay a commission fee for each booking made on the platform. So, it’s always a good idea to build a direct booking website to become more independent and avoid paying hefty OTA fees.

The good news is that Hospitable users in the UK can take advantage of our dedicated Hospitable Direct service and easily create their direct booking website with a built-in insurance and guest screening solution. We’ll help you screen guests before they book and insure your vacation rental property with up to $5M worth of damage protection powered by Superhog. Additionally, you can list your direct booking website with Google Vacation Rentals.

Get a direct booking website within minutes!

Our system will ensure your calendars stay synced with OTAs, and your guests get the best experience.

Do You Need Public Liability Insurance for Airbnb in the UK?

Legally, it depends on what part of the UK you live in. For example, Scotland recently introduced legislation requiring all short-term rental hosts to have liability cover in place. In other parts of the UK, there are no current requirements for hosts to have liability cover.

Also, currently, no laws specify how much liability coverage you need. However, certain regions of Scotland require a minimum liability cover, so you must check it when applying for your hosting license. You should look for more information on the Scottish government’s website and contact your local authority.

You may also want to check out our blog post, where we share some tips on avoiding the most common Airbnb mistakes hosts make.

airbnb risks

Airbnb Risks and Remediation Strategies for Hosts

The financial benefits of listing your rental property on Airbnb are apparent, certain risks come along with renting your home or apartment to strangers. In this article, we’ll walk you through common Airbnb risks that short-term rental property owners face and offer suggestions for preventing and overcoming these challenges.

airbnb insurance

Airbnb Insurance for Hosts

If you’ve decided to rent out your home on Airbnb, you might be wondering how much insurance coverage you need to protect your assets and if there is Airbnb insurance available for homeowners. Read this article to uncover details on Airbnb insurance.

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