Whilst the Airbnb Host Guarantee may have its limitations, you are not limited in the ways you are still able to add additional independent protections for your property yourself. There are a number of options you have for doing so. These include:

Using your common sense

Adding a security deposit to your Airbnb listing

Taking out additional insurance policies

Installing safety and security equipment within your home

Common Sense

It may seem obvious, but the easiest way to prevent property damage is by using your common sense and removing valuable possessions that are likely to get damaged from your place.

Whilst you don’t want to sterilize your place in a way that rids it of personality or prestige, small steps can go a long way in minimizing the risk of needing to rely on things like the Host Guarantee or security deposits.

A few simple things you may want to consider doing include:

Removing or locking-up any valuables from your home and the places that guests have access to

Replacing expensive or valuable items with cheaper alternatives of lesser concern if damaged or broken (e.g. silverware, dinnerware sets and furniture)

Being selective when screening guests to identify 'high-risk' booking requests more likely to cause damage (e.g. bachelor party groups)

Security Deposits

Whilst the Airbnb Host Guarantee is designed to protect against rare instances of damage, a security deposit can be useful for smaller, simpler accidents that occur during a reservation – like a broken glass. Security deposits are often the quickest and easiest way of avoiding the headache of filing claims with your insurer or trying to meet the strict procedural requirements of the Airbnb Host Guarantee.

Amounts must be between $100 and $5,000 (USD)

Claims must be made within 14 days of the checkout date

#Airbnb security deposit amounts must be between $100 and $5,000 (USD) and claims must be made within 14 days of the checkout date. Click To Tweet

Ensure that your security deposit is not so large that it acts as a disincentive for guests deciding where they wish to book. Research comparable listings in your local area to see how much they are charging.

Security deposits only apply to reservations made after you’ve added it to your listing. They also cannot be handled off-site in cash (a breach of Airbnb’s Terms of Service).

To add or edit a security deposit:

  1. Login to Airbnb
  2. In Hosting mode, select Listings from the top menu
  3. Click on your listing
  4. Click on Pricing from your listing's menu
  5. Click the Edit button for Extra charges section
  6. Enter your security deposit amount in the Security deposit input box
  7. Click Save

Insurance Policies

For true peace of mind, prudent Airbnb hosts should take out additional insurance policies. Typically, these include...

Home and contents insurance policies

Rental insurance policies

Landlord insurance policies

Some of the more comprehensive policies combine these into a single, standalone policy.

Many insurance policies have exclusion or limitation clauses that restrict protections or limit your ability to make claims.

Because of the unique (and still largely ambiguous) legal status of short-term rental arrangements like Airbnb, many ‘standard’ protections are frequently not covered under traditional policies. Hosts often discover this only after the fact when seeking to make a claim.

You should therefore check to make sure that…

Any additional insurance policies you take out do not include a business activity exclusion clause

Your Airbnb activity does not legally constitute business activity if this will void any of its protections

Existing landlord insurance policies will cover Airbnb rentals too

To address many of these exclusions and limitations, newer ‘short term rental’ policies often include protections for and against…

Identity theft

Liability to others

Valuable items

Damage to property

Losses exceeding $1M

Loss of rental income

Damages from indirect causes

Temporary accommodation

Damages from delays

Some short-term rental policies allow you to get cover for only the nights that you have confirmed reservations. This flexibility is useful for hosts that accept sporadic or ad-hoc reservations. Many of these companies also offer longer-term cover with 6 or 12 month policies (often with a discount).

Many home insurance policies have exclusion or limitation clauses that restrict claim entitlements. For maximum #Airbnb protection, find an insurance policy that protects against liability, building and contents, and lost business income. Click To Tweet

Find insurance companies in your local area that offer short-term rental insurance policies:

Safety and Security Equipment

Safety Equipment

You may wish to install safety equipment within your home. This includes things like...

In addition to gaining a heightened level of safety and security, you also gain the benefit of listing these items as ‘home safety’ amenities on your Airbnb listing for guests to see. Some guests search for properties that specifically have these safety amenities. Listings that don’t have them won’t show up in search results for those guests.

Adding safety equipment therefore provides a simple, yet useful way of differentiating yourself from other listings on Airbnb.

Security Equipment

As well as protecting your home and guests from accidents and emergencies, you may also wish to install security equipment to prevent malicious guest activity (and inform you when it takes place).

There are a range of ‘smart home’ monitoring services that will centrally monitor your home and alert you with instant notifications via text or email in the event that a potential safety or security issue requires your attention. For example, you may wish to be notified if a door is opened excessively over a short period of time or find out if your valuable items are being touched or compromised.

Here are examples of some security equipment you may wish to install at your place:

  • When Nest Cam detects activity, it can send a phone alert or email with a photo of the event
  • Built-in speaker and microphone allows you to talk and listen through the app
  • Ability to get a special alert if a person seen and then saves 10 or 30 days of continuous video history in the cloud
  • When Nest Cam detects activity, it can send a phone alert or email with a photo of the event
  • Weatherproof camera, cable and adapter, so you can leave it out in the rain
  • Built-in speaker and microphone allows you to talk and listen through the app
  • Triggered when a window or door opens or closes
  • Receive custom alerts, or enable custom responses based on activity
  • Great for monitoring sensitive areas such as safes and liquor cabinets

Legality, Notification and Consent

It’s important to remember that good hosts respect their guests’ privacy. You must notify your guests about any security cameras or other surveillance devices that you’ve installed in or around your home and get consent where required. The use of surveillance equipment may also be against the law in some places, so make sure you understand any applicable laws first.

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OTHER ARTICLES IN THIS SECTION:

Staying Safe
Property Damage and the $1M Airbnb Host Guarantee
Protecting Against Personal Liability
Screening Guests