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June 4, 2019

Risk Management Tips for Airbnb Hosts

Property owners have a unique opportunity to efficiently rent out their entire home, a spare bedroom or other accommodation through the online service known as Airbnb. For travellers, Airbnb is a convenient, web-based platform that provides affordable and flexible alternatives to hotels. For property owners, the tool easily connects various rental units with prospective occupants and makes collecting payments simple and secure.

Despite its convenience and the potential for profit, Airbnb is not without its risks for those who decide to list. Unfortunately there’s been numerous reports of people’s homes being destroyed, like this one in Calgary. As it stands, there are some potential gaps when it comes to your basic home insurance policy and although there is still no foolproof product to ensure you and your assets are 100% covered, here’s a few tips to keep in mind. And as always, your best bet is to contact your broker to ensure you fully understand all the risks associated with Airbnb.

1. Complete a home safety inspection

Safety inspections can help Airbnb hosts address risks before they balloon into bigger issues. Before listing your property on Airbnb, complete a thorough home inspection and address all of the safety hazards you identify.

 2. Screen all guests

Prior to allowing guests to stay in your home, it’s a good idea to check their background. To begin, ensure that propspective guests are verified through Airbnb. You can also review any connected social media accounts and read guest references through the site. Above all, trust your instincts.

3. Set clear rules

Through Airbnb, you can create guidelines for guests by completing the House Rules, Home Safety Card and House Manual sections of your profile. This allows you to set clear rules for guests around etiquette and safety.

4. Establish occupancy limits

Limiting the number of occupants that can use your property will help ensure that guests are comfortable and safe during their stay. Occupancy limits should take into account the size of the property and local regulations.

5. Add a security deposit

Adding a security deposit to your Airbnb listings can lessen the financial blow in the event of damaged property or another incident.

6. Secure your valuables

When you open your home to guests, there’s the potential that valuables could be damged or stolen. To protect expensive items, consider moving them into a safety deposit box or to a secure off-site location.

7. Child-proof your premises

It’s likely that some your guests will have children. To protect younger guests, take the time to properly child-proof your home.

As always, contact your Insurance Jack broker with any questions or concerns at 1-888-268-2408.

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