Are you considering renting out your home on a short-term basis to paying guests? Unfortunately, the process isn’t as easy as it may seem — namely, when it comes to insurance.
In the following article, we will outline the specific pros and cons you can expect if you plan to rent your home to strangers on sites like HomeAway, FlipKey, or VRBO.
Pros and Cons: Renting Out Your Home on Short-Term Hosting Platforms
Pros of Home Rental
- You’ll earn money from a property you already own.
Naturally, the best benefit of subletting your home is making money from the property you’ve already paid for. You can use this money as a portion of your annual income, or you can apply it to vacations of your own.
- You may get to meet interesting people.
Often, you’ll have travelers from out of state or out of the country visiting your town and renting from you. This can be a fun opportunity to meet people from other cultures who you may have never encountered before.
Cons of Home Rental
- Hosting platform insurance is not usually comprehensive.
Insurance provided through Airbnb and other sites generally covers liability claims. For example, if a renter accidentally slips and falls in your home and sustains serious injuries, they could sue you. In this case, your Airbnb host insurance would likely be able to cover you.
On the other hand, if your property is damaged by a renter (whether accidental or intentional), it’s not certain you would be covered by the insurance provided by Airbnb or any other hosting platform you were using.
- Most homeowners insurance policies won’t cover you either.
If you think homeowners insurance will take care of gaps in hosting platform coverage, this is probably not the case. While it’s possible your homeowner’s insurance may cover a one-time renter, if you plan on renting out your home on multiple occasions throughout the year (as most Airbnb hosts do), you’ll need additional coverage. Generally, this means purchasing landlords insurance.
- Your neighbors may not appreciate you renting out your home to strangers.
In some situations, neighbors may have something to say about you renting out your home to travelers. Even though most rentals occur without a hitch, some vacationers may be looking to have a good time and party, drink or play loud music. When neighbors are used to just you and your calm and law-abiding family, this could be a concern for them — and thusly, for you.
- Certain home associations may prohibit subletting.
Remember that some home associations and subdivisions may prevent subletting altogether in their bylaws.
- There’s a mess to clean up every time you rent.
Finally, don’t forget about cleanup. After every rental, you’ll need to clean up the mess yourself or hire, oversee, and pay someone to do it for you. And when you’re paying for expensive insurance and a cleaning person, your bills may be higher than you expected.
Always Talk to Your Insurance Provider First
In the end, while the choice is yours to move forward with a home rental or not, we do recommend one thing: Always call or stop by your insurance provider’s office and ask about coverage before signing up on a hosting platform.
Make it clear that you’d like to rent your home out on a short-term basis, and that you will be renting to paying guests. You’ll likely need to purchase additional insurance, but then you can rest assured that you’ll be covered if a disaster were to strike.
Heinen Insurance is here to help you with any home rental insurance questions you may have. Contact us today to learn more.