Over the past few years, more people have started to opt for short-term rentals, especially with Airbnb accumulating 5.6 million listings worldwide. For those who don't prefer a traditional hotel's ambiance, short-term rentals are a great alternative to make them feel at home.
In addition, short-term rentals often provide more amenities and a more livable environment at lower prices than hotel rooms. Homeowners that rent out their places for a short term must consider insurance firsthand.
Most homeowner insurance policies don't cover vacation rentals at your primary residence, as it's considered a business venture. As a result, you'll have to look into dedicated coverage for short-term rentals, known as short-term rental insurance.
If you're planning to rent out your primary residence for a short term, you're at the right place. Keep reading to find out all you need to know about short-term rental insurance.
What is Short-Term Rental Insurance?
Short-term rental insurance is an insurance plan that covers vacation rentals. It's important to note that short-term rental insurance only covers paying guests in your home, not friends or family staying for free.
This insurance covers your property and liability exposure while a paying guest stays at your rental home. For example, short-term rental insurance will protect you from any financial liability if a guest gets injured at your property and sues you.
Keep in mind that this type of insurance is only for short-usage cases, not year-round residents. For year-round residents, you must purchase landlord insurance.
What Does Short-Term Rental Insurance Include?
Most short-term rental insurance plans cover:
- Excess use of utilities
- Loss of income
- Liquor liability
It's also worth noting that short-term rental insurance is typically offered as an endorsement added to your homeowner's insurance policy. Other insurance companies may require you to purchase a separate policy for short-term rental insurance.
The endorsement also varies, as some cases would only cover the days that guests are staying at your rental. This type of insurance would not cover any damages on the property during guest-free durations.
Who Should Purchase Short-Term Rental Insurance?
Those renting their homes for short stays should purchase short-term rental insurance. But, the list of people who should look into vacation rental insurance isn't limited to homeowners only.
If you are even renting out your apartment or cabin in the woods for short stays, you need to consider your short-term rental insurance coverage. That includes those renting out the whole unit or just one or a few rooms.
But, you must consult your landlord to see if they allow subletting. In addition, short-term rental insurance is necessary for additional coverage that all short-term renters need.
How to Obtain Short-Term Rental Insurance
If you want to purchase a short-term rental insurance policy, it's best to check with a reputable insurance provider who specializes in rental property insurance. They may offer an affordable policy or short-term rental insurance as an endorsement or rider.
Compare coverage and prices before concluding which insurance provider offers you the best value. Get a free quote from each company and compare the quotes to see which prices and coverage work best for you. Companies like Steadily do this price-comparison on your behalf, saving you time and money.
Once you have obtained a quote, be sure your policy covers your specific type of short-term rental property. Visit the FAQs below to find out some questions you should ask during the research process.
How Much Does Short-Term Rental Insurance Cost?
Most insurance providers offer pretty affordable plans, considering the coverage included in short-term rental insurance policies. In addition, you can get a free quote from each insurer to determine how much you'll need to pay each year.
The average cost for a short-term rental insurance policy ranges between $2,000 and $3,000 every year in the US. However, this range can increase up to $9,000 per year if your rental home is in popular tourist destinations like Florida or California.
Here are a few factors that influence the cost of your short-term rental insurance policy:
Of course, the location of your short-term rental is the most influential factor. If your rental is near a tourist attraction, the cost of your insurance plan will increase drastically.
Some short-term rental insurance policies only cover the days that guests are staying at your property. As a result, the rental frequency is also an influential factor in the cost of your insurance plan.
If your rental is used very frequently, the insurance costs will be much higher.
If your deductible premiums are high, the monthly insurance cost will be lower than average.
Replacement costs also influence the cost of short-term insurance policies. For example, if your property is full of expensive assets to repair, your insurance bill will be much higher.
Lastly, the amenities provided in your short-term rental also affect the insurance cost. Amenities that bump up the insurance bill due to higher risk potential include hot tubs, fireplaces, and swimming pools.
Related Reading: How to Make Money on a Vacation Rental Property
Questions to Ask Your Short-Term Rental Insurance
Choosing the right short-term rental insurer isn't simply a matter of who offers the cheapest insurance plan. There are a few other factors to consider, such as coverage deductible, etc. You can ask your insurer questions to see if they are suitable for you; here are a few.
What Does Your Insurance Plan Cover?
Since new guests check in and out of your property every other day, accidents are inevitable. You must ensure that your insurer provides adequate coverage for even the worst-case scenario.
Business income, liability, and building and contents are a few major areas of risk exposure when it comes to short-term rentals. Ensure that your insurer understands the risk potential in these areas and provides backup for all related mishaps.
How Does Your Insurance Protect Against Loss of Revenue?
When you're hosting a short-term rental, generating revenue isn't as easy as it may seem. However, failing to protect yourself from loss of income will send all your efforts down the drain in the worst-case scenario.
This is why you must ensure that your insurance provider protects against loss of revenue and inquire how they handle such a situation in detail. Asking about specific circumstances may also help your case, with questions such as:
- What happens to confirmed reservations?
- What happens to vacant nights on my calendar?
- How will I be compensated?
What is the Deductible Amount?
The "Deductible Amount" refers to the amount you must pay before the insurance kicks in, holding you accountable. A higher deductible means that you'll have to pay a lower monthly insurance cost.
This amount varies based on the coverage offered in the insurance plan. Ensure to inquire about the deductible in great detail before agreeing to the policy.
How Much Does Your Insurance Plan Cost?
Of course, the first step is to get a free quote from the insurance company to determine how much you will have to pay. However, you'll find that most insurers don't mention hidden and additional fees you'll have to pay along the way.
Transparency is the main characteristic of a reliable insurance provider, so you must ensure that the insurer is upfront about all payments in your first interaction. This way, you'll also be able to measure how much you need to put aside each month for insurance.
Related Reading: How to Start an Airbnb Business
What is Airbnb Insurance?
Airbnb insurance is automatic protection for those that rent their property through Airbnb. Of course, it doesn't offer the same level of coverage as a short-term rental insurance policy, but it's still an adequate measure for those that can't afford it.
This insurance covers up to $1m primary liability in case of property damage or bodily injury. It will also provide coverage for when your guests damage any property in common areas like building lobbies.
However, it does not cover environmental damage such as mold or intentional damage/injuries. It also does not provide coverage for loss of earnings.
Purchasing short-term rental insurance is one of the first steps to take while renting out your home for short stays. With guests checking in and out every day, accidents are bound to happen, which is why you must ensure protection from financial burdens.
If you need a reliable insurer for a short-term rental insurance policy, look no further than Steadily. They offer dedicated insurance plans for your rentals against legal liabilities, fire and water damage, natural disasters, guest injuries, and more.