Thousands of Canadian homeowners are offering their home to travellers as a great way to earn some extra money. With homeowners insurance already in place, is there any real need for home sharing insurance? It’s a good question and to make that decision, here are some facts to think about.
When you have visitors staying at your home for free, the average home insurance policy does provide sufficient coverage in case they fall or if there is a fire in your home. If you are charging guests a fee for staying in your home, that is a different situation and you are no longer properly protected. Now you are renting your home out even though it might be for a very short term and your insurance company needs to be advised about the additional risks going on at your property.
If you are home sharing your principal residence, that is the one you live in, then you may be eligible to simply add some extra coverage onto your own home insurance policy. If you own a second residence, whether a downtown condo or a summer cottage, you may need a separate policy that covers tenants which would include short-term renters.
If you have a mortgage on either type of property being used for home sharing, you should advise your lender since they also want to know about added risks at the mortgaged home.
There are many home sharing companies now, such as Airbnb, HomeAway, and Flipkey to name a few, and some do include insurance for their hosts but now you need to think about the claims process.
Consider this scenario: a guest damages your property to the point that you cannot rent it again until repairs are made. You proceed to make a claim with the home sharing platform you are using. Now you wait for them to file your claim with the insurance provider they use on behalf of their hosts and get back to you. Meanwhile you’re not earning the extra income you thought you would as you wait for an answer. And what if they get back to you with an answer you don’t like? If you had your own insurance, you could handle it directly and it would likely be resolved more quickly.
Whether it is your own home or a second property, protect yourself with the right coverage in place. Feel free to get professional advice and no-obligation quotes from any one of our insurance experts. Contact Mitchell and Whale Insurance Brokers at 1-800-731-2228 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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