Home Sharing


Overview of Home Sharing

Renting your home can be lucrative, but your current home insurance policy likely does not automatically cover home sharing. Before you open your home to temporary guests, protect your property against damage and yourself against personal liability claims with the right insurance coverage and policy! 

It’s vital that you do your research before listing your home on a home-sharing platform. If you’re renting out your home on a consistent basis, for example, your insurance company could drop you as policyholder if it considers that to be a business activity. Even if you’re renting your home just once, you can’t afford to jeopardize your coverage. Call or contact us today to discuss what is and isn’t included in your policy in order to help you determine what’s needed to fill the gaps.

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Key Takeaways

  • Being an AirBnb, VRBO or Homeaway host can help generate extra income and utilize otherwise empty residential space - but what if something happens to your property?
  • AirBnb offers up to $1 million of its own coverage per rental, but that may not cover everything - and making a claim can be complicated and frustrating.
  • Most standard homeowner's insurance policies exclude short-term rentals and so will they will not cover them. This is a huge exposure if a claim occurs. 
  • Several specialty policies are now being offered that help insure against the unique risks posed by short-term rentals.  Most of these policies are considered Commercial Insurance Policies.

Homeowners Insurance and Home Sharing

Homeowners insurance generally covers the cost of repairing damage to your home caused by fire, wind or certain other natural disasters. It also offers personal liability protection in case someone is injured while on your property.

With home sharing, the rules are much less black and white. According to the Insurance Information Institute, some insurance companies will allow you to extend your homeowners coverage to a short-term rental if it’s a one-time event and you notify the insurer ahead of time. Other companies, however, may require you to purchase a specific endorsement which is added on to your existing policy to cover a temporary rental. 

When Home Sharing is a Business

If you are renting out part of your home on a regular basis to generate income, the insurance company generally views that as business activity, which is not covered by a homeowners policy. Instead, you’d need to purchase commercial insurance.  

If the home that you are renting is not your primary residence, you’ll need landlord insurance, as well. Landlord insurance covers the home itself as well as any structures that are on the property, such as a garage or shed. These policies typically cover you for losses such as fire or wind damage, but they won't reimburse you for damage caused by normal wear and tear or for the loss of your tenant’s personal property.

Home Sharing as a Renter

You’ll also need to cover your insurance bases if you’re a renter and subletting to someone else. First things first: You have to be sure that your landlord allows you to sublet. From there, you need to check with your Insurance company to see if your coverage would apply to someone who’s subletting.

Which Companies Offer Home Sharing Insurance?

In response to the growth of the home-sharing industry, a handful of insurance companies are moving toward expanding coverage for homeowners who rent out their homes through Airbnb and similar sites.

There are very few companies who have an appetite for insuring a home that is also used for short term rentals.  As a result, there are some specialty companies that have popped up who are experts at providing this type of coverage. Ask me which company suits your needs best!