Airbnb is becoming more and more popular, especially for savvy travellers who don’t want to spend all their holiday budget on accommodation. Despite Airbnb accommodation often being more affordable than a hotel or apartment, you can, at times. get a larger space and better location than conventional accommodation types.
So if you are considering using Airbnb for your next holiday, have you considered whether travel insurance will cover your stay, and if so, do you know how it all works?
In a nutshell:
Some travel providers will cover any Airbnb booking just the same as it would if you were staying at a resort, hotel or anything else. In other words, all the conditions in your travel insurance policy may still apply when you choose Airbnb accommodation. However, it is recommended you read and understand the Policy Wording Documents prior to purchasing your travel insurance policy.
What if my bags and things get stolen?
Your travel insurance may cover you if your belongings are stolen (or damaged) while staying in an Airbnb house or apartment.
Just ensure (for your own safety too) that the dwelling stays locked and secure at all times. If you leave the door unlocked or the windows open while you go sight-seeing, it could void your cover.
When it comes to documents such as passports, cheques and tickets, make sure they’re kept on you or in a safe. Otherwise, if they go astray, you won’t be able to make a claim.
And if something untoward happens, immediately report any incidents of theft (or damage) to police and get an official police report for your claim.
Sharing an Airbnb property with other guests
When browsing Airbnb, you’ll quickly realise that you can book just a room (or even a shared room) in a larger apartment/house where you probably won’t know the other dwellers/guests.
If you choose this option, you should keep your belongings locked in your room (or with you, if they’re particularly valuable). This ensures your cover stays valid. Keep documents and valuables (such as passports and cash) in a safe or with you at all times.
As a general tip, try to find out (before you book) if your room can be secured and locked. If not, it might be best to find one that does so that your personal items can be covered by your travel insurance policy.
I had to cancel my Airbnb booking, can I make a claim?
You may still be covered by your travel insurance if you have an emergency and you need to cancel your Airbnb booking before you leave for your trip.
If something happens, you may need to get proof of the emergency that forced you to cancel (such as a medical report, jury duty notice, etc.). It is best you understand the claims processes found in the Policy Wording Documents prior to taking out a travel insurance policy.
If you break something:
At Airbnb, hosts (the people who own/run the accommodation) are covered by their own insurance if their property is damaged by you. But for you, breaking or damaging stuff may mean losing your security deposit. The amount will be specified by the host when you book (e.g. $250).
If you’ve got travel insurance, anything you break or damage may be covered under Personal Liability. This means you can potentially claim and get back any dollars you lose. Just ensure that you notify your insurer as soon as an accident occurs. You may also need to provide your insurer with the paperwork from Airbnb when the host makes their own claim on your security deposit.
Oh no, I’ve injured myself! Am I covered?
Should you slip over in the bathroom or burn your hand using the stove, and you need to see a doctor or even go to the emergency room, your medical and hospital costs may be covered by your travel insurer.
And under some comprehensive cover packages, you could also be covered for any extra costs if you seriously hurt yourself and can’t go on with your trip (and need to go home).
Once again, though, you should contact your insurer as soon as you need to see a doctor (or go to the hospital). That way, they’ll be able to liaise directly with the doctor/hospital and get your costs sorted.
InsureandGo Travel Insurance offers coverage for Airbnb accommodation customers, as well as unlimited overseas medical expenses cover, unlimited cancellation cover in our Gold Policy, 24 hours emergency assistance and more. Get a quote today and get 10 per cent off for YourLifeChoices members. Learn more at www.insureandgo.com.au or phone 1300 552 701.
Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company, Limited, ABN 49 000 525 637, issues InsureandGo Travel Insurance (the insurance). Please read the combined product disclosure statement and financial services guide available at www.insureandgo.com.au/policy-wordings.html to decide if the insurance is right for you.