Airbnb Growing in Popularity

Author: Doug Lefeber

Category: Personal Insurance

Airbnb is an online marketplace that connects people looking to rent their homes with people that are looking for accommodations.  It started in 2007 as a way for two roommates living in San Francisco to make a few bucks to help pay rent. By 2011, Airbnb was in 89 countries and had over 1 million nights booked on the platform. By 2015, those numbers increased to 190 countries and nearly 40 million nights booked.

renting on airbnb

Pretty amazing story. From an insurance perspective, there are some things to consider if you’re thinking about using Airbnb to rent a place on your next vacation, or looking to become a host and rent out your home.

As a guest

  • Do your homework. Pay close attention to the profiles and reviews of hosts.
  • Talk to the host.
  • It’s not a hotel. Know what’s included.
  • Find out if the host will still be in the house while you’re staying there. If not, where will they be in case something goes wrong?
  • Be respectful of the host’s property.

As a host

  • Do your homework. Know what you’re getting into.
  • Your personal home insurance is not designed to cover business exposures. If you’re regularly earning income through short-term rentals of your home, you’re running a business similar to a bed & breakfast or a hotel. Talk to your insurance agent before you become a host.
  • Airbnb offers a host guarantee program that covers damage caused by guests in your home. Be familiar with the program because there are a number of exclusions.
  • Be familiar with local laws regarding licensing, permits, and local room taxes.

This business is not going away. In fact, there’s a new trend in some areas of the country where single family homes are being built with a dedicated “Airbnb suite” as part of the new construction. Airbnb is not the only player in on-line vacation rental space.  HomeAway,, FlipKey, and Vaystays are a few others in this market.

Contact your trusted advisor at Hausmann-Johnson Insurance if you have any questions about becoming a guest or a host with an online rental company.

About the Author

Doug Lefeber

Posted in: Personal Insurance

Posted by Doug Lefeber

Doug has over 30 years of insurance industry experience, and has been with Hausmann-Johnson Insurance since 2014. He oversees the sales and service of about 2,000 Personal Lines accounts and welcomes the opportunity to interact with clients whenever they have an insurance need. As a manager, he believes that if you take good care of your employees, they will in turn take good care of your customers. Doug holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire. Prior to joining Hausmann-Johnson Insurance, he gained experience as a manager and producer for AAA, Rural Mutual Insurance, and Met Life. He is a member of the Northside Business Association and the East Side Club and volunteers with them regularly. He also enjoys spending time with his family and attending summer music festivals in the area.