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Airbnb insurance

Renting out a room on Airbnb, or via another short-term letting site, could be a good way of making some extra cash. But what are the implications for your home insurance? Here’s everything you need to know…

Renting out a room on Airbnb, or via another short-term letting site, could be a good way of making some extra cash. But what are the implications for your home insurance? Here’s everything you need to know…

Written by
Anna McEntee
Insurance comparison expert
Reviewed by
Andy Webb
Insurance expert
Last Updated
14 MARCH 2023
5 min read
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Can I rent out my house on Airbnb?

Before renting out a room or your entire home through Airbnb, there are a few details you need to check.

  • If you’re living in a rented or leasehold property, read the terms of your agreement to find out if there are any restrictions around sub-letting your home.
  • If you own your home but are still paying off a mortgage, check the terms of your mortgage agreement to see if it allows you to rent out your home. It’s essential to do this, as breaching your contract could result in penalties or you might even have to pay off your entire mortgage balance straight away – which is obviously not manageable for most people.
  • Check with your local authority for any restrictions on short-term lets. In London, for example, you can’t let a property on a short-term basis for more than 90 nights in a calendar year without planning permission.

Once you know you can become an Airbnb host, you need to make sure you’re covered by buildings and contents insurance.

Will my regular home insurance cover me as an Airbnb host?

Short-term rentals present additional risks, so don’t assume your existing buildings and contents insurance will cover you.

Standard home insurance policies don’t allow residential properties to be used for commercial gain – which means they won’t cover you if you make money from people staying in your home.

Tell your home insurance provider if you’re intending to rent out your property. If they learn that you’ve become an Airbnb host without informing them, they may invalidate your entire policy and you won’t receive a pay-out if you need to make a claim.

To guard against guest-related incidents, you’ll either need to extend your existing home insurance policy or buy specialist cover.

Do I need specific insurance for Airbnb?

Before you look for specific insurance, ask your existing home insurance provider if you can extend your current policy (for an additional premium) so you’re covered for Airbnb guests.

If they won’t cover you, look for a provider that offers host insurance. This is specifically designed for homeowners who rent out a spare room or their entire home for short periods on house-sharing platforms like Airbnb and Homestay.

A number of providers offer this type of specialist cover. It usually comes in the form of a bolt-on that you can add to the provider’s home insurance policy.

Host insurance shores up your policy to protect against incidents that could be caused by guests, such as theft, malicious damage and injuries. There may be limits you need to watch out for, though, like the number of guests you’re allowed and how many days you can rent a room out for. Comparethemarket doesn’t offer specialist host insurance.

What types of cover do I need for hosting Airbnb guests?

As with any home insurance policy, it’s a good idea to have:

  • Buildings insurance: this could cover your physical property (the bricks and mortar). If your Airbnb rental is a leasehold flat, the freeholder will probably be responsible for buildings insurance, but you’ll need to check.
  • Contents insurance: offers cover for your personal belongings against loss, theft or damage.

You might also want your policy to include:

  • Home emergency cover: could cover you if you need to call out emergency assistance to an Airbnb property. For instance, if there’s a burst pipe.
  • Accidental damage cover: you’re covered if your possessions are damaged in an accident.
  • Liability cover: to cover the costs of compensation in case a guest or another visitor is injured on your property.
  • Loss of booking income: this could be useful if you need to take time away from running your Airbnb following an event covered by the policy, such as a fire.

As ever, it’s important to shop around to find the right quote for you. Always check the terms and conditions of your policy so you know what you’re covered for – and what you’re not.

Does Airbnb provide its own insurance?

Airbnb provides hosts with AirCover, which is free and includes:

  • $1 million USD (about £830,000) liability insurance – to cover you if a guest gets hurt or their belongings are damaged or stolen during an Airbnb stay.
  • $3 million USD (£2.5 million) host damage protection – to cover belongings damaged by a guest. It won’t cover damage from other causes, though.
  • Pet damage protection.
  • Deep cleaning protection.
  • Income loss protection – if you have to cancel bookings because of damage.

And while all this looks very American with figures in dollars, the providers organising this in the UK are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. And insurance products arranged by Airbnb UK Services Limited are regulated products.

However, as Airbnb says itself, AirCover is not a substitute for having your own insurance. So, you need to talk to your provider to make sure you have all the cover you need.

Start comparing home insurance

At Comparethemarket, we don’t provide quotes specifically for Airbnb insurance, but we can help you find the right home insurance for you. Start comparing today.

Frequently asked questions

Is Airbnb insurance the same as holiday home insurance?

Holiday home insurance is usually for a second property. It may cover Airbnb lettings but, as with all policies, you’ll need to check to see if it gives you the cover you need.

Airbnb insurance is used to describe specialist insurance that’s usually, but not always, for your main home. But different providers use the term in different ways, so check the detail of the policy.

What happens if someone gets injured in my Airbnb property?

If a guest is hurt while staying in your home, firstly make sure they receive the medical attention they need. Detail what happened, including when the incident occurred and take photos if necessary. If the guest holds you responsible for the injury, speak to your insurance provider or Airbnb as soon as possible.

Can I Airbnb my garden annexe?

Yes, you can list your garden annexe on Airbnb’s website. You’ll still need specialist insurance if you’re going to rent it out to paying guests, though.

Can I use my landlord insurance for Airbnb?

Most landlord insurance policies won’t cover Airbnb claims. That’s because there are different risks involved. Tenancy agreements are usually a minimum of six months and the vetting process is strict. With Airbnb, checks on guests tend to be less rigorous and stays are shorter.

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Anna McEntee - Insurance expert

Anna’s all about delivering fantastic insurance products at a great price. Value is the most important thing for Anna, as she cuts through the jargon and finds what’s most important and worth your hard-earned money.

Learn more about Anna

Andy Webb - Insurance expert

Andy Webb is an award-winning personal finance journalist and broadcaster. Combined, his Be Clever With Your Cash blog, Andy Clever Cash YouTube channel and Cash Chats podcast have been read, watched and listened to by millions.

Learn more about Andy

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