The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) today urged householders to contact their insurer
before renting out part of their home to holidaymakers through online peer-to-peer sharing
services (such as Airbnb and Flipkey).
With Christmas holidays fast approaching, many home owners and tenants are considering
renting out a room or part of their home to holidaymakers using online booking services.
Though the idea of meeting new people and earning extra revenue might be appealing, it
might also leave some with unintended financial consequences.
ICA CEO Rob Whelan said homeowners and renters could be exposing themselves to significant financial loss if things were to go wrong.
He said home owners, tenants and holidaymakers could all be taking risks because their
insurance policies may not cover online peer-to-peer house sharing services. Further, strata
title agreements, tenancy agreements and local government laws might not allow short-term holiday letting.
Discuss with your insurer beforehand
“It is essential that homeowners or tenants who consider using online house-sharing services discuss this with their insurer beforehand, and check how this could impact their home and contents insurance, strata or renter’s insurance policies,” Mr Whelan said.
“Anyone thinking about renting a room or part of their home should know that they might not be covered for property damage and other losses that could happen as a result of renting it out to holidaymakers. Importantly, they may not be covered for public liability should a paying guest be injured on the premises.
“Many insurers regard online holiday rentals as a business activity”
“Many insurers regard online holiday rentals as a business activity. Policyholders should
check whether their insurance covers these activities and whether a more appropriate form
of policy, such as landlord’s insurance, is required. Some insurers offer policies designed for
short-term holiday letting.”
Mr Whelan said holidaymakers who rent a home or room using these services might also be
surprised to learn their travel insurance policies might not cover them if they are unexpectedly forced to cancel their trip and claim accommodation costs, or if their
possessions are stolen or damaged while in the rental property.
“With so much uncertainty, holidaymakers may be exposing themselves to the potential for
significant financial loss,” Mr Whelan said. “The guarantees offered by some peer-to-peer
accommodation providers don’t cover items such as cash, or pets, or even personal liability
in shared areas, and it is highly uncertain whether the householder’s or traveller’s insurance
will cover these areas under this specific type of agreements.”
If your still unsure talk to a broker