A lot of people have asked me how my Airbnb is insured from guest-related damage and liability, and so I thought I would share how we found insurance that met our very unique needs. I also thought this information might help others that are looking into house hacking by using their own home as a short term rental.
When we first started toying with the idea of becoming part-time Airbnb hosts last year one of the first things we started looking for was suitable insurance. The first thing I found out during the search was that finding an insurance company for short term rentals was a lot harder than I thought. Especially for our scenario eg: part-time/short term rental of the downstairs section of our home that we also live in.
My initial search consisted of me just calling random insurance companies and getting told they don’t offer short term rental insurance. During one of these phone calls, I was referred to the following website by a really helpful call centre operator.
The Insurance Council of Australia – link here
This website allows you to quickly find very specific insurance to meet your needs (not just short term rental insurance).
Once I entered my parameters I found that there were only 10 insurance companies in Australia (at the time of publishing) that provided short term holiday rental insurance (and were listed on with the Insurance Council of Australia).
I then spent hours slowly working my way down the list of companies getting quotes. After a number of phone conversations and expensive quotes, I quickly realised I needed an insurance product that was more flexible and unique to our situation.
Eventually, I came across ShareCover in the list of products and decided to look into it as an option for us.
What is ShareCover?
ShareCover is a pay-by-night insurance policy for hosts that rent out their property on platforms like Airbnb. You pick and choose what dates you need covered based on your Airbnb bookings (covers 1 to 90 day stays). It provides building insurance for up to $2m and contents up to $500k with $10m of liability coverage included. ShareCover has partnered up with SGIC and is backed by the insurance underwriter IAG (which is one of the largest insurance groups in Australia).
What does ShareCover cover?
As you may know, your regular house insurance may not cover you renting out your property short term. So ShareCover insurance covers you and your property for guest-related damage and liability.
Airbnb provides AirCover for free for hosts why do I need additional insurance?
As per the AirCover FAQ:
While AirCover protects you while you’re hosting an Airbnb stay or Experience, it is not a substitute for personal insurance. Since everyone’s situation is different you should talk to your insurer to see how, or if, your policy overlaps with AirCover.
Given this statement, we knew that it was important for our situation that we had additional specific short term rental insurance above and beyond what AirCover was providing.
Does ShareCover replace the need to have Home and Contents Insurance?
No, ShareCover clearly states that it’s not a replacement for your Home and Contents Insurance. ShareCover is additional insurance that can be used in combination with your existing home and contents insurance.
How much does it cost?
Getting a quote for ShareCover is really simple and takes about 1 minute – you can do it here. Simply select the insured sum amount that you would like for your building and contents. Then select your excess which can be adjusted to suit. We personally found that our per night cost (when we have guests) is approximately $10.
What does it cover?
At the time of writing this article ShareCover provided the following cover (Current list available here):
Guest related damage and liability
- Accidental breakage of glass
- Malicious damage
- Theft or attempted theft
- Bursting, leaking, discharging or overflowing
- Riot or civil commotion
- Loss of rental income
- Temporary accommodation
- Glass breakage
- Loss of rent (death of a guest)
- Loss of rent (murder or suicide)
Please ensure you check the current list of coverage and the insurance PDS available here before considering ShareCover insurance.
How do I keep track of my policies?
When you take out ShareCover you set up an account that has an online portal in which you can view all of your policies. This makes it simple for reconciling at tax time.
Would I recommend ShareCover?
I can’t recommend anything as I’m not an Insurance Broker or professional on the subject. This article is just to share my experience finding insurance coverage that met our unique requirements as a part-time Airbnb host. I personally found it difficult finding information on this type of insurance so I hope this article can act as a starting point for those in a similar situation as us.
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Eek doesn’t the list of covered events give you goosebumps – rental loss in case of a murder!
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I know right. It was quite eye opening doing our research and reading the PDS’s.