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Consumer Alert: Airbnb

With two major national events coming to Pennsylvania this summer, and the usual increase in tourist visits to the state for family vacations, Commissioner Miller is alerting consumers to make sure they have proper insurance coverage if they are planning to use Airbnb or another home sharing service.

Pennsylvania will host the U.S. Open Golf Tournament at Oakmont Country Club near Pittsburgh in June, and the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in July.  Philadelphia also typically attracts thousands of visitors to celebrate the 4th of July.  Other popular summer sites in the state include Hershey Park, Gettysburg, and Lake Erie’s Presque Isle State Park.

Both hosts and guests need to have proper coverage.

Hosts renting their house or a room in their house should talk to their homeowners insurer.  Most homeowners policies do not cover commercial use of the home, so an additional policy may be needed.  Airbnb provides up to $1 million in liability and $1 million in property damage coverage, but both have some exclusions and limitations, so hosts using Airbnb should talk with that company about specific coverages.  Hosts using other services should check to see if liability or property coverage is available.

Guests should consider getting renters insurance if they don’t have it, or check to see if their homeowners or renters policies cover their possessions when they travel. 

Both hosts and guests should take pictures and thus document any damages that take place.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners also has more information on home sharing services.