Injured at Airbnb?
Airbnb is a popular option for travelers, claiming to offer convenient and unique accommodation to visitors looking for a more “authentic” experience, often at a lower price than a nearby hotel or regulated bed and breakfast.
There are very good reasons that Airbnb is less pricey than a hotel room, and travelers should be aware of the risks they may be running by choosing a short-term rental like Airbnb instead of a more traditional, and expensive, option.
Hotels and other regulated accommodations must meet minimum standards of cleanliness and safety. They are also obligated to have broad commercial liability insurance to protect third parties that may be injured on the premises.
Don’t property owners have insurance already?
It’s true, most property owners do already have insurance in the form of a homeowner’s policy. But these policies usually have a “limited use” exclusion that limits coverage to non-commercial use of the property. That means that once an owner has rented out a portion of that property, coverage may be severely limited, or may even be considered void by their insurance company.
This can be bad news for homeowners that return to damage caused by irresponsible guests, and find they have no insurance to cover it. The situation is even worse if an accident or serious injury occurs during a stay. If the existing policy did not cover short-term rental guests, the owner may be personally liable to compensate a guest for their injuries.
Insurance and safety tips for Airbnb guests
Before you confirm your Airbnb booking, ensure that your host has appropriate insurance, including liability coverage. If not, consider finding alternative accommodation. Although the chance of serious injury is very small, there is no sense in risking the potentially devastating situation where someone is injured and compensation is not available.
Don’t take the safety of someone else’s home or apartment for granted. If anything in your short-term rental appears unsafe or “off-limits” in any way, avoid it. Do not explore unnecessarily, try to open locked or latched doors, or use anything your hosts have not explicitly shared.
If you are injured, seek treatment immediately and document as much as you can. Make a detailed description of what happened, including photographs and statements from any witnesses. Report your injury to both your host, and your own insurance company, as soon as possible.
As always, ensure that you have the appropriate travel insurance in place before beginning your trip. The right policy can protect you and your family in case of a serious accident or emergency, and give you the peace of mind to enjoy your vacation.
Assistance for vacation injuries and travel insurance claims
If you have been injured while staying at an Airbnb, or other short-term rental, Derfel Injury Law can help you decide whether to sue for compensation, and how to proceed with your claim. We specialize in claims for personal injuries that happen on vacation away from your home province, and can offer legal advice no matter where in the world you were traveling.
To discuss your options, please contact us online or call 416-847-3580 to make an appointment.