Short-term rentals have become quite the trend, not just in the United States but around the world. Airbnb and other like companies are growing in popularity. Often times travelers are able to find that renting a private home through a short-term rental site is much more cost effective than staying at a hotel in the city they are interested in visiting. In turn, savvy homeowners are finding an easy way to make extra money on their property. From Florida to New York, Texas to California, short-term rentals are likely here to stay. And Las Vegas is no exception to this growing trend.
Liability in Short-Term Rentals
It is important for homeowners and short-term renters alike to know that liability does exist if someone is injured while staying in a rented home. Indeed, a man staying in a Texas Airbnb home was accidentally killed when a branch holding a rope swing broke when he sat down on it. The rope swing was one of the reasons why the man and his family wanted to rent the home over a holiday weekend. In such a scenario, the homeowner could be held liable for the man’s untimely death on the property.
Homeowner’s Insurance is Not Enough
It is critical to understand that if a friend who is visiting you at your home slips and falls on your property, breaking a leg or arm or suffering some other injury, as an owner, you can contact your homeowner’s insurance carrier. More likely than not, in such a scenario your homeowner’s insurance will cover your friend’s medical bills. Most homeowner’s insurance policies include a specific exclusion for injuries suffered if they occur when you are conducting commercial activities in your home, however. One such example of commercial activity is renting your home – or part of your home – through Airbnb.
Simply put, if a renter is hurt on your property and your homeowner’s insurance will likely not cover the injured party’s medical expenses and other financial losses due to the injury – leaving you to compensate him or her out of your pocket. In fact, a property owner can be sued for negligence if your home’s sidewalk is uneven or not properly lit. Without the assistance of homeowner’s coverage, you could be responsible for medical bills, lost wages, and even attorneys’ fees.
Coverage From Short-Term Rental Companies
It is pretty common for hosting companies, such as Airbnb, to offer liability insurance for their hosts. Airbnb offers host protection insurance with liability coverage of up to $1 million per occurrence. These companies may also provide insurance coverage in the event a guest causes damage to the home. With Airbnb, this coverage is at no extra cost because it is included in the company’s basic fee. Of note, this coverage is primary coverage – meaning a host does not need to file a homeowner’s insurance claim before the host coverage policy kicks in. Other hosting company platforms, like HomeAway, does not offer liability coverage like Airbnb. Instead, HomeAway refers its hosts to another insurance company that provides specific policies covering contents and property damage. When a host purchases a policy, HomeAway earns a marketing fee.
Seek Legal Help in Nevada
The skilled personal injury attorneys at Parry & Pfau have years of experience representing the injured across the state of Nevada. We can help you, too, if you have been hurt at a short-term rental.
(image courtesy of Stephen Wheeler)