Risks Associated with Airbnb


September 12, 2015

A few months ago, a 58 year old United States citizen was bitten by a Rottweiler at the Airbnb location he rented in Argentina. He sustained a large, painful gash and a handful of puncture wounds in the attack. Airbnb allows guests to stay in people's residential homes in order to avoid the often high costs associated with hotels or vacation rentals. Airbnb is international, with hosts listing homes across the world. The company also provides liability insurance that is intended to provide coverage in the event of an incident such as the recent dog attack. However, this attack and several other events have pointed to insurance and liability issues for hosts and guests alike.

The dog bite victim contacted Airbnb after the bite, but received less than reassuring news. The company declined to cover the man's two day hospital stay and the only compensation it offered was a refund on the trip that was cut short. Airbnb does have an insurance policy in place, but it is a secondary insurance policy. The host's homeowner's insurance is intended to be the primary insurer, with the Airbnb policy being available for excess damages. However, insurance companies are increasingly unhappy with customers using their homes as hostels and have even threatened to cancel the policies of homeowners after they file claims related to Airbnb activity.

Airbnb allegedly ended up covering much of the injured man's medical expenses and lodging incurred due to the dog attack, but it took the involvement of attorneys and the media.

Things You Should Consider Before Becoming a Host or Using Airbnb

Potential Airbnb hosts should be aware that accidents and lawsuits could result in the event that a renter is injured on their property. To protect against this, hosts should begin by checking their own homeowner's insurance policy. Before renting your home, read your policy carefully. Homeowner's insurance policies vary from state to state, but many exclude coverage for homeowners running a business out of the home. If you earn money by renting out your home or a room in your home, your insurer can attempt to claim you are running a hotel or bed and breakfast and may deny coverage if one of your guests become injured. If you only rent occasionally, this falls within a grey area and it may simply depend on your insurance company on how much they wish to fight the claim. If your policy does not cover renting out your home, you can take out an additional policy for renting out a room or unit. Contact your insurance company for more information.

Potential Airbnb guests should carefully review properties they are interested in and consider obtaining traveler's insurance. They can also check with the property owner as to their coverage and contact Airbnb for questions on insurance issues.

Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law: Put Our Over 30 Years of Experience to Work on Your Case!

If have been injured in the home of another, call the Georgia Premises Liability Attorneys at Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law. Our firm brings over 30 years of experience to your premises liability case. We offer zealous and knowledgeable representation for each injured client and their families. We accept cases across Georgia and in the Southeast. Prompt action is vital to the success of your premises liability case. As such, do not delay in seeking legal assistance as your time to file a claim after your accident is limited. Call Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law, 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Source:
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/11/your-money/questions-about-airbnbs-responsibility-after-vicious-attack-by-dog.html

Category: Personal Injury

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Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.