Airbnb renters may not be covered in the event of a claim, expert warns

Some 12,000 hosts rented rooms to more than 800,000 people in 2016

Airbnb renters may not be covered in the event of a claim, expert warns

A keychain with the logo of the online platform and community marketplace for private accommodations, Airbnb, hangs on a key in the door of an apartment in Berlin, Germany | Image: Jens Kalaene/DPA/PA Images

There is concern that people who rent out their property through Airbnb may not be covered on their general home insurance policy in the event of a claim.

Insuremyhouse.ie says this could be the case if they fail to disclose their rental activities to their insurer.

A total of 12,000 hosts have rented rooms to more than 800,000 people across the Republic of Ireland in 2016.

Hosts in Ireland have more than doubled annually since 2010.

The vast majority of hosts (88%) share their primary home, while 14% of all hosts are retired and 43% are freelancers, self-employed or entrepreneurs.

The typical Airbnb host in Ireland earns €2,600 per year, renting out space in their home for about 40 nights per year.

And there are now some 22,000 host properties listed for Ireland on the Airbnb platform.

Deirdre McCarthy, home insurance expert, said: "It has been brought to our attention by several insurers that there seems to be a lack of awareness amongst Airbnb hosts of their obligation to make the necessary amendments to their home insurance policy to reflect their sharing economy activity.

"Unfortunately, homeowners have seen claims denied in recent years because they did not do this".

She says that in the event of a claim, even if it is completely unrelated to the Airbnb hosting activity, an insurer can decide to reject the application on the basis of non-disclosure of the AirBnB use of the property.

"People have been left not only stunned, but significantly out of pocket because their claims have been denied as a result of inadequate cover.

"We really want to inform people and make it abundantly clear that if they rent out their home through Airbnb, then they must notify their insurer.

"Such activities would be classified as an additional risk by insurers - which is understandable considering 47% of hosts rent out their entire properties.

"While not all insurers will cover this additional 'risk' under a general home insurance policy, we have come to an agreement with several providers to make hosting an “add-on” to a policy."