Whose insurance covers me if I get injured at an Airbnb rental? | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

Airbnb has become a popular alternative to traditional hotels for travelers looking for unique accommodations, but it also raises questions about insurance coverage, particularly when accidents or injuries occur during a stay. If you get injured at an Airbnb rental, the insurance coverage can depend on various factors, including the circumstances of the injury and the host’s insurance policies.

Host’s Liability Insurance

Some Airbnb hosts have liability insurance policies that may cover injuries that occur on their property. This insurance is not mandatory for hosts, but Airbnb encourages hosts to obtain it. If the host has liability coverage, it can help cover medical expenses, legal fees, and other costs associated with injuries that happen on the property.

Airbnb’s Host Guarantee

Airbnb provides a Host Guarantee program that offers up to a certain amount of coverage for property damage caused by guests. While this program primarily focuses on property damage, it may indirectly help if your injury is related to a property issue. However, it’s essential to understand that the Host Guarantee is not a substitute for personal injury coverage, and its terms and conditions vary.

Your Own Insurance

Your own insurance policies may come into play if you’re injured at an Airbnb rental. Your health insurance can cover your medical expenses, while your renters’ or homeowners’ insurance may offer liability coverage that extends to accidents occurring away from your primary residence. It’s advisable to check with your insurance provider to understand the extent of your coverage in such situations.

Airbnb’s Host Protection Insurance

Airbnb also offers Host Protection Insurance, which provides liability coverage to hosts for third-party claims, including injuries to guests. While this coverage is primarily designed to protect hosts, it can indirectly benefit guests by providing a source of compensation if the host is deemed responsible for the injury.

Legal Action Against the Host

If the injury occurred due to the host’s negligence, you may consider taking legal action against the host. In such cases, the host’s liability insurance may come into play, but you may also need to pursue a personal injury claim to seek compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages.

It’s important to note that Airbnb is not an insurance company, but it does provide certain insurance and protection programs to hosts and guests. The specific coverage available can vary depending on location, host practices, and the type of Airbnb property.

North Carolina Statutes

Airbnb asks each rental property owner to sign up for a special premises liability policy called Host Protection Insurance. This coverage takes precedence over other forms of homeowner, business, or renter’s insurance that is carried by the person or company who rents out a property via Airbnb.

So, if you suffer an injury inside an Airbnb rental or on the grounds immediately surrounding the rental—for instance, on the stairs into the building or around the pool that residents can use—you should report the incident to Airbnb and submit your claim under the provisions of the Host Protection Insurance policy.

Be aware that the Airbnb policy will not cover injuries incurred while using dangerous or defective products. Also, claims will be denied if Airbnb determines that you hurt yourself intentionally or while doing something dangerous or destructive.

In some circumstances, you may be able to file claims with both Airbnb and the property owner. This is particularly true in North Carolina, where a law called the Vacation Rental Act places enforceable legal duties on owners of vacation properties to ensure the premises are safe and secure.