VRBO Insurance: A Detailed Guide for Property Owners

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The Insider @ Houst
Last updated on
June 28, 2024

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VRBO Insurance: A Detailed Guide for Property Owners

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When you list your property on Vrbo, you're entrusting someone to look after your house or apartment while you're away. Not everyone treats your home with the same care as their own, so unexpected issues could cost you a lot.

That's why it's crucial to have the right insurance in place. In this article, we’ll explain how Vrbo insurance works so you can protect your holiday rental property effectively. So, let’s get started! 

Table of Contents

What is VRBO Insurance?

VRBO insurance is custom-made to meet the unique demands of vacation rental properties listed on the VRBO platform. Unlike standard homeowner's insurance, VRBO insurance is necessary because vacation rentals face distinct risks. Regular homeowner's policies often fall short for these properties because they may not cover issues related to commercial use, such as guest injuries or income loss from rentals.

Specifically designed to fill these gaps, VRBO insurance typically covers damages caused by guests, liability for accidents on the property, and sometimes loss of income due to unforeseen events preventing rental activity. Understanding these differences is crucial for property owners to avoid vulnerabilities not covered by traditional policies.

Benefits of Vrbo Insurance

Having Vrbo insurance provides essential protection that hosts cannot afford to overlook. It protects your property against potential damages and covers unforeseen events affecting your rental income.

While homeowner's or landlord insurance is common among vacation rental owners, it often has gaps because these policies may not fully cater to rental properties' unique needs. VRBO insurance or additional rental property insurance fills these gaps, offering peace of mind by ensuring you are financially protected while maintaining a safe environment for your guests.

Investing in Vrbo insurance is a proactive measure that brings substantial benefits to your hosting business. It enhances your ability to provide a secure and worry-free experience for both yourself and your guests.

Vrbo Insurance for Owners

If you're diving into real estate as a side hustle for extra income, relying solely on homeowner's insurance could expose you to significant coverage gaps. While homeowner's insurance is suitable for owner-occupied properties, it doesn't fully protect vacation rentals used by guests and owners intermittently throughout the year, including vacancy periods.

Relying on regular homeowner's insurance for your short-term rental listed on Vrbo, Airbnb, or Booking.com can be risky. You need vacation rental insurance and may also consider business insurance if you regularly rent out your property. Without these policies, you could face significant costs from damage or liability claims.

Ensuring your property has robust insurance coverage isn't just prudent; it's essential for your peace of mind and confidence as a host. This allows you to focus on what you do best: providing an exceptional experience for your guests. Effective communication plays a crucial role here, ensuring you're accessible to guests nearly 24/7 and promptly addressing their inquiries. 

Vrbo Liability Insurance

When you host guests at your vacation rental property, ensuring their safety becomes your immediate responsibility. However, standard homeowner policies often do not extend liability protection when your property is used for vacation rentals. This makes it crucial to have adequate coverage specifically tailored to address liability issues that may arise during guest stays.

To safeguard your financial security, Vrbo offers a $1 million Liability Insurance program for owners and property managers, provided at no extra cost. This coverage applies to every reservation processed through the Vrbo platform, regardless of where your rental property is located worldwide.

If you currently lack liability insurance for your rental property, Vrbo's policy will be the primary responder if a claim is made against you. For those already covered by a liability policy, Vrbo's program offers an additional $1 million per year in protection, enhancing your overall peace of mind while hosting guests.

What Does Vrbo Insurance Cover?

Curious about your protection? Vrbo's insurance program is designed to cover certain claims that may arise:

  • Accidental Injury: If a traveller is accidentally injured while staying at your rental property, Vrbo's insurance can provide coverage.
  • Third-Party Property Damage: If a traveller accidentally damages the property of a third party (e.g., a neighbour) while staying at your rental property, and the third party files a lawsuit against you, Vrbo's insurance may cover these claims.

However, it's important to note that Vrbo's $1 million Liability Insurance does not cover damage caused by a traveller to your own property. For these situations, a business insurance policy would be necessary to cover the costs of property damage.

Vrbo Damage Deposit 

When you list your rental property on Vrbo, you have the option to implement a damage deposit to protect against potential damages caused by guests. Here’s how it works:

Post-Stay Damage Deposit

You can set a damage deposit amount, and if guests cause damage during their stay, you have up to 14 days after their checkout to file a claim. Vrbo will charge this deposit amount to the guest's credit card used for booking by default.

Upfront Refundable Damage Deposit

Or, you can opt for an upfront refundable damage deposit. This deposit is charged to the guest when they make the booking and is held by Vrbo throughout the booking process and the guest’s stay. If no damage claim is filed within 14 days after checkout, Vrbo refunds the deposit to the guest.

Vrbo Damage Protection

Property Damage Protection is an optional insurance that hosts can offer their guests. It's designed to cover accidental damage to the rental property during their stay, up to a specified coverage amount.

During the booking process, guests will see the option to purchase property damage protection, similar to the refundable deposit. Also, guests can opt for travel insurance that includes Vrbo cancellation coverage, protecting their trip costs in case of cancellations or booking issues.

While hosts can suggest a level of insurance coverage, it's ultimately the guests' decision to opt in during booking. Alternatively, guests can choose to pay the damage protection amount as a refundable deposit instead of a non-refundable charge.

Hosts set the required amount for all types of deposits, which guests can view in the "house rules" section of the listing and during checkout before finalizing their booking.

While guests are responsible for treating the property with care, hosts must ensure their rental space is well-maintained and ready for each stay. Given the workload, many hosts opt to hire a team for cleaning and maintenance to uphold the property's standards and enhance guest satisfaction.

How to File a Vrbo Damage Claim

If you need to file a damage claim with Vrbo, follow these steps:

  • Log in to your Vrbo account and select your rental property.
  • Go to your messages and find the guest's name.
  • Use the "Report damage" option in your conversation.
  • Enter the amount of damage and describe it briefly.
  • Confirm the claim.

Before filing, it's a good idea to contact the guest through Vrbo's messaging to discuss the damage and any evidence, like photos. 

Conclusion 

It's important to have insurance to protect yourself and your assets while renting your property to travellers, as unforeseen accidents can occur. Remember, your homeowner's insurance may not cover renting out your home as a business.

Vrbo insurance for hosts offers basic liability protection but does not cover damages caused by travellers to your property. Therefore, before listing your rental on Vrbo, assess what you need to protect and consider additional vacation home insurance tailored to your short-term rental business.

The Insider @ Houst

The Insider @ Houst

The Insider team at Houst is dedicated to providing up-to-date and relevant information on short-term rentals. If you have hosting inquiries, please write to us at expert@houst.com. For guest inquiries, reach out at guest@houst.com. We are here to help you navigate the world of short lets and look forward to assisting you with your needs.

The Insider @ Houst

The Insider @ Houst

The Insider team at Houst is dedicated to providing up-to-date and relevant information on short-term rentals. If you have hosting inquiries, please write to us at expert@houst.com. For guest inquiries, reach out at guest@houst.com. We are here to help you navigate the world of short lets and look forward to assisting you with your needs.

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