The last guests who stayed at my Airbnb were a couple celebrating their anniversary. As a host, I wanted to do something special for them, so I considered leaving them a complimentary bottle of champagne as a gift and a thank you for staying at my rental.
I know that many Airbnb hosts like to provide complimentary alcohol for their guests. Some hosts make their own wine or brew their own beer and enjoy hearing feedback from their guests. Providing complimentary alcohol is a nice gesture and is often appreciated by guests. This idea however, got me thinking about the possible legal ramifications and liabilities that may go along with providing alcohol in your Airbnb rental.
I found out that Airbnb’s Host Protection Insurance does not cover hosts for alcohol liability. After some research however, I found an insurance company, Proper Insurance, who provides alcohol liability coverage under their short-term rental policies. Get a 5-minute quote HERE.
Should you provide alcohol at my Airbnb for guests?
You should only provide alcohol for you Airbnb guests if you are sure your guests are above the legal drinking age and you have an insurance policy that covers you for liability in the event of an alcohol related incident. Airbnb’s Host Protection Insurance excludes coverage for liquor liability. You will need to carry additional insurance that provides short term rental insurance including alcohol liability coverage.
Airbnb’s Host Protection Insurance & Alcohol
Most Airbnb hosts are covered by Host Protection Insurance from Airbnb. This policy will cover you for legal liability relating to bodily injury or property damage because of an event that happens during a guest’s stay at your rental.
Although Airbnb’s Host Protection Insurance is great coverage to have, you should carefully read through this policy to understand in which events and circumstances you are covered. Airbnb’s HPI Program limits liability in certain situations. Some exclusions include:
- Injuries or damage from aircraft, autos, and mobile equipment
- Assault and battery
- Injuries or damage from Chinese drywall
- Communicable diseases
- Electronic data
- Expected of intended injury
- Injury or damages due to alcohol
Under Airbnb’s HPI program, an Airbnb host can be held liable for injury or damages related to the consumption of alcohol if the host caused or contributed to the intoxication of any person, provided alcohol to a person under the legal drinking age or to someone who was already under the influence of alcohol, or violated a statute that regulates alcohol.
This means, that if you leave your guest a complimentary bottle of wine, even if they are of legal drinking age, you could be held liable for injury or damages that occur because you “contributed to the intoxication” of your guests.
Does Proper Insurance Cover Alcohol?
If you would like to have the option to provide alcohol to your Airbnb guests but still want to enjoy the peace of mind that comes from being covered in the event of an injury, you will need additional insurance that goes above and beyond Airbnb’s HPI Program.
Airbnb rentals and other short-term rentals raise unique issues in the insurance world. These properties are considered to be “triple use” properties. The property is either rented by guests, used by the owner for personal use, or vacant. Each one of these situations requires different insurance needs and regular homeowners’ insurance will not completely cover you or your property.
Proper Insurance is the leading insurance company in the United States for short-term rental insurance. They are backed by Lloyd’s of London who are actually the same underwriters for Airbnb’s HPI Program. Proper will cover vacation homes, townhouses, condos, duplexes, cabins, cottages, and apartments so no matter what type of property your rental is, you will be covered.
Proper Insurance removes occupancy restrictions and vacancy clauses so it doesn’t matter what your rental property is being used for—guests, personal, or vacant, you are always covered.
Proper understands that short-term rentals like Airbnb rentals don’t fit the normal insurance mold. They work with Lloyd’s of London to specially tailor insurance policies that specifically meet the needs of hosts of short-term rentals.
Under a Proper Insurance policy for short-term rentals, you will benefit from the following coverage:
- Special cause of loss for the building and everything inside
- Replacement cost valuation
- $1,000,000 of commercial liability insurance standard
- Optional $2,000,000 of commercial liability insurance
- No limits on damages caused by guests
- No limit on theft by a guest
- No limit on vandalism by a guest
- Liquor liability coverage for the host
- Liability extended to amenities like pools, hot tubs, bicycles, exercise equipment, small watercraft and more
- Bed bug enhancement which triggers lost business income
When you are covered by Proper Insurance, if you provide alcohol to guests and they become intoxicated and injury themselves Proper’s policy would respond to any arising damage or injury. Keep in mind however, that some states require you to have a license to furnish or sell alcohol in your jurisdiction, so you would have to check on that.
Get a 5-Minute Proper Insurance quote HERE.
What is an Airbnb Experience?
Airbnb Experiences is a program that was launched by Airbnb in 2016 that allows hosts to set up fun, interesting events, and activities for guests. This allows Airbnb hosts to increase their revenue while providing guests with an experience they may not have otherwise had.
Some of the most popular Airbnb Experiences include:
- Meditation classes
- Cooking classes
- Hiking tours
- Classes and workshops
- Yoga classes
- Wine tasting
- Food tasting
- Historical walking tours
Just like hosting an Airbnb rental, an experience host may need to have a business license especially if their experience involves alcohol like a wine tasting.
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Airbnb Experiences that Involve Alcohol
Every state and city will have different requirements and rules relating to providing and consuming alcohol. It is important that you are always in compliance with your local laws when you consider introducing alcohol to an Airbnb Experience.
If you plan on including alcohol during an Airbnb experience, there are a few things you must consider. You should always keep safety as your number one priority. Before planning your experience, think about these issues:
- Are your guests all above the legal drinking age?
- Who will be providing transportation to and from the experience?
- Will the experience involve the operation of any vehicles or equipment?
- Will you be responsible for anything your guests do after the experience?
Generally, if your experience involves the consumption of alcohol at a place that is licensed to serve alcohol, like a vineyard or brewery, you will not need your own licenses. However, if the experience involves the consumption of alcohol in a public venue like a park, you will likely need to abide by regulations and restrictions depending on the laws in your area.
As a host, providing your guests with complimentary alcohol can be a great gesture. A couple celebrating an anniversary will appreciate that bottle of champagne waiting on the kitchen counter for them, and a nice bottle of Merlot is the perfect addition to a welcome basket. Surprising your guests with a token of your appreciation will most likely earn you some favorable reviews and returning customers.
However, it is important that you are protected in the event that an alcohol related incident occurs on your property. Airbnb’s Host Protection Insurance does not cover alcohol liability. You will need to seek additional coverage from an insurance company like Proper Insurance to be sure that you and your property are fully covered and free from liability.