Airbnb has been growing in popularity over the last decade as a fantastic option for unique, convenient, or inexpensive accommodations for travelers. Guests can choose from over 5.6 million listings in over 100,000 cities around the world. One issue Airbnb guests often face however, is the rigid refund policy. Without travel insurance, if a guest is forced to cancel a trip unexpectedly, they face losing their entire investment for Airbnb accommodations.
Airbnb rentals range from budget-friendly to luxurious accommodations. Still, no matter what you are spending for your vacation rental, you want to ensure that you can recoup the money you’ve invested in your vacation if the unexpected should happen.
Travelers can encounter many mishaps like flight delays and cancellations, unexpected illnesses, injuries, or arriving at an Airbnb and realizing the property is not what they expected. Although rare, there have been occasions of guests arriving at a property only to discover it has been double-booked, or even worse, a scam. Travelers need to be sure that they are protected in the event of unexpected travel disruption.
Does Airbnb Have Insurance for Guests?
No. Airbnb does not provide insurance for guests. Guests who book with Airbnb are protected by Airbnb’s Guest Refund Policy that will qualify them for reimbursement for their rental under certain circumstances. In addition, Airbnb provides guests with several resources to ensure their safety and satisfaction while renting with Airbnb. To be fully protected while traveling, guests should consider purchasing travel insurance.
What is Airbnb’s Guest Refund Policy?
Generally, refunds for Airbnb rentals are hard to come by and must be negotiated with the host. On some occasions, however, a guest can request a refund through Airbnb’s Guest Refund Policy. The refund policy is only available for guests who book and pay through Airbnb and suffer a “travel issue.” Airbnb defines travel issues as:
- The host cancels the booking last minute
- The host doesn’t allow the guest access to the property
- The property is not clean and sanitary
- There are safety or health hazards
- Vermin or pets are living in the space
Airbnb also considers inaccurate descriptions of the property as a travel issue. Incorrect descriptions can include:
- Size of the rental (number of bedrooms, bathrooms, square footage)
- Type of accommodation (the whole house, shared, one room)
- Advertised amenities that aren’t provided or do not work (hot tubs, appliances, air conditioning)
- The physical location differs from the listing
If a guest experiences any travel issues defined by Airbnb, they need to contact Airbnb immediately. Depending on the circumstances and the amount of time that has passed since check-in, Airbnb can either issue a refund or assist the guest with finding a comparable rental.
When Can a Guest Make a Claim Under the Refund Policy?
To be able to make a claim under the Airbnb refund policy, the guest must:
- Be the person who booked the reservation
- Report the issue to Airbnb within 24 hours of discovering the issue
- Provide Airbnb with evidence like photos or videos
- Respond to any requests by Airbnb for additional information
- Can have directly or indirectly caused the travel issue
- Must try to remedy the problem with the host
- Must agree to vacate the property for reimbursement or rebooking
It is important to remember that even though guests can benefit from this refund policy, what constitutes as a travel issue and how the guest is to be reimbursed is entirely at the discretion of Airbnb.
This policy leaves guests open to the risk of not being reimbursed for travel issues and doesn’t provide any protection for guests who may experience an unexpected event that disrupts their trip.
Are you feeling nervous about using Airbnb for the first time? Check out our article, 5 Tips for Airbnb Travel Safety, before taking off on your next vacation.
What is Travel Insurance?
The best way to ensure that you, your family, and your vacation accommodations are protected when traveling is to purchase travel insurance from a reputable travel insurance company like World Nomads. Travel insurance will help cover your travel expenses if something unexpected happens.
Most travel insurance policies typically cover:
- Unexpected cancellations
- Emergency medical and dental care
- Emergency evacuations
- Loss, theft, or damage to bags and personal belongings
A more comprehensive policy like the ones offered by World Nomads Insurance also covers:
- Trip interruption
- Trip delays
- Baggage delays
- Rental car damage
- Accidental death and dismemberment
- Non-medical emergency transportation services
Travel insurance not only protects your vacation and money you’ve invested into travel, but it also protects you and your travel companions. Depending on your health insurance policy, you may not be covered internationally or while participating in certain events.
The insurance offered by World Nomads will protect you if an accident occurs. World Nomad’s Travel Insurance specifically protects travelers even when they participate in dangerous adventure activities like shark cage diving, hot air ballooning, or taking part in the running of the bulls!
How Much Does Travel Insurance Cost and How Much Does It Cover?
Travel insurance policy rates and coverage limits will vary based on the insurance company, the covered trip, and activities planned during the trip.
World Nomad Travel Insurance offers competitive rates and coverage limits in two convenient plans, the Standard Plan and the Explorer Plan, so you can choose the amount of coverage that works for your trip.
Under the Standard Plan, covered travelers will receive:
- Up to $2,500 for trip protection for unexpected cancellations
- Up to $100,000 for emergency medical or dental costs
- Up to $300,000 for emergency medical evacuation and transportation
- Up to $1,000 for damage, loss, or theft of bags and gear
Under the Explorer Plan, the coverage limits increase to:
- $10,000 for trip protection
- $100,000 for emergency medical
- $500,000 for emergency evacuation
- $3,000 for bags and gear
To find out exactly how much your travel insurance policy will cost, you will have to visit World Nomads and provide your trip and traveler details. World Nomad will give you your Standard Plan quote and your Explorer Plan quote within minutes.
If you’re an Airbnb host looking for extra insurance for your rental, read this article about which insurance companies provide short-term rental insurance.
How Does Travel Insurance Help Me with Airbnb?
Airbnb doesn’t provide guests with a travel insurance policy, and the refund policy can only help you after you’ve arrived at the Airbnb and experience an issue. If for some reason, you need to cancel your trip last minute due to an illness or death in the family, a travel insurance policy will cover your expenses – like the Airbnb rental.
World Nomad provides insured travelers with trip cancellation insurance. If you need to cancel your travel plans last minute and the reason falls under a covered circumstance, even if Airbnb won’t refund your money, your insurance will.
Reasons to cancel a trip that are covered under most policies include:
- Sickness or injury
- Death or illness of a family member
- Work emergency
- Jury duty
- Natural disasters
- Terrorist attacks
Reasons that are NOT covered include:
- Pre-existing medical conditions
- Relationship conflicts (break-up, divorce)
- Change of mind
- Not obtaining travel documents in time
- Fear of travel
How Am I Protected by Airbnb Without Insurance?
Even though Airbnb does not provide insurance for guests, they still have several policies to protect guests and ensure a safe and enjoyable travel experience.
All Airbnb hosts and guests are run through a global screening system against terrorist and sanctions watchlists. Hosts and guests in the US are subject to background checks, ensuring a safe travel experience for all parties.
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Payment, Communication, and Booking through Airbnb
Airbnb allows guests to book, pay, and communicate with hosts all through the Airbnb app. This keeps transactions secure and communication documented. As long as a guest conducts all business within the app, Airbnb can help if something goes wrong.
Guest and host profiles let people get to know each other before booking. You can see photos of a host and read a little about them and their background before booking. If a host or guest doesn’t have a completed profile, it is a red flag, and you should contact that person for more information.
Both guests and hosts can review each other after a stay at an Airbnb. Reviews allow hosts and guests to warn other users about potential scams or bad experiences.
Even though Airbnb offers a refund policy and multiple safeguards to ensure guest satisfaction, they do not provide travel insurance. To protect against last-minute cancellations, delays, and unexpected illness or injuries, travelers must invest in a travel insurance policy.