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When I first became an Airbnb host and began renting out my properties, my biggest concern was what happens if my Airbnb gets robbed? Although it is rare, when you rent out your property, you are opening yourself up to the threat of theft.
If you are hosting an Airbnb, you can take a couple of simple steps and precautions to protect yourself from theft at your Airbnb. Keep reading to learn about how I ensure that my Airbnb and the property inside are safe.
So What Happens if Your Airbnb Gets Robbed? Here’s What You Do:
If a guest steals from your Airbnb, you should immediately report the stolen items to Airbnb and your local law enforcement agency. You will need to create a detailed list of all missing property and gather proof, like receipts, proving the property was yours. Although Airbnb provides some protection against theft at your Airbnb, the only way to ensure you will be compensated for your stolen property is to have a comprehensive insurance plan covering theft.
Theft Insurance for Short-Term Rentals
Several insurance companies cater to short-term rentals, and Airbnb even provides hosts with some built-in protection. These policies are often very restrictive and are filled with numerous exceptions and conditions.
Proper Insurance is one of the only companies that offer comprehensive coverage that protects you and your property if your Airbnb gets robbed.
Unlike its competitors, Proper Insurance offers policies that treat your rental property as a business with commercial coverage. Proper Insurance can create a customized insurance policy that will protect your Airbnb without the occupation restrictions imposed on most homeowner policies.
For a more in-depth look at Proper Insurance and everything this insurance company has to offer, check out our review article HERE.
Airbnb Host Guarantee and Host Protection Insurance
As an Airbnb host, you are automatically covered by Airbnb’s two protection policies:
- Airbnb Host Guarantee
- Host Protection Insurance
These programs provide basic coverage to Airbnb hosts, so if you haven’t invested in a third-party insurance policy, don’t worry, you have some protections. New hosts need to read all the terms and conditions of these two policies to understand what is and is not covered.
Airbnb’s Host Guarantee
The Host Guarantee program provides Airbnb hosts with up to $1,000,000 in property protection. This can be used if a guest damages your property, and under certain circumstances, if a guest robs your Airbnb. The Host Guarantee covers:
- Damage to the structure/building caused by guests
- Damage to belongings inside the Airbnb caused by guests
- Damaged caused by a guest’s animal
- Theft by a guest
It is important to understand that the Host Guarantee is not an insurance policy. This program is subject to strict exclusions and restrictions and will not cover the theft of cash or securities, wear and tear damage, or liability for bodily injury.
Even if you have theft insurance through a third-party company like Proper Insurance, you should always report any sign of theft to Airbnb immediately after it happens and before your next rental. This will allow Airbnb to flag the guest and potentially save other hosts from theft or scams.
Host Protection Insurance
In addition to the Host Guarantee, all hosts are automatically covered by Airbnb Host Protection Insurance. Unlike the Host Guarantee, which provides coverage for damages, Protection Insurance provides hosts with liability coverage. This policy will cover costs up to $1,000,000 for bodily injury to guests and damage to property belonging to guests.
Host protection Insurance does not protect a host from theft, robbery, or burglary.
Although these two programs provide some protection to hosts, I recommend investing in an insurance policy that you know you can count on. With a Proper Insurance policy customized for short-term rentals, you won’t have to worry about what is and isn’t covered, and you won’t be subjected to the numerous restrictions of the Airbnb programs.
A policy from Proper insurance will provide you with protection against theft, commercial liability coverage, and even renter-specific threats like damage and treatment for bed bugs and coverage for loss of rental income.
What Steps Can I Take to Protect My Airbnb from Theft?
As an experienced Airbnb host, I have started taking certain precautions to help protect myself and my properties from theft, scams, and fraud. Here are a couple of things that every host should do when managing an Airbnb:
- Vet your renters- Using Airbnb, you can check your potential renter’s profile and past reviews. This will help give you a good idea of who is staying in your rental. If the profile is incomplete or missing a photo, that is a red flag. In addition to checking out the profile, some insurance companies offer guest vetting in their policies.
- Charge a security deposit- Security deposits don’t only discourage theft but also damage of any kind while on your property. If a guest must pay extra, they will usually do everything in their power to redeem their deposit at the end of the stay.
- Install security cameras- It is against Airbnb policy to have cameras on your rental’s interior, but it is entirely legal to have cameras on the outside of your property. You can have a doorbell camera to see who is coming and going from the rental, and you can even have a camera on your driveway. If a guest is trying to steal a large item, there is a good chance one of these cameras will catch them. This footage will be valuable when filing a police report or insurance claim.
- Remove or lock away expensive items- Some hosts choose to rent a room in their home or their entire home while their away. While this is great for extra income, it leaves your personal property vulnerable. Consider installing a safe in your house for valuables like jewelry or art. You can also lock a bedroom and deem it “off-limits” to guests.
- Avoid bookings from people who live locally- I have learned as a host that when a person who lives locally tries to rent an Airbnb, it is a red flag for a scam. Whether to throw a wild party or rob the rental, a host should always investigate a local renter before accepting the reservation.
Check Out Our Other Articles on Rental Recon:
- What Happens if Your Airbnb Gets Robbed: Protect Yourself from Theft
- Airbnb Guest Wants to Pay Cash : Why This Isn’t a Good Idea…
- Does Airbnb Do Credit Checks?
Steps to Take if You’re Airbnb is Robbed
If a guest has robbed your Airbnb, there are specific steps you should take to make sure you can submit a successful claim to receive compensation for your stolen property. You need to notify Airbnb of your missing items before your next guest checks in. You should also file a report with your local law enforcement agency.
Follow these steps if your Airbnb has been robbed:
Step 1: Verify that your property is actually missing– Sometimes, guests move things around while staying in your rental property. You will obviously notice if a flatscreen TV is missing, but if you believe a smaller trinket has been stolen, make sure you check everywhere in your rental before filing a police report or accusing your guest of theft.
Step 2: Document all missing items- Documentation is essential when facing a robbery. Make sure you have a detailed list and description of everything that was stolen. This will be necessary for both an Airbnb claim and a claim to a third-party insurance company.
Step 3: Gather evidence- As an Airbnb host, the advice I give most often is to save every receipt for items purchased for your Airbnb. Receipts will help prove that the stolen item was yours. I also suggest completing a video walkthrough of your rental every couple of months to document everything inside the unit and the condition of each item.
Step 4: Contact your guest– While you shouldn’t ever accuse your guest of stealing, you can use the Airbnb resolution center to contact them and ask them about the missing property. Accidents happen, and it isn’t uncommon for a guest to mix up property, think that something was complimentary, or misplace an item inside the Airbnb. Using the Airbnb resolution center ensures that all communications are documented.
Step 5: File reports– After verifying that your property is missing, contact Airbnb, local authorities, and your insurance company to report the theft and loss of property.
If you still haven’t invested in a short-term rental insurance policy and need help choosing which company is right for you, check out our article about which companies offer short-term rental insurance.
The Bottom Line
Robberies by Airbnb guests are rare, but they do happen. The best way to protect yourself from theft is to be prepared. You should document all the items in your rental, vet your guests, and, most importantly, invest in an insurance policy that covers theft. While Airbnb’s protection programs for hosts provide some coverage, the only way to ensure you’re protected from all the risks of being an Airbnb host is to be covered by a comprehensive short-term rental insurance policy.