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Holiday let insurance

Find insurance for all types of short-term letting with Pikl[1]

Short term let insurance for your Airbnb and more

The growth of short-term property letting is best typified by the incredible success of AirBnb that now has over 225,000 UK listings and has welcomed over 8million guests in the UK.*

However, despite the growth many individuals are unaware of the specialist insurance needed sometimes for this activity which is also known as ‘Host Insurance’. Host Insurance provides specific cover for all short-term letting activity such as:

  • Letting out a holiday home on a short-term basis for personal use or paying guests
  • Letting out a room, annex or entire property on Airbnb or similar platforms
  • Landlords with short term tenants (typically less than 6 months)
  • Letting out a car parking space to others

Many assume the above short-term letting activity will be covered by their traditional home or landlord insurance policies, however, this is not always the case and insurers may not pay out on claims relating to theft, accidents or damages that occur in the property or the properties occupants during a guest stay.

Differences between Host insurance, Home insurance and Landlord insurance

Knowing the differences means you can find out exactly kind of cover you need. If you have home or landlord insurance, you may already be covered for certain eventualities, so check your policy documents first.

Host insurance
Home insurance
Landlord insurance

Specialist host insurance will cover landlords who let their property to paying guests.

It will normally cover claims for guest injuries and property loss, or damage caused by hosting activities. It may also include cover for:

  • Fires caused by a guest
  • Escape of water caused by a guest
  • Accidental or malicious damage caused by a guest
  • Third-party property damage caused by guests

You won’t be covered for claims that come under a standard home insurance policy, like cover for damage due to fallen trees or a flood, for example.

You also won’t be covered for claims arising from expected costs for things such as wear and tear, cleaning and fumigation, or small breakages or accidents that would be covered by a damage deposit.

If the accommodation is going to be unoccupied for a long time, it could be worth considering unoccupied home insurance.

Key points

  • Can be an add-on to existing home insurance or one policy covering both your home and any letting activity
  • Cover damages caused by paying guests so you can swiftly replace items to mitigate downtime on your listing.
  • Doesn’t cover aspects that standard home insurance does

Standard home insurance policies tend not to cover you for commercial use of your property – whether that’s letting a room or letting your driveway. Such usage will probably invalidate your policy.

Home insurance policies also tend not to cover you for theft where there was no forced entry (for example, theft by a guest). However, dedicated host cover should include malicious damage and theft where there’s no forced entry.

Generally you’ll still need a home insurance policy, as host insurance only offers supplemental cover if you let out your home to paying guests.

Make sure you read the policy details carefully before purchasing to ensure you’re covered for what you need.

Compare home insurance

Key points

  • Home insurance doesn’t tend to cover commercial use
  • So it won’t cover damage caused by your guests
  • You’ll still need standard home insurance to cover non-guest damage

Generally a landlord insurance policy will cover you for a specific type of tenant and a specified amount of time (usually six months) but you would also need normal home insurance to cover your personal possessions.

Landlord policies can also be expensive, so purchasing a dedicated host insurance might be more cost effective and ensure you have the cover you need.

Compare landlord insurance

Key points

  • Landlord insurance only covers certain types of tenancies
  • You’ll still need home insurance to cover the building and any personal possessions
  • Dedicated host insurance might be more cost effective for Airbnb-type letting

I’m letting my property on Airbnb, wont I be covered by their ‘host Protection Insurance’?

While Airbnb’s host insurance aims to cover you in the event of property damage, it’s not an insurance contract. This means you may not have suitable cover for damage due to hosting or guest activity as you’re not able to go to the FCA should something go wrong.

It won’t cover communal areas or loss or theft of keys either. If you get in to a dispute with a guest, Airbnb will ask you to try and resolve the matter with the guest first, which may not be appropriate in the case of criminal activity or personal injury.

The Host Protection Insurance Programme unfortunately won’t cover you for intentional acts including assault, accusations of slander, damage to electronic data or any accidents involving vehicles.

If you’re a host, you should investigate independent insurance to cover your valuables such as jewellery, artwork, or collectibles which only have limited protection under the Host Insurance Programme. You may also want to tidy away your most precious possessions when you’re hosting, to be on the safe side.

Airbnb asks all hosts to "review and understand the terms of their insurance policy and what it covers and does not cover”.

What do I need to do before becoming a host?

Before deciding to host paying guests, you should:

  1. Check with your mortgage provider

    Check whether you’re allowed paying lodgers with your landlord or mortgage provider

  2. Check your home insurance

    Check your home insurance – it probably won’t cover paying guests

  3. Health and safety

    Make sure you have suitable smoke alarms, carbon monoxide monitors and furniture. Give your property a good clean too

  4. Check your numbers

    Work out your damage deposit and set the letting price

If you’re living in London, you’ll need to bear in mind that if you’re letting your entire place out short-term, you’ll only be allowed to take guests for a total of 90 nights per year under the 2015 Deregulation Act
According to Painsmith

Frequently asked questions

  • Can I cancel my policy?

    You have 14 days to cancel your policy. As long as you haven’t made a claim, your policy has not started already, and you’ve purchased annual cover, you will be refunded the full cost of your policy.

    If your policy has started and you cancel within the first 14 days, you will receive a refund on a pro-rata basis.

  • Do I have to pay an excess?

    There is likely to be an excess on your host insurance policy, usually up to £250, however read your policy carefully as the excess may differ for different types of claims (these will be shown on your policy schedule).

Related insurance guides

[1]Gocompare.com introduces customers to Pikl, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Gocompare.coms relationship with Pikl is limited to that of a business partnership, no common ownership or control rights exist between us.

[2]Worldwide guest arrivals to Airbnb accommodation between 24 December to 31 December 2018, compared to the same period in 2019

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