Airbnb Host Guarantee Scam: No Payment for Damages

On or about September 5th, a tenant in my Hamptons home reached out telling me he accidentally broke a shower handle in my guest house. A few hours later, I sent in a handyman who notified me that the guest house was completely flooded as a result of the damage to the shower handle and the guests hadn’t even put down towels to dry the wooden floor which, in turn, was soaked in water.

I immediately reached out to Airbnb asking them to please notify their insurance provider and assist me. As a courtesy, I also offered to contact my own insurance (note: Airbnb asked me to lie and not disclose that an Airbnb guest caused the damage). Airbnb assured me that they’d pay any difference or deductible I may incur.

My insurance ended up confirming and estimating the flood damage at 21k (stating they’d reimburse 10k but not the deductible of 2.5k and a sum that they attributed to amortization, essentially because my guest house was built ten years ago and wasn’t brand new). In the meantime, Airbnb neglected to send in any adjuster, even if I repeatedly asked them to do so, and put me in touch with about 15 different anonymous individuals with no last names or phone numbers to reach.

After three months and when the remediation work had been finished for over a month (and after having reviewed all my final paperwork and invoices, which they knew well), Airbnb notified me that they decided to send an adjuster. The adjuster, in turn, called me stating that it was ‘crazy’, ‘in bad faith, and ‘unheard of’ that Airbnb would send him in so late and to simply verify that the work was done and that’s not something an adjuster should do. Instead, he told me, Airbnb should have sent in someone immediately, which they didn’t. Following that, I received an anonymous rejection of my claim, essentially stating that Airbnb wouldn’t cover what my insurance wouldn’t and claiming that my insurance didn’t recognize the damage (which is a lie as, in fact, they covered almost half of it).

I have loved Airbnb and I still believe in their business, but those practices are brutal and really show how unsafe hosting can become with some (terrifying) guests like these (who also smoked marijuana and disrupted an entire neighborhood by the way). I ended up spending 11000 USD of my own money and numerous days of my own work trying to remediate this and desperately trying to speak to multiple anonymous Airbnb employees.

All in all, I still believe in Airbnb but please don’t rely on the insurance. Unfortunately, some guests can destroy your homes and Airbnb won’t help you at all. They’ll instead put you through anonymous employees to make your life a miserable hell in the hope you’ll give up eventually.

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