Airbnb’s “AirCover: Top-to-bottom protection” is a load of lies. Most of what is on the website is completely untrue. “Host damage protection covers you if your place or belongings ever get damaged by a guest during an Airbnb stay” — that’s the protection promised by Airbnb. The host damage protection Airbnb says it has is 90% of the reason I felt comfortable enough to list on Airbnb. But as I’m seeing from all the comments, it’s all completely untrue and just a scam from Airbnb to get us hosts to list with them.
I had a guest damage the washing machine making it completely inoperable. After submitting every single thing required as listed under the reimbursement process on the host damage protection page, I was told that wasn’t enough and they needed a “damage report from a reputable company.” They then told me that the first one submitted wasn’t good enough because it didn’t say with “certainty” how the guest broke it.
It took me almost a month of going through every repair company in the city to find one that was willing to guess with “certainty” how the guest might have broken it. Most companies either told me that wasn’t their job, or they didn’t want to guess in writing due to liability issues with the third parties involved. After getting a sufficient damage report submitted, I was told “we will proceed with the payout.”
“Oh great,” I thought.
Five days later I’m told because the washing machine was ten years old that it has no value and they will pay $0 for its repair or replacement. Why did they jerk me around for a month to get a damage report if they had no intention of paying in the first place? Then said they contacted their supervisor and will pay 20% of the repair.
Basically the fine print under host damage protection means for my listing that, with the exception of the new fridge and hotplate, the guest could destroy every other appliance and piece of furniture in my unit and Aircover would pay me $0 to repair or replace the damaged items because of the “proper deduction for obsolescence and physical depreciation.” This wouldn’t have bothered me so much if they were just honest up front about it, instead of telling hosts lies like “host damage protection covers you if your place or belongings ever get damaged by a guest during an Airbnb stay.”
In Canada I could not find a home insurance company that would cover anything to do with Airbnb. I had an almost impossible time trying to find insurance that would cover just me because of the Airbnb rental under the same roof. I finally did, but they won’t cover anything related to the rental. I foolishly thought that would be fine because Airbnb offers and brags about their “$1M damage protection,” which doesn’t actually exist for hosts.
Lesson learned. I will keep looking to find insurance to cover my listing. In the meantime I’ve taken down my listing and am trying to decide if I even keep using a company like this that lies up front to their hosts. I will probably end up switching to another company that is at least honest up front about what they cover and don’t cover.