We have been with Airbnb for three years and most of our experiences have been good up until now. As provided in a formal feedback from my wife, guests buy trip insurance to cover crisis situations and illness. Airbnb is effectively negating this avenue by offering refunds at the host’s expense. It is completely unacceptable as a policy and puts the hosts in an untenable situation of loss that cannot be recouped for last minute cancellations – which, by the way, is why trip insurance exists.
Airbnb is hurting the small business owners who are the reason Airbnb is in business at all. Shame on them for allowing this and for interfering with legitimate trip insurance companies who protect the owners as well as the traveler when situations happen outside of either parties control. Airbnb clearly is not protecting owners and their businesses with this kind of policy. If you read some of the posts from hosts you will see what I am talking about.
We had a guest that was going to check into our property on December 6, 2017 and at the last minute something happened. They cancelled their reservation, and Airbnb refunded their money back to them. Now we are out over $600 to cover our mortgage and other fees and there is no time to rerent the property. I understand things happen that are out of a person’s control that cannot be helped. Thus the reason for trip insurance.
Suggestion: if you want to act like an insurance company and refund guests their money then charge a fee ($35 – $45 to be competitive with trip insurance companies) for that service, put it in a separate account, refund them out of that money, and offer it on the Airbnb website. Both guests and hosts will be happier. I purchase trip insurance just for that purpose. I read about another guest that cancelled at the last minute because they didn’t plan early enough and didn’t have their visa information in order. Airbnb refunded their money, costing the host a month’s rent that couldn’t be replaced.
If a driver is driving without insurance they are taking on the full responsibility if they get into an accident. You don’t have insurance because you plan on an accident, but to protect you just in case you do. Please protect your hosts and guests, as we pay your salaries.