What is vacation rental damage insurance?

Vacation rental damage insurance provides coverage in case you or the guests traveling with you cause damage to the property you’re staying in. It offers financial protection and peace of mind in case accidental damage occurs while on vacation.

Why should I get vacation rental damage insurance?

Short-term vacation rentals are on the rise, and with good reason. Instead of being stuck in a hotel room, when you stay in a rental property, you often have more space, can more easily travel with friends or family, and get the opportunity to stay in unique locations, like a mountain cabin, oceanfront villa, or a city high-rise.

Companies like Airbnb and VRBO have popularized this type of accommodation and made it easy to find vacation rentals in most cities around the world.

But the fact of the matter is that when you stay in a vacation rental, you’re staying in someone’s home, or apartment. If something gets damaged or destroyed, you’ll be on the hook for all the costs.

Whether you’ve simply lost the keys and the whole home needs to be re-keyed, accidentally broke a window while playing with the kids, or managed to start a fire while cooking dinner, you’ll want to make sure you’re protected.

While most vacation rental booking sites and property owners require a damage deposit, it’s usually insufficient to cover major damage. Vacation rental damage deposits are usually no more than 10% of the total rental cost, and sometimes are simply a flat rate as low as $250. It’s easy to see how a major incident during your rental could exceed your damage deposit amount.

Will my existing homeowners insurance policy or renters policy protect me?

Most homeowners and rental insurance policies provide two types of coverage: personal property coverage and liability coverage. You may be able to use your personal property coverage if your personal belongings are damaged while on vacation. But it won’t cover damage to the property owned by others, such as your vacation rental. And the liability coverage, which usually protects you in the case of property damage or a guest injuring themselves while visiting your home, likely excludes damage to a property rented by you, such as a vacation rental property.

I booked my vacation rental through Airbnb or Vrbo. Will their insurance cover me?

The insurance policies carried by online vacation rental sites primarily cover the host, not the guest. These sites exist to help connect vacation rental owners with renters and facilitate booking and payment. They may offer some level of insurance protection as an optional add-on, but it’s a good idea to shop around and check for alternatives.

Is anything other than property damage covered?

When you purchase an overall travel insurance policy and add on vacation rental damage insurance, you’ll enjoy other key benefits that are helpful when the unexpected happens. For example, many vacation rentals require you to pay for your entire stay up front, sometimes months before your arrival date. If your travel insurance policy includes trip cancellation and trip interruption, you’ll be able to get your money back if you have to cancel your trip for a covered reason in the days, week, or months leading up to your arrival, or if you have to leave the trip early due to a covered reason.

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