Renting your home on Airbnb? Make sure you're covered
Thousands of Airbnb hosts could be leaving themselves hugely financially exposed, insurance brokers have warned.
More than 12,000 people rent out their property in Ireland on a short or medium-term basis on Airbnb.
However, Deirdre McCarthy, of Insuremyhouse.ie, has warned temporary landlords they may not be fully covered.
"Regular home insurance policies do not cover Airbnb hosting activity," she said.
"There seems to be a lack of awareness amongst Airbnb hosts of their obligation to make the necessary amendments to their home insurance policy to reflect their sharing economic activity.
"Unfortunately, homeowners have seen claims denied in recent years because they did not do this."
Insuremyhouse.ie said that in the event of a claim, even if it is completely unrelated to the Airbnb hosting, an insurer can decide to reject the application on the basis of non-disclosure of the Airbnb use of the property.
"People have been left not only stunned, but significantly out of pocket because their claims have been denied as a result of inadequate cover," Ms McCarthy said.
"We really want to inform people and make it abundantly clear that if they rent out their home through Airbnb, then they must notify their insurer.
"Such activities would be classified as an additional risk by insurers - which is understandable considering 47pc of hosts rent out their entire properties, which means they have to vacate the home for the duration of the visitor's stay.
"While it might be a great way to top up your income it's important that you do it correctly," Ms McCarthy said.
"People could really leave themselves financial exposed if they don't meet their obligations."
The typical Airbnb host in Ireland earns €2,600 a year, renting out space in their home, for about 40 nights every year.
There are now some 22,000 host properties listed for Ireland on the Airbnb platform.