15 Risk Mitigation Tips for Airbnb Hosts
Jill Stuefer

15 Risk Mitigation Tips for Airbnb Hosts

What is an Airbnb?

For travelers, sites like Airbnb are a convenient, web-based platform that provides affordable and flexible alternatives to hotels. For property owners, the tool easily connects various rental units with prospective occupants and makes collecting payments simple and secure. Despite it's convenience and the potential for profit, listing your short-term vacation rental property on sites like Airbnb is not without its risks.  Before renting out your primary home while you're away on vacation, your investment property, your second home, your poolhouse, your a-frame in the woods or any other type of accommodation on listing sites like Airbnb, keep in mind the following 15 tips: 

 

1. Acquire the correct insurance

Correct insurance is key to reducing the risks associated with listing on sites like Airbnb. The moment you list your property for rent on any online listing site, you're considered a business in the eyes of insurance carriers; whether you rent out your property 3 times a year or 30+ weekends a year. Since renting out your home on a short-term basis is considered a business activity, you, therefore, need commercial insurance to make sure you’re protected from the specific risks you’ve now opened yourself up to. With business-related activities like renting out your property, your coverage needs change significantly because the risks involved also change. Most importantly, you’ll quickly discover that your homeowners or landlord policy typically excludes losses related to business operations. Take the time to review your renters or homeowners policy to see if you have adequate coverage in place. Lastly, host liability policies like those offered on listing sites may also leave you vulnerable. Learn more in this guide

2. Complete a home safety inspection

Safety inspections can help Airbnb hosts address risks before they balloon into bigger issues. Before listing your property on Airbnb, complete a thorough home inspection and address all of the safety hazards you identify. Check out this free safety enhancements checklist to discover your property may be at risk and how to reduce it. 

3. Screen all guests

Prior to allowing guests to stay in your home, it's a good idea to check their background. To begin, ensure that prospective guests are verified through your listing site like Airbnb. You can also review any connected social media accounts and read guest references through the site. Above all, trust your instincts. 

4. Set clear rules 

Through Airbnb, you can create guidelines for guests by completing the House Rules, Home Safety Card and House Manual sections of your profile. This allows you to set clear rules for guests around etiquette and safety. Additionally, providing instructions on how to use things like the sauna or the fireplace is not only a renter-friendly move, but it can also reduce the vacation property owner's risk of loss or damage. 

5. Establish occupancy limits

Limiting the number of occupants that can use your property will help ensure that guests are comfortable and safe during their stay. Occupancy limits should take into account the size of the property and local regulations

6. Add a security deposit

Adding a security deposit to your Airbnb listings can lessen the financial blow in the event of damaged property or another incident. 

7. Secure your valuables

When you open your home to guests, there's the potential that valuables could be damaged or stolen. To protect expensive items, consider moving them into a safety deposit box or to a secure off-site location. 

8. Protect sensitive information

Your property isn't the only thing you need to worry about when inviting guests into your home. To help prevent identity theft, make sure that guests cannot gain access to any files (physical or electronic) that contain sensitive personal information. 

9. Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

 Safety equipment like smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should be installed around all the premises to protect guests and your property. Emergency exits should be correctly labeled as well. Bonus Tip! Did you know you can also install a noise detector? While you're away from your property you can still monitor the activity with the help from our friends at Noiseaware. Learn more about turning your vacation rental property into a smart vacation rental property here

10. Child-poof your premises 

It's likely that some of your guests will have children. To protect younger guests, take the time to correctly child-proof your home. 

11. Keep your accommodations maintained 

Good housekeeping can help guests avoid common injuries such as slips and falls. Prior to each stay, examine your home for any new housekeeping issues that must be addressed as well as to conduct as post stay inspection after every guest. 

12. Provide contact information

Always supply your guests with information sheets that indicate local emergency numbers and the nearest hospital. Provide a clear emergency contact number for yourself, as well as backup, for easy guest reference. Also, make clear how you should be contacted if the guest has questions or issues arise. 

13. Supply a first-aid kit

In addition to providing emergency contact information, having a first-aid kit readily available and fully stocked at all times is important to guest safety. 

14. Verify compliance with regulations

Regulations around Airbnb or vacation rental hosting differ depending on your location and the type of accommodation you are renting out. Double-check that you are compliant with local and state laws before using Airbnb or other online listing platforms.

15. Notify those who could be impacted by your guests

When you host guests through Airbnb, there is the potential that neighbors or roommates could be impacted. To avoid unnecessary conflict, let your neighbors or roommates know ahead of time that guests will be using your property.


There’s no doubt the vacation rental industry is booming thanks to listing platforms like Airbnb. Online listing platforms are making it easier than ever to partake in the home-sharing movement. These 15 tips are just the start of your very own success in the vacation rental industry. But while it seems like a no-brainer to use these platforms for growing and generating income, it’s important to remember you cannot fully rely on them for insurance nor correct coverage. As soon as you’ve listed and rented your property, you become a business and need commercial insurance. This may seem daunting, but the good news? The perfect solution exists; comprehensive coverage policy from CBIZ Vacation Rental Insurance.

Click Here for your free coverage comparison during a personal, one-on-one consultation with a vacation rental insurance expert. Protect your success today!

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CBIZ Vacation Rental Insurance, a division of CBIZ Insurance Services,Inc., is the largest insurer of short-term vacation rental properties in the United States. As part of an $850 million New York Stock Exchange traded company (CBZ), we are the first broker to develop specific policy coverage to meet the needs for vacation rental properties and the amenities offered by these businesses. We have insured vacation rental properties since 2002.

The CBIZ Vacation Rental Insurance team knows insurance, specifically the risks and exposures related to short-term vacation rentals.We won't confuse you with technical "insurance speak" ~ our representatives are well versed in explaining your coverage in plain English. With hands-on, personal customer service, we guarantee swift communication and a 24/7 claims team that is ready to respond to your call any time of the day. As specialist in the industry, we leverage our knowledge and passion to ensure you and your business are adequately protected.