A bad guest can completely ruin a hosting experience, and though it’s rare, it does happen. Luckily, it’s your home, so you have complete control over what happens in it.
If anything happens with a guest, Airbnb has some great protection policies that should cover you in most scenarios. You should familiarize yourself with your options for handling a bad guest, so you’re not penalized with a fee, or worse, a poor review.
Airbnb Host Guarantee vs. Host Protection Insurance
Airbnb offers a Host Guarantee that covers damage up to $1,000,000. This covers damage caused by guests in both their unit and your property, though there are some restrictions.
They also offer Host Protection Insurance that covers third party property and bodily damage. Keep in mind that their Host Insurance policy is a secondary policy only. So if your Airbnb isn’t covered by your standard homeowner’s insurance, Airbnb’s policy is not effective.
The Host Guarantee and Protection Insurance are offered to all hosts without opting in or paying an extra fee. Anyone who hosts a unit on Airbnb is automatically covered by both (as long as you also have regular homeowner’s insurance too!)
Host cancellation policy
Airbnb has a pretty strict cancellation policy for hosts as to not “disrupt guests’ plans and impact confidence in the Airbnb community.” They allow you one cancellation in the first six months of hosting. After that, they assess a $50 fee if the cancellation is more than 7 days from check-in and a $100 fee if the cancellation is less than 7 days from check-in.
If you cancel before check-in, Airbnb will also leave an automatic review that states you cancelled a reservation. If cancellation is after check-in, the guest can leave a public review.
You also cannot have another reservation for the dates you cancelled. Cancelling more than three times in a year may result in account suspension, and hosts cannot reach Superhost status for one year after their most recent cancellation.
The only way Airbnb won’t charge you a fee is if there are extenuating circumstances such as a major illness, a death in your immediate family, inclement weather, or another circumstance as determined by Airbnb.
If something comes up, encourage your guest to cancel on their end. If you have a flexible cancellation policy, they can cancel with a full refund up to 24 hours before their check-in. Guest cancellations don’t reflect badly on you or the guest, so it’s the best way to handle a last minute situation.
Some insurance companies will cover Airbnb guest damage, but you’ll need to check with your insurance provider to check your individual policy. It’s important that you have an insurance policy that covers Airbnbs/short-term rentals. If your primary policy doesn’t cover you, Airbnb’s policies won’t either.