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New home insurance product launches for Airbnb-style hosts

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Admiral has become the first major insurer to offer specific cover for people who use home sharing sites such as Airbnb.

Customers will have the option of adding host cover to any home insurance policies taken out over the phone.

The protection will cover anyone renting out their main residence through Wimdu, onefinestay, Homestay and Airbnb. It is not available on holiday homes.

The policy term lasts a maximum of 90 days and provides cover for up to two adult paying guests per bedroom during each rental period.

Home sharing sites, which allow homeowners to rent out rooms and property short term to members of the public, have grown in popularity in recent years.

However, there has been confusion about how using such sites could affect home insurance policies, with claims home-hosts risk invalidating their insurance or breaking the terms of their lease or mortgage.

According to Admiral, just 4% of homeowners rent out their property via home sharing sites but as many as half would consider it.

Admiral’s move into the ‘home host’ market follows the launch in March of a pay-as-you-go insurance product from Belong Safe, which enables people who rent out a room in their home, their entire property through Airbnb-style schemes or who home-swap to get house insurance on a day-by-day basis.

Most home-sharing sites also offer their own host protection but these often come with limitations and exclusions.

The Airbnb ‘host guarantee’ for example, which is not an insurance policy, offers £600,000 worth of protection against damage to your property but excludes: cash and securities, pets, personal liability, shared or common areas and jewellery, collectibles and artwork.

Jean-Baptiste Limare, head of sharing economy at Admiral, said: “Offering host insurance is just one way Admiral is embracing the sharing economy and encouraging it to grow. We are also supporting car sharing through easyCar Club and Rentecarlo, and want peer-to-peer sharing to become more commonplace and popular.”

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