When a guest is injured in an Airbnb, the host or Airbnb may be liable. The guest may recover compensation from the property owner or directly from Airbnb through the Host Protection Insurance.
When Is an Airbnb Owner Liable?
An Airbnb host uses his or her property for business purposes, thereby subjecting himself or herself to liability. The property owner owes guests a duty of care to keep the property reasonably safe. He or she should maintain the premises and quickly fix dangerous situations or give notices of such conditions.
The owner is liable for injuries to guests caused by unsafe conditions, such as:
- Broken handrails
- Defective locks on doors or windows
- Slippery surfaces
- Hazardous substances or appliances
- Negligent security resulting in criminal acts
Even if the host is a tenant, he or she can be held liable for accidents and injuries caused by dangerous conditions not known by the property owner.
Recovering Directly From Airbnb
Most homeowners’ insurance policies exclude commercial use of properties. Consequently, they may not cover injuries that occur in homes that are regularly listed on Airbnb. Injured guests can, however, make a claim through the Airbnb Host Protection Insurance. The policy provides up to $1 million in liability coverage for hosts. It protects hosts against third-party claims for property damage or bodily injuries.
The Airbnb Host Policy has numerous exclusions. It does not apply to injuries from intentional violent acts, mold, pollution, and product liability claims.
Getting a Fair Settlement for Injuries
Although many guests have had great Airbnb stays, some reservations have gone horribly wrong. Different types of accidents have occurred at Airbnb homes, even leading to cities like Chicago enacting regulations to address the safety concerns. There have been several cases of violence and shootings at Chicago area Airbnb rentals. One way that victims could give themselves the best chance of having their claims paid is to speak to personal injury lawyers about the potential defendants before pursuing compensation for damages.
Homeowners may not have money to cover a guest’s injuries even when they are liable. Additionally, Airbnb only offers compensation for specific situations. For those reasons, the best way an injured guest can get fair value for the injuries suffered is by consulting a personal injury lawyer experienced with Airbnb claims.