Renting out your home or swapping it with others for a cheaper vacation is becoming more popular. But do brokers` clients understand the risks they are taking?
“It is not necessarily a new reality, but definitely a growing one, with more people offering short-term rentals,” says Charlotte Malaurie, National Director, Residential for APRIL Canada. ““Homeowners are attracted by the 5-digit figures that they can make by renting their place. But everyone needs to realize – broker, insurers and homeowners – that a homeowner`s policy often doesn’t cover the greater risks”
Toronto – a cautionary tale
A good example brokers can share with clients is the story of a HomeAway renter in Toronto. Last week, her very first clients trashed her home and stole precious valuables: alcohol, rare clothing and jewelry - probably worth $20,000 to $30,000. There is an opportunity here for brokers to ensure their clients are well covered if the worst happens.
Brokers need to open the conversation
For the broker, it is important that they reach out to their clients and determine if they are renting their property out, thereby avoiding any future grief should something go wrong.
“You know that there will be a case where the client will say, ‘Well, the broker never told me that I couldn’t do it,’” Malaurie says. “So you don’t want to land in hot water as a broker by not asking the client the right questions.”
That discussion can simply be a phone call or email from the broker advising the client of the new trend in home sharing and short term rentals, and that their home owner policy may not cover them. They need to know that in a worst case, the policy may even be voided in the event of a loss.
Malaurie points out that although Airbnb provides a Host Guarantee, there are gaps that remain as well.
“TheAirbnb Host Guarantee doesn’t cover shared or common areas,” she says. “It doesn’t cover your valuables, your jewelry or your own personal liability – things that you would want covered.”
That is why APRIL Canada has designed their policy to specifically address these concerns. Now homeowners can choose the coverage that is best for them.