Collaborative Consumption and the 800 Pound Gorilla – Liability Insurance

February 21, 2013 by:

Collaborative Consumption and the issue of Liability Insurance.

I don’t think words can describe how passionate I am about Collaborative Consumption and all the amazing things it has already accomplished, along with the potential long-term affects it could have on this planet and mankind! Like many know, the poster child for Collaborative Consumption is Airbnb, as they have revolutionized the concept of short-term lodging. They are spreading across the globe like wildfire, as countless hosts are offering up unique spaces at economical prices. Part of Airbnb’s success is in the fact that they offer a rental guarantee to protect their hosts. This covers property damage up to a million dollars.

Okay sounds like they got it covered? Well, what about if someone injures or kills themselves on your property, does the Airbnb Rental Guarantee cover that?

The answer is no! That liability falls in the hands of your homeowners or renters insurance policy.


I am a host on Airbnb.  I rent out a spare bedroom in my home, along with a tree house. Over the last 2 years, I have probably hosted about 40 guests and have met people from all over the world! It has been an amazing experience. Since I am now regularly hosting people at my house, I called up my homeowners insurance company, Allied, and told them of my situation. They informed me that because of what I had told them, they were no longer going to insure me. They suggested I speak with Airbnb and ask them who they recommend to cover such things. That made sense, so I called Airbnb – they simply told me that was not something they dealt with and could not offer any recommendations or support.

I am now scrambling to find someone who will insure my home. The reality is, most all insurance companies do not cover this type of liability. The idea that Airbnb does not provide suggestions or support for what is probably the single most important issue facing Airbnb and Collaborative Consumption seems like a mistake. In the long-term if this issue is not addressed for all hosts, Collaborative Consumption and companies like Airbnb will suffer market share, as the risk verse reward for hosts like myself will be too great.





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