Airbnb Premises Liability

Airbnb Premises Liability ClaimsAirbnb premises liability looks to be a hot topic heading into 2018. In 2017, Florida became the second most popular state, following California, for Airbnb usage as a way for travelers to rent a room or home when visiting. Within the state of Florida, Miami-Dade County was by far the most popular county with 667,000 visitors using Airbnb when choosing to stay in Miami. The county claims over 10,000 hosts, which means that many homes or condos in our area are being rented out to others who visit our piece of paradise for sun and fun.

However, it’s important to note that anytime you choose to rent out your property, and others are using it for business or pleasure purposes, there will still be a responsibility on the owner’s part to make sure that the home and surrounding property is safe.

Premises liability is definitely a hot topic when you consider that homeowners are inviting strangers into their home, and therefore have a duty of care at all times. When we think about the use of Airbnb, where do claims of premises liability come into play?

General Premises Liability

Property owners always have a duty to make sure that their property is safe for any visiting parties. If a visitor is hurt on a property, he or she may bring a lawsuit against the property owner.

In a premises liability suit, the injured party must prove that the injures resulted from his or her time on the property, and that the property owner knew about the danger, or at least reasonably should have known it existed. It must also be proven that the property owner failed to repair or failed to give a warning about the dangerous condition, and that specific condition caused the injury in question.

Though much of the liability does fall on the property owner, the visitor to the property still does have a responsibility to exercise reasonable care for his own safety while on the property, and that can be taken into account during a premises liability claim.

Airbnb Premises Liability Claims

If an owner misrepresents a property on an intermediary site such as Airbnb, and the property turns out to be more dangerous, a visitor may have a premises liability claim if he or she is hurt on that property. Many homeowner insurance policies may not cover claims if a property owner is using their home for commercial purposes, which is why Airbnb has offered to supply its own Host Protection Insurance.

Airbnb now provides hosts with primary coverage in the event of a bodily injury or property damage claim. The coverage is good for landlords in 15 countries, and for claims of up to $1 million. When you agree to list your property or continue to list your property on the site, you are agreeing to be covered under the host protection policy, which becomes your primary coverage for eligible losses.

Not every incident is covered under this policy, and Airbnb lists several exclusions on its site. Issues such as sickness resulting from asbestos and Chinese drywall are not covered. Any intentional acts or injuries resulting from assault and battery are also not covered under this type of policy. Communicable diseases, bacteria, and product liability claims will not be included under the host protection plan as well.

If you choose to be an Airbnb host, or if you were injured while using this service, it’s important to check the website to see what is covered and what is not under the Host Protection Insurance provided by Airbnb.

Being injured on someone’s property where there was reason to believe that the property owner knew of the danger and how it could harm someone could mean that you have a valid premises liability claim. Contact an attorney who specializes in premises liability to help you determine if you are eligible to make a claim for financial and noneconomic losses due to your injury.

References:

Chabeli Herrera cherrera@miamiherald.com. (n.d.). Airbnb is more popular in Miami than anywhere else in Florida. How much did hosts make? Retrieved January 02, 2018, from http://www.miamiherald.com/news/business/article192200179.html

Host Protection Insurance. (n.d.). Retrieved January 02, 2018, from https://www.airbnb.com/host-protection-insurance

(2016, October 24). Premises Liability in Florida. Retrieved January 02, 2018, from http://www.panterlaw.com/news-resources/premises-liability-in-florida/