Most of us are always looking for ways to put some extra money in our pockets, and you’d have to be living under a rock to not have heard about Uber and Airbnb in the last few years. But how do you know if these companies are safe ways to earn additional income this summer, or if you are covered by your personal home or auto policies when pursuing them. Here are a few things to keep in mind before renting out your home or auto this summer.
Uber and other ridesharing app companies
Most personal auto policies are written to exclude business use. Business use doesn’t include things like driving to or from work, but it does include taking payments for rides from other people. Most ridesharing companies offer some coverage through the company itself, but this coverage varies by company and may have exclusions that you are not aware of. It’s always a good idea to get a copy of the coverage in writing and make sure you understand what it does and does not cover. Most personal agents can help you get a business auto policy if you qualify for one.
It is very important that if you use your vehicle for ridesharing work that you let your insurance provider know so that you can have the correct policy and coverage. By not disclosing this information you run the risk of being denied coverage in a claim or being non-renewed if the company finds out after the fact.
Airbnb and other Home Rental companies
Similar to auto policies most homeowner policies are written with little or no coverage for business use. Because of this, companies like Airbnb and Home away have taken to offering host guarantee “coverage”, but like most policies they have exclusions too. Usually items like cash, securities, pets personal liability and common areas are not covered, and some items that are covered may be covered at cash value rather than replacement cost. Damages must take place during a certain window of time to be covered, and often the homeowner is responsible for pursuing a certain amount of financial resolution before contacting Airbnb for reimbursement.
If you are considering renting out your residence whether short term or long term your best bet it to contact your customer service rep to find out what your policy covers and what it excludes. It is very important to do this before you actually rent out your property to assure you are covered in the case of a claim.