Lauren Lewthwaite Last Updated On: June 27, 2023

What You Need to Know About Short Term Rental Insurance?

A little coverage can go a long way to protect your property. That’s the beauty of short term rental insurance:  it provides protection for your primary residence or another home on your property when you’re renting it out—which, thanks to vacation rental services like Airbnb, millions of people are doing to make extra income. 

But, as a host, you have some extra responsibilities. You have to make sure your home, property, and guests are protected. After all, you’re trying to make money—not lose it.

Why Do You Need Insurance For Short Term Rentals?

Here’s the thing: traditional homeowners insurance policies only insure the house when it is owner-occupied—or occupied by family members or even someone just visiting your property. 

As soon as you rent your home or part of your home, it becomes a business transaction, and home insurance does not automatically cover business ventures. So, if you don’t have liability insurance for short term rental when you’ve rented your home, you’ve left yourself exposed to the possibility of a serious expense if anything should happen to anyone or anything on your property.

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Who Should Get Short Term Rental Insurance?

Short term rental insurance is ideal for people who have to pay guests staying in the home they own or rent (if subletting is permitted in your rental agreement). While some of these vacation rental services offer liability insurance for property damage and bodily injury, it’s often not enough to give you the comprehensive coverage you may need. What’s more, the insurance itself is not provided by the vacation rental service, but by a third-party provider, so you have to go through them to submit any claims you have. In fact, vacation rental services that offer insurance still suggest you get your own insurance too. So, consider it a solid investment in your secondary income source. Short term insurance will also often cover:
  • Identity theft
  • Liquor liability (in case an intoxicated guest loses or damages any of your property)
  • Infestation
  • Excess use of utilities
  • Your belongings (damaged or stolen)
  • Loss of income (if, due to damaged property, you are unable to rent it for a period of time)
  • Liability (including injury, legal and medical bills)
This coverage goes above and beyond the liability insurance offered by most vacation rental services, making it worth your while if you’re planning to undertake this potentially lucrative, but also possibly risky opportunity. But you can alleviate that risk with short term home rental insurance. Short term rental insurance for owners covers your guests and their belongings as well as you and your belongings.

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Can Short Term Rental Property Insurance Be Stand-Alone Insurance?

To be clear, short term rental insurance is usually gap coverage, meaning it is supposed to work in tandem with your primary homeowner’s or renter’s insurance and is not intended to work alone. 

The reason for this is simple: short term vacation rental insurance only covers your home sporadically, when you tell your carrier your home will be occupied by guests—usually for a total of 62 days a calendar year. If this insurance were your only insurance, there would be a large period of time when your property would not be protected. 

What’s more, short term rental insurance doesn’t cover everything that comprehensive homeowner’s insurance covers—and homeowners insurance doesn’t cover everything your short term insurance will cover. 

For example, most homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover infestation, but short term rental insurance will. After all, you never know what a guest may bring into your home. And thankfully, you don’t have to stress about it if you have insurance for your short term rental because even if guests do come packing pests, your policy will have you covered. 

The Cost of Temporary Rental Insurance

Just like your homeowner’s insurance, the cost of your short term rental homeowners insurance will vary based on a number of factors, including (but not limited to):
  • The construction of your home
  • The age of your home
  • Your proximity to fire halls
  • Crime rates in your area
  • Your insurance credit score
Here’s the thing: renting out your home is considered a risk in and of itself, so you can expect your short term rental property insurance premium to be between $1,500 and $3,000 per year. However, this is likely well worth the cost considering how much can be made from short term rentals. On average, Airbnb reports that their hosts make $7,900 annually but many earn considerably more than that. In other words, you should look at your insurance as less of an expense and more of a smart investment in your income.

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How to Get Short Term Rental Insurance?

Not every insurance provider will offer short term rental insurance, but a good place to start looking for this coverage is with your existing home or renter insurance provider. You don’t have to commit, but get a price so you can compare.

You can also get quotes from other providers, though this may be a little more expensive than going with your existing carrier because you won’t be taking advantage of a multi-policy discount. On the other hand, if your existing provider deems short term rental insurance too much of a risk, going with a separate provider may be the less expensive option. 

Every insurance provider is different. 

You really won’t know your rates until you get some quotes. We can help. Contact us to get a free quote for short term rental insurance. We’ve curated a list of the best providers for this niche coverage and we’ll pair you with the best short term rental insurance specifically for you. 


Not legally, but it’s a huge risk if you don’t have it. Even if you aren’t renting your home—even if you will just be away for a while and friends, family members, or a house sitter will be watching your home—short term rental insurance will give you an added layer of protection you may need.

That depends. On average, most policies are $1,500 to $3,000 per year. Get a quote to find out what you can expect to pay to cover your property.

Maybe, but maybe not. Many providers will offer short term rental insurance as an add-on, but there are also some that won’t and you will need to get a separate policy.

Check your rental agreement. Some leases will prohibit subletting. In addition to your renter’s insurance (which you should already have), you can investigate a second, short term rental insurance policy for your apartment or room you are renting.

Typically, short term policies are only meant to cover your property for around 62 days (two months) in total out of the entire calendar year. You will often have to inform your insurance company when the rental is booked to enact coverage.


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