As an Airbnb host, you’re well aware of the importance of protecting your property and providing a safe and enjoyable experience for your guests. While most stays go smoothly, accidents can happen. That’s where Airbnb AirCover comes in—an insurance program designed by Airbnb and included for free with every booking to provide hosts with peace of mind.
However, many hosts tend not to rely on AirCover too much. Firstly, it is considered insufficient on its own for property insurance due to its limitations, which Airbnb admits. Secondly, a large number of AirCover claims are rejected because of the supposed lack of evidence provided by the host, which is obviously a huge source of frustration for many.
In this article, we’ll walk you through the process of filing a damage claim with Airbnb AirCover, ensuring that you’re equipped with the knowledge you need to give your claims the best chance of success.
An Airbnb damage claim refers to the process of applying for and receiving compensation for any damages that may occur to a property during a guest’s stay. It serves as a safety net for hosts when their property falls victim to unforeseen mishaps. By alleviating the burden of repair or replacement expenses, this process ensures that hosts are not left to shoulder the financial consequences alone.
When should I file an Airbnb damage claim?
As an Airbnb host, it’s important to file an Airbnb damage claim in specific situations to ensure a smooth resolution and potential compensation for any damages to your property.
Firstly, if your property sustains substantial damage that goes beyond normal wear and tear, it’s crucial to file a claim. This includes scenarios such as broken furniture, damaged appliances, or major structural issues caused by the guest.
It’s also advisable to file a claim if any damages require repairs or replacement items, especially those that involve significant expenses. This ensures that you can recover the costs incurred due to the guest’s actions.
However, any damages should be reported as soon as you discover them because Airbnb has specific timeframes for filing damage claims, so be sure to initiate the process promptly to meet the requirements.
How to file a successful AirCover claim for damages – step by step
1. Assess the situation
The first step in filing a claim with Airbnb AirCover is to thoroughly assess the incident. Whether it’s accidental damage, theft, or injury, gather all relevant information, including photographs, videos, and any supporting documentation. Make sure to document the damages and losses as accurately as possible, as this will strengthen your claim and help Airbnb AirCover understand the scope of the incident.
2. Don’t wait too long
Time is of the essence when it comes to protecting your interests as an Airbnb host. If you’ve experienced damage caused by a guest during their stay, it’s crucial to take action promptly. Within just 14 days of the responsible guest’s checkout, you’ll need to initiate an AirCover for Hosts request through Airbnb’s Resolution Center.
3. Submit your reimbursement request
From the Resolution Center, select the booking you wish to make a claim for. Click on ‘Details’, which will open up the reservation, then scroll down to the support section of the page and select ‘Send or request money’.
Click ‘request money’, and you’ll be taken to the next page, where you can follow the simple steps, entering the details of the damages and the associated costs, as well as uploading your photographic evidence.
Your request is then sent to the guest who’ll have 72 hours to respond and make payment.
4. Involve Airbnb support
If the guest fails to respond, a new button will appear in the Resolution Center that says ‘Contact us’ followed by ‘Involve Airbnb Support’, which will bring Airbnb directly into the claims process. You will then need to complete a few additional steps before confirming your submission.
Airbnb has a dedicated claims team that will guide you through the process. They may request additional information or documentation to support your claim. It’s essential to maintain open lines of communication and promptly respond to any inquiries they may have. Remember, they are there to assist you and ensure a fair resolution.
5. Evaluating and resolving the claim
Once Airbnb’s claims team has reviewed all the information provided, they will evaluate the claim and determine whether or not you are eligible for a payout.
6. Appeals process
If you disagree with the resolution provided by Airbnb, there is an appeals process in place. You can present additional evidence or provide further information to support your case. Airbnb will review the appeal and reassess the situation.
However, it’s important to note that this should be reserved for cases where you genuinely believe the initial decision was incorrect or unfair.
Top tips to maximize your AirCover claim success
Maintain accurate property documentation – take photos and videos!
The claim process starts before a claim is made. So, keep accurate documentation of your property’s condition before each guest’s arrival. Photographs and videos can serve as valuable evidence if you need to file a claim. This documentation will help establish the condition of your property before any damage occurs and support your claim during the reimbursement process.
Keep open and professional communication with the guest
If you don’t have conclusive evidence that a particular guest caused the damage you are claiming, try messaging them through the Airbnb app and politely ask them about the damage without necessarily accusing them of anything. If they acknowledge or admit the damage in your communication, then this is good evidence you can use in your claim.
Keep open and speedy communication with Airbnb support
Make sure to stay in regular contact with Airbnb support, and be as friendly as possible. Replying to any messages as quickly as possible will show them you are genuinely concerned and you consider it an urgent matter.
Ask your cleaners to take photos at checkout
Come to an agreement with your cleaners whereby they will take photos of specific locations within your property as soon as a guest checks out. All of these are then uploaded to Airbnb. This way, Airbnb has evidence of how your property looked after the last guest checked out and since your most recent guest.
Make sure your guests read your house rules beforehand
Make sure your house rules and extra fees are up to date and displayed on your listing at the time of booking. Once the booking has been made, confirm with the guest again that they have read the house rules. This will ensure that your guests are well aware of what they can and can’t do in your rental. If you have to make a claim against them, they won’t be able to say they didn’t know your rules.
Keep your damage cost requests fair
Your claim will be resolved a lot quicker if you can request a fair cost for any damage caused. For example, if a guest stains a couch, try to find the exact cost of cleaning, sourcing, and replacing the item. Contact specialized cleaning companies and ask for an estimate written on company letterhead, or find a link to the exact product to purchase online, and send it to Airbnb.
Bonus tip: Keep all your original receipts and proof of purchase of all items in your rental so you can prove the original cost.
Airbnb AirCover is a valuable resource for hosts, offering a layer of protection and support when unforeseen incidents occur. By understanding the process of filing a claim and working closely with Airbnb’s claims team, it’s easier for hosts to get a positive outcome.
However, it’s not always easy, and Airbnb will be strict in their approach, asking for conclusive evidence of any damage. Remember to take photos of anything that could be damaged—before and after checkout—and keep open and amicable communication with the guest and Airbnb support.
Have you ever needed to file a damage claim with Airbnb? If so, how was your experience? Let us know in the comments section below!
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