Airbnb has long been one of our main methods of obtaining accommodation. With the number of short-term listings going up to 1.38 million, people prefer it to hotels and other listing types. It gives you more privacy and, depending on the listing, you get a better price for more benefits.
But what happens if you end up getting injured at your accommodation? Who can you sue? Do you sue the company directly, or can you only sue the owner of the listing? You will find out soon enough by reading this article.
Airbnb Insurance Program
Very few people know that Airbnb set up an insurance program, covering up to $1,000,000 if someone gets injured at one of their listed properties. If you had this kind of misfortune, this is good news for you.
The problem is that the Airbnb insurance program only applies in specific circumstances. The amount you get may also depend on the state or city that the listing is located in. In Salinas, California, you may sue for a maximum of $10,000 if you are a regular guest looking for a vacation. If you are a business, you may sue for $5,000 at most.
In Salinas, the standard would be to make a small claim against the owner – although this depends on circumstances and the extent of your injury. Salinas personal injury lawyers can help you make a complaint against the liable party. They will determine who you can sue and what amount you may be eligible for.
What Injuries Are Covered?
The Airbnb insurance policy usually covers accidental injuries that occur on the property. For instance, if the rug slips from under you and you injure your back (or if the stairs fall from underneath you), then you can sue the host. Most injuries from the property are covered by insurance.
However, if the injury was caused by an intentional activity, or if it has nothing to do with the property, insurance won’t cover the damage. For instance, if you get in a car accident while you are staying there, neither the host nor Airbnb can be held liable.
Who Can Be Held Liable?
While Airbnb does have an insurance program, guests must know that the company only acts as a liaison between the guests and the hosts. They don’t own the structure and aren’t responsible for performing inspections of the property. They only facilitate the agreements. Therefore, if someone gets injured on the property, Airbnb cannot be held liable.
For example, back in 2015, an Airbnb guest called Justin Carrol fell about 10 feet, after a stairway collapsed within the rental. Justin suffered injuries and, therefore, sued Airbnb for damages. However, the court deemed that the platform was not liable for those injuries. It was merely an intermediary, and the claims against it were rejected.
Suing Airbnb for damages and winning the lawsuit would be rather difficult. You would have to prove that the company directly played a part in your injury. That being said, Airbnb itself doesn’t have any listings on the website – which means you’d be fighting a losing battle. You may want to talk to your lawyer first and determine what the right course of action would be in your case.
When Does Airbnb Compensation Kick In?
As we have mentioned, suing Airbnb directly may not end up in any success. They’re only responsible for connecting you to legit hosts but are not directly liable for what happens on the property. This is between you and the property owner.
If you would live in an ideal world, you would talk to the property and inform them of your situation. After that, they would provide their insurance details so that you may receive compensation. Case closed and you can move on. You may not even need to hire a lawyer if the host is cooperative.
The issue is that you don’t live in this ideal world. For example, the host may be covered by insurance, but their funds may not be enough to pay for your injuries. They may also try to wiggle their way out of the complaint, not moving on to your request or refusing to answer it.
This is where Airbnb Host Insurance Protection kicks in. If a guest is injured at an Airbnb property as a result of negligence from the owner, the company will pay up to $1,000,000 in damages. This way, the injured person can receive compensation for their losses. The insurance is mostly to protect the host from financial damage, but also to give justice to the victim.
If the host refuses to pay for the injury and Airbnb does not acknowledge the situation, the victim can file a legal claim against them. This way, the law will force the liable party to pay up.
The Bottom Line
In the end, the host is usually liable for any accidents caused by their negligence or improper maintenance. Airbnb is only there to help with insurance coverage. As a result, you will need to sue the host first – and only sue Airbnb if both parties refuse to answer.