Short-term Rentals: A risky exposure with a simple remedy – Personal Umbrella Coverage.
Do you rent your home on an online marketplace like Airbnb? It’s a great option to make some extra money if you are going out-of-town, and it allows you to share your community with travelers from all over the globe. However, the more people who enter your home, the greater your risk of a lawsuit. What if someone slips in the shower and breaks their wrist? Or even more worrisome, what if your guests set a pan of taco shells ablaze on “Taco Tuesday;” the ensuing fire destroys your home AND causes smoke and fire damage to the neighboring property?
Massachusetts state lawmakers have acknowledged this risk by requiring all short-term rental operators to carry ‘not less than $1,000,000 (personal liability) to cover each short-term rental.’ The state also requires the property be registered with the Department of Revenue. Governor Baker signed this statue into law on December 28, 2018.
Massachusetts is the first state in the nation to have these rules. While the insurance requirement may seem like a pioneer move to lawmakers, it is something we have urged our customers to purchase for years, whether or not you rent-out your property. Litigation is a part of our culture, love it or hate it, and we are all at risk of being sued, even for frivolous accusations.
Airbnb does offer a liability policy to those who utilize their site, but if you think their policy is broad enough to cover your exposures, think again. The Airbnb policy will not provide Personal Injury Protection in the event you are sued for libel or slander.
Short-term rentals have opened up a new world of travel and the opportunity for tourists to immerse themselves in a neighborhood, allowing them to gain an intimate understanding of the community. While it is hopeful to believe your short-term tenants will come and go without incident, the reality is, the world is chaotic and accidents happen. Don’t wait until it’s too late -- liability settlements can leave your assets exposed and may result in garnishment of future wages!
Contact us today to discuss this crucial insurance coverage.
To read the new law, visit: https://malegislature.gov/Laws/SessionLaws/Acts/2018/Chapter337