GlobalData Plc

Airbnb-style “host insurance” fills the gap at home

The development of products that protect against the additional risks inherent in sharing our homes with paying guests are crucial in a market where current policies are invalidated by doing so.

Belong Safe has launched the UK’s first pay-per-day household insurance policy for the sharing economy. Underwritten by Hiscox and in partnership with software developer Red Crake, “host insurance” protects against the risks of inviting strangers to stay.

Home sharing has surged in popularity as home owners and tenants alike look to monetize their home space for extra income. Airbnb, which launched in 2008, has become a mainstream brand and is now active in over 190 countries with over 2 million listings worldwide.

What hosts do not realize, however, is that by welcoming others into their homes they are often invalidating their standard home insurance policy. Having paying guests turns a home into a business, which until now would require an annual commercial landlord or B&B insurance policy.

Belong Safe’s host insurance is a cost-effective and convenient means of dovetailing existing household insurance policies. Hosts only need to purchase cover for the days that they have guests to stay, ensuring that they only pay for the insurance they need. Belong Safe states that cover starts from as little as £0.78 per day and 99% of hosts can be covered automatically.

The sharing economy is growing, with PwC estimating that it could be worth around £9bn in the UK by 2025. Insurers should look to capitalize on the opportunity it provides by adapting their existing policies to meet the changing risks policy holders face, or at least develop add-on products that can supplement existing policies. This will be crucial not just for peer-to-peer accommodation, but as society finds other assets to share.

By Danielle Cripps, Insurance Analyst

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