If an emergency were to occur at your Airbnb rental, would your investment be protected? Would your tenants be safe? Would you be liable for the aftermath of a disaster?
Emergencies can happen to anyone at any time, and Airbnb property owners must be prepared to mitigate their effects. A single incident involving your rental could put your tenants in harm’s way, devastate your finances, and prevent you from reaping your rental’s full potential.
While you may not be able to prevent all emergencies, you can do a few things to better protect your investment and the guests that rent from you — plus it makes you look like a better host! Let’s look at what emergency proofing looks like for Airbnb business owners:
Create an Emergency Plan
Hosts are encouraged to fill out the safety card information in their online listing, but you don’t have to stop there. Posting an emergency plan inside your rental can be helpful for guests and hosts alike.
Your emergency plan should include fire escape routes, the address of the nearest hospital, emergency contact numbers, the locations of fire extinguishers and smoke alarms, and other information that will protect your guests and property when disaster strikes.
It’s also a good idea to include a cancellation or curtailment policy in your emergency plan. This can help reduce disputes down the road, such as demanding a refund after being without power for an hour.
In addition, you should have your own emergency plan in case something major were to occur on your property. Things like insurance documents, business bank accounts, rental agreements, and other important papers should be kept together and stored in a fire-proof box.
Airbnb offers host protection of up to $1,000,000 for bodily injury or property damage, but that might not be enough to cover all expenses or scenarios.
For example, a forgotten candle or cigarette can easily send your investment up in flames. Natural disasters can strike just about anywhere and may require specific insurance coverage to recoup any losses.
It’s important to maintain either landlord or homeowner’s insurance on your Airbnb rental to cover major disasters. Check with your insurance provider to see which type of insurance will best protect your property.
Stock Your Airbnb Rental with Emergency Supplies
Minor setbacks can turn into major emergencies if you’re not properly prepared. For example, if the power goes out, a tenant may injure themselves trying to navigate your property in the dark.
Stock your rental with emergency supplies that will help tenants weather whatever situations they encounter. Here are some things you might include:
- Flashlights with batteries
- Candles, matches, and lighters
- First aid kit
- Whistle (to signal for help)
- Maps of the local area
- Hand sanitizer
- Gallon jugs of water
- Paper and pencils
- Duct tape
You may be able to add to this list. Think about the essentials that someone would need if the power went out or a tornado or hurricane were to occur. If you’re worried your emergency supplies might be misused, consider placing them all in a box labeled for emergencies and storing it in a closet.
Communicate Your Emergency Plan With Your Guests
Let your guests know you have their best interest in mind. Tell them where they can view the emergency plan and ask them to skim through it prior to arrival.
There are lots of ways you can emergency proof your Airbnb rental, and by all means, you should. You can never be too careful. For more great insights into better Airbnb management, head back to the HostyApp blog.