How to Minimise Airbnb Guest Damages in Your Vacation Rentals?

It’s every property manager’s worst nightmare: guests trash your property, leaving you with a huge bill to repair the damage.

This is exactly what happened to John Hildebrand of Hilde Homes. After a mostly uneventful experience with guests at his Arizona vacation rental, he opened the door to find overflowing bins, a dog mess, missing appliances, and badly stained bedsheets.

Luckily, he didn’t need to wait for Airbnb to fix the situation. Thanks to Superhog’s coverage, he could reclaim his money back in 3 days.

So, what is covered by Airbnb damage protection, and how can you increase security for your Airbnb listings?

This article will explain what Airbnb’s Aircover includes and how a solution like Know Your Guest provides complete protection. 

Know Your Guest is a comprehensive solution to protect your business through guest screening, damage waivers, and damage deposits.

Can you spot troublesome guests in advance?

Unfortunately, there’s no guaranteed way to spot guests most likely to cause damage.

List of guest red flags

There are some red flags to watch out for, such as:

  • Bad guest reviews — This is the most reliable indicator that guests may cause trouble, so check reviews. Hosting guests with no previous reviews can also be risky.
  • Bending the rules — Guests who try to dispute your house rules or convince you to make an exception (for example, to allow pets if you have a policy against it) may be problematic.
  • Payment difficulties — When guests don’t pay on time, their cards get declined, or they want to pay through alternative methods, this could mean trouble.
  • Odd-looking email address — A strange email address with random numbers could be created for the purpose of creating a new Airnb account, therefore might be suspicious. 
  • Poor grammar — If your guest has difficulty communicating or uses “text” language, this could indicate a scammer. However, this might be because your guests are communicating in a second language.
  • Live locally — If your guest’s home address is nearby, this should raise your suspicions. They might be looking to rent a property to throw a party.

For John Hildebrand, there were no obvious red flags. The guests asked to extend their stay a couple of times, and though there were some difficulties with processing their payment, the money eventually went through.

Because red flags are hard to spot, it’s vital to have a secure screening process such as Know Your Guest that can catch potentially troublesome guests before the booking begins. 

Know Your Guest captures all guests’ details and runs extensive background checks against authoritative databases for fraud, criminal activity, and sex offences.

Does Airbnb cover damages?

When you list on Airbnb, you’ll be covered by the OTA’s Aircover insurance. This cover is free of charge and available for all hosts.

Aircover includes:

  • Up to $3M damage protection, with special cover for art & valuables, auto & boat, damage caused by pets, loss of income, and deep cleaning.
  • $1M liability insurance to cover guest injury, damage, or theft of guest property.

Learn more about what Aircover offers.  

What damages does Airbnb cover?
List of damages covered by Airbnb

What happens if a guest damages your property?

When John’s housekeeping team entered the house, they were shocked at the damage they found. 

The guests had sneaked dogs into the property without paying the pet fee, and there was dog mess everywhere. Trash cans were overflowing, towels and bedsheets were badly stained, and appliances like hairdryers were missing. 

There was dirt everywhere. Every single pair of sheets was destroyed, all the towels were damaged – it was very disrespectful.”

Airbnb isn’t the quickest way to get Airbnb damage covered. First, you have to document the before and after to prove that the damage happened during the stay. Then, you have to keep in mind the strict time frames. Airbnb takes a week to a month to process your claim so make sure you’re not out cash.

If you ever find yourself in a similar situation with Airbnb damage, here’s what to do: 

  • Document the damage by taking photos and videos. Get testimonials from cleaning staff if they were first to enter the property.
  • Communicate with guests directly through Airbnb to see if they are willing to pay for damages caused.
  • If this fails and guests refuse to pay Airbnb damages, submit a claim through Airbnb’s Resolution Center. Select “Request compensation for damages” and fill out all the details.

You have 14 days to report an incident to Airbnb, and the sooner you report, the more chance you have of being able to claim damages.

After you’ve submitted the request, guests will have 3 days to pay. If you don’t receive the money, you’ll need to contact Airbnb support. You must do this within 30 days of the damage.

John decided to report the incident to Airbnb immediately to give himself the best chance of winning a claim, and help prevent the same thing happening to other hosts. 

John and many other hosts and property managers face a myriad of guest damages. Here’s a list of the most frequently occurring guest damages in vacation rentals according to Superhog’s Senior Resolution Advisor Tanya Simmonds.

How do I get 100% coverage for Airbnb guests’ accidental damage?

Airbnb’s damage protection coverage is more comprehensive than other channels. John’s claim may be covered by the channel, but if not, he knows he pursue the claim through Superhog. 

I dont like to rely 100% on Airbnb. I always take it one step further – all of my guests have to go through Superhog’s Know Your Guest. We had all the guest details on file, and they’d already paid a $500 security deposit, meaning some of the costs were automatically covered, no matter what

John offered some advice to fellow property managers:

If you’re trying to build a business, you must always protect your investment on so many different levels

Know Your Guest is a comprehensive solution to protect your business from damages. With the damage waiver and damage deposit, you can achieve peace of mind by knowing that your business is protected. 

Try it today!

Property managers protect their business with Superhog

Superhog offers both a damage waiver and damage deposit to help you protect your business from all angles.

Through the damage waiver, guests will pay a one-off fee to waive their liability for any damage caused during the stay.

Luxury property management company Nox also uses Superhog’s damage protection waiver. 

Nick Taylor, Managing Director of Nox, explained how Know Your Guest improves their guest experience and security:  

Around 10% of our bookings cause some form of damage, of which, 90% can be covered by a damage waiver.

By saving up the money they collect through the damage waiver, they always have a rainy day fund in case they need to pay for more damage.

Another customer, Saskia Van der Bolt, uses Know Your Guest to protect her one-woman business.

She says:

The biggest benefit is not having to chase after damage payments. It takes away the bureaucratic hassle, saves time and it calms down hosts who worry about damage to their properties.” 

It’s also helped grow her business. “The added security is a big selling point for homeowners. New hosts often worry that guests will ruin their homes. Although these fears are often unfounded, having the extra security can help to persuade homeowners to work with me.”

Protecting your Airbnb listing: FAQs

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