AirCover: why Airbnb continues to lead with integrity

Wednesday 29th June 2011 is a significant day in the history of Airbnb. 

It’s the day that EJ wrote a blog post titled –  Violated: A traveler’s lost faith, a difficult lesson learned – which explained in detail how an Airbnb guest by the name of Dj Pattrson spent an entire week vandalising and ransacking her home.

This was a turning point, as Airbnb realised it had a duty to help its hosts whose homes had been ransacked and damaged by guests, so, in August 2011 Airbnb launched its host guarantee to help protect its hosts.

We mention EJ’s story because our founder Humphrey was listening to Rob Chesnut (the former General Counsel and Chief Ethics Officer for Airbnb) at the Marketplace Risk Global Summit last week, and it can only be a coincidence that within 24 hours of Rob’s talk, Airbnb announced its Winter Release for 2021 where it unveiled to the short-term rental world “AirCover” – the rebranding and relaunching of Airbnb’s host guarantee and host protection insurance.

AirCover comes with some new inclusions like income loss protection and reimbursement for deep cleaning which will be welcome additions for a lot of hosts and are significant improvements to the previous host guarantee.

To us, these inclusions demonstrate that Airbnb is one of the few platforms that not only makes a conscious effort to do the right thing and act with integrity but actually follows through and DOES the right thing too (most likely thanks to Rob). 

For this, Airbnb we salute you.

AirCover’s release does raise questions for us: in an industry that is rapidly professionalising, how do we collectively judge progress? Is it on making an insurance policy better or is it on effectively preventing the wrong guests from staying in the first place?  

We strongly believe it’s the latter and we know others like JetStream, Autohost, and VacayMyWay agree. For us, progress is not only about improving protection for Hosts, it’s also about making sure that the Dj Pattrson’s of the world are not allowed to arrive at a Host’s property in the first place.

The reason that prevention is so important is that anyone who has had a bad Hosting experience (like EJ) knows that these “bad experiences” are potentially life-changing events.

Whether it’s $1m or $5m, financial reimbursement only puts the home back together. No amount of money will make hosts forget about the nightmares that come from finding out that your most valuable asset has been damaged and your faith and trust in a guest has been abused. 

That is why although AirCover is a great step in the right direction, more still needs to be done as prevention is always going to be better than protection. Guest screening, therefore, has a crucial part to play in ensuring that trust, transparency and authenticity are reinforced at the core of the vacation rental community.

Creating trust is not an exact science; it’s an art form, and for that reason, it needs a dedicated and expert team in order to succeed and that is what we’ve created at Superhog.

About Superhog:

Superhog combines intelligent guest screening from across the industry, with a Damage Protection Plan and is delivered as a SaaS solution that can be integrated seamlessly within the pre-/post-booking journey, providing a toolkit that allows vacation and short-term rental businesses and Hosts to proactively assess risk and verify guests, protecting their properties at the same time.

Available globally and across all booking channels, Superhog provides up to $5,000,000 of protection on every booking for property damage caused by a verified guest during a stay.

Superhog’s world-class Resolutions team handles all its claims in-house, providing you with timely updates and constant communication about the status of your claim.

Speak to us today!

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