Florida is a vacation destination. The weather, the entertainment, and the access to world-class beaches guarantee that Florida is someplace people want to be all year round.
With so much tourism, there are many Airbnb and vacation rental properties around the state. These places provide more homey and private accommodations for travelers over big hotels and resorts, so their popularity is soaring.
But with all these people and rentals, bad things are bound to happen. When someone stays at an Airbnb in Florida, who is responsible if they become injured? Read on to find out.
When Airbnb opened its doors, it made both hosts and renters sign a waiver stating they couldn’t sue Airbnb if an accident occurred. This changed when they instituted an insurance protection plan for hosts called Host Protection Insurance.
Hosts who opt-in can get up to $1 million in liability insurance, paying out $1 million within the term, which is one year. Once exhausted, any other compensation owed is up to the homeowner if an accident on their property leads to injury.
This insurance applies to any person who rents their home via Airbnb’s app and works by having a host make a claim through the company before they use their own insurance. This also covers landlords, condo associations, and homeowner’s associations, but only from the liability that can emerge from the use of amenities or maintenance that is part of the host’s accommodations. Common areas of a condo complex, gyms, and other amenities are covered.
Exemptions to Airbnb Insurance
Airbnb’s insurance doesn’t cover everything that happens on a rental property. Some exemptions to the plan include:
- Intentional harm such as sexual abuse, battery, or assault perpetrated by the host or someone covered under the policy
- Car accidents that occur off the property
- The lost earnings of the host
- Transmission of communicable diseases, such as COVID
- Natural disasters
- Acts of terrorism
If you are injured by these things when staying at an Airbnb, contact an experienced attorney to help you navigate your case.
How Does Florida Handle Airbnbs?
In Florida, Airbnb properties are considered vacation rental properties under the law. The state requires that any vacation rental registers with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Vacation rentals, however, are not subject to the same standards in the state as more traditional lodging and are inspected regularly for unsafe conditions.
When you rent an Airbnb, you’re not getting the same oversight from the state that you would in other accommodations like a resort or hotel. Additionally, if you rent part of a property and the host remains on another part, they don’t even have to register with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
How to Protect Yourself
If you are renting an Airbnb in Florida, you have to take steps to protect yourself and your family. Before you rent, you should do these things to ensure you’ll be protected if you or a loved one get injured on the property:
- Ask the host if they have business rental coverage with their homeowner’s insurance
- Do a walkthrough of the property when you arrive to ensure there are no unsafe conditions
If you find unsafe or hazardous conditions, let the owner know in writing and ask to have them fixed – and document the conditions in photos for yourself.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented countless people in all personal injury cases, focusing on child injury, legal malpractice, and premises liability. He has been recognized for excellence in representing injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and named one of America’s Top 100 High-Stakes Litigators. Mr. Winston is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, and has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2022– an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – was voted to Florida Trend’s ”Legal Elite,” recognized by Expertise as one of the 20 Best Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys, named one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015-2022, and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida for 2015-2017 and 2019-2022.