Not enough short-term rental hosts have relevant insurance, accommodation accreditation company Quality in Tourism has found.
Whilst 58.1% of customers thought that insurance was essential, only one in three said they checked to see if the accommodation they were booking had adequate cover.
Louise Birritteri, chief executive and founder of Pikl, said: “These findings provide really strong evidence that the insurance needs of the majority of short-term rental hosts are not being adequately accommodated by major insurers in the UK.
“Guests and hosts participating in the short-term letting sector presume that their hosts’ standard home insurance provides adequate cover.
“The truth is that, in the vast majority of cases, it’s not.
“Currently, too many short-term let hosts are not properly insured, more through a lack of understanding than avoidance.
“That’s because their standard home insurance will not cover any liability from letting a property or room on a short-term basis and could result in their claims not being settled and their policies being cancelled.
“If the majority of guests are not bothering to check, it could lead to a very unfortunate situation where they are not covered should they experience theft, trauma or worse, a severe accident leaving them hospitalised or even permanently injured or incapacitated.
“We very much encourage anyone booking a short-term rental to check whether their host has the right insurance cover in place.
‘Quality in Tourism’s accreditation scheme should help guests to identify where that insurance is provided.”
Deborah Heather, director of Quality in Tourism, added: “Our findings have highlighted the need for there to be a set of universal standards in place for all types of accommodation where customers pay to stay.
“It shows that there is still a gap between what people perceive to be in place automatically in regard to safety, cleanliness and compliance with the law, but in reality, it’s not the case.
“Importantly, not enough customers are checking these standards before booking.
“Insurance is seen as one of the essential elements of any rental accommodation’s minimum standards, but we know that in many cases there isn’t the appropriate insurance in place.
“We would encourage people participating in the short-term let sector to safeguard their rental income and assets by taking out the right insurance from a specialist insurer, such as Pikl, so that, in a worst-case scenario, they are not putting at risk all that they own.
“We believe that all accommodation hosts, including those in the sharing economy, should have the relevant insurances.
“Our Safe, Clean & LegalTM scheme includes insurance, giving hosts an industry-recognised accreditation and guests the peace of mind that they will be staying in accommodation that meets quality minimum standards.”