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Agency warns over insurance cover for Airbnb-style lets

A London lettings agency is warning landlords who let out their properties via Airbnb or similar short let platforms to ensure the homes are appropriately insured.

Portico says that the number of London rental properties listed on Airbnb has risen 20 per cent in just the past 12 months.

It says it accepts that this is a good way to utilise unused property but says there are risks for the many new hosts in understanding and finding the correct insurance.

“Short-letting ... is an activity not typically covered by standard residential or landlord policies and therefore does expose hosts to new risks. This is why hosts need specific home-sharing insurance to cover them” says Fiona Patterson, marketing director at the agency.

It cites a survey conducted by short-let insurance firm Guardhog - linked with Portico - which claims just 10 per cent of people understood that they must organise additional insurance when putting their property on a short-let site. 

The survey looked at Airbnb, which offers a cover cost Host Guarantee, but it says most other short-let sites offer no cover at all.

The survey claims that 24 per cent of respondents believed Airbnb’s Host Guarantee to be a comprehensive insurance option while 66 per cent were unsure. 

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