This is the first question that you should ask yourself if you are considering renting your property on Airbnb.
Are you renting your whole house or unit on Airbnb or perhaps just renting out a room? Have you got the right cover? What will happen if one of your guests injures themselves or worse still, dies due to a fault with your property?
If you think your home building and contents insurance will cover you in the event of an accident, you may be in for a rude shock. Household insurance will generally only cover you for non-commercial activities.
If you rent your property on a one-off basis then your home insurer may allow this if you inform them prior or they may allow it and you will have to purchase a specific endorsement so that you are adequately covered.
If you are regularly renting your whole property out on Airbnb or regularly renting out a room of your property, then this will be deemed to be commercial activity or business activity and your home insurance will not cover you. If someone injures themselves in your property due to your negligence you could be up for hundreds of thousands of dollars or more in compensation. This would financially ruin most people, but it is completely avoidable with the right insurance cover in place.
Landlord insurance policies are available and may offer broader cover than short term policies, but beware, they may only cover you for long term rentals. Check with your insurer rather than take a ‘she’ll be right’ attitude and end up losing all your assets.
There are specific insurance policies available for short term rentals and Airbnb offer their own insurance. IAG also offer a policy but you should ensure that whatever policy you choose, it is right for your circumstances.
You should check what the policy covers you for and what exclusions are applicable. Some things that you should make sure are included are as follows:
- Theft of items in your home;
- Damage to your home;
- Personal liability in the event of injury or death to your guests; and
- Identity theft.
You should look carefully at the exclusions and limits on the amount payable in certain categories of coverage. If loss of rent if your guests cancel or cut short their stay are important to you, you should note that most short term stay policies don’t cover this. You may have to pay for an extension to your policy to cover this.
The bottom line is, do your research and insure yourself properly. Be open and honest with your insurer. Then, if the worst happens your insurer can deal with the claim and you can rest assured that you are protected.
Recent reform to awards for pain and suffering for those who have suffered a workplace injury brings the Workers Compensation & Rehabilitation Act into line with the damages available under the Civil Liability Act for motor vehicle and other accidents, thereby creating a more uniform compensation scheme in Queensland.
Serious injury invariably leads to loss of income and added expenses for the claimant. The cost of medical treatment coupled with an inability to work during rehabilitation is a source of serious financial strain for many Australian families. A successful claim for damages will help offset this loss.
Unless the claimant is a minor, the right to claim will generally expire three years after the accident occurred, or after the claimant became aware their injuries were caused by an accident. Thus, it is vital that claims are initiated in a timely manner.
Personal injury claims only succeed if another person (such as your employer or other vehicle driver) owed a duty to the claimant, and breached that duty through negligent action or inaction. A causative link to the injuries must also be demonstrated.
Negligence by the claimant may reduce or eliminate the compensation. Claimants must avoid obvious risks and take care for their own safety.
Awards for pain and suffering (general damages) are based on medical opinion which determines the severity of the injury suffered and any resultant long term impairment. For injuries sustained from 1 July 2010 onwards, the Workers Compensation & Rehabilitation Regulations Injury Scale Value tables sets out the awards payable.
However, there is more to a personal injuries claim than simply attempting to quantify the pain and loss of enjoyment of life suffered. Additional types of awards may be made to successful claimants:
- past economic loss (and past superannuation);
- estimated future economic loss (and future superannuation);
- past hospital/medical/rehabilitation costs and related out of pocket expenses;
- predicted future rehabilitative expenses and out-of-pocket expenses; and
- care provided, in the past and/or future, by family and friends, or employed carers and other service providers.
These awards aim to put the claimant back in the position they would be in had the negligence and resultant injury not occurred. This can return some kind of financial normalcy to the lives of those affected by serious injury.