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Were You Injured at a Vacation Rental in Florida?

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As a top tourist destination, Florida had about 113 million visitors last year, according to the Orlando Sentinel. Many of these visitors choose to stay in private vacation homes, rather than hotels, resorts, or traditionally managed homes. The rise of private home sharing has revolutionized vacationing, much the way that ride shares, such as Uber and Lyft, revolutionized taxi services in major cities. Although these services do cut out some of the overhead costs and allow more flexibility in booking a getaway, there are complications that come with these properties if you get injured on vacation.

Here is what you should know about getting hurt at an Airbnb, HomeAway, or VRBO rental while vacationing in Florida this year.

Homeowner’s Insurance May Not Cover You 

Forbes reports that the three rental giants are Airbnb, HomeAway, and VRBO. Together these account for a significant share of vacation rentals in the U.S. If you slip and fall or get hurt by a defect on the property, typically you would be able to file a premises liability claim with the property owner’s homeowner’s insurance policy. However, the vast majority of these policies will either act as a secondary policy or completely exclude injuries to guests if the property is being used for commercial purposes. In other words, typical homeowner’s insurance is meant for a residential property, not for a rental. After all, a rental will have more likelihood of risk.

Understanding Primary Coverage

Each of the three services mentioned above offers some sort of primary coverage that a host can purchase in order to provide liability protection. Here is how they stack up:

Airbnb 

This service offers hosts the opportunity to purchase coverage in the amount of $1 million per occurrence to cover guests and landlords who are injured on the property.

                What’s Excluded?

  • Intentional Conduct
  • Any Type of Physical or Sexual Assault, Battery, Abuse, or Molestation
  • Loss of Income or Wages
  • Personal and Advertising Injury
  • Fungi or Bacteria
  • Chinese Drywall
  • Communicable Diseases
  • Acts of Terrorism
  • Product Liability
  • Pollution
  • Asbestos
  • Lead
  • Silica

HomeAway and VRBO 

HomeAway acquired VRBO in 2006, so the insurance coverage is pretty much identical for both. Just like with Airbnb, HomeAway and VRBO offer optional liability coverage of $1 million per occurrence for injured guests.

                What’s Excluded?

  • Aircraft, Auto, or Watercraft
  • Contract Liability
  • Electronic Data
  • Employees or Contractors
  • Intentional or Expected Injuries
  • Advertising Injuries
  • Product Liability
  • Recording and Distribution Materials
  • Acts of War

Understanding Per Occurrence Coverage 

Per occurrence means the policy will cover up to that amount (here $1 million) per accident or event, not per individual injured. So, say you, your spouse, and three friends are enjoying dinner on a terrace of an Airbnb property when, suddenly the supports break free causing the entire structure to collapse. If all five people suffer catastrophic injuries, the policy would be available to cover up to $1 million total for all injuries. This means if one or two people required surgeries and extended rehabilitation (or died or had permanent injuries), this policy could very easily be inadequate to cover all parties injured.

Experienced Florida Premises Liability Lawyers

Since 1985, the attorneys of Roman & Roman, P.A. have been working hard to fight for the rights of injured Floridians and those who are injured while visiting our great state.  If you or someone you love is injured on vacation or while staying at an Airbnb or VRBO rental, call our office or visit us online today to schedule a free, private consultation to review the details of your case.

Resources:

orlandosentinel.com/travel/os-bz-visit-florida-tourism-2016-story.html

forbes.com/sites/petertaylor/2016/12/07/watch-out-homeaway-airbnb-heres-why-tripadvisor-may-be-your-biggest-competition/#66993ad6736d

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