A conversation about insurance

Hi @Coco thank you for asking your questions there is a lot of information in this thread and getting the right information is so important I am tagging @Therese-Moderator who will pick this up when she is back on line as the subject of insurance and the products included in membership plans is best answered by the Membership Services Team, although I’m sure there are other members who can speak from experience.

Meanwhile I’m including this info from the website help page which you may have already explored.

Thank you for your reply. Yes I have read it thoroughly. This is why I asked for a bit of clarification, especially after an application I received. It has become too complicated with family then a possible friend wanting four bedrooms. The friend is not on the profile. Sadly I had to decline as it was getting too much. Maybe for HO that have been active for a long time may have more knowledge and experience but this will be our second time. We were amazing lucky with our first sitters who were brilliant.

We have a huge excess on our insurance, and because of the type of insurance we have to have, I would not want to claim on it for under £5000 so I would hope that the THS would cover this. @Angela-HeadOfCommunity

THS insurance for HO is actually a secondary insurance. THS does not call it Insurance, they call It a Guarantee. THS will pay after you have first made a claim with your homeowners insurance. It also requires the sitter to admit fault “unless the damage is Malicious damage or Theft.”

In Terms and Conditions, Section V. Conditions:

(c) For any loss, the Owners must first claim against their Underlying insurance where possible, before seeking recourse to this guarantee.

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Hey Erin, wanted to drop an update I was paid out and the correct amount. The direct deposit to my checking account was pretty timely as well.

It was a rocky start to getting it taken care of and in the communication aspect with support but once that was passed it was really a breeze given that my cancellation met 100% of the requirements and I had fully documented it.

I hope your claim has processed through as well!!

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In case it helps anyone here are the terms

If you don’t have personal liability insurance coverage on your home or renters insurance, you should take out an umbrella policy to provide personal liability protection. This should protect you from anyone suing you. The insurance with THS only helps to cover damages involving the pet such as if the pet attacks someone. It doesn’t cover sitters if they get sued over something not involving the pet. Homeowners should have liability coverage included with their home policy.

Hi Al. I have a sit coming up with brand new homeowners to THS. They seem like lovely folks and I’m very excited about the sit. They wanted to clarify what would happen if there was damage to their house or car, which they are kind enough to let me use given it’s a somewhat remote location. They were able to figure out that THS and their insurance will cover the house and in this particular situation their insurance covers the vehicle, but they are asking to come to an agreement about who would be responsible for the deductible should something happen that triggers an insurance deductible. Neither of us expect anything terrible to happen, but I think they just want to cover the what if scenario as they are a bit nervous as brand-new homeowners to using the site. I think this is a very practical question, I just have never had a homeowner ask about this and curious if anyone else has dealt with this and how you resolved it prior to the sit. I guess I could see if it was something that I was at fault for, for example hitting somebody’s car, that I would pay the deductible but if it was something like the hot water heater broke and caused damage that would be on them. Very curious about others thoughts and if anybody has put an agreement in writing and might be willing to share it with me in a DM.

As far as I’m aware, the insurance from THS only covers damage / injury caused by the pets. As the homeowner is responsible for selecting their coverage (and deductible- which lowers their premium) then it seems appropriate the homeowner also pay any deductible needed. They are not paying you to sit for them and as such you are a guest in their home. As far as vehicle coverage goes, determining liability can be tricky. Vehicle coverage will very much depend on the country. Agreeing who will pay the deductible before your sit begins will certainly avoid additional pain down the road should a claim be needed.

Hi @Freebird as @NigelF says this is a matter which needs to be addressed and fully discussed between you and the owners. For any insurance concerns we advise owners to consult their official insurance provider, details of TrustedHousesitters Insurance products are available on the website.

I had a situation in my home which resulted in a toilet having to be replaced, a complete accident. I told my sitters I would claim on the insurance (the total bill was $1,800) they insisted that I didn’t in case my premium was affected and offered to pay the full deductible which I didn’t think was fair and we came to an agreement to pay half each.

It really is all about having honest communication and being clear about everyone’s expectations in the unlikely event of something untoward happening.

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I appreciate the responses. Yes, the homeowners and I are in agreement we want to figure it out before hand. Maybe I was not clear in my question. I was not asking whether it was a good idea to agree, but rather if anybody has language or a template that they have used to address the situation prior to a sit they were willing to share.

I have three basic questions about a sitter’s sit cancellation insurance:

  1. The insurance prerequisites require a sitter to provide notice to TH of the cancellation within 24 hours of the cancellation and then provide proof of that cancellation. That proof can be a screen shot of the cancellation text. The purpose of that notice and proof is to allow TH to try to find alternate sits in the general area where the cancellation occurred to mitigate the amount of a potential claim. We must then cooperate with that search and send applications. We then have to fill out and submit a claim form that is sent to us. When do we get that form?

  2. It is my understanding that I can make a claim for three cancelled sits during an annual membership year, but only up to 30 days accommodations total is covered at up to $150 a day. That is further limited to a total payout of $1500. Most hotels are around $100 a night so once the $1500 is exhausted, we are on our own, right?

  3. From what I understand from your sitter insurance terms page, I have to get accommodations in the city where the sit was cancelled. Let’s say I am in Austin Texas and have a refundable plane ticket to Seattle where a one week sit was scheduled. Three days before the Seattle sit, I get notice of cancellation from the homeowner. I immediately notify TH and send proof of cancellation. Assume there are no other sits in Seattle I can get during that time. Do I still have to fly to Seattle, and get accommodations there to make a successful claim?

  4. It appears I have to wait until the monetary limit of the accommodation insurance is met or the days of the missed sit are over (whichever is less) before I send in my expense receipts and claim form.

    a. Do I submit them by snail mail or l can I submit all of it electronically?

    b. I see it must be received by you, you must send it to the insurance company, then they have up to 30 days to make a decision.

      1.  How long does it take you to submit it to the insurance company?
      2. Do you submit it electronically, or do you send it snail mail?
      3. Does the insurance company pay by electronic banking?
      4. This is the ultimate question: On average, how long from the date of my submission of my claim form and receipts does it take for me to actually have the money in my hand?
    

They don’t actually have a form. You just do it all by email with THS. Quite an easy process.

Yes, but the chances of having 3 cancelled sits in one year, and not being able to find new sits to replace them, are fairly unlikely. The purpose of the insurance to help tide us over in a short-notice cancellation while we get new sits lined up.

It seems like this is the case. We were in the UK when our sit was cancelled. We found accommodation within an hour’s drive of both the sit we were on, the the sit that was cancelled, and it was approved. But yes, you need to be staying in the area of the cancelled sit.

We informed THS of the cancellation immediately (June 7th) and got the info about what we would need to do so we could make sure we followed the rules. We emailed the documentation on June 13th (the cancelled sit had been June 9-15th) so we didn’t have to wait until it was finished.

We did everything electronically, by email. We had a small glitch after the initial application because the receipt we had was handwritten so we contacted the B&B owner and asked for a typed one with more info on it. She emailed us a PDF and we submitted that. It took a week or so for THS to approve the application once everything was submitted, and then we were informed that it was being sent to the insurance company for approval and that would take up to 30 days.

It took a about 25 days and insurance company approved it. We then sent our banking information and they’ve told us to expect the money to be deposited within a week.

I would say the whole process takes about 6-8 weeks.

I’ve skimmed through and not sure if this has been addressed. I’m a basic member homeowner.

I have written in my listing that my house is not safe for babies/small children. A couple with a 7 month old applied. My partners thinks that THS and/or my personal homeowners insurance should cover any possible liability, and that I should leave it up to the parents to decide, anyway.

Do you know if THS would cover liability if, say, a small baby fell down my sleep steps? What are your thoughts on this in general?

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I know THS insurance pays only after you have made a claim with your homeowner’s insurance, although I don’t know that they would cover that kind of an injury anyway. It would be a liability claim through your homeowner’s insurance.

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If you wrote in your listing that you are not comfortable with small children, then stick to your guns. Especially if you do not have child gates at the top/bottom of steps. It appears as though this sitter might not have read your listing. That doesn’t bode well for how they approach other limitations you set or requests you might make. As HOs, we’ve turned down applications from sitters with children, as it is posted in our listing that the sit is not suitable for families.

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Yeah, I agree, thank you. There appears to be somewhat of a language barrier, so I try to be open minded, but even a language barrier has the potential to be problematic in communicating animal and home care.

Hi GardenCat,

I realize you may have decided, but just wanted to chime in with my own thoughts:

  • Your listing says it’s not safe for young children. But I can see in a parents’ mind, maybe they plan to keep the baby in a playpen.
    • Or you’d think they’d ask what makes it unsafe for children, and if you’d reconsider. (Doesn’t sound like they asked that.)
  • You mention the spiral staircase as the reason, but I couldn’t find a photo of such a staircase. Maybe add one?
  • You’re a Superhost, and not just a new one, but having done Airbnb over a decade. That’s very impressive. So you’ve never had someone stay in your house with a young child or baby?
  • Currently, I don’t see any applicants for your (Christmas) listing. Have you made a post asking for feedback to improve your listing? I keep seeing such posts, and I also keep seeing multiple members give feedback from multiple perspectives. Really constructive stuff.
  • I am neither an HO nor a parent, but in general, I’d love to have sitters who had a 7-month-old. I guess I feel the parents would be more responsible than the average sitter, and a 7-month-old would be better than, say, a 3-year-old who could easily disobey and get into trouble.
  • Sorry that I don’t know how THS insurance works in general, or in specifics.
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Thank you, Geoff. I do have a photo of the spiral staircase in my listing - for that very reason.

I wonder if the couple is planning to travel from Italy with a playpen. Somehow, I doubt it.

I once had a couple stay at my place with a toddler, via Airbnb. It was that experience that made me decide to never do it again. No, I don’t allow small children via Airbnb. My home, as listed in the listing, is not safe for children - the stairs are a part of that , but not all. There’s no way to put a gate at the top or bottom of the steps, for example. Climbing the steps with a baby in the arms would be treacherous, hands too full to use the railing.

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