A conversation about insurance

Plus, I mentioned in my listing that it’s not safe for children, and then they applied anyway, not mentioning their child and not asking anything about why it wasn’t safe or whether I’d make an exception. So, I say in my listing it’s not safe: they ask to sit and they 1. Don’t mention the baby and 2. Don’t ask anything or acknowledge what I said. And, then, after I respond asking if they’re planning to bring the baby (who is mentioned in their profile but not in their application message) they don’t respond for a week, and when they do, they tell me that they will be. To me, that’s what? 4? 6? red flags?

@GardenCat I agree especially after your explanation. Although, initially, my thoughts were aligned with @geoff.hom - maybe a 7-month old baby is not mobile yet, so they’re not going to move about your home. But a baby in the arms up and down the staircase does cast another light on the situation. And then, the fact that they didn’t address the baby in their application and ask about the situation, is definitely a red flag. No, go with your gut.


@GardenCat : Thanks for that extra info. I’ve got several disparate thoughts, so I’ll list them in no particular order:

  • Your original post has now been merged into this thread, “a conversation about insurance.” That’s a shame to me, because your post was about a very specific hypothetical case (baby falling down stairs).
  • About the TH insurance for homeowners, I actually did some digging just on the TH website. =)
    • First, you say you’re a basic homeowner, not standard/premium? Then you don’t have any TH insurance, unless I’m mistaken.
    • e.g., see Home and Contents Protection | TrustedHousesitters.com
      • That link includes the terms of the insurance, and a link to contacting Membership Services with specific questions.
      • If you’re curious, you could just contact MS and ask them if you upgraded to standard, and a baby/toddler fell down your staircase, if their insurance would cover that.
  • stairwell photos:
    • I swear I checked your listing twice before I wrote, as I wanted to understand the situation. I must have missed the two stairwell photos I now see. My bad.
  • red flags:
    • I know you were being rhetorical, but I count the flags as such:
      1. they applied without mentioning their child in the app
      2. they don’t respond for a week to your inquiry
      3. when they say they will bring their child, they don’t explain how they’ll keep their baby safe even though your listing mentions a steep stairwell
    • so only 3 red flags :sweat_smile:
  • Airbnb:
    • I hope you find some great sitters! If you haven’t asked for feedback on your listing, I still recommend it. I know you have a ton of exp as a 10-year Superhost. But we all can get tunnel vision. Can’t hurt to ask, right?
    • Another idea: Can you advertise via Airbnb? E.g., set a discount rate for those dates, but specify that you’re looking for a petsitter? Maybe you want someone for all the dates, or maybe if it’s enough days, you can just leave the cats alone by themselves for the rest. (Or a neighbor can do the rest.) Just thinking that Airbnb’s audience is so much greater.
  • safely climbing down stairs/inclines:
    • Personally, I’ve found that the safest way to walk down stairs is to walk backwards. It’s unsettling the first time you try it, but after a day or two, it’s much better.
    • I’ve tried to explain why this works to people, but I think it’s hard for our brains to wrap around new ways to do things we’ve done for years. Maybe this will help: Think of climbing up and down a steep ladder. You go up one way, and down the same way. You would be unsafe to go down the ladder with your heels facing it. The same is true for a steep staircase or a steep descent/hill, and thus a normal staircase or normal hill.
    • Another way to say it is that I’ve tried going forwards for over 30 years, and I’ve tried going backwards for about 5 years now, and I think going backwards is safer.
    • To clarify, I could walk down your stairwell backwards, blindfolded, without the rail, and I’d be fine. But going forward with the same conditions? You couldn’t pay me enough to try that.
    • I still agree your stairwell is more dangerous than most, and it’s great there’s a railing. And it’s definitely dangerous for kids/babies.