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Your point is correct, that is why I was very concerned about protecting my property and mitigating my risk as a vacation homeowner. The policy is clear on what it does not cover, and in our case of VR owners some of our biggest uncovered risks are:
What I have done since is to require the insurance from medium and high risk renters AND a credit card to cover what the insurance does not cover. By holding the credit card, I can charge the expenses the PDP does not cover. I started doing this after a guest broke an aluminum door and when I charged him, his response was that this is a beach property and the hinge was rusted, it was a tough call so I decided it is best to collect the insurance than debate with the guest.
But at least some of the major expenses, typically large enough for a guest to fight back such as breakage or damaged item are covered.
BTW, on your highlighted line that you must report it within three days, it means reported to YOU and not to the insurance company, they require 90 days:
Notice of Claim We must be given written notice of claim within 90 days after a covered loss occurs.
So you have time to collect your documentation and send it in one big Zip file.
Good heavens! I'm sticking with my damage deposit rule!
I am new in the VRBO and thought that insurance is better than to deal with deposits till tenant brought the dog/s with them. Ceaner told me that and they spent extra time cleaning dog hair of of everything in the house (I paid extra 2 hours to them too). I came to stay in the house 2 month after them and found parasitice type warms in the carpet. There was only one guest who staid at the house between us and I confirmed that they did not have pets. I cleaned the carpet and filed a claim. Guess what was the verdict? Denied!!! CSA does not cover any damage that resulted in tenant not following your rules ("outside pets only" for us).
Not tell me, what good is this insurance if it does not cover the things that tenent ruins if you tell them "not to do it"? If we were folowing the rules of the road, we would not need car insurance too, but we don't and at times get in trouble. What if our car insurance people told us "oh, you broke the rules of the road, so we will not cover your claim?!"
I don't think this Personal Property Protection plan that VRBO advertises is any good! I have to go to the deposits next year!
I don't know what to do now. Any suggestions?
An update to our previous post:
We now follow the same policy as Gabriel.
We take a $500 damage deposit for ALL rentals, and require the CSA insurance whenever my "gut" tells me to. In general, we don't even accept renters when we're not sure, but sometimes you let your heart strings get plucked, or you just feel it's worth the risk to fill out the week. We also require the Damage Insurance for most rentals over 10 days. It truly is "cheap insurance" compared to the overall fees for a longer stay.
While I have started using CSA, I notice that I have not been able to get a copy of the detailed policy only the standard .pdf that seems to be more of a marketing document. There has to be a very detailed document somewhere. Any suggestions on how to get or demand that CSA gives me a copy?
Last time I looked (a couple months ago), the CSA insurance that VRBO seems to point to does not do what I want here at the beach. What we care about is coverage in the event of mandatory evacuation. Here's the info, and I'll bet you can get what you want from them:
TRAVEL INSURANCE: The insurance company that is used by many rental agencies here on the OBX is CSA. Among other things, it covers days lost due to mandatory evacuation by the local government.
The number for CSA is 1-800-348-9505. Wait through the menu and you’ll get a human. Tell them you want CSA Insurance plan code 330CSA and TELL THEM YOU'RE STAYING AT A HOUSE ADVDERTISED ON VRBO. The premium will be 6.95% of the prepaid rental cost (don't count tax or security deposit). Their hours for questions and purchasing are:
6-6 M-F Pacific Time
6-3 Weekends Pacific Time
I posted this in another thread, but it seems applicable here as well:
This may sound crazy, but it's worked pretty well so far. For about six months, I've been offering my guests a choice. They can give me a $250 Refundable Security Deposit (different than the booking deposit to reserve their dates) or pay me a $50 Damage Waiver Fee. The $250 Refundable Security Deposit is just what you all think it is, a fully refundable deposit pending any damaged or missing items. I've been renting for just over a year and have yet, knock on wood, to have to withhold anything. Based on that experiece, I decided to try offering a $50 Damage Waiver Fee. Basically, the guest is paying me an additional $50 that is not refundable and I use it to self-insure. My guests are split about 50/50 on which they choose. I've now collected more than the amount of the Refundable Security Deposit and if there's no damage, it adds to my bottom line. If damage does occur at some point in the future, I've got more than that guest's $250 for repair or replacement.
Why should some insurance company, who can refuse to cover whatever they want, get to keep my guest's money. It might as well be me instead. Plus, I use that money to replace things that wouldn't typically be charged against a Refundable Security Deposit, such as worn out linen or a broken wine glass.
We have had 4 years experience with damage waiver required by the rental agency we used to use. So have lots of our friends here. The overwhelming majority have had MUCH more damage from damage waiver guests than they did with refundable damage deposits. Maybe you'll be lucky, but there may come a time when all the $50 you've collected won't come near what it will cost to repair the damage from just one unfortunate week.
IMO, your guests need to have some skin in the game.
I am beginning to wonder what the point of having insurance is if you state house rules in your contract, the guest breaks them and the insurance will not pay out for broken rules that cost you money to fix.
Hi Crescent beach:
I received a copy of the policy after I called CSA, it is the same marketing document but with more legal parragraphs, it contains nothing that adds value to determining how they calculate the reimbursements, such as depreciation, limits per item, etc.
I asked the CSA agent over the phone and they told me these tables are internal and not required to be disclosed.
So much for transparency,
I have been charging a seperate cleaning fee of $150 which is refundable or partially refundable depending on how long it takes my staff to clean after the guests leave. I also leave the numbers of two local women who clean.
This is completely different from the Security Deposit issue.
I read what I could from the insurance company, however, can you please clarify that the PDPI covers properties in the Caribbean. Thank you very much.
For specific questions about PDP, you can call (888) 501-3025, or you can reach them by email at CustomerCare@PropertyDamageProtection.com.
Speaking only for my experience, I can say this. We take weekend and weekend rentals and have for two years. We have seen a LOT of parties come and go.
I offer either an accidental damage insurance policy (half of which they pay for) or a $275 security deposit. So far, 100% have taken the damage insurance. And, I have not filed a single claim. My guests leave my place clean and take care of our property as it it was their own. My partner feared that our guests might know about the acciental damage insurance and trash the place. Its never happened. Truly, many worry about that, but then I wonder who there benchmark is. At least in our case, our guests are real people like you and me who are just trying to get away for a short time. They are not careless creeps or thoughtless people who would take advantage.
The hotel industry rents millions of rooms out every year and has a very small percentage of them that get "trashed", even though no security deposit is typically required. Does it happen on occassion, yes. But the percentage of times is very low.
Damage insurance is a very guest-friendly option. In my experience, and I recognize that your situations may be different, the FEAR of the risk far outweighs the probability. This has been true for me and for those in my rather large rental community who I have spoken with. Most do not require any deposit and they have been in business for years. If that policy wasn't working, then I sense they would have changed it by now. Bottom line, I am not willing to inconvenience my guests because there is a very small possibility that I may get taken advantage of.
Also, another thing to consider is that the damage insurance only covers accidental damage. If a place gets "trashed" by carelessness, it would not be covered either. You'll want to be clear on what the policy covers. I do believe that the damage insurnace company sends a notice of the policy coverage to the renter anyway, but better safe than sorry. Truthfully, we are thinking of doing what others have said they do this year... take the non-refundable damage deposit and self-insure. It is a lot of money to pay to an insurance company when after two years we have never filed a claim. But if our furniture, flat screen TV or flooring was damaged, we could get in trouble. As always, you have to way risk to probability and make the decison that's best for you.