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9645 Views 38 Replies Latest reply: Oct 1, 2012 12:56 PM by amirek RSS
amirek Contributor 45 posts since
Feb 13, 2012
Currently Being Moderated

Jul 24, 2012 10:52 AM

increased fees for Property Damage Protection policies

Anyone else notice the increased fee for PDP policies? I was sending out a quote today and noticed that the fees have gone up. Fees were previously: $39, $49 and $59. New fees are: $59, $69 and $89!

 

Unreal. Time to stop using PDP and just use security deposits. It's easier to hold back for damage anyway, since most incidents are very minor. No point in forcing guests to pay those high prices when the likelihood of major damage is so low. (At least in my area, we've never had anything major occur.)

 

What are everyone's thoughts on the increased rates for PDP? Do you think it's even worth it? I'm guessing most use security deposits instead.

  • crescentbeach4u Community All-Star 862 posts since
    Sep 10, 2011

    You are the second one that has posted this but there have been several answers including mine that says we have not seen an increase even though we just bought the insurance.

  • crescentbeach4u Community All-Star 862 posts since
    Sep 10, 2011

    Well.......I stand corrected.

     

    My rates are now showing $49 and up.  I will stop using PDP from this point forward as I was paying it without the customer knowing.  My rates that I charge can not survive an increase.  I might do the self insure option which one guy is doing by just setting the money asside instead of paying CSA.

    • sodamo Contributor 260 posts since
      Nov 5, 2011

      Considering what I've read in some the other postings about what isn't covered, seems you might be well ahead by setting the money aside.

    • mike-dfv Community All-Star 810 posts since
      Mar 5, 2011

      crescentbeach4u wrote:

       

      Well.......I stand corrected.

       

      My rates are now showing $49 and up.  I will stop using PDP from this point forward as I was paying it without the customer knowing.  My rates that I charge can not survive an increase.  I might do the self insure option which one guy is doing by just setting the money asside instead of paying CSA.

       

      Exactly! And I have now collected WELL OVER my standard Refundable Security Deposit. So, for any damages caused, I have a greater pool of funds for repair/replacement then I would have if I had only collected my $250 Refundable Security Deposit.

       

      I do think it's important to offer a choice still, but it's now the very rare guest who selects the $250 Refundable Security Deposit. Almost everyone goes for the $50 Damage Waiver Fee. Most of the time they tell me something like, "because it seems easier". Also of note, I have as yet to withhold any of the Refundable Security Deposits I've taken anyway, so it really has been extra money in my pocket ... so far ... knock wood. But again, if I ever do have damages where I would withhold from the Deposit, I have more than that built up by the Waiver Fees anyway!

       

      Why should some third party get those funds, especially if they have all kinds of reasons to NOT pay. This system is working great for me so far.

       

      Mike

      • crescentbeach4u Community All-Star 862 posts since
        Sep 10, 2011

        Thank you Mike,

         

        I am implementing your process today.

         

        Doug

        • mike-dfv Community All-Star 810 posts since
          Mar 5, 2011

          I actually send the quote without the Damage Waiver Fee, so it looks something like this (using simple math numbers):

           

          7 Nights: $900.00

          Cleaning Fee: $100.00

          Subtotal: $1,000.00

          10% Tax: $100.00

          Total: $1,100.00

           

          Then I throw in a paragraph giving them the choice of the $250 Refundable Security Deposit or $50 Damage Waiver Fee, indicating that the DWF is taxable, so it's $56.00 additional total.

           

          Mike

            • mike-dfv Community All-Star 810 posts since
              Mar 5, 2011

              The Damage Waiver Fee is a line item I set up in Reservation Manager, just like the Cleaning Fee, so it's in the top section when doing the "Book It" function. It's not a waiver for them to sign. It's waiving the need for them to pay a Security Deposit.

               

              I've gotten feedback from some other owners that they think guests will feel they are entitled to damage my property if they pay the extra $50 rather than the Refundable Security Deposit. My property has been left in good shape by every guest so far ... knock wood. The worst condition it's been left in was actually by guests who selected the Refundable Security Deposit. Even then, though, it wasn't bad enough for me to withhold any of their funds. I know my luck with good guests will run out eventually, so I'll be happy to have these extra funds on hand.

               

              Mike

  • I AM UPSET!!!!

     

    I have many guests coming over the following months and I have already contracted with them the PDP insurance, billed them for the $39-$59 and since I request that all fees be paid 30 days before check in, not when signing the contract (which may be a year earlier), I now have to pay $10-$30 out of my pocket.

     

    Homeaway should be more forthcoming on these things, and let us know ahead of time of any changes, I could have bought all my pending PDP then and changed my pricing going forward.

     

    I AM UPSET!!!!

  • Yeah, I thought it was awfully nervy to just increase the premium by 50% and not inform their regular customers in advance.  I'm advertising their price of $59 and it does not exist anymore.... its $69 for half the coverage.  So for a few bookings I've got to pay up for it myself.

     

    I'd like to try the damage waiver fee and keep the money to pool it but there always seems to be the one time that you wish you'd had the insurance.  I like the fact that the insurance will cover items like bikes that are included and stolen away from the property.  The insurance would be a good idea when you are forced to take a service animal as well... in the event the animal damages the property.

     

    I'd sure like to at least replace the insurance company after they way they handled the increase.

      • fishbonelbi Contributor 32 posts since
        Jan 28, 2011
        Currently Being Moderated
        Jul 30, 2012 10:10 AM (in response to amirek)
        Re: increased fees for Property Damage Protection policies

        I too noticed this last week when the same $5k of coverage went up in price by $30.  At first I thought it was suspicious timing because we had just submitted a $200 claim as well (which of course they haven't paid us for yet), but seeing that it is widespread, at least it's not limited to us.

         

        HomeAway and PDP should be ashamed of themselves.  It's one thing to jack up premiums 50% overnight (and there may be legitimate financial reason to do so), but to do it without any notification to owners is deplorable. The policy premiums are approaching an amount where I'm concerned our guests will not conceded to forking over that much money with no refund, which will pose a huge inconvenience for us.

         

        Unfortunately we have not yet purchased the remainder of our policies for the summer yet, but already collected the policy amounts from our guests and will not be charging them additionally.  You can bet I'll be vehemently calling PDP today to buy the rest of the policies in bulk while they're still honoring them. 

         

        Sorry HomeAway / PDP, you really bungled this one.

  • old_frog Contributor 133 posts since
    Jul 24, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 30, 2012 12:38 PM (in response to amirek)
    Re: increased fees for Property Damage Protection policies

    I also was displeased when, upon preparing a quote, I learned of the unannounced PDP fee increase.  I do like the comments and suggestions above. 

     

    As others have posted above, I think I discontinue offering the PDP, and start offering a damage waiver per Mike"s (AKA: disneyfunvilla) or a refundable security depost.

     

    ON Edit:  In thinking about it, there is probably a better phrase that the new security depsosit waiver fee could be termed.  Aspointed out above, Damage Waiver might imply something not intended if one needs recourse to seek reimbursement for damages.  But, perhaps Security Deposit Waiver (SDW) fee.  Describe it in the covering email as to its' purpose and nature, and simply list it as SDW fee in the qoute.  In practice, it would workmuch the way the current PDP fee is, except that the property owner would sefl insuring and self administering for the small damages.

     

    Thanks, you have help me sort thorough the unplesant surprise of the unannounced fee increase.  Bob.

  • New Member 16 posts since
    Dec 17, 2011

    I have quoted my last PDP.  We found that most guests took the PDP option when presented with either a $100 refundable deposit and a $39 PDP fee OR a $500 refundable deposit.  I'm guessing they just looked at the total and went with the least charge to their credit card.  Since we were having to pay 3% of the $500 deposit, we actually preferred they take the PDP charge.  After a year of no incidents, I will continue to offer the non-refundable damage fee as an option, and just self-insure.  If I had done this all of last year, I would have more held in reserve than the $1500 that the protection offered anyway.  Also, after reading many of the posts about what wouldn't be paid, I don't have any confidence that I would ever see any money from a claim.

      • New Member 16 posts since
        Dec 17, 2011

        Thanks for the additonal information and experience with PDP.  We haven't filed a claim, but have  had small items missing.  We just replaced them and figured it was a cost of doing business. Also, we are only in the property about every third or fourth rental, and housekeeping doesn't see or know everything that should be there. I was thinking that PDP would be good for major damage, but after reading that they wouldn't pay for malicious damage, I'm not sure what value that would have.  I will also look into what my homeowners insurance will cover.

        Thanks for sharing

  • fishbonelbi Contributor 32 posts since
    Jan 28, 2011

    I'd like to add an additional headache HomeAway has created to this conversation.  Today when attempting to purchase new policies, I chose the lowest level of coverage when normally I choose the highest.  I've always been able to change my choice in coverage on a per policy basis.   Today however, I got a note saying that the amount I chose is not my "default" plan, and was forced into purchasing the highest amount of coverage, which is 50% higher than what my tenants pre-paid for.  So not only are the premiums much higher, but there is now some mystical "default" plan I signed up for that I can't deviate from??

     

    And I can't find anything in my listing account that specifies a "default" plan.  So I have no idea how to change it.

    Seriously??

     

    CAS is getting a nasty call from me today.   Amongst many of my other questions around these changes, my main one is, where is HomeAway in this conversation? Is anyone there listening?

    • Hi Fishbonelbi:

       

      Call them up, I had the same issue, I offer different levels of coverage depending on length of stay (don't see how to justify a weekend stay paying the highest premium as a week long guest), I called them and they will sell you the coverage requested. Their number (888) 501-3025

       

      They explained that once you select one coverage, it becomes your default, and unless you call them, you cannot change it online. But you can get any level over the phone or ask them to change your new default.

       

      Best of luck,

       

      Gabriel

  • scottr Contributor 201 posts since
    Aug 14, 2012

    Had to laugh ....

    I was booking a vacation on HA (not related to my own HA listing) and got an automated email response from my inquiry.  The email said I shoudl consider the PDP starting at just $39.  When you follow the link for more information, you get a page that explains the PDP plans starting at just $49!!!    Doesn't look like HA orchestrated that price change very well.   Obviously.   Scott

  • New Member 2 posts since
    Jul 12, 2012

    Home Away has done it again.  Our season is just starting, and I have previously included the Property Damage Protection fees, for $49 and without notice to anyone, they are now $69.  As a stockholder in this company, I can certainly tell you they are treating their customers badly and as a stockholder, this is very shortsighted and DUMB.  I really don't know how much more they expect the owners or stockholders to put up with this nonsense.

      • scottr Contributor 201 posts since
        Aug 14, 2012

        We dropped the PDP and went to just security deposits also.  We were offering the option of a lower security deposit and the PDP fee, or a higher security deposit.  Most guests took the lower deposit and PDP fee.  Since we dropped the PDP option, we went to a more typical security deposit and so far, no objections.

        Scott

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