50 Replies Latest reply: Jan 5, 2019 2:41 PM by 2seaviews RSS

    CSA Caution

    owner99 New Member

      CAUTION TO ALL OWNERS.  I have had a recent guest for which I needed to submit a CSA property protection claim. I found out the hard way that if the Guest denies doing the damage, even though there is photographic evidence, CSA will deny the claim. Apparently CSA will take the word of the guest over the Owner with the loss and evidence to avoid having to pay out on the protection policy.  So having a guest pay for a CSA policy doesn’t provide the same protection as a security deposit. All it takes is for the guest to say “it wasn’t me” and you pay for the damage out of your own pocket.

        • Re: CSA Caution
          margaret CommunityAmbassador

          I'm sorry you had this unpleasant experience. If you search this group you will see this has been discussed many times in the past. The insurance is for accidental damage only and the guest must admit to it. The guest buys the insurance, they are insured not the owner. A damage deposit is a better option IMO. .

          • Re: CSA Caution
            hmmmm Senior Contributor

            Damage deposit is the only way to go.
            You do not want an insurance company who's goal is to not pay out controlling your investment.

            Or any other entity that its purpose is to not pay out or only cover the vacationer.

             

            I also own non vacation rental, rental property, and would always want the final say on any damages or issues.  I would never leave it another's hands

             

            This is your property, your money and your liability, charge a refundable damage deposit.

            • Re: CSA Caution
              green_mango Active Contributor

              Yep, that's a pretty well known problem with the CSA policy - sorry you found out the hard way.  I don't understand why guests down cop to things - they already paid for the insurance.  In your shoes, since it was not covered by CSA you should at the very least send the bill to your guest.  Likely won't pay it, but maybe they'll suddenly remember the damage. 

               

              Also, I ditched CSA and use a different company (ARDI) - they offer more coverage ($49 for $3K), I purchase it myself for each guest, and they don't require damage to be agreed to in order to be covered.  I even had our whole double oven replaced (maxed out the $3K policy) when the microwave broke while guest was using it.  You do have to buy it for every guest though - can't cherry pick. 

                • Re: CSA Caution
                  psphoto Active Contributor

                  You fill out the ARDI insurance application for each and every guest?

                    • Re: CSA Caution
                      green_mango Active Contributor

                      Yes - it takes about 2 minutes

                        • Re: CSA Caution
                          psphoto Active Contributor

                          Have you ever filed a claim?

                          If so...how was the experience?

                            • Re: CSA Caution
                              green_mango Active Contributor

                              psphoto Yes - I have filed claims.

                               

                              CSA - filed one claim for 2 items & guest agreed to the damage & I was reimbursed. 

                               

                              Aside from the not-so-great coverage from CSA, my other beef was that I could not purchase on behalf of the guest - back when I switched it was difficult for guests to buy the CSA policy since I process payments myself outside of VRBO, and instead I would go to the CSA website & create an email link to the guest requesting that they purchase, but it was one more thing for me to keep track of and check and see if it was paid.  So, I shopped around and turns out ARDI allows the owner to purchase & it's less expensive and has a better reputation. 

                               

                              I've been using ARDI well over a year now and have filed a handful of claims - all covered.  Mostly small, but my double oven maxed out the policy and I was very happy that they covered it.  I can guarantee you there is NO way CSA ever would have covered replacement of my double oven because my built-in microwave broke while a guest was using it.  Pop!  Smoke smell - kaput.  ARDI had me submit for everything related to repair and then covered the max allowed ($3K) so I am pretty much sold on ARDI for life.  I submitted electrician bills, cabinet modification bills, new microwave, new double oven.  It takes time, and follow-up with the reps to make sure they received everything, but well worth it.

                        • Re: CSA Caution
                          psphoto Active Contributor

                          So let me get this straight.....

                          VRBO/HA offers the GUEST a policy for $79 that covers $3000 damage that only pays the OWNERS if the  GUEST agrees that they want the OWNERS to be compensated ( even if owners have documentation of damage ).

                          ARDI offers a policy for $49 that covers $3000 damage that pays the OWNERS when they have documented damage ( intentional damage is not covered ) and doesn't need the GUEST to agree.

                          So....tell us all VRBO/HA....why are you offering the former at a significantly higher price that doesn't really protect the owners when the latter is widely available with the kind of coverage we need?

                          Is this the best our "Partner" can do?

                            • Re: CSA Caution
                              feibus Senior Contributor

                              if the guest doesn't agree about the damage, it must have been "intentional", right?  Makes sort-of "insurance logic".

                                • Re: CSA Caution
                                  psphoto Active Contributor

                                  I think the "intentional" bar is much higher than the "I didn't do that" bar.....and since the guest doesn't file the claim.....they can just walk away with the owner and themselves both happy. Of course, as in any insurance situation, we really need to hear from someone who has filed a claim to see what the documentation requirements really are.

                                • Re: CSA Caution
                                  mike-dfv Senior Contributor

                                  psphoto wrote:

                                   

                                  So let me get this straight.....

                                  VRBO/HA offers the GUEST a policy for $79 that covers $3000 damage that only pays the OWNERS if the  GUEST agrees that they want the OWNERS to be compensated ( even if owners have documentation of damage ).

                                  ARDI offers a policy for $49 that covers $3000 damage that pays the OWNERS when they have documented damage ( intentional damage is not covered ) and doesn't need the GUEST to agree.

                                  So....tell us all VRBO/HA....why are you offering the former at a significantly higher price that doesn't really protect the owners when the latter is widely available with the kind of coverage we need?

                                  Is this the best our "Partner" can do?

                                   

                                  The key to this is to understand that HA is marketing and selling the CSA coverage to guests for THEIR protection. To wit - owner collects a $500 damage deposit, guest buys CSA coverage. Guest causes damage, owner withholds from damage deposit. Guest files a claim to recover their losses (funds kept from damage deposit by owner.)

                                    • Re: CSA Caution
                                      psphoto Active Contributor

                                      Yes, it would seem that the best thing for an owner to do is not offer the insurance policy by itself, but to make sure a damage deposit is collected as well as an "incentive" to make sure the policy pays the claim.......either directly to the owner, or as reimbursement to the guest against monies taken from the damage deposit for the actual damage.

                                      For those who have had such a claim, did you get paid directly from CSA or was the guest directly reimbursed?

                                      Does the insurance provider offer both sorts of payouts?

                                        • Re: CSA Caution
                                          green_mango Active Contributor

                                          CSA and ARDI both pay the owner directly.  Owner is responsible for filing the claims with both companies. 

                                            • Re: CSA Caution
                                              psphoto Active Contributor

                                              So....ARDI paid out on your microwave/oven blowing up even though it probably wasn't "user" error?

                                              I'm surprised they did that.....rather than claiming it was a warranty issue.

                                              It seems like they would not cover standard appliance failure issues, since we all have those at times that are unrelated to guest use, but are just appliance life issues.

                                              I think you are right in saying CSA would have denied the claim!

                                                • Re: CSA Caution
                                                  green_mango Active Contributor

                                                  Yep, I was pleasantly surprised - user error or not, it was accidental damage to property and was covered.  Oven was outside of its warranty period.  CSA would have said it was regular wear & tear, I'm guessing.  Either way, I am totally sold on the ARDI product

                                            • Re: CSA Caution
                                              New Member

                                              What Happens though if the damage is discovered after the Security deposit is refunded.

                                              Such as a sleep sofa that was forced back and the damage was not documented until

                                              the following week. CSA has refused the claim even though Notarized statements and

                                              Photos have been provided.

                                                • Re: CSA Caution
                                                  u0999 Premier Contributor

                                                  I thought it was pretty well known for a long time that 1) CSA protects renter, not owner 2) renter has to ADMIT to doing the damage in order for CSA to reimburse and 3) damage is supposed to be 'accidental' (i.e not something done on purpose and/or in violation of your rental agreement). So having all those 3 in mind, it is pretty useless  as far as protection of  OWNER. I have an option of ARDI insurance via Ownerrez, which I do not use. there is nothing like damage deposit on hand - having actual money on the line keeps renters more careful with your property.

                                            • Re: CSA Caution
                                              2seaviews New Member

                                              Would you be able to send the link for ARDI insurance. I have searched online and can't find anything.

                                               

                                              Anyone know if ARDI can be used for property located outside the US?

                                                • Re: CSA Caution
                                                  green_mango Active Contributor

                                                  OH NO!!!!!!!!   I just bought a policy last week and now I went to send you the link and they're not selling them directly anymore to owners without being part of ivacationonline.  I think you *may* be able to purchase via OwnerRez if you have your site set up there - I've been thinking of switching my direct website to that platform, so this news may be the impetus that I need - I really liked that insurance!!! 

                                                   

                                                  As of January 1, 2019, we will no longer be selling the Travel Guard ARDI plans.

                                              • Re: CSA Caution
                                                feibus Senior Contributor

                                                All guests who go into my home must put a $500 credit-card-swipe damage deposit down on check-in (like a hotel).  If they choose to also buy a CSA policy (I do not encourage it), I tell them that I will use the policy as primary, but the damage deposit will cover anything not covered by their CSA policy and guests understand that going in.

                                                 

                                                Don't put yourself at the mercy of a company you don't have a contractual control over.  The CSA policy is not between you and the insurance company; it's between the guest who bought it and the insurance company.  You're just a third party beneficiary if they decide to pay.

                                                • Re: CSA Caution
                                                  hmmmm Senior Contributor

                                                  I suppose my concern with "insurance" has always been, its not an incentive to be good.  Pay a fee and do what you want.


                                                  The possibility of a "refundable damage deposit" charge for damage etc.  keeps the vacationers more concerned.


                                                  If you can pay $... and walk away, what incentive will keep them respectful besides having integrity.

                                                    • Re: CSA Caution
                                                      psphoto Active Contributor

                                                      Very true....especially a policy with what it seems is $0 deductible.

                                                      I think a hybrid approach would be best......a security deposit as the first method of payment, but insurance coverage for anything beyond that.

                                                      The deposit could be held low for incidental breakage or damage, but coverage if they blow up the oven!

                                                      Of course, you would have to deal with primary/secondary insurance issues with any short term owner coverage held on the property itself.

                                                        • Re: CSA Caution
                                                          feibus Senior Contributor

                                                          You should have that insurance in place anyway: it's your homeowner's insurance for the home being used as a vacation home, should include a portion where damage by a tenant is covered with a deductible.  The damage deposit should cover some or all of the deductible then.

                                                            • Re: CSA Caution
                                                              psphoto Active Contributor

                                                              Yes....homeowners insurance that provides coverage for short term rentals is important, but the issuer may not like multiple claims on the policy, and may pay out but cancel the coverage...whereas ARDI might be more flexible in dealing with claims, especially since a new policy is essentially issued every time a new guest is named. ARDI bases pricing on every guest stay, rather than the annual cost of a homeowners policy irregardless of the number of individual bookings. I like captmarkhd's idea of getting both a damage deposit and a guest insurance policy....since the policy would be the cheaper option for most guests in terms of paying for any damage done, and wouldn't involve a claim against the owner's homeowner's policy.

                                                        • Re: CSA Caution
                                                          captmarkhd Senior Contributor

                                                          As others have said, I use the $59 CSA which gives $1,500 in protection and I collect a $500 damage deposit as well. I have had three claims and only one wanted to dispute it but once I told them that if they dispute he claim and CSA denies  it i would be forced to use their damage deposit,  they had a complete 360 turn around. That was my main point in collecting the damage deposit beside the act that I would be covered for non accidental damage which also mans any damage that a guest does that is against my house rules. So my suggestion would b to start charging a small damage deposit as well as use the CSA policy.

                                                            • Re: CSA Caution
                                                              psphoto Active Contributor

                                                              Do you require the CSA coverage from every guest?

                                                              If a guest declines the coverage....do you charge a higher damage deposit?

                                                                • Re: CSA Caution
                                                                  captmarkhd Senior Contributor

                                                                  Yes, I require that every guest purchase the insurance and if they decline it then HA automatically collects and additional damage deposit that would be equal to the insurance coverage amount. So using my case as an example; I collect a $50 damage deposit and require the $1,500 insurance so if a guest declines the insurance then I would receive a total of $2,000 in damage deposits.

                                                                    • Re: CSA Caution
                                                                      psphoto Active Contributor

                                                                      The problem with this, of course, is the only way to do BOTH the insurance coverage AND damage deposit is to take one or the other offline.

                                                                      The VRBO/HA damage protection option won't let you do both....it's either or.

                                                                        • Re: CSA Caution
                                                                          captmarkhd Senior Contributor

                                                                          No that’s not accurate, you can do both through or he VRBO system as I do. Here is a

                                                                          screen screen shot from my dashboar.

                                                                           

                                                                          A2DBE2C6-766A-4E29-8AE6-33BDB04B9A98.jpeg

                                                                            • Re: CSA Caution
                                                                              psphoto Active Contributor

                                                                              Nope!

                                                                              Not on my Dashboard it doesn't....

                                                                              I can check both boxes, but I can't SAVE them that way!

                                                                               

                                                                              Here's what I get when I try and save BOTH. It either goes back to the same page, or if I select continue....it dumps the changes:

                                                                              Untitled33.jpeg

                                                                                • Re: CSA Caution
                                                                                  captmarkhd Senior Contributor

                                                                                  That looks like an account specific proble, I would call CS so that they can have a look

                                                                                    • Re: CSA Caution
                                                                                      psphoto Active Contributor

                                                                                      Ok.....finally figured it out.

                                                                                      I wasn't aware that you also had to select a specific coverage amount on the page.

                                                                                      What VRBO/HA didn't do is provide a check box on each of the 3 possible coverage options....even though there's a check box to select either Property Damage Protection or Refundable Damage Deposit.

                                                                                      Note to VRBO/HA.....if you use check boxes on a page as a selection method.....USE IT CONSISTENTLY!

                                                                                      We shouldn't have to "discover" something else we must select in order to save our preferences!

                                                                          • Re: CSA Caution
                                                                            2seaviews New Member

                                                                            Is there a way to make the CSA insurance purchase compulsory for guests?

                                                                          • Re: CSA Caution
                                                                            Contributor

                                                                            I refuse to use CSA. I do not offer it yet renters can still purchase it on their own so Homeaway must be offering it at some point in the booking process. I did inform my guest that I do not submit claims through them and any damages will be deducted from his security deposit. He would be on his own to file a claim for reimbursement from them

                                                                            • Re: CSA Caution
                                                                              New Member

                                                                              I just had the same experience.

                                                                              If VRBO going to partner with CSA for property Damage protection

                                                                              & the owner is going to insist that the renter purchase it, I would like

                                                                              to know WHY when Notarized statements and photos are provided of Damage and

                                                                              the renter says they did not do it there is no way to challenge the decision of

                                                                              payment for the damage.  My Brand-NEW Sleeper was forced back into the sofa bending

                                                                              the frame.  Obliviously they did not know how to put back a sleeper.

                                                                              The renter LIED, and my sleeper sofa is ruined, and I cannot get reimbursed for

                                                                              the damage.  I am done with CSA.

                                                                                • Re: CSA Caution
                                                                                  sage Senior Contributor

                                                                                  I would like to know WHY when Notarized statements and photos are provided of Damage and the renter says they did not do it there is no way to challenge the decision

                                                                                  The CSA coverage protects guests, it is not designed to protect owers in any way, so there is no reason an owner should be able to appeal a denial.

                                                                                • Re: CSA Caution
                                                                                  captmarkhd Senior Contributor

                                                                                  That's why I also collect a $500 damage deposit that way the guest has every motivation to cooperate with me and not deny the claim because if they do then its coming out of their deposit.