24 Replies Latest reply: May 1, 2019 10:05 PM by psphoto RSS

    Anyone have a successful outcome with Property Damage Protection?

    New Member

      I've scanned a number of discussions about PDP and would like to hear from any owner who has had tenants cause damage and was able to collect from PDP and was happy with the outcome and the process. I was just denied because the insurance company thought the tenant's story that someone broke into the house during the brief interval between my cleaner leaving and their arrival. The fragile old door to an inaccessible room in my old, old house was broken down by their son (he confessed as much to my cleaner on checkout day) but the insurance company accepted his father's denial. I'm frustrated because the damaged material can't be replaced by off-the-rack items from Home Depot. Replacement woodwork would need to be custom-milled by a finish carpenter.

       

      Message was edited by: Erinn HomeAway Community Manager to create a subject instead of the question being the subject

        • Re: I've scanned a number of discussions about PDP and would like to hear from any owner who had tenants cause damage and was able to collect, and was happy with the outcome and the process. I was just denied because the insurance company thought the tena
          New Member

          The insurance guy I spoke to literally said this was a case of the tenant's word against mine. HELLO! I'm the homeowner and my property was damaged! If a tenant denies he did it I'm out of luck??

          • Re: Anyone have a successful outcome with Property Damage Protection?
            ashevillelookout Senior Contributor

            The situation that you described is why I have my own property insurance policies for my rental properties.  Insurance paid for by the guest protects the guest and does little for the homeowner, IMO. 

              • Re: Anyone have a successful outcome with Property Damage Protection?
                New Member

                Thanks for your input. I believe I fell for what might charitably be described as a scam when I switched from collecting deposits to offering PDP insurance. There was nothing in the pitch that made it clear I was going to be hung out to dry in the event a tenant denied responsibility. I’m one of those people who prefer to believe the best about others until events prove the contrary; I always refund the cost of PDP as if it were a security deposit. Now I guess I’ll go back to refunding ACTUAL security deposits. No more PDP for me!

              • Re: Anyone have a successful outcome with Property Damage Protection?
                georgygirl1955 Senior Contributor

                I have had wonderful success.

                But the guest has to cooperate....so I wonder why Dad is not participating in helping you.

                Did you have a talk with him that processing the insurance is of no negative to Dad, and that Son actually already accepted responsiblity?

                Why is Dad digging in?

                • Re: Anyone have a successful outcome with Property Damage Protection?
                  New Member

                  I don’t know why I had the impression PDP was an acceptable substitute for security deposits. If a tenant is the type to damage a place they’re probably also the type to lie about it. My cleaner reported no problems before this group checked in, then they told me they found an interior door broken open when they arrived (one downstairs room, as I make VERY clear, is not currently included in the rental). As if anyone would break in during that short interval, NOT TAKE ANYTHING, but bust open the locked door to an empty room? Yet that was their story, and that’s what the insurance carrier VRBO partners with believed, despite the son CONFESSING TO MY CLEANER that he had done it. PDP is useless when tenants aren’t honest. I will no longer offer it.

                  • Re: Anyone have a successful outcome with Property Damage Protection?
                    8426secretkeycove New Member

                    I have been using the PDP for a little over a year.  In that time I have submitted probably 10 claims, ranging from $50-$1500 (the max on the policy)... and the first several were approved.  However, the past several have been much trickier, and the most recent was the final straw:  the cleaner found a few towels were stained, so she bought new towels for the house and sent me an invoice for $53.  I then submitted a claim to the PDP for the $53 (with the invoice from the cleaner and picture of the stained towels).

                     

                    Mind you, the guest pays $59 for the policy when they book the house to cover any damages during their stay up to $1,500.  They do not get the $59 back but they do not pay out of pocket for anything.  When the PDP people reached out to the guest to ask about the damage the guest got upset, denied any damages and then wrote a 1-star review titled "The house was lovely but...".  I have reached out to the guest a number of times and they are unwilling to even speak to me about it.  When I contact the PDP people, they just tell me that the guest denies it so they aren't going to pay.

                     

                    So, where does that leave me??  I'm out the $53 AND I have a 1-star review that will live on my listing until removed by the guest.

                     

                    I've been thinking of charging the guests the $59 at booking time and paying for the PDP myself so it is in my name - any thoughts if this would work?  The guest's contact information would not be on the claim and when PDP contacts me about the damage (because my name is on the policy) I will just tell them that the damage occurred.  Is this moral?  Questionable.  Is there a better way?  I'm not sure.

                      • Re: Anyone have a successful outcome with Property Damage Protection?
                        u0999 Premier Contributor

                        "denied any damages" - that is precisely why you should NOT rely on PDP from VRBO, and as far as I understand, ebven if YOU pay for PDP, it still depends on guest admitting damage. . If guest wants to purchase it - fine, it is for them. that PDP , as you found out, does NOT protect owner.  I collect deposit, and believe me, even amount like $300 of REAL money works much better to kep guests in line. There is a better way. Such as other insurance products that OWNER can purchase (and renter does not even have to know about it, let alone admit damage) such as ARDI. I do not use (as I said, I use deposit) but some do and like it. It can be purchased if you use software like ownerrez and I hear people have much better luck with it.

                          • Re: Anyone have a successful outcome with Property Damage Protection?
                            timthek Active Contributor

                            If you want insurance, ARDI is a much better option. They don't even contact the guest. That said, I believe that a security deposit is the only real safety net we have. Even ARDI claims don't cover everything. If a renter brings a pet to your no pet listing....too bad. If your guest is a total slob and leaves the place a huge mess requiring added hours of cleaning.....too bad. Only accidental damage is covered. I'm also a believer that a security deposit is a better bad behavior deterrent because the guest knows you already have their money. Yes a deposit is a hassle but if you can make it work it is the safest bet.

                              • Re: Anyone have a successful outcome with Property Damage Protection?
                                8426secretkeycove New Member

                                Who do you use for ARDI?  I don't believe my regular home insurance offers that as an option - and I own one vacation rental home, so I don't believe OwnerRez is for me.  I would prefer not to take security deposits for the same reason I do not like PDP:  it will cause an argument when I withhold anything for any reason... then it is literally taking money out of their pocket.

                                  • Re: Anyone have a successful outcome with Property Damage Protection?
                                    timthek Active Contributor

                                    Well, to me owner rez is worth it for one property based on all the automatic messages and calendar management.

                                     

                                    As for Ardi, it's not something offered as part of your insurance company. You can usually only buy it through some sort of rental management service like ownerrez or ivacation online.

                                     

                                    As I've said though, excess cleaning is one of the bigger problems with rentals and NO insurance will cover that.

                                     

                                    Tim

                                    • Re: Anyone have a successful outcome with Property Damage Protection?
                                      u0999 Premier Contributor

                                      Do you have e-signature service for your rental agreements? if not, Ownerez for $20 a month includes that. As well as automated emails, automated guest data collection (such as their home address, phone etc), PLUS ability to buy and apply ARDI. To me well ownerrez software worth $20/mo even for just one property.

                                        • Re: Anyone have a successful outcome with Property Damage Protection?
                                          8426secretkeycove New Member

                                          timthek I don't feel as though I need the automatic messages or calendar management... and u0999 I use the boiler pate rental agreement from HomeAway.

                                           

                                          80-90% of the bookings I take are through HomeAway and they take care of their own bookings pretty well I feel.  The other bookings I get I use PayPal to schedule invoices to be sent and I manually add the booking to my HomeAway calendar - which seems to work pretty well.  What I would really like to see is a better method for the accounting - something I do not feel that HomeAway does well is when money will be deposited into my account, plus let me know when my bills are due (taxes, management fees, electric/water/cable, mortgage, etc.)... all in one place and link to my bank accounts with a forecasting feature so I know when I will run out of money or when I can take a draw (I was hoping that OwnerRez would be able to help with this)...  But I digress, and this is well off-topic...

                                           

                                          I have googled ARDI and haven't found a ton of other providers besides OwnerRez.  Are there other options that you know of?

                                            • Re: Anyone have a successful outcome with Property Damage Protection?
                                              timthek Active Contributor

                                              Just be careful relying on HA for almost all of your bookings. They are great right up until they aren't. One little change to their algorithm and you can go from booked solid to having to sell. And definitely do not rely on whatever HAs click through agreement says. You need your own contract if you ever need to fight a charge back .

                                                • Re: Anyone have a successful outcome with Property Damage Protection?
                                                  u0999 Premier Contributor

                                                  yep. even though my eggs are spread out among baskets, example is my 3  bd. was doing very well on VRBO last year and year before and before (and 4 bd was so so). This year it is as if it fell off the cliff. The 4 bd doing better. You just never know when their algorithms  decide to throw your property off the cliff or elevate it.

                                                  • Re: Anyone have a successful outcome with Property Damage Protection?
                                                    wildiris Active Contributor

                                                    To the best of my knowledge, HomeAway doesn't have a "click through" rental agreement. 

                                                     

                                                    I have my own rental agreement that I send to guests for signature via my own email.  I always chuckle when I receive the payment notice from HomeAway that states, "Your rental agreement was accepted on XX/XX/XXXX at XX:XX PM by XXXX from IP address XXXXXX."  Really, HomeAway?  That's a miracle that the guest "accepted" "my" rental agreement when it's not on HomeAway's website, not in my dashboard, and I haven't sent it to the guest yet.  IMO, it's a very misleading statement for HomeAway to make to owners.

                                                  • Re: Anyone have a successful outcome with Property Damage Protection?
                                                    u0999 Premier Contributor

                                                    ivacationonline but that will cost more per month than Ownerrez.

                                                    • Re: Anyone have a successful outcome with Property Damage Protection?
                                                      margaret CommunityAmbassador

                                                      8426secretkeycove wrote:

                                                       

                                                       

                                                       

                                                        What I would really like to see is a better method for the accounting - something I do not feel that HomeAway does well is when money will be deposited into my account, plus let me know when my bills are due (taxes, management fees, electric/water/cable, mortgage, etc.)... all in one place and link to my bank accounts with a forecasting feature so I know when I will run out of money or when I can take a draw (I was hoping that OwnerRez would be able to help with this)...  But I digress, and this is well off-topic...

                                                       

                                                       

                                                      The things you mention are not things I would expect nor do I not want any advertising site to be involved in handling. As a matter of fact I wouldn't ever consider listing on a site that overstepped into my business to that extent.

                                                      • Re: Anyone have a successful outcome with Property Damage Protection?
                                                        u0999 Premier Contributor

                                                        aaand now payPal does not refund transaction fees on sec deposit refunds. So if you ever refund renter who paid by paypal, you are out transaction fee (which is 3% for domestic). I dunno what to tell you., my eggs are not all in VRBO basket, and they should no be., I do not rely on "click to agree'  rental agreements on VRBO site (or any site). I have extensive set of communications with renter including welcome emails, directions, door codes, post departure emails  etc. all automated. ownerrez has some reports which are quite nice if you set up to import all your financials from vrbo to ownerrez via their channel bridge. But I do not think that any vacation rental software will remind you to pay your electric bill. usually you can set that up with Quicken or your bank. Ownerrez does however send reminders to cleaners.

                                                • Re: Anyone have a successful outcome with Property Damage Protection?
                                                  psphoto Active Contributor

                                                  You can "force" a guest somewhat to make a claim in the case of real damage by only refunding a damage deposit to them if you are compensated by their PDP that they've taken out with Vrbo. If they deny a claim.....but you know and have proof they've caused damage.....you keep their damage deposit. That's why you need to have a decent amount held as a damage deposit even if they've taken out PDP insurance. As mentioned before...it's there to protect THEM...NOT the owners!

                                                • Re: Anyone have a successful outcome with Property Damage Protection?
                                                  wildiris Active Contributor

                                                  I agree with u0999 and timthek - a refundable damage deposit is your safest bet.  I don't know whether you could rightfully purchase the PDP as an owner and make yourself the insured.  It depends on the policy language and you'd have to read it and check.  My guess (and it is just a guess) is that the policy language describes the insured as the guest/tenant.  If it does, taking out the policy as the owner might be considered insurance fraud.