14 Replies Latest reply: Jun 23, 2019 12:42 PM by thaxterlane RSS

    Flexible Insurance options - do they exist?

    koko Contributor

      I have never requested damage deposits or insurance of any sort. I never felt the need and never would have had a claim either.

      With clientele and length of stay changing, I think I need to rethink my stance and was looking for an option to require damage deposits or damage insurance only for stays over one week. The three nighters I would still like to exclude since it is too complicated with HA's bookkeeping tactics.

      Does anyone know how one could program the settings for damage protection to achieve these options?

        • Re: Flexible Insurance options - do they exist?
          margaret CommunityAmbassador

          There is no setting to collect a DD or insurance for some bookings and not for others. I would not recommend the insurance, a refundable DD is the best option IMO. The only way to accomplish what you are trying to do is to put a notation in your listing that you will collect an additional fee for a  DD for booking of 7 nights or longer.

            • Re: Flexible Insurance options - do they exist?
              koko Contributor

              Thank you for your sound advice - your idea is great, just would HA collect that together with the second payment? This would be exactly what I do not want and now I ma thinking how are guests reacting to having bring lets say $1000.00 to their check in? Or could that be handled with a hold on their CC through my own system ( I have quickbooks, stripe, square and Paypal)

            • Re: Flexible Insurance options - do they exist?
              wildiris Active Contributor

              Margaret has given you great advice.  I just thought I'd explain why the insurance isn't good from an owner's perspective.  The guest is the insured, not the owner.  Also, the insurance only covers accidental damage.  So, if the guest denies causing the damage, the insurance won't pay.  If the insurance company deems the damage intentional and not accidental (such as a guest throwing a bottle through your TV or carving his initials into your dining room table), the insurance won't pay.

               

              I'm glad that you haven't had any damage from guests so far.  I'd encourage you to think about charging all of your guests a refundable damage deposit regardless of the length of stay.  Accidents can happen to a guest who stays for three nights as well as to a guest who stays for a week.

                • Re: Flexible Insurance options - do they exist?
                  koko Contributor

                  Thank you wildiris for that background info - and why would I offer insurance for the renter? They may insure themselves or not I do not care I will not harm them or their luggage.This is really backwards.

                  And yes, as you see I am thinking....the accidental breakage of a soup bowl is not my concern - more the negligent using the BBQ when the wind is 60 knots or the temperature is 110. People who stay for 3 nights tend to cook less, eat out more and explore and just use it as a place to find a good  night's sleep. Longer stay is more like "moving in" and then  I am thinking I should be covered somehow. But my mind is definitely open

                    • Re: Flexible Insurance options - do they exist?
                      wildiris Active Contributor

                      koko wrote:

                       

                      why would I offer insurance for the renter? They may insure themselves or not I do not care I will not harm them or their luggage.

                      Just to clarify, the property damage coverage offered by Vrbo is for the guest to purchase to cover the guest's accidental damage to the vacation rental owner's property.  The insurance doesn't cover a vacation rental owner harming a guest or damaging the guest's belongings.

                       

                      I have always collected a $300 refundable damage deposit.  I've never had a guest question it nor complain.  I don't charge guests for what I consider "reasonable wear and tear" such as a broken glass or soup bowl.  I have only used it twice - once for damaging a piece of furniture that I then had to replace and once for breaking the screening on a screen door that I had to have a carpenter come and get the door, take it to his shop to repair and then re-hang the door.

                        • Re: Flexible Insurance options - do they exist?
                          koko Contributor

                          The guest is the insured, not the owner.  Also, the insurance only covers accidental damage.  So, if the guest denies causing the damage, the insurance won't pay.  If the insurance company deems the damage intentional and not accidental (such as a guest throwing a bottle through your TV or carving his initials into your dining room table), the insurance won't pay.

                          My comment was a sarcastic one and I fully understood what you meant. It just seems a non insurance if the guest is deceitful.

                    • Re: Flexible Insurance options - do they exist?
                      linky17 Active Contributor

                      Margaret HAS given you great advice … as has 'wildiris' offered solid background/rationale re: the Vrbo-favored insurer.  (BTW, there have been a number of discussions re: that insurance on this forum.  I did try to dredge one up, without success.)

                       

                      Like you, I've never required ('nor -- knock wood -- have I needed to) a DD.  I can relate to your "with clientele and length of stay changing," as well as your observation about the "complicated" nature of this site's "bookkeeping tactics."

                       

                      For me, stays in excess of one week are (IMO) now + sadly exceedingly rare.  But, as a safeguard, I'll continue to mandate and assess my standard fee for a mid-stay cleaning.  Depending on the duration?  Probably at the fourth day for a week's stay;  usually at the eighth day for a two weeks' stay.  This way my housekeepers can alert me to any potential issues.

                        • Re: Flexible Insurance options - do they exist?
                          koko Contributor

                          Yes linky17, I did a search and came up empty handed except one thread which did not get into options as such.

                          My situation is that I have bookings coming in for 2, 3 and more weeks in the spring of next year and even 2021 (which I have not accepted because that is a bit too far out)

                          I had people stay for 10 days and 5 days and 7 days all along, not as many as are coming in  now and for longer periods than that.

                          So since the place has hand-painted tiles, wall murals and original art pieces along with oriental rugs I thought the chance of damage to any of these might be higher the longer people stay. Maybe I am wrong, just my feeling.

                          The percentage of international travelers is also rapidly increasing; only a few of these types of bookings come through HA, most of them from my own website, google and booking.com. So I wanted to get my bases covered first with HA since they seem to be thinking in reverse.

                            • Re: Flexible Insurance options - do they exist?
                              bonesxxx Contributor

                              I can't get my head around what you mean by the DD "is too complicated with HA's bookkeeping tactics."  It is simple to me... I set it to $200 for all reservations, Vrbo holds it, after check-out I have 7 days to make a claim."  It doesn't enter into the picture in any way if or until I make a claim at which case I enter it as "reimbursement" - not as "income".


                              In any event, I have had it since day 1 and no guests have ever complained.  And I have only used it a handful of times. But, when I have needed it, I was glad I had it.  Like the time a couple snuck two German Shepherds into the cabin and left me mauled Azaleas and a full day's worth of hair to clean up.  I nicked them for all $200 and didn't think twice.

                               

                              Anyway, I'd be too nervous not to have anything... I don't charge for broken glasses and things,... only broken items or when they've taken advantage of me in some way or another.  Plus I think the risk of losing $200 keeps guests mindful of treating your property with care.

                                • Re: Flexible Insurance options - do they exist?
                                  margaret CommunityAmbassador

                                  Agreed, it is not complicated at all to hold a DD. I also require a DD for all stays no matter the length of the stay. Like you, I don't find guests questioning it, I think it is standard for most VR properties. I have only on very rare occasions withheld any of the DD. I also don't understand the theory that guests with shorter stays are less likely to cause damage.

                                    • Re: Flexible Insurance options - do they exist?
                                      thaxterlane Premier Contributor

                                      Exactly.  It doesn't take more than a few minutes for a clumsy guest to spill red wine on a sofa or an area rug.  Length of stay should not be a factor in requiring a security deposit.   The likelihood of a guest causing damage to my glass topped tables (and other furnishings) isn't related to whether a stay is three days or two weeks in length.  It's the guest's behaviors while staying in my home.  And accidents happen; I've done some damage myself . . . that's why we have the word accident, and why we require security deposits . . . . 

                                    • Re: Flexible Insurance options - do they exist?
                                      koko Contributor

                                      It's  complicated in the sense that HA is holding way too much of my money for no reason and collects on the float.

                                      I am hosting guests at this moment for whom I have not yet been paid. Mind you I was FORCED into this, cause so far guests showed up with check or cash and we were just fine. I have to let HA take first of all their fee, then their fees for the CC and then they are after my guest to give them the whole payment on their processor which they then deposit in my account at their leisure. They send out emails I did not OK and do all sorts of stuff without my permission but with my property and my guests.

                                      Letting them hold a DD and then have to rely on them to give me the money should there be a need to do so is not what I am comfortable with. I have accumulated a lot of distrust in the past 12 years with them, that is what makes this complicated for me. I am forced to keep track of deposits and fees and deposits and charges because HA decides that is what I have to do as the customer.

                                      You see I can handle the bookkeeping aspect but I have a hard time relaxing about the rest. I hope you can understand me.

                                  • Re: Flexible Insurance options - do they exist?
                                    margaret CommunityAmbassador

                                    If I am not mistaken, a lot of old posts have been deleted so are no longer available for us to search.