Short-term letting landlords using online booking systems such as Airbnb and Stayz can sleep a little easier with a new product specifically for this burgeoning market.

IAG Labs say ShareCover is an industry-first insurance product which will “provide protection and peace of mind to customers listing their house or rooms on Airbnb and Stayz,” in case property is damaged or a paying guest is hurt.

This scheme covers a gap between traditional home and contents insurance and landlord insurance – neither of which automatically cover short-term lets –  in case their property is damaged or their paying guest is hurt in an accident.

“ShareCover is designed to be used in conjunction with standard home policies and adds the protection home owners need for peace of mind when they chose to host paying guests in their homes,” said IAG Labs Chief Executive Peter Harmer.

“At IAG Labs, we recognise that the shared economy is here to stay, and it’s transformed the way we use our assets, now and in the future.

“IAG is in the business of protecting customers and we have developed ShareCover to support the tens of thousands of Airbnb and Stayz hosts who may be unknowingly exposed to risks when they invite guests into their homes.”

Under ShareCover, hosts will be covered for the following events linked to the guests:

  • Theft or attempted theft;
  • Malicious or accidental damage;
  • Damage to and loss of portable and valuable contents such as jewellery;
  • Strata property damage;
  • Personal liability in the event the guest sues you for damages;
  • Identity theft;
  • Loss of rental income and temporary accommodation.

Mr Harmer said while some of the recognised shared economy platforms provide some assistance to cover loss or damage caused by guests, ShareCover adds to the protection that hosts need, giving them much greater piece of mind from one of Australia’s largest, general insurers.

He added IAG Labs conducted customer research which found 61 per cent of hosts were worried about property damage and loss of their belongings while 54 per cent incorrectly believed, or were unsure, as to the extent their existing home insurance policy covered them in the shared economy.

“ShareCover is another initiative that highlights IAG’s commitment to supporting our customers’ experience with the shared economy,” Mr Harmer said.

“We are moving at pace to ensure we keep up with our customers’ needs now, and in the future.”

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