Since its inception in 2008, AirBnB has become the most popular online marketplace for private owners renting out their properties to individuals who are looking for accommodations. Globally it has reached 6 million listings worldwide. In Toronto alone there are currently over 15,000 active listings.

While the majority of AirBnB guests and hosts have a positive experience, some reservations can go very wrong. Accidents happen; both guests and hosts alike have experienced a breadth of unfortunate scenarios, injuries being one of them. Injury accidents can happen at any rental property, but due to the newness of the peer-to-peer industry, AirBnB is particularly vulnerable. Unlike renting through established channels such as hotels, the legal infrastructure as it pertains to liability through peer-to-peer businesses such as AirBnB has not yet fully developed. Consequently, you may need legal help if you suffer an injury at an AirBnB.

AirBnB Liability  

When injured at an AirBnB, the guests must file a claim against the company and the host. AirBnB provides its hosts with “Host Protection Insurance” and within this policy, liability coverage for third party claims like bodily injury. AirBnB provides its hosts with primary liability coverage for up to $1 million USD per occurrence in the event of third-party claims of bodily injury or property damage. However, within the policy coverage there are a number of exceptions and exclusions that eliminate this coverage for the host.2

If AirBnB refuses to provide coverage to their host in the event that a guest is injured, the guest must then file a claim against the host personally, or a third party (i.e. property mananger, manufacturer, contractor). Liability is then established by Ontario’s Occupiers’ Liability Act, which refers to the duties that occupiers owe to individuals who enter their premises. If AirBnB revokes their insurance coverage for their host in the occurrence of an injured guest claim, the Occupiers’ Liability Act is a safety net to ensure hosts don’t escape liability.

Issues may still arise that could prevent the guest from turning to the host’s home insurance policy to recover for their loss. Insurance companies have yet to catch up with establishing a policy that covers anything beyond the very first time the policyholder shares or rents their home. These insurance loopholes are especially prevalent in new industries such as peer-to-peer renting/sharing. 3

What to do?

In the event that a guest suffers an injury at an AirBnB rental the following steps should be taken to help you with your future claim:

  1. Collect evidence
  2. Seek medical attention
  3. File a claim with AirBnB
  4. Contact a lawyer (2 years to sue)

In the unfortunate event that you suffer an injury at an AirBnB rental, follow these steps and most importantly contact an experienced personal injury lawyer. With the complications involved in this new area of law, a qualified personal injury lawyer is essential in helping you become adequately compensated for your losses.

Tony Lafazanis has over 35 years experience as a personal injury lawyer. He will guide you through every step of the legal process and ensure you receive the compensation to which you are entitled.

Contact Tony for a FREE consultation.