TORONTO, July 8, 2015 – With the summer season kicking into high gear and a number of high-profile events taking place across Canada, homeowners may be considering listing their property on a shared accommodation service.
As the popularity of the sharing economy continues to rise, more than 1.2 million around the world have turned to services such as Airbnb or HomeAway to offer temporary rentals. While this can be a quick way to make money, it could lead to negative outcomes for homeowners if they haven’t taken steps to properly protect their property.
In this growing sharing economy, are Canadians carefully weighing the risk versus reward when it comes to offering their home as a short-term rental? Recent poll findings suggest that the answer is no.
Research conducted by Leger on behalf of Allstate Canada revealed that one-in-four (25 per cent) Canadians who have rented out their property through a property sharing service say that they did not think about insurance first.
“When big summer events come through town, it may be tempting to rent out your home to make some additional income,” says Ryan Michel, senior vice president and chief risk officer at Allstate Insurance Company of Canada. “While we certainly don’t want to inhibit people’s summer plans, we do want to help consumers consider potential risks, ask the right questions, and protect themselves against the unexpected.”
The study also revealed more than one-third of Canadians (35 per cent) believed their existing home or tenant’s insurance provided coverage during a short-term rental period, though Michel cautions that they might not have been adequately covered.
“While Canadians may believe their existing insurance policy covers short-term rentals, that may not be the case,” says Michel. “If you want to be sure, have a discussion with your advisor about your plans and about what your current policy includes.”
Of all Canadians polled, including those who had not used a property-sharing service, three-quarters (76 per cent) agreed that if they were to rent their home in the future, they would purchase more insurance. Further, nearly half (50 per cent) indicated that the recent damage sustained by a Calgary rental host made them think differently about ever renting out their home or property.
To help Canadians think through the risk-versus-reward of renting out all or part of their property, Allstate Canada has prepared the following list of items to consider before deciding to list a property through a shared accommodation service:
- Do you know how the property rental sites you are considering screen potential renters? Do you really know who might be renting your home? Whether a dwelling or a rental unit, a home is a large investment—both emotionally and financially. Be sure you really understand what these sites are doing to help ensure your peace of mind. Does the service require guests to verify their identification? If so, what is the process for verification? Think carefully about what level of unknown you’re comfortable with.
- Are you just renting out a room, or your entire home? If you will be onsite throughout the rental duration, your level of risk will likely be lower. If you will not be at your property, you should find out if your current insurance policy offers any coverage in case something goes wrong.
- Do you live in a condominium? If you live in a condo, check with the condo board to see if short-term rentals are permissible. Be sure you thoroughly understand your condo’s by-laws and regulations. Many condo boards do not permit leases shorter than six months or a year and have banned sublets altogether.
- Do you know what your home insurance policy covers? Get in touch with your insurance agent to see what is covered in your policy and to get advice about additional coverage that may be available to you. Though homeowners or landlords may assume that their insurance covers short-term rental agreements, this is most likely not the case. An insurance expert, like an agent, can provide insight into what would-be renters are covered for and more importantly, what they aren’t.
Allstate customers have the opportunity to add a temporary tenants endorsement* to their existing property policy until the end of August. Learn more about what the endorsement covers by calling 1-855-792-3179 or talk to your local Allstate Agent.
About Allstate Insurance Company of Canada:
Allstate Insurance Company of Canada is one of the country's leading producers and distributors of home and auto insurance products, serving Canadians since 1953. The company strives to keep its customers in "Good Hands®" as well as its employees, and has been listed as a Best Employer in Canada for three years in a row. Allstate Canada is committed to making a positive difference in the communities in which it operates and has partnered with organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD Canada), United Way, and Junior Achievement. To learn more about Allstate Canada, visit www.allstate.ca. For more safety tips and advice, visit goodhandsadvice.ca.
About the Study:
Leger conducted a quantitative online survey of 1,538 Canadians. The fieldwork was completed between June 8 and June 11, 2015, using Leger’s online panel, LegerWeb. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/- 2.5 per cent, 19 times out of 20.
For more information, please contact:
Senior Communications Specialist
Allstate Canada Group of Companies
T: 905-475-4527 C: 416-602-8998
Environics Communications on behalf of Allstate Canada
*Terms and conditions apply.