February 1, 2017 by Canadian Underwriter
Aviva Canada has announced that it is offering insurance coverage for homesharing across Canada, starting Feb. 1.
Aviva Canada said in a statement on Wednesday that it is offering hosts two homeshare coverage options that can be tailored to meeting their rental needs: a simple add-on to an existing Aviva Canada homeowner policy, or standalone coverage for a secondary income property rented to short-term guests year-round (i.e. cottage, house/condo).
Homeshare, a short-term accommodations marketplace that connects host with guests through an online platform or website continues to increase in popularity, the company noted in the statement. Rental networks such as Airbnb, Corporate Housing by Owner, Flipkey, HomeAway, Roomorama, VRBO and Wimdu already cite millions of listing worldwide.
“More and more Canadians are looking to supplement their income by temporarily renting their property through online networks,” said Steve Cohen, Aviva Canada’s executive director of personal lines. “Our research shows that one in five Canadians have rented their property in the past, or would consider doing so in the future.”
In September 2016, Aviva Canada commissioned a targeted survey of over 2,000 Canadians, aged 25 and over, who are currently home insurance consumers or planning to purchase home insurance over the next five years. In that consumer survey, 51% of those who are currently or considering renting their property are unaware that their existing homeowner policy does not cover homesharing, revealing a significant insurance gap for Canadians. “This means in the event of loss or damages, the homeowner’s claim may be denied or worse, their home policy voided by their insurer,” the release said.
Although some homeshare networks provide certain guaranteed protection as an automatic feature, it should not be considered a replacement for home insurance, the insurer cautioned. Examples of what Aviva Canada’s solution covers and are not provided by homeshare networks includes: liability when the property is deemed uninhabitable (i.e. electricity, fire); loss or damage to buildings; loss or damage to personal possessions caused by the guest; and loss or damage to guest’s possessions while they are renting the property (i.e. electronics).
This simple and comprehensive homesharing coverage means customers have 24/7 access to claims support from Aviva Canada and are not required to secure liability coverage from their homeshare rental network or rental guests first. The coverage will be available to new and existing Aviva Canada customers with eligible primary and income properties. The coverage is independent of any homesharing networks and providers.