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I’m planning on renting out my home during the Pan Am games. What do I need to know?

May 20, 2015

By now, at almost 1.7 million views, chances are you’ve seen the video or heard about the Calgary couple who rented out their home for the weekend only to come back on the Monday to find it trashed.

Renting out your home to strangers comes with risks, and with most home insurance providers you’ll find that renting out your home (or renting out your cottage) is usually one of those scenarios specifically excluded in your policy. That’s not to say, however, that coverage isn’t attainable.

Most home insurance policies are designed with the single family owner-occupied home in mind. If you rent out your home for a period of time—even just a couple of days—your insurance company needs to know. For those who are willing to extend coverage while you’re renting out your home, they’ll likely charge you an additional premium to cover the increased risk and liability of having people who have no relationship to you staying in your home. As seen in the video though, the damages can be considerable and far more costly than the extra premium. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

However, not all home insurance companies have the same rules and you may find that your insurance company isn’t willing to extend coverage. If this is true of your home insurance provider, it’s best you know now before you rent your home than later should you need to file a home insurance claim. In this scenario, your only protection is the protection available, if any, through the service where you listed your property. Some, like Airbnb, appear to offer hosts some protections should the home be damaged or someone injured. But, that’s where you’ll have to do your research to see exactly if it’s available, how it works, and under what scenarios (or criteria) these protections would be made available to you.

Your first call is to your home insurance provider

If you’re considering renting your home to visitors to Toronto for the Pan Am/Parapan Am games check in with your insurance provider to make sure that you will be covered, should the unthinkable happen.

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