Airbnb and Uber, Know your insurance coverage!

Most car and home owners have insurance coverage to protect their property and their guests in the event of an accident. Those insurance policies are sold to cover non-business related risks; meaning if you crash your car it covers the damage and anyone else you might injury to protect you the owner. The amount of your premium is directly related to risks associated with personal use; not business use. Business use has a higher premium because using your car in a business is more frequent and has you out using it during the busier times of the day. This means the times and frequency with which you use a car for business the higher the incidence of an accident.

So what happens to your insurance premiums when you try to earn a few extra bucks with ridesharing for a fee or renting a room for a few hundred bucks a month? Well, the premium goes up to compensate the insurance company for taking on the extra risk.

And what happens after an accident if you didn’t tell your insurance company about the Airbnb or Uber business ventures? Well, again you have a problem with your coverage and the claim is likely to be denied.

Here is the scenario. You rideshare via Uber. After picking up a ride you get in an accident the passenger is injured. You turn in the claim with your own insurance company and they deny the claim because this was a business related trip and not one for you personally.

The same thing will happen with homeowner’s insurance coverage with the Airbnb guest staying in your home after they fall down those slippery steps or burn themselves on the barbecue.

There is no free lunch out there folks. So make sure you discuss your with your insurance agent to earn a few extra bucks by driving or renting a room using Airbnb or Uber, before opening the door and saying “Welcome!” 

Steve Lombardi
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Iowa personal injury, workers' compensation, motorcycle, quadriplegic, paraplegic, brain injury, death
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