After I wrote a few things about home exchange insurance the founders of a new insurance company, Belong Safe, reached out to tell me about their host insurance service. This company, which launched in 2016, is for people who are renting out their home on peer-to-peer platforms like Airbnb and want to make sure they are fully covered for all possible problems. Belong Safe is currently only available in the UK. I’m not sure about insurance implications for home exchange in the UK, but for British folks who want some extra coverage for a house swap, Belong Safe is the only independent company I know of specifically offering this type of insurance.
Here’s how they describe the Belong Safe services:
We have seen first-hand how hosts have been putting their main assets at risk having paying guests to stay. We have seen how frustrating and tough they have found sourcing their own insurance, and how even that has grey areas within it. Doubt.
This spurred us on to design a crafted insurance product specifically for the home-sharing market. It removes all doubts. It gives certainty. It gives you peace of mind.
We believe that by bringing an easily accessible insurance product to the home-sharing market will encourage new hosts to get involved, in the knowledge that they Belong Safe.
The Belong Safe website features a table comparing coverage under standard home owner policies, landlord policies and umbrella policies in the UK and there do appear to be a lot of gaps in coverage for those taking in paying guests. I still think the risk for hosting swap guests (who are not paying to stay with you) is very low. I suspect home owners insurance policies in the UK will cover this scenario (just like they would cover you if your relatives came to stay), but everyone should check their own policy to confirm what is actually covered.
Belong Safe offers on demand insurance, so you can buy insurance only when you need it to cover an exchange or rental. The rate is per night, based on the price you are charging. So, for instance, if you are renting your entire flat for £150 you would pay £3 per day for Belong Safe insurance.