A number of companies have launched versions of “the AirBnb of gear rental” over the past few years. These businesses offer a marketplace for peer to peer rental of all sorts of stuff. And this is often very useful to the traveler. Instead of carrying your bike with you, you can just rent one at your destination. Need a Kayak? No problem, pick one up from the house on the lake. You can borrow all sorts of adventure gear, and also some basic necessities like child seats for cars, and strollers.
People are lending out gear that they’re not using, or at least not using very often. The gear owners are making some extra cash. While the folks renting this gear are presumably saving themselves the hassle of traveling with their own gear or maybe just saving the cost of buying something they wouldn’t use enough.
The companies facilitating this lending generally offer insurance. So it seems safe. But I recently came across this article written by a man who had his $4500 camera stolen by someone who “borrowed” it through one of these platforms. It turns out, the insurance on these peer to peer gear rental platforms doesn’t cover theft by the borrower. This is considered “voluntary parting” and isn’t covered by insurance.
According to the company in the article, KitSplit, no insurance company will cover “voluntary parting” for these businesses. So the only way for folks renting out their gear on to be protected from this type of theft is to purchase personal insurance that includes coverage for voluntary parting.
If you’re looking to make some extra cash by renting out your gear, be sure to investigate your insurance options and what’s covered by the networks you are using.