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Monthly Archives: July 2015

AirBnB: The Insurance Issue

The social-sharing growth phenomena of AirBnB has been topical in the media of late. AirBnB is just one of many home rental services such as VRBO (Vacation Rental By Owner), HomeAway, FlipKey, etc. All of these companies utilize the Internet as a means of presenting properties as temporary accommodations. They are, in effect, competing with traditional hotels and resorts. Their websites are enticing and work well.

But should you decide to cast your lot and offer your home as a place to stay, you should be aware of the insurance implications. Typically, your residential insurance is based upon non-commercial use of your property. Offering your home, or even a room or two, constitutes a commercial venture.

AirBnB claims to have a blanket policy that covers abuse incurred by a renter through their system. While this may provide some coverage in serious situations, it should not be considered as a supplement to appropriate core insurance coverage.

While it might be tempting to make a little bit of extra cash renting out a spare room, we recommend that you consult your insurance broker or company agent before undertaking such a venture, as this constitutes a change in use and may involve a premium adjustment.

Business Insurance Part 3: Insuring the Individuals

In part 2 we covered business insurance that will protect your business assets. In the final blog post of this series we will be looking at another important aspect of your business that may need protection: the wellbeing of the owners and staff.

Every business has individuals who are crucial to the company. Whether it is the owners, partners or other key employees they are what keeps the company going. Insurance can make sure that the business is protected in the event that these individuals are not able to work.

Insurance for owners, partners and key employees can include:

  • Life insurance – covers the family of the business owner, partner or employee in the event of their death, ensuring they are not responsible for any debt.
  • Disability insurance – provides income in the event that illness or injury leads to loss of work.
  • Partnership insurance or buy-sell insurance – allows business partners to purchase remaining shares and continue business in the event of untimely passing.
  • Critical illness insurance – provides a lump sum benefit if diagnosed with critical illness.
  • Key person insurance – protects against the loss of key employees.

When it comes to commercial auto insurance, please be aware that generally vehicle insurance is not included in commercial insurance policies where public auto insurance coverage is available. However, non-owned auto liability coverage is usually included.

Many of these insurances are deductible, so if any of these sound right for you be sure to speak to your accountant.

Business Insurance Part 2: Protecting Your Assets

In Part 1 of our series about business insurance we looked at coverage for liability. In part to we will be looking at insurance for business property and earnings. This will cover your business assets and earnings in case of an event that causes damage to your assets and premises. Insurances that fall under this category include:

  • Property insurance – coverage of damage to the business property and building in the event of a fire or other peril.
  • Contents insurance – coverage of assets that are stored at the business premises (it’s important to note that if you are leasing your space the contents of your office are likely not covered by the property owner’s insurance).
  • Business interruption insurance – coverage of loss of income in the event of a fire or other peril causing a business closure.
  • Vehicle insurance – coverage of any vehicle owned by the business.

Protecting your business assets, property and income are important to any company. Not only will it help give you security, it could mean the difference between a temporary setback and the end of your business.

Stay tuned for part 3 of our series on business insurance where we will look at insurance for owners, partners and key employees.