While you are supposed to unwind on a holiday, traveling does come with some risk. Enter travel insurance.
Travel plans change. Trips get canceled. Property can break.
To ensure that both hosts and guests have a memorable experience, Vrbo offers a number of ways that they can safeguard themselves against most unfortunate events. Without insurance, you run the risk not only of incurring unexpected costs, but also to end up feeling like you have been cheated out of your money.
Continue reading to find out more about the insurance options offered by Vrbo to their guests and hosts. While you are at it, do not leave it there. Third-party insurance providers also deserve your attention and this article will explain why.
Vrbo travel insurance (aka Travel Protection) is aimed at guests. It is offered by CSA and underwritten by Generali US Branch.
When a guest books accommodation on Vrbo, they will be given the option to buy additional travel insurance when they pay for their booking via the site. This insurance will help to keep them protected against trip delays, cancellations (this applies only to covered reasons), and interruptions. Examples of covered reasons are sickness or injury.
While 100% of the cost will be covered in the case of trip interruption, the reimbursement for travel delay is limited. It is capped at $600 per plan and there is also a daily limit of $150 per plan.
Guests will also be reimbursed for prepaid, non-refundable fees related to their trip and other reasonable, out-of-pocket expenses like local transportation, accommodation, and meals.
If guests did not select to buy travel insurance at the time of paying for the booking, it is not the end of the world. They will still have a chance to add this option at a later stage via the booking confirmation page or post-booking confirmation emails. Alternatively, they can also go to the online portal of Generali.
Without this Travel Protection plan, guests would lose what they have paid thus far in the event that they should cancel.
In addition to reimbursing prepaid costs in the event of trip cancellation, interruption, or delay, the plan also includes other helpful services like:
Vrbo also offers a Damage Protection plan. In the event of accidental damage to the vacation rental property, the Damage Protection option offered by Vrbo can help to safeguard guests against extra expenses.
Not only is it convenient, but also affordable. For only $59, guests can get coverage of up to $1,500. This way, guests are also covered in case the property that they were staying at was damaged accidentally and the refundable deposit is withheld. All in all, this option is ideal for big groups or families traveling with kids (or fur babies). It is also strongly recommended for guests that have booked a long-term stay or will be staying at a luxury rental.
In the unfortunate event that you need to claim, rest assured that the process is easy. All you need to do is to complete a claim form, attach the necessary documentation, and send it to the claims department at Generali.
What’s more, those who are unhappy with the Vrbo travel insurance can also cancel the coverage. To receive a full refund, it needs to be canceled within 10 days of purchase.
Opting for travel insurance is always the better choice. In the case of Vrbo travel insurance, guests can rest assured knowing that it is offered by a very reputable insurance provider.
That said, online reviews have mentioned that the coverage options tend to be limited, especially when you consider the cost. For example, it does not allow guests to cancel for any reason. This means that if you are worried about the coronavirus, you can’t use this as a reason unless you have contracted it.
It is important to keep in mind when evaluating this insurance option that there will always be limitations. That is the name of the insurance game. Even if the coverage options can be better, it is still a lot better than having no insurance whatsoever.
While Vrbo travel insurance might not cover all possible situations, it does offer an additional damage protection program that includes personal liability for accidental property damage. Guests will have a hard time finding this option with a third-party insurance provider. This is just one more reason why Vrbo travel insurance is worth it.
While Vrbo travel insurance is aimed at protecting guests, there are other ways in which hosts can safeguard their short-term rental business. Here are two available options for Vrbo hosts:
In short, a Vrbo damage deposit can be used to cover property damage that occurred during a guest’s stay. As host, you have the option to decide on the amount that your guests will be charged upon booking. It won’t add any confusion to the booking process as the fee will be listed just like the cleaning fee, service fee, and any other additional fees.
Guests will have to pay this refundable damage deposit upfront. Vrbo will then hold the amount for the duration of the guest’s stay.
In the event that there was unfortunately property damage, hosts will have up to 14 days after guest checkout to send a damage claim. If no claim for damage gets submitted to the platform within this time period, the amount will simply be returned automatically to the guest.
As for amounts claimed, Vrbo will generally process the payment within a week. If the amount that you claimed was less than the total of the damage deposit, the rest will be returned to the guest.
The only real downside to charging a refundable damage deposit is that it might discourage guests from making a booking. That said, most guests understand the reason for doing so and understand that unless something goes wrong, the amount charged will be returned to them promptly.
This approach is currently the default damage deposit policy of Vrbo. Basically, by opting to keep a card on file, the vacation rental platform will save the credit card details of a guest on their system.
Similarly to when a refundable damage deposit was charged, a host will then have up to 14 days after checkout to submit a damage claim. If a claim was filed, Vrbo will take it upon them to notify the guest by sending them an email with the amount that is claimed as well as a description of the property damage.
If you are worried about how secure this option is, you can rest assured knowing that Vrbo will cover the damage if the credit card has reached its limit or has expired.
In addition to charging a refundable damage deposit or asking Vrbo to keep a card on file, short-term rental hosts are strongly urged to invest in additional third–party vacation rental insurance.
The reason for this is that neither of these approaches offer total protection. Also, while Vrbo offers an attractive liability insurance for damage to another person’s property or traveler injury, this, too, has a number of exclusions.
In the US, the platform officially endorses Proper Insurance as their preferred comprehensive home insurance. In the hosting community, Proper is also one of the most popular insurance providers. However, many hosts have commented that they are quite expensive. If Proper does not fall within your budget, you can also try:
Both guests and hosts are encouraged to sign up for insurance. It might be an extra cost, but it can prevent many tears and headaches.
When you are making the wise choice by signing up for an insurance policy, also remember to read your terms and conditions carefully. The reality is that no insurance plan is perfect and you will always find that it lacks coverage in certain areas. By doing your homework, you can possibly get an extra policy or at least know beforehand in which event you won’t be covered.
Guests often think only about the travel cost. However, when they are renting a vacation rental property, there is also a chance that the property might get damaged. As this can have a direct impact on hosts, it is also a good idea that hosts urge their guests to take advantage of the property damage protection program offered by Vrbo.
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