Airbnb and Premises Liability in Florida: What You Need to Know
Airbnb’s online hosting platform matches guests with short-term rentals in different parts of the world. In 2017, Florida became the second most popular state, following California, for Airbnb usage. In Miami-Dade County alone there are over 10,000 hosts.
Liability of Homeowners under Florida LawUnder Florida law, homeowners and other property owners are assigned different degrees of liability according to the injured person’s status on the property. Visitors are classified as invitees, licensees or trespassers. Florida homeowners have a responsibility toward the general safety of any person who enters their property. The property must be maintained so that it is reasonably safe for a visitor. A homeowner is required to not only inspect for potential hazards but also to repair any known dangers around their property, whether it is cluttered walkways, broken stairs or nonfunctioning lights. Such unsafe conditions have the potential to cause injury to anyone visiting their home. If a homeowner is unable to have the repair performed immediately for some reason, they must post warning signs so that visitors are aware of the dangerous condition.
Airbnb Offers Host Protection ServiceMost homeowner insurance policies don’t cover claims if a property owner is using their home for commercial purposes, which is why Airbnb offers Host Protection Insurance. The Host Protection Insurance Program (“HPI Program”) covers hosts, in certain countries, if they have legal liability for bodily injury or property damage to guests, or others, as a result of an event that happens during a guest’s stay at a covered accommodation. The program is issued by LLoyd’s of London and Zurich Insurance PLC and protects against liability claims up to $1 million USD. However, as you may expect, not every incident is covered under Airbnb’s host protection program.
The HPI Program excludes:• Aircraft, Auto, and Mobile Equipment – injury or damage connected in any way to aircraft, autos, and mobile equipment, except where these are listed on Airbnb and being used as Accommodations. To be an Accommodation, the Aircraft, Auto, or Mobile equipment must be parked. • Assault and Battery – any loss or expense caused by, arising out of, or resulting directly or indirectly, in any way from assault and/or battery of any person committed by or alleged to have been committed by any insured.
• Chinese Drywall – injury or damage arising from, or connected in any way to drywall, plasterboard, sheetrock, gypsum board, or any materials used in the manufacture of drywall used in the construction of interior walls, that were manufactured in, originated from, or exported from China or incorporated any component parts or materials made in, originated from, or exported from China.
• Communicable Disease – any loss or damage arising out of the actual or alleged transmission of a communicable disease.
• Contractual liability – liability for injury or damage where the insured is obligated to pay damages they have assumed in a contract or agreement. This exclusion doesn’t include legal liability the insured would have without a contract or agreement.
• Cross Suits – any claims brought by one insured against another.