From the eyes of a holiday home insurer – crazy owner claims and Airbnb horror stories

UK family run holiday home insurer Schofields Insurance has provided an insight into the life of a private holiday home or Airbnb owner with stories of hefty bills, properties trashed by guests, possessions stolen, and frightening damage caused by nature and that is just from its own insured clients.


Summary:

  • UK family run holiday home insurer Schofields Insurance has provided an insight into some of the claims it has received from private holiday home owners;
  • It reports stories of hefty bills, properties trashed by guests, possessions stolen, and frightening damage caused by nature;
  • Despite over 150 million people using Airbnb in a positive way, it reveals a bad side and a costly impact for property owners;
  • Its own holiday home claims have reached an individual value of up to GBP130,000 and even include finding a cow in a swimming pool and a pig’s head in the bin.

The company has shared some of their most outrageous holiday home claims and some of the craziest Airbnb horror stories reported by hosts, which have seen claims with damage costs going up to GBP130,000, to a guest with a cow in their swimming pool claiming for the removal of the cow and cleaning of the pool.

Some of the costliest claims have come from Airbnb owners. Despite over 150 million people using the platform and an overwhelmingly high amount of people leaving positive and recommended reviews from the service, there can be a bad side. Some overnight guests have managed to take full advantage of Airbnb hosts with parties and trashing the accommodation while the host is away, explains Schofields.

It has seen guests staying in a property in San Antonio, Texas causing USD23,000 in damage after throwing a party which saw over 300 people descend upon the property. Similarly, USD150,000 worth of damage was done was recorded at a million-dollar Melbourne beachfront property where around 70 teens reportedly trashed the house in one night.

In another example cited by the insurer, plumbing systems in a property were damaged to a cost of USD10,000 after feminine products were put down the toilet, which led to a blockage in the system and for the house to be subsequently flooded.

There have been some hefty claims received by the insurer and it highlights the most expensive claims it has seen under flood, storm, public liability and theft categories.

  • Flood: GBP130,000 – A river burst its banks in Scotland due to excessive rainfall. With water 1m high and 36 hours before it receded, the claim was made for damage to buildings, contents and loss of rent;
  • Storm: GBP26,000 – In a property in Spain, last occupied in November, mould and condensation were noticed in May by a cleaner. The roof was damaged by storms which lifted roof tiles, water ingress. A claim was made for damage to buildings, contents and loss of rent;
  • Public Liability: GBP26,000 – In Wales, a guest slipped on decking steps. The owner had a warning sign at the back door that decking could be slippery when wet. However, they claimed for personal injuries, time off work and legal fees;
  • Theft: GBP20,000 – In Spain, a property was emptied of its contents over several days, sustained damage to patio doors during the break-in and had malicious damage to fittings.

Schofields has also identified some of the oddest claims it has seen from holiday home owners. These include a cow was in a swimming pool; a guest recreating a beach inside an owner’s property; a pig’s head inside a cardboard coffin, in a rubbish bin; and one guest placing a sofa, a single bed and chest of drawers to a shallow end of the swimming pool.

The Schofields holiday home insurance scheme was originally designed for the largest holiday cottage letting agency in the UK, back in the days when people booked their holidays from a brochure. Over the years it has been adopted and recommended by tourist associations and leading holiday letting agencies and now insures thousands of holiday home owners and holiday let investors with property in the UK and overseas.