Your Palm Island short-term rental property is something special. However, to keep it that way, property owners need to take steps to protect their rental income—and vacation homes—on this little island paradise. Today we want to talk about something many vacation rental property owners tend to get wrong: insurance.
The first thing any excellent Palm Island property management company that handles vacation rentals will tell you is this: Your homeowners insurance policy isn't going to cut it in protecting your vacation rental. Many Palm island vacation rental property owners are woefully underinsured when it comes to their investment.
Let's take a look at what you should be doing to protect your short-term rental property from the perspective of a Palm Island vacation rental management company.
Where Your Policy Doesn't Protect You
Homeowners insurance typically covers your property from the costs of repairs related to such hazards as fire, flood (with the right policy), and wind, among other natural disasters. It can even provide coverage for medical liability if someone injures themselves on your property (slippery bathroom floors, anyone?). However, this protection doesn't necessarily extend to your Airbnb—and things can get complicated.
A quick browse on the right search engines will reveal differing approaches across insurance companies when it comes to your real estate.
- Some companies will allow your homeowners insurance coverage to extend to your vacation homes—but only if it's a one-time guest stay, and you notify them ahead of time.
- Other insurance providers will require you to obtain a separate endorsement added onto your policy for—yet again—temporary rental situations only.
Neither of these will apply when you are offering your rental property as a long-term way to generate rental income. In short, when you operate a Palm Island property as a form of 'business,' you need different coverage. Plus, operating short-term rentals tends to void most traditional homeowner policies.
Before you think of turning to something like Airbnb's coverage, know this: that $1 million of coverage doesn't cover everything—and trying to tap into the benefits when you need them can get complicated. Some of the items Airbnb won't cover include:
- Intentional acts where liability isn’t the result of an accident
- Property issues such as mold, bed bugs, and pollution
- Accusations of slander or defamation of character
- Auto accidents like vehicle collisions.
Let's say your Palm Island vacation rental has a dock. Perhaps your renter has one too many Mai Tais and crashes a jetski into it. Are you covered? The last thing you want to have to do is find out later!
Additionally, trying to find providers who will willingly cover vacation homes is a challenge in Florida. So, what can Palm Island property owners do to protect their rental income?
Screen Your Guests and Require Coverage
You can screen your short-term rental guests just as you would a long-term renter! As the experts in Palm Island property management and vacation rental management, we absolutely recommend that you do this when you can for each guest and each stay.
One of the protections we provide the property owners we serve as part of our full-service management is to ensure the guests who book your property meet the requirements for renting said property. Additionally, we roll ARDI coverage into each guest stay to cover your property from accidental damage and collect security deposits to cover intentional damage.
As a property owner, you'll boost the guest experience (and your own rental income) when you perform routine property inspections to check for damages that you might be able to claim against insurance coverage or deposits you collect. We actually inspect the properties we serve after each guest's stay, but we know this might be out of reach for individual property owners living busy lives. Inspect as often as you can, and you'll be protecting your slice of paradise.
These are just some of the steps you can take as a property owner to ensure (and insure) your Palm Island rental property. The reality is, you've got a beautiful short-term rental—likely something worth bragging about on social media. You just need to keep it that way by confirming that you have the right protection in place. Alternatively, you could leave this to the experts.
The Right Palm Island Property Management Partner Can Help
Instead of trying to handle this process alone, why not protect your valuable investment with the right Palm Island vacation rental management company? One of the most crucial mistakes property owners make when trying to keep their vacation homes in top-earning condition is neglecting the value of such a partnership.
However, it's worth noting that if you want to take advantage of the benefits of experienced vacation management services, you first need to find an experienced vacation management partner. Thankfully, we've taken the work out of this for you! Download your free copy of our Guide to Finding the Best Gulf Coast Vacation Rental Management Company to get started.