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What happens if you're injured in a vacation rental?

If you're staying in a hotel and the showerhead falls off and cracks your head open, you know you're covered by the hotel's insurance. The same is true if you're on the bike in their fitness center and the seat falls off, throwing you into another cyclist or when you trip over a loose tile in the floor and break your ankle.

But what if you are staying in someone's home that is available through Airbnb, VRBO or some other vacation rental site?

The good news is that the owners of those properties typically have an insurance policy that covers liability for injuries and damage that their guests suffer due to issues with the home. These policies cover more than most traditional homeowners' policies. Many provide at least $1 million for liability.

Airbnb has something called a Host Protection Insurance program. That insurance covers the kind of mishaps discussed above. It typically also covers third-party claims. For example, maybe the person staying in the home has a friend over for a barbecue and accidentally burns them because they don't know how to use the grill.

Host insurance typically won't cover damage or injury caused by intentional acts by the guests. It may not cover problems like bed bugs or mold. Before you rent a property for your next vacation through a site, it's wise to find out about the insurance coverage for the specific home or other property you're renting.

The same is true if you're making one-on-one arrangements with someone to stay in their home. Will their homeowners' insurance policy cover you? If they regularly rent out all or part of their property, they may need to have additional coverage like a home-sharing insurance policy.

If you've suffered an injury or damage to your own property at a vacation rental and you're having difficulty getting the compensation you believe you deserve, it's wise to seek guidance from an attorney with experience in premises liability cases.

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