What’s the deal with Airbnb and premises liability?
What are your legal rights if you are harmed during an Airbnb or other home-sharing stay? Although it may seem like these facilities are entirely safe and regulated, the fact is that premises liability and hazardous conditions simply cannot always be avoided. In fact, New Jersey is taking on a new legal mission to provide additional protection for travelers who rest their heads on Airbnb pillows.
Do Airbnb owners carry liability insurance? In some instances, homeowners who rent their property through Airbnb and other similar services may be required to carry insurance – but many services do not require this type of protection. Unfortunately, this only ends up putting the visitors at risk. Injuries that occur at an Airbnb venue may be covered by existing insurance, but that is not always guaranteed because of the way in which the business is structured.
What would the pending New Jersey legislation mean for those who are injured on-site? Legislation in our state would make Airbnb and similar hosts responsible for carrying a $500,000 liability policy for their premises. Further, those hosts would only be permitted to post their properties if they had been inspected and determined to be compliant with code.
What would the changes to to protect New Jersey residents and visitors? Those who stay in Airbnb facilities would be more likely to be able to recover financial damages from insurance companies instead of having to sue individual homeowners if an injury occurs. This means that victims would have more legal options for recovering financial damages in slip-and-fall accidents and other types of mishaps, which could increase the likelihood of recovering appropriate financial compensation.
Source: Jersey Digs, “New Jersey Might Tax Airbnb Rentals, Allow Towns To Decide On Bans,” Chris Fry, March 06, 2017