Airbnb to launch embedded travel insurance

Airbnb, the online marketplace for holiday and short-term rental homes, is to launch a travel insurance offering to its customers this Spring.

Airbnb’s custom-built guest travel insurance product is designed by the same team that created the company’s AirCover Host protection for the app’s hosts. The company also said the product is being built with a “reputable insurance carrier”.

AirCover Host provides “top-to-bottom” protection for every Airbnb Host with $1m in damage protection and $1m in liability coverage, it also includes income loss protection, pet damage protection, and deep cleaning protection.

The launch of the travel insurance product comes at a time of significant travel disruption and uncertainty surrounding Covid-19.

Airbnb said, “As a two-sided platform, it is important to recognise that the Omicron spike has greatly impacted our Hosts, and we know many lost out on income as well as the opportunity to market their listing over the holiday season following last-minute cancellations. For this reason, we are grateful that our Host community as a whole has sought to offer guests greater flexibility — with almost two thirds of active listings now offering moderate or flexible cancellation policies.”

The launch also comes during a time when the insurance and InsurTech industry is seeing greater use and investment in embedded insurance solutions. Elsewhere in the travel industry, Ryanair and Cover Genius recently partnered to provide embedded travel insurance in the booking experience. Insured Nomads also teamed up with Peanut to provide embedded travel insurance through Peanut’s extension.

Until the new product is available, Airbnb said it urges guests to purchase travel insurance outside of Airbnb, or to utilise the functionality of its free cancellation search filter to find listings that have more flexibility.

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