Rental Damage Protection Option for Vacation Rental Owners

Rental Damage Protection (RDP) is designed to provide an alternative to managing refundable deposits from guests while providing property protection and peace of mind.  RDP is an insurance product designed by Protection Brands, in partnership with RentalGuardian®, for vacation rental owners that is now available directly through your AlaVHR dashboard.  The RDP policy is underwritten by Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's of London.

When you own a vacation rental property, protecting your assets is extremely important.  Keeping your property safe from accidental damage or unruly guests is one of the most important aspects of being a property owner. 

What is a Security Deposit?

Most owners collect a "refundable security deposit" or place a credit card hold ranging from $200 - $500 (sometimes more) when a guest books their stay.  The idea is that if there is any accidental damage or other issues caused by the guest, the owner will deduct the cost from this deposit.  Most of the time, even if there is a minor incident, the owner will refund 100% of the deposit out of good will to encourage the guest to return or to avoid a potentially bad review.  If there is a major incident, the amount of the deposit usually will not be enough to cover the damages and the owner has to go after the guest for even more money.  This results in bad rapport and can lead to bad reviews or possibly social media bashing.    Even when there are no issues, the owner must remember to issue the refund in a timely fashion, all of which can be a major hassle.  These are exactly the problems that RDP protection is designed to solve.

What is Rental Damage Protection?  

RentalGuardian® provides an option for owners to offer a low, flat-fee damage policy.  This insurance rids the owner of dealing with the hassle of collecting and refunding security deposits (not to mention the awkward conversation that comes with it).  As a vacation rental owner, owning rental property is a lot of work. Rental Damage Protection reduces your workload and saves you time!

Rental Damage Protection was created specifically for property owners and managers in case a guest causes damage or theft occurs during a short term rental stay. There are a few differences between RentalGuardian® insurance and other damage policies that many other booking platforms offer.   Be sure to check out our chart for more information.

The  biggest benefit  is  that with AlaVHR,  the  homeowner  purchases the policy   (rather  than  the  traveler) This  means  that  the owner has  complete  control over the  entire process!   The homeowner initiates the claims and typically the guest is not typically involved at all during the claim process.

RentalGuardian® RDP eliminates the hassle of collecting and refunding security deposits from your guests or can be used to supplement coverage.   Did you know that most guests, if given a choice, will choose damage insurance over a refundable deposit?  Lower upfront cost for them and better coverage with less hassle for you. And it could not be easier -  just use your AlaVHR booking calendar and we do the work for you.

Another great benefit to this Rental Damage Protection is that the property owner is the primary claim initiator and claim beneficiary.   There is no need to contact  your guests  in  order  for  you to make a claim.   All of the other sites (VRBO®, AirBnB®, etc) require the guest to admit guilt before they will process a claim - and that means that most claims get denied and your "coverage" is useless! 

Let’s Talk Through Some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

1.  What’s Covered under the policy?

  • "Unintentional" damage to furniture, appliances, decor, flooring, windows, and other interior items. Replacement costs of stained bedding, linens and or lost keys are all covered. There is no coverage for smoking/vaping deodorization or excessive cleaning.
  • Yes, theft is covered!  There is only coverage of theft for any person  other than  the guest and their travel companions. RDP does not cover intentional acts and coverage would not be afforded if the guest intentionally took something from the home, i.e. drinking glasses. You may need to file a claim with your homeowner's insurance.  
  • Pet damage is covered as long as the presence of the pet  does not  violate the rental agreement and your rental is pet -friendly.

2.  What isn’t covered?

In general, this is "accidental damage" coverage. Some of the most common issues that are not covered are listed below.

  • Intentional or malicious damage.
  • Activities that violate house rules for the rental (such as smoking in a non-smoking rental).
  • Smoke Deodorization, including any smoke or vape scent removal.
  • Excessive cleaning, or regular cleaning fees - if you are concerned about additional cleaning, you may want to use a refundable deposit (or credit card hold) along with the RDP damage insurance, particularly for guests that have not stayed with you before or for certain events, such as Hangout Festival.
  • Adverse weather (weather damage is typically covered by primary homeowner's insurance).
  • Damaged caused by vehicles on the property (typically covered by the guest's automotive insurance).
  • Loss of income.

3.    What are the policy costs to the owner and coverage?

Owners have the choice of three policies. The policy cost is per stay. Owners can choose to charge their guests the amount they choose. 

  • The $59 policy covers up to $1,500 in damages and $0 deductible.
  • The $79 policy covers up to $3,000 in damages and $0 deductible. 
  • The $99 policy covers up to $5,000 in damages and $0 deductible.
  • Policies cover a maximum of 30 days per stay.  Additional policies (in 30 day increments) may be purchased for stays over 30 days.

The expense/cost maybe a business write off to you. Please verify with your tax professional.   

4.  What do I, the owner, need to do? 

This policy is for potential guests only and not for commercial events or parties.  It is your job to ensure that you follow the policy guidelines.  If you file a claim, you are responsible for submitting photos of the damage or theft, provide receipts and/or invoices for repairs, and a short summary of what happened.

If you claim more than $1,000 worth of damages police report is required.  

5.   How do I file a claim?

  • You may file a claim inside the AlaVHR dashboard, using the button on the Bookings tab, or use this link:  File a Claim
  • Starting a claim is quick and easy! Be sure to start the claim process within 14 days of the check out date for the covered stay.
  • Documentation (photos and receipts) must be submitted within 45 days to complete your claim.

6.   When does the coverage begin and when does it end?

This policy covers your property from the time the guest checks-in to the time and date they check-out.

7.  How far in advance can I purchase a rental damage protection policy and how close to check in?

A rental damage protection (RDP) policy can be purchased any time (even months in advance), up until Noon CST on the date of check in.

8.   Can I use this policy to replace my homeowner's insurance policy?

No. This is a damage and theft policy only. It is best to keep your homeowner's insurance policy so you don’t have to submit a large number of small claims.  Submitting a large number of insurance claims to your homeowner's insurance can hurt your CLUE (Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange) report and the cost of an annual premium.  We do not offer liability coverage.

9.  Can I buy insurance when no one is renting my home? 

No, the policy is based only on when you have guests staying on your property and not between rentals.

10.   Why should I get short term insurance as opposed to a year-long policy?

Year long damage insurance for short term rentals is expensive and each claim runs the risk of increasing your plan even higher upon renewal.  With the RDP policy, you can charge each guest for the coverage precisely for the dates they need, passing along the cost without running the risk of increasing your other policy premiums when you need to file a claim. 

11.   Do you offer a "long term" policy?

Each policy is valid for a single stay up to 30 days.  For snowbirds or other monthly renters you would need to purchase a new policy every 30 days for additional coverage with a single renter.

12. What happens if a renter cancels their stay?

No problem, policies are refundable if cancelled at least 24 hours prior to check in.  Simply log into your AlaVHR dashboard and cancel the booking where you purchased the insurance policy.  Your payment will be refunded to you right away, it is that simple! 

13.  What if I have bookings from another website besides AlaVHR?

You may purchase RDP insurance through the AlaVHR dashboard for ANY booking, regardless of platform.  That means even if you booked on VRBO®, AirBnB®, Facebook®, Craigslist®, etc., you can have peace of mind that you have have a policy that will stand behind you, the owner.  Remember, the VRBO® policy depends on the guest admitting fault and AirBnB® decides whether or not you have a valid claim.  With RDP through AlaVHR, you are the policy holder and the guest is not typically involved in the claims process.

14. Don't have an AlaVHR Listing? 

You can still benefit from using our program and purchase a security deposit policy.  Simply create a FREE account and set up your property - you do not need an advertising subscription to purchase and manage RDP insurance through our dashboard.  Just import your calendar from VRBO® or another website and you are all set!