It’s not going to happen to me, right?

While we admit your vacation rental will be fine 9 times out of 10, damage is bound to happen at some point. When it comes to your rental, we feel it is better to be safe than sorry. The damage protection insurance will take care of anything from a lamp being knocked over to the $5,000 catastrophe.

You may think security deposits are an effective way to put your mind at ease but you also have to think about keeping your guests happy too. Travelers spend a lot of time and effort in searching for the perfect vacation rental. With the average booking costing $1200, many travelers will shy away from properties with high security deposits. Even though travelers are most likely to have their deposit returned upon checkout, having an additional start up charge of $300-$500 is enough to make potential guests hesitant to book.

Besides losing prospects, security deposits can be a hassle for both you and your guests. Last Memorial Day weekend my friend rented the perfect beach house on the Cape for ten of our friends. We all had a great time but over the weekend one of our clumsier friends dropped a small stack of dishes. We also managed to crack a plastic deck chair that we used for home plate in our Wiffle ball game (which turned out to not be a good idea). At the end of our stay we wrote an apologetic note saying we understand that some money may have to be taken from our deposit.

Two weeks later my friend, who put the deposit down, called me saying that the owner charged us the whole $250 deposit for our damages. She argued that the dishes and plastic chair couldn’t possibly come to $250 but the owner wouldn’t budge. We swallowed our pride and just decided to accept the deposit loss. Even though the house was an ideal fit for us, we are booking a different vacation rental for next year’s Memorial Day weekend. We’re making our trip into an annual getaway and this particular owner lost out on us as returning guests for years to come.

Had we had the option during booking to elect for insurance, we wouldn’t have thought twice about it. Obviously it is easier to say we’d take the insurance after our deposit dispute, but when you break down the numbers it makes sense. If the $35 insurance plan was added to our booking total, it only would have been an additional $3.50 per person (instead of the $25 we each paid) for up to $1,000 in damages. I think we would all agree that paying a collective $35 is worth the possibility of losing $250.

More importantly the insurance plan will keep YOU happy! The arguments of damage cost with guests are completely avoided as the insurance will take care of it. Above all, the insurance financially protects you much more than a security deposit. With the guests paying less up front and you getting more coverage, the insurance is a must!

Insurance Plan Options

$1,000 in coverage at a cost of $34.99

$3,000 in coverage at a cost of $39.99

$5,000 in coverage at a cost of $49.99

 

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Travel Insurance Providing Benefits At All Touch Points of the Vacation Rental Value Chain

Written by: Max

It’s no secret that the Travel Industry performance trends closely with economic factors at a local, national and international level. Poor economic conditions lead to lower consumer confidence, which leads to decreased spending. Personal travel – being a luxury – is one of the more obvious places to trim fat from a budget. It’s during uncertain economic times that taking on a travel insurance policy becomes an increasingly wise investment.

At Rezfest last month CSA spoke about Travel insurance issues specific to the Vacation rental industry, and explained how Rental Insurance can benefit not only guests, but property managers and rental owners as well. We’ve touched on the value of travel insurance from a consumer perspective in an earlier post, but one service of particular importance is the reimbursement of reservation costs in the event of a cancellation. The option to cancel a future trip is immensely valuable, as it allows a traveler to hedge against economic uncertainty.

For homeowners and property managers, Travel insurance provides several benefits. In general, Travelers who purchase insurance policies do so during the reservation process. Because of the added security and upfront cost, these vacationers are substantially less likely to cancel a reservation. For managers specifically, Travel Insurance can represent an additional revenue stream, as many travel insurance companies (CSA included) will offer performance incentives to managers who encourage renters to purchase insurance.

How can property managers incorporate vacation rental insurance into their reservation process? Ultimately this depends on local markets, and how reservations are booked, but CSA offers the following general advice:

  • Know how your competitors pricing and booking process, and apply this knowledge to your business
  • Always encourage upfront payment for bookings
  • Build insurance into the cost of your rentals or into optional components of an invoice
  • Use touch points such as a final payment reminder to encourage the purchase of a policy
  • For reservations made through the web, add travel insurance options to the booking process.

If you’re interested in learning more about vacation rental insurance, purchasing a policy or signing up as a vacation rental insurance affiliate, vacationrentalinsurance.com has some great resources to get you started.

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