Keep calm and keep on sharing

07/25/2017 09:38

Keep calm and keep on sharing (while being properly insured)

By Humphrey Bowles, co-founder of, insurance for the sharing economy.

Despite the popularity of home-sharing, it is clear that many hosts are still unknowingly compromising their home insurance, resulting in people putting their homes and themselves in harm’s way.

What! How?

Most insurers consider having paying guests to a commercial transaction, and therefore ‘normal’ residential home insurance is not equipped to cover the new and changed risks that are created when you paying guests.

Why is this a big deal?

This means that the home insurer won’t pick up the bill if a guest damages the home, steals from it, or injures themselves in the property. And unrelated claims – for example a burst pipe or fire – may not be covered if the insurer subsequently learns that the host has used the property for commercial purposes, even if the guests didn’t directly lead to the claim.

OK. But my platform offers cover?

Yes, some platforms offer some levels of cover, but most underplay the importance of being properly insured to prevent putting people off, or slowing down the sign-up journey – ultimately adding confusion for hosts.

Eek… What do I need to do?

1.      Read the platforms small print, most platforms strongly encourage you to put your own insurance in place.

2.      Tell your insurer what you are doing - there will almost always be a requirement that your standard insurer knows what you are up to if they are to consider any claim

3.      Listen to what your insurer says to you!! Sounds obvious but in my experience this doesn’t happen very often. 

4.      Take whatever steps you think are sensible to fill these gaps in protection

Traditional models of insurance simply do not fit this new sharing market, resulting in the need for a completely new insurance product and approach.

HOSTCOVER: How it works

Starting from 75p per day*, GUARDHOG’s HOSTCOVER is entirely “on-demand” (…you can put it in place whenever you need it, for whatever time period you need) and “Usage Based” (…you only pay for what you use). This eliminates premium wastage. Our cover is designed so that it will dovetail exactly with the host’s. Cover is “amorphous”, flexing to match a host’s underlying insurance.

We have built some smart technology, which allows us to automate the process of putting cover in place for hosts. That is to say, if a host wants GUARDHOG cover, we can automatically activate cover every time they accept a booking, without lifting a finger. It couldn’t be easier to put cover in place… it’s entirely hands free.

*prices are dynamic and dependent on the Host, property and individual stay. For example, a two bedroom property in Fulham in London would be approximately £2.80 per night. 


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