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Participating in a home exchange, hosting a guest, or renting out a room? Speak with your home insurance provider or you may not be covered.

July 25, 2013

(Vancouver, BC): More and more Canadians are sharing their homes with others by using websites like Airbnb.com, Couchsurfing.org, and HomeExchange.com.

In fact, thousands of Canadian homes are listed on Airbnb.com, including:

Square One advises you to speak with your home insurance provider before participating in a home exchange, hosting a guest in your home, or renting out a room in your home. If you don’t, neither you nor your guest may be covered.

“Home sharing programs can be a good way to take an affordable vacation or to earn a little extra income,” says Daniel Mirkovic, Square One’s President and CEO. “But it’s important to keep in mind that all home insurance policies have terms, conditions, and exclusions.”

Adjustments may need to be made to your home insurance policy in order for coverage to remain in place. Even with these adjustments, there are some risks that you may not be able to insure. Here are some things to keep in mind if you’re thinking about participating in a home sharing program:

If you want to participate in a home sharing program, there are a few things you can do to make sure you’re as protected as possible:

As more and more Canadians participate in home sharing programs, the insurance industry will likely evolve to automatically include broader coverage. In the meantime, it’s important you take steps to protect yourself. For more home insurance tips, visit our insurance basics and advice section.