We recently announced that our Damage Protection program was changing, and today we're excited to announce the new program that will be taking its place.
In the near future, we will be adding a number of new products, both on the Damage Protection and Travel Insurance sides, but we first have been focusing on creating a drop-in replacement for the Damage Protection we have now. And we've done just that!
We're happy to introduce a new partnership with RentalGuardian!
We are highly impressed with RentalGuardian's product lines, technology and team. They understand the market and the customer base and can provide the same or better level of coverage that our users depend on to secure their rentals.
Our team is hard at work getting the transition in place and we anticipate announcing the transition date in the next few days. In the meantime, here are some details we can share...
The new program will be very similar to the Damage Protection program we currently offer. Like before, the program will follow a spread-risk model that protects you (the owner or PM), not the guest. We continue to feel that this is the best type of damage coverage for vacation rentals as it does not require an admission of guilt by the guest and does not create a "self-selecting bad group" of guests who buy protection.
All bookings will be required to carry the protection for the properties that are enrolled in the program. Cancelled bookings will automatically remove coverage, but you will not be able to pick and choose which bookings have it and which do not. Accidents happen, of course, and our support team will help you remove erroneous coverage (eg. bulk-imported bookings, etc). Like before, we highly encourage holding a security deposit on all bookings even with Damage Protection in place.
In the past, claims were filed via manual PDF and the process lacked transparency. RentalGuardian has an online trackable tool for filing claims that will be much easier to use.
In the past, you were not allowed to build Damage Protection into your rates as a limitation of the program. However, you will now be able to do that. While you can't explicitly say "Damage Protection" as a line item in the guest charges, you can add a general maintenance or admin fee to cover the amount, thereby passing the cost onto the guest.
Another great feature will be a new program called Guest Option. This program will allow you to offer Damage Protection to the guest on a booking by booking basis for a higher cost but one that is entirely passed to the guest. If the guest purchases coverage, you will have the option of automatically skipping the security deposit (or not) based on settings. To be clear, you will have to choose between the Spread Risk (current) program and the Guest Option. You cannot have both programs running on the same properties. Any Spread Risk properties will be treated separately and the guest will not be shown any options. Guest Option is coming in early 2020 and will not be available at the transition date.
Rates and Coverage Amounts
We negotiated with RentalGuardian to keep coverage levels the same as well as adding a new $5,000 coverage level for our users who have wanted a higher level.
We also tried to keep premium amounts as low as possible while accommodating a newer carrier, better features, better technology and some small cost-of-living adjustments which we have not done in several years.
The new coverage amounts and premiums will be as follows:
|Coverage Per Booking||Premium|
|$500 of covered damage||$13.00|
|$1,500 of covered damage||$27.00|
|$3,000 of covered damage||$45.00|
|$5,000 of covered damage||$69.00|
Again, we are working hard to make this as seamless a transition as possible. The new program is specifically designed to be a drop-in replacement for the old program. As such, there is nothing you have to do to transition from one to the other. On the transition date - which we will be announcing in a few days - your current properties will be automatically enrolled in the new program and the coverage amounts will stay the same. Continue watching our blog and your inbox for more details about the transition.