Damage Protection is a feature that applies to your contracted rental property, providing protection against accidental damage a guest might do while at your property. Through our unique integrations, OwnerRez connects you to a suite of protection programs that responds to accidental guest-caused damages arising during an OwnerRez-contracted booking. The protection is paid for on a booking-by-booking basis. It's directly integrated into OwnerRez and powered by RentalGuardian®.
- Costs and Coverages
- Does this replace the security deposit?
- What about canceled bookings or booking date changes?
- Channel Opt-out from certain channels
- Adding New Properties
- Disabling Properties
- How to Submit a Damage Reimbursement Claim
- Damage Protection Program Details
We spent several years researching the various Damage Protection products out there before developing ours. We wanted an insurance partner that was low cost but had a good track record of paying claims. Some of the listing sites and channels claim to include damage protection, but they are known to be quite bad. Not only are they wildly overpriced but they are known to reject many claims or require an admission of guilt by the guest. We developed something that spreads risk well and is also low cost for you - the property owner/PM.
If you go to Settings > Damage Protection, you'll see a page explaining in simple terms how it works and the costs. For example, the cost for $1500 of coverage, which is the level we recommend for most properties, is only $27 per booking. When a booking occurs, Damage Protection is automatically applied. You pay for the program directly; the guest doesn't have to know about it. You can optionally choose to add a surcharge back to the guest to cover the cost, but the booking is covered regardless.
Once turned on, Damage Protection is not optional in the sense that it can be applied on a booking-by-booking basis. All bookings, direct, manually booked, or through a listing channel (unless opted out of), must be covered - this is to satisfy the model of spreading the risk across bookings and properties of different types while also offering it at a low cost.
Damage Protection can be used for any property worldwide, and the owner or manager (i.e. you) can be a citizen of any country.
There are two types of Damage Protection - Standard and Enhanced. Read our support article on the difference between Standard and Enhanced Damage Protection to understand the differences.
Below is the price table for Standard and Enhanced programs. Again, this is applied automatically to every booking (*) you create in the system:
|Protection Program Type||Protection Program Limit||Program Fee Per 30-days of Stay||Enhanced Features|
|Bronze Enhanced||$500||$23||$1,000,000 in Host Liability, $15,000 in Bed Bug|
|Silver Enhanced||$1,500||$37||$1,000,000 in Host Liability, $15,000 in Bed Bug|
|Gold Enhanced||$3,000||$55||$1,000,000 in Host Liability, $15,000 in Bed Bug|
|Platinum Enhanced||$5,000||$79||$1,000,000 in Host Liability, $15,000 in Bed Bug|
*Long-term booking exception: the damage protection program has a 30-day duration; a separate program fee will be applied to each 30-day period. So, a 31-60 day booking would require 2 x the damage protection fee, a 61-90 day booking would require 3 x damage protection fee, and so on. There is no limit to the number of months that can be protected but the fee will be applied every 30 days.
Each property can have a different level of protection selected, but all properties must be included under the terms of the protection program.
Any bookings imported via iCal/Channel Bridge after Damage Protection is enabled will automatically be assessed Damage Protection fees as the system will acknowledge those imported bookings as new bookings.
As mentioned above, the damage must be guest-caused and accidental. The program will not reimburse for damage(s) that was intentional. The program also does not cover non-damage items like the following:
- your time in assessing the damage
- the guest not following house rules (eg. bringing a pet when you don't allow pets)
- guest theft
- mysterious disappearance. If the vanished item was simply discarded by the guest before you could take a picture of the damage, you can provide an explanation with receipt of new purchase. Also, if the disappearance was not mysterious, such as if a blanket, comforter or mattress pad goes through the laundry service (because guest mistakenly put those items in the laundry) and can't be recovered, that can also be claimed. The underwriter reserves the right to exercise guest verification in such instances and - as with all claims - reserves the right to assess each claim on its own merits.
We recommend having both Damage Protection in place and also using our security deposit feature to have a $300 or $500 hold on the guest's credit card. Why? Because it encourages the guest to behave. When the guest knows that a security deposit is held on their card, they tend to take care of things better. Damage Protection is a great feature, but you don't want the guest to think they can do what they want because, after all, "damage is covered".
Here are other reasons you should still have a security deposit in place:
- Damage Protection only covers accidental damage. If the guest commits intentional damage, such as vandalism, it won't be covered and you'd have to go after the guest for that money a different way.
- The guest may break house rules in which case you need a security deposit to bill them for fines, fees or overages. For instance, they might bring a pet but not tell you about it. If found, you may have a fine or fee for the pet. Damage Protection would not cover something like that.
- The accidental damage might cost more than the damage protection program limit. For instance, a lot of users opt for the $500 program because it's cheap (only $13 per booking) and responds to a lot of common damages - broken glasses, windows, even doors. But what if the guest breaks an expensive item like a TV or fridge? The $500 limit wouldn't fully cover that expense, and you'd have to go after the guest for more money. A security deposit can help with that. Incidentally, this kind of situation is why we recommend the $1500 tier. It tends to be the best value for the cost.
- Booking Date Changes
If booking dates are changed, guests/clients do not need to contact Rental Guardian themselves to modify the original Damage Protection policy. However, if a claim is eventually filed, it may be necessary to verify the status and accurate dates of the booking - the OwnerRez Helpdesk can assist with this if needed.
There is a caveat to "every booking in the system" rule that includes direct and manually entered bookings, which allows for the opt-out of bookings from certain listing sites (currently Airbnb, Booking.com, Hopper Homes, TripAdvisor, and Vrbo) at the time of Damage Protection enrollment. Before making the choice of opting out of any channel, OwnerRez recommends that users read why channel bookings should be covered making the case for keeping the Damage Protection turned on for all channel bookings.
Airbnb, for instance, advertises "AirCover for Hosts" which offers a certain level of protection. For Vrbo, you can ask them to turn it off on their side (which they have an option for). If the channel has the option to opt out of their damage protection, we recommend doing that and going with the product OwnerRez has set up instead. Airbnb's "AirCover for Hosts" can't be turned off, but in our opinion, it's a program that only works in certain circumstances. If an Airbnb guest contradicts your story, for example, Airbnb likely will not cover you.
if OwnerRez users have Damage Protection turned on and subsequently add a new property, they will be able to select the Damage Protection Policy level at the time each new property is added. This has been added to all screens where you can add a property/properties.
The system will attempt to default to the policy level you always use or the one that is used the most across all properties in your account. The system will default to the Standard $1500 level if it varies widely. From there, you can select a different one if so desired. This was added to 6 areas.
- Add a (single) property
- Add multiple properties in bulk
- Import Airbnb Listing
- Import Vrbo Listing
- Import property data from Excel
- The sixth area is the Property Re-Enable screen. If you disable a property but re-enable it later, it will ask you to select a Damage Protection level.
When users attempt to disable OwnerRez properties with future bookings, they will receive an error that the property cannot be disabled with future un-canceled bookings.
Once any future bookings are canceled, users will receive notifications of any applicable Damage Protection policies that are eligible for reimbursement after the OwnerRez properties are disabled.
All the necessary information for a Damage Protection Claim is located in each individual booking Insurance > Damage Protection section.
The Rental Guardian Claim form is linked at the bottom of this page along with the necessary Reservation Number (beginning with ORB...). Users can copy the Reservation Number simply by clicking on the icon.
The damage must be found and reported within 14 days of the guest check-out. For the damage reimbursement process to begin, simply submit the claim as described above, including a description of the damages, clear photos of the damaged or ruined items, and a receipt(s) documenting the cost of repair or replacement within 14 days of guest check-out.
Your description must include the following:
- what damages occurred,
- how they were caused, and
- the corrective actions to be taken to remedy the damages (whether replacement or repair).
In lieu of a paid receipt, you may submit an estimate; however, no damage reimbursements can be approved until the final paid receipt or vendor-stamped-paid estimate / invoice is submitted.
The claim administrator adjudicates contents damage submissions without on-site investigation. Because of this, the determination is based on the description of damage, the pictures of damage, and any vendor notes on invoices/receipts (with the assessment of the scope of repair) provided in your claim submission. By being as detailed as possible with your supporting documentation, you help expedite the process and foster fast resolution and payment.
The program provider allows you up to 60 days from guest check-out to complete your repair or replacement and provide all required documentation.
If there are special circumstances that cause a delay in completion of repairs or replacement of damaged item(s), the key is to communicate: notify firstname.lastname@example.org of such delays. Typically, the claim can be put on hold and re-opened when the work can be completed.
For Liability incidents that give rise to or could give rise to a claim, contact OwnerRez. A claim form along with other supporting information is submitted and each claim is processed on its own merits. Deductibles apply to the Liability sections. Adjusters may be required for significant damages and liability issues.
Still have questions? Check out our Damage Protection Common Issues and Questions support article.
To get started, go to the Damage Protection page in the settings area and flip it on!
OwnerRez integrated damage protection programs are powered by RentalGuardian® and offered through licensed insurance agency, InsureStays.