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Damage Protection - Damage Protection Overview

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®.

Overview

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. The cost to you for our $1500 protection program, which is the damage limit we recommend for most properties, is only $27 per booking. When a booking occurs, the 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 to a booking-by-booking basis. All bookings 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.

Costs and Coverages

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
Standard $500 $13  
Standard $1,500 $27  
Standard $3,000 $45  
Standard $5,000 $69  
Enhanced $500 $23 $1,000,000 in Host Liability, $15,000 in Bed Bug
Enhanced $1,500 $37 $1,000,000 in Host Liability, $15,000 in Bed Bug
Enhanced $3,000 $55 $1,000,000 in Host Liability, $15,000 in Bed Bug
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.

Does this replace the security deposit?

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.

What about canceled bookings?

If a booking is canceled, the damage protection fee is refunded. The Damage protection fee(s) is paid on your monthly invoice. If you cancel a booking before the damage protection has been charged on the next monthly invoice, then it won't show up on the invoice at all. If the cancelled damage protection fee has already been invoiced and paid, you'll see a credit for the canceled booking on the next monthly invoice.

Imported Bookings from VRBO or Airbnb?

There is a caveat to "every booking in the system" rule which is for imported bookings from listing sites. Airbnb, for instance, advertises a "host guarantee" which offers a certain level of protection. To help with that, we have a "Apply Damage Protection" setting on calendar imports so that you can skip the damage protection for imported bookings. To be clear, this only applies to bookings imported from a channel.

However, we do recommend keeping the Damage Protection turned on for all channel bookings. For VRBO, you can tell VRBO to turn it off on their side (which they have an option for). If the channel has the option to opt-out of damage protection, we recommend doing that and going with the product we have set up instead. Airbnb's "Host Guarantee" can't be turned off, but in our opinion it's a very weak program that only works in certain circumstances. If an Airbnb guest contradicts your story, for example, Airbnb likely will not cover you.

The Damage Reimbursement Process

CONTENTS DAMAGES: 

The damage reimbursement process for contents damages is online, linked from the Insurance > Damage Protection tab of each covered booking.

The damage must be found and reported within 15 days of the guest check-out. For damage submissions to be reviewed and resolved, you just need to submit a description of what damages occurred and how, a picture(s) of the damages, and a receipt (or estimate if receipt not yet available) within the 15 days. The program provider allows you up to 45 days to complete your repair or replacement and provide all required documentation. For special circumstances, the key is to communicate: notify OwnerRez if there are special circumstances that cause a delay in completion of repairs or replacement of damaged items.

IMPORTANT:

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 (a) your time in assessing the damage or (b) the guest not following house rules (eg. bringing a pet when you don't allow pets).

LIABILITY:

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.

To get started, go to the Damage Protection page in the settings area and flip it on!

Damage Protection Program Details

OwnerRez Standard Damage Protection.pdf

OwnerRez Enhanced Damage Protection.pdf

Still have questions?  Check out our Damage Protection Common Issues and Questions support article.

OwnerRez integrated damage protection programs are powered by RentalGuardian® and offered through licensed insurance agency InsureStays.
Websites:

RentalGuardian: https://www.RentalGuardian.com,

InsureStays: http://www.insurestays.com