Financial Matters Managing Your Vacation Rental

An Insurance Alternative for Short-term Vacation Rentals

Written by Carrie Hillman
An Insurance Alternative for Short-term Vacation Rentals
2 5

What is Safely? 

Safely.com is a unique vacation rental insurance company whose offerings can be a good fit for short-term rental property owners. They provide insurance that offers per night coverage for the homeowner for each individual rental reservation of their property. It includes primary commercial coverage for home damage and bodily injury that may occur during a guest stay. There is also content coverage for home damage and theft.

Safely’s coverage could be a great option for a homeowner who only rents seasonally. You are always covered when renters are there, and you don’t need to waste money by paying for insurance when the home is not booked by a renter.

Massachusetts requires $1 Million dollars in Liability Coverage for short-term rentals. As of July 1, 2019, Chapter 337 of the Acts of 2018 requires that “operators of short-term rentals must maintain liability insurance of not less than $1,000,000 to cover each short-term rental. mass.gov. Under their Lux plan, Safely insurance covers you for the MA shortterm rental insurance mandate.    

Because every home and rental situation is unique, homeowners need to do the math for themselves to decide if this option could work best for them, as opposed to traditional insurance coverage. If you take the time to do so, you may find Safely’s offering to be less costly coverage plan and better suited to your needs. There are some flexible payment plan options to choose from. We recommend reaching out to Safely directly for assistance in deciding which plan is best for you. 

What does Safely cover and what do they not cover?

Safely offers a unique combination of vacation rental damage insurance and traditional homeowner’s insurance. It has you covered for many more situations than typical homeowner’s insurance usually does because it is tailored to short-term rentals and the types of damages that commonly occur. Our blog “The Psychology Factor” spells out some common gaps in traditional damage coverage, and many of these gaps are actually covered quite well by Safely.

*Image courtesy of Safely

Covered

  • Home damage
  • Carpet stains
  • Upholstery cleaning
  • Smoke smell cleaning
  • Pet damage
  • Accidents or injury to guests
  • If your house burns down
  • Accidental or purposeful damage done by guests
  • Damage done by intoxicated guests

Not Covered

There are a few areas that are not covered. Safely won’t cover extra cleaning like taking out extra trash or a breach of the rental agreement on its own. You are not automatically covered, for example, if your agreement states something similar to the following, “If you bring a pet or bring more people than our maximum capacity, you automatically forfeit your security deposit.”

Safely will not cover a simple breach of a contract. They do, however, cover any damage that occurs from guests who broke your house rules as detailed in your rental agreement, such as damage from parties and damage from unauthorized pets.

Submitting claims is very simple

Background Checks

Safely’s unique coverage also includes guest screening, if you’d like, on the primary person in the rental party. For an additional small fee, Safely will also conduct background screening on other adult members of the rental party, if listed on the rental agreement. Safely will provide the homeowner with suggested language for a homeowner to include in their vacation rental agreement, disclosing that background checks may be conducted.

Use of the background check feature is not required in order for a homeowner to use Safely’s coverage. If the Safely screening process results in findings that determine that your renter has some past issues that may be grounds for nullifying the rental agreement before the stay commences, and you decide ultimately not to rent to them, Safely will assist you in notifying the renter that the rental agreement is terminated.

New payment plan for seasonal rentals

Safely has a monthly payment plan that is similar to the way cell phone payment plans work, and you can cancel at any time. This is a great plan if you rent year-round. They also just released a new payment plan for seasonal rentals like many on Cape Cod & the Islands, where we see the heaviest use June-September. This payment plan can cover you if you rent solely in those months, but it also works if you rent sporadically throughout the rest of the year.

Amanda Martins, Director of Customer Happiness at Safely, joined us recently via Zoom to chat with our homeowners and explain the Safely coverage options in greater detail. Please view the recorded presentation by Amanda Martins here: Safely Insurance WebinarFor more information, please reach out to Amanda Martins, Director of Customer Happiness, at Safely, by emailing her at Hello@Safely.com.

*As always, with any insurance or security deposit choices, be sure to review your options to make the right decision for you and your rental business. We are not experts in insurance or legal matters, so be sure to check with a lawyer to make sure you’ve picked the right option for your renting situation.

About the author

Carrie Hillman

Carrie was born and raised in the Northeast. She currently lives on the Cape with her two children and husband. They are a family of four who love to travel, play in the sun, hike and canoe. They enjoy sharing the beauty of the Cape while hosting guests at their home when they are traveling.

1 Comment