A freehold property owner in Vancouver says home insurance companies do not cover damage incurred by neighbouring Airbnb operators.
Last week, Shane Richardson, a freehold property owner in Vancouver renewed his home insurance with Wawanesa, one of the largest property and casualty insurers in Canada. Wawanesa operates all over Canada and within California and Oregon in the United States.
Richardson said in the case that a neighbour and Airbnb operator incurs damage to their home that ends up spreading to their neighbours’ homes, their insurance company will not cover damages and vice versa.
Richardson said the activity that incurs damage does not have to be illegal.
“If something catches fire and that fire hops houses and burns half the block down, we all have to make a claim on our own insurance – even though it’s no fault of our own,” Richardson said.
Alternatively, individuals faced with this issue can personally sue their neighbour.
“The burden goes on the neighbours to go after that person personally or subject themselves to a higher rate class and higher risk class with their insurance company,” Richardson said.
Wawanesa advised Richardson to not personally sue and to not involve the company because it would affect his rating.
“I think that’s unreasonable for the city to knowingly be putting its constituents in that position,” Richardson said.
Following Richardson learning about this issue, he took to Twitter to share his experience and inform the public. The tweet now has 46 retweets and 62 likes and has created a discussion on how a neighbour’s activity affects an individual’s home insurance and if the city in Richardson’s jurisdiction can be sued.