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FAQ

FAQ: Agency.CapeHolidays Management Services

FAQ’s

FAQ's About Airbnb (2)

The short answer: NO!

This is a common concern for new owners. As we implement our trust-building phase we use competitive rates to attract reluctant guests to stay and get reviews at the new accommodation. 

The Consequences of AirBnB’s Commoditization On Rates

It’s only after new owners become familiar with the painful reality and impact of AirBnB’s commoditization of the short term accommodation market, that they change their mind about our rate setting philosophy. 

After this introduction let me address the concern about low rates equaling bad guests

When we talk about low rates to buy trust we are talking about competitive rates only and not Rock-bottom rates. 

As you know, we don’t have the accommodation seeker’s trust yet, and we must use our only effective driver, namely rates, to overcome resistance to book. 

The guests who book initially are the same guest who may pay premium rate tomorrow. But with no reviews (trust) forget it. 

Only a remarkable holiday home at a bargain will do. 

In the market we operate, guests are not poor. 

Let me make a statement based on experience. 

Even if the rates are competitive you still get great guests. 

Now let me share why I say this:

The real risk is not bad guests but rather uneducated guests. With today’s social media profiles guests cannot hide any longer. 

And Forbes did a great job of explaining why guests’ requests to stay are sometimes declined more here.

We started our business in 2009. This was before social media. And many people left homes untidy as there was no recourse. Even owners got away with shoddy offerings. 

Today Your Social Profile Is A Valuable Asset

When a guest book and stay they review us. And these positive reviews made us SuperHosts. Trust! As guests depart we review them. And they establish trusting profile overtime. Today we all know the consequences of a bad review for both parties. 

Let me repeat: Even if the rate is competitive no guests will risk getting a bad review knowing other hosts will not approve them with a  bad previous review. 

The only risk for us is first time users on Airbnb. Unfortunately, they are not familiar with the implications of getting a bad review and how it impacts their future ability to use Airbnb. And some of them, ignorantly, will not leave the property in the same clean state they received it. 

When they get hit with a bad review they never again treat any Airbnb place poorly. And if they do they get blocked. 

Our challenge is to make it as difficult for new guests to book without first qualifying (See Forbes article above) them and then we educate them on what we expect. 

To answer the question: No. Competitive rates are not the cause of bad guests. Bad guests are mostly new guests unfamiliar with their responsibility.

Did you find this FAQ helpful?
0
0

 There Are Other Ways To Reduce Risk: Discrimination Is Absolute Useless As A Measure!

The age of people, their sexual orientation, the colour of their skin, their physical inabilities, etc. do not define if they will trample your home, or expose you to risk. 

 Risk comes in all possible disguises.   
Read more on vetting guests

You can set an age limit for kids. But that’s about it. You can share liability risks. But only the guest can decide on your honest rules and warnings that will lower expectations.

Today, with Airbnb-homeowner and guest reviews you  get a legal way to discriminate between good and bad 

Consider Transparency As Your Risk Reducing Measure!

Bad Airbnb guests have previous public reviews. And if they are not good you don’t have to accept their booking. If they have no reviews you can try and qualify them. But  there is no obligation to accommodate zero-reviewed-guest. .

We have found the change in guests behaviour pre and post the arrival of Airbnb significant. In the past guests would have very little respect. Today they care. Even owners have jacked up their offering.  Because no one gets away with bad stuff today.  

Transparency: Guests do care about their public profile.

The solution today is not discrimination; the real issue is rather: from which marketing site does the guest originate from? If the guest is an Airbnb referral the risk is less than when compared to any other website where there are no social profile risks | no real transparency.

NOTE: There is no foolproof way. Things can go wrong. And the way this world operates it will go wrong. But we should always try to minimise risk. 

airbnb-discrimination

 

Did you find this FAQ helpful?
0
0

FAQs: Accommodation Profitability (1)

The short answer: NO!

This is a common concern for new owners. As we implement our trust-building phase we use competitive rates to attract reluctant guests to stay and get reviews at the new accommodation. 

The Consequences of AirBnB’s Commoditization On Rates

It’s only after new owners become familiar with the painful reality and impact of AirBnB’s commoditization of the short term accommodation market, that they change their mind about our rate setting philosophy. 

After this introduction let me address the concern about low rates equaling bad guests

When we talk about low rates to buy trust we are talking about competitive rates only and not Rock-bottom rates. 

As you know, we don’t have the accommodation seeker’s trust yet, and we must use our only effective driver, namely rates, to overcome resistance to book. 

The guests who book initially are the same guest who may pay premium rate tomorrow. But with no reviews (trust) forget it. 

Only a remarkable holiday home at a bargain will do. 

In the market we operate, guests are not poor. 

Let me make a statement based on experience. 

Even if the rates are competitive you still get great guests. 

Now let me share why I say this:

The real risk is not bad guests but rather uneducated guests. With today’s social media profiles guests cannot hide any longer. 

And Forbes did a great job of explaining why guests’ requests to stay are sometimes declined more here.

We started our business in 2009. This was before social media. And many people left homes untidy as there was no recourse. Even owners got away with shoddy offerings. 

Today Your Social Profile Is A Valuable Asset

When a guest book and stay they review us. And these positive reviews made us SuperHosts. Trust! As guests depart we review them. And they establish trusting profile overtime. Today we all know the consequences of a bad review for both parties. 

Let me repeat: Even if the rate is competitive no guests will risk getting a bad review knowing other hosts will not approve them with a  bad previous review. 

The only risk for us is first time users on Airbnb. Unfortunately, they are not familiar with the implications of getting a bad review and how it impacts their future ability to use Airbnb. And some of them, ignorantly, will not leave the property in the same clean state they received it. 

When they get hit with a bad review they never again treat any Airbnb place poorly. And if they do they get blocked. 

Our challenge is to make it as difficult for new guests to book without first qualifying (See Forbes article above) them and then we educate them on what we expect. 

To answer the question: No. Competitive rates are not the cause of bad guests. Bad guests are mostly new guests unfamiliar with their responsibility.

Did you find this FAQ helpful?
0
0

Management FAQs (3)

Typical Airbnb House Rules.

The list below may be typical but only the minimum. Each homeowner must take this list and complete it specifically to their own home.

When owners have additional house rules the newly  updated listed must be emailed to Agency.CapeHolidays.Info where the agent  will add it to online listings of the property.

Owner Only Protected Area

This content is password-protected. Ask for password on your mobile via WhatsApp Me HERE! OR try +828702004 Then please verify with your password to unlock the content.


The above list of minimum Airbnb House rules must be read by owners with the house manual, domestic person’s tasks and manager task manual.

Did you find this FAQ helpful?
0
0
  1. Never have a phone available to guests. You cannot control any calls made by guests other than limiting it to local phone calls. If you don’t set it up for local calls only remove the handset and lock the ports.
  2. Internet is a must. Ensure you have uncapped.

PS. Never ever use Telkom for anything. Nothing. Cancel Telkom and ask us for alternatives.

Did you find this FAQ helpful?
0
0

This answer is specific to owners who only rent out during school holidays

Here are some of the responsibilities of the domestic. For any deviation, the appointed manager must be notified immediately.  Below are 15 minimum functions for the domestic.   Available to Agency.CapeHolidays homeowners and management staff. 

Owner Only Protected Area

This content is password-protected. Ask for password on your mobile via WhatsApp Me HERE! OR try +828702004 Then please verify with your password to unlock the content.

Be friendly, be accommodating, be FIRM!

We want a 5 Star review but our integrity is not for sale.

Did you find this FAQ helpful?
0
0

FAQs: T&Cs | Rules | Protection (3)

 There Are Other Ways To Reduce Risk: Discrimination Is Absolute Useless As A Measure!

The age of people, their sexual orientation, the colour of their skin, their physical inabilities, etc. do not define if they will trample your home, or expose you to risk. 

 Risk comes in all possible disguises.   
Read more on vetting guests

You can set an age limit for kids. But that’s about it. You can share liability risks. But only the guest can decide on your honest rules and warnings that will lower expectations.

Today, with Airbnb-homeowner and guest reviews you  get a legal way to discriminate between good and bad 

Consider Transparency As Your Risk Reducing Measure!

Bad Airbnb guests have previous public reviews. And if they are not good you don’t have to accept their booking. If they have no reviews you can try and qualify them. But  there is no obligation to accommodate zero-reviewed-guest. .

We have found the change in guests behaviour pre and post the arrival of Airbnb significant. In the past guests would have very little respect. Today they care. Even owners have jacked up their offering.  Because no one gets away with bad stuff today.  

Transparency: Guests do care about their public profile.

The solution today is not discrimination; the real issue is rather: from which marketing site does the guest originate from? If the guest is an Airbnb referral the risk is less than when compared to any other website where there are no social profile risks | no real transparency.

NOTE: There is no foolproof way. Things can go wrong. And the way this world operates it will go wrong. But we should always try to minimise risk. 

airbnb-discrimination

 

Did you find this FAQ helpful?
0
0

This answer is specific to owners who only rent out during school holidays

Here are some of the responsibilities of the domestic. For any deviation, the appointed manager must be notified immediately.  Below are 15 minimum functions for the domestic.   Available to Agency.CapeHolidays homeowners and management staff. 

Owner Only Protected Area

This content is password-protected. Ask for password on your mobile via WhatsApp Me HERE! OR try +828702004 Then please verify with your password to unlock the content.

Be friendly, be accommodating, be FIRM!

We want a 5 Star review but our integrity is not for sale.

Did you find this FAQ helpful?
0
0

It’s obvious, after COVID 19, that the bad brings out the worst in some and the best in others. It’s for this reason that we decided to revisit short term rental insurance to best protect our Cape Town accommodation owners and the rental agency (Agency.CapeHolidays.info) they appointed to manage their accommodation.

BTW: You know we had a 60 day zero refund cancellation policy with Airbnb but they temporarily negated that, at the start of the pandemic. And can still apply it under extenuating circumstances. Therefore we cannot continue being at risk at their will. There must be a better way to protect income.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The main concerns to address:

  1. Better protect income when disasters strike for all involved.
  2. Evade the excuse by random insurers “I’ll not pay because of non-disclosure of material facts!”
  3. To protect all parties the agent must be included as a co-insured. As the agent is not the asset holder, the agent is exposed because the agency cannot independently insure.
  4. Although we recommend Incompass (see letter below), we have no affiliation. We hope all our owners will benefit as a group using Incompass. An owner can choose their provider as long as 1, 2, and 3 are adhered too. 
  5. The monthly fees should be less or similar to what the owner is currently paying – just correctly structured.

Actions To Take: 

We will require owners to ensure their policies protect them correctly and that the protection is extended to their agent. The following form needs to be sent to your insurer and sent back to us after your insurance provider completes it (find it here).  


We believe we have identified such a company. 

Incompass commenced in 2004 with a specialised team. Today they are South Africa’s largest Guest House Insurance brokerage. Focusing on both personal and commercial for the tourism industry. Even during the pandemic Jan Wink, Managing Director at Incompass, explains how they paid out 1000s of claims (see news article here).

The following is a letter from Jan to our owners on what the critical aspects are we need to consider. 

Hospitality Insurance To Protect Against Loss

Dear Agency.CapeHolidays.Info Owner

You agreed with Agency.CapeHolidays.Info to manage and market your home on listing sites like Airbnb. You expect a fair return. And from experience, you know you are in good hands.

You were well on your way. But then COVID struck. Everyone in the industry suffered massive losses, with booking income dropping right down to zero. And it remained at zero for a long time… The COVID havoc made you think. Made us all think about the exposure to risks, and in this case specifically to the loss of income.

No one expected the unreasonable and unjustified harsh attitude AirBnB (and other booking platforms) would take towards their hosts. All hospitality establishments experienced frustration.

At Incompass Insurance Consultants we create bespoke insurance solutions for our hospitality accommodation clients – we address risks such as loss of income, public liability, damage or theft by guests to name a few.

Unfortunately, most people assume that by having some kind of insurance in place, they’re automatically covered. That’s not necessarily the case – you might be insured on a personal policy, that covers you only in your personal capacity – meaning liability & theft claims will not be covered should the property be used for business purposes. And short term letting is considered business use by South African insurers.

Your property’s “type of use” has to include business use, or else any claim could be rejected (even geyser bursts or storm damage). The insurer will use their favourite rejection reason: it’s called “non-disclosure of material facts”. This basically means they were not made aware of the actual type of use of the property and hence will not be settling the claim.

But wait – you called the call centre and told them on the phone that you’re renting the place out. Which means you disclosed, and you should be insured right?

Right?

Except, you might not be. The truth is, that statement you made to the call centre agent often means very little to them. They can often only read from the options available on their screen… What you should rather do is pose 5 specific questions to them, and ask for their answer in writing:

  • If my short-term letting guest accidentally burns down the house, am I covered?
  • If a short-term letting guest falls down the stairs and sue me for their injuries, am I covered?
  • If a short-term guest forgets to lock the front door on their way out and I’m burgled without forced entry, am I covered?
  • A management agent looks after the property and bookings for me, am I covered if they advise guests incorrectly, forget to lock the front door or accidentally cause damage?
  • If my guest cannot honour his booking due to being hospitalised or attending a funeral, would my loss of income be covered?

Chances are, the words “short term paying guest” is going to result in all of your questions being answered with a resounding “NOT COVERED”. If you receive NO as an answer to any of the above, then you can be sure that you don’t have the widest cover available to short term letting establishments. If you’re going to bother paying insurance premiums, don’t you want to be sure that the cover is 100% correct? Just because you pay your premiums doesn’t mean you’re correctly covered.

An additional complication is that your property is managed by a third party. You’re not even controlling the risk… Agency.CapeHolidays.Info often manages all aspects of the booking process – marketing, communicating with the guests, handing over keys, showing guests the “house rules”, dealing with guest complaints, cleaning and being responsible for maintenance as well as repairs & replacement. Agency.CapeHolidays.Info is in full control of the risk, and therefore really needs to be noted as a co-insured. Agency.CapeHolidays.Info has an insurable interest.

Incompass Insurance Consultants specialises in short term letting insurance. We strongly advise owners to co-insure their agency when possible, because the agency is part and parcel of the success or failure of the enterprise. The agency is often in full control of the risk, more so than the property owner. And for this reason, we always include the management agent as a co-insured – it gives the insurer fewer reasons to reject a claim one day.

Incompass Insurance Consultants help ensure that our clients, who rent out their premises (via agencies or other) to short term paying guests, are correctly (and competitively) insured. It’s so much a part of what we do that we are the largest hospitality establishment insurance brokerage in South Africa and are the preferred insurance provider for the NAA, GHASA and the Tourism Grading Council.

What kind of cover does a guest establishment require?

  • Commercial public liability cover that will pay out should either of the owner or management be negligent in not pointing out specific risks such as slippery tiles
  • Damage caused by guests, such as red wine stains on carpets, or accidentally breaking an appliance (guests can sometimes do really stupid things…)
  • Theft by guests, during the booking period
  • No alarm requirements (guests often do not adhere or can’t remember the code)
  • No forcible entry required (even when the guest goes out for the day) whilst the property is tenanted (between arrival and departure date)
  • Loss of income cover – in case of fire, storm damage, burglaries, construction noise within 100m, cancellation beyond the control of the guest, and more
  • Locks and keys (guests sometimes take the keys with them)
  • Plumbing and electrical repairs, such as blocked toilets/drains
  • Mechanical repairs to tv’s, hi-fi’s, fridges, freezers, stoves, microwaves, washing machines, tumble dryers, dishwashers – up to R3,000 with an excess of the only R280

It’s not in your (and your agent’s) interest to have the incorrect insurance in place. It’s also not in your interest to pay a higher premium than necessary. At Incompass we address both these issues, thereby giving our clients the widest cover at the most affordable premiums (often lower compared to personal insurance premiums).

Disclosing to your insurer’s call centre agent that you’re an AirBnB host is not enough – you need written confirmation, signed and copy stamped, that they can answer yes to most if not all of those 5 very important questions.

For more information, visit www.incompass-insurance.co.za/airbnb

By Jan Wink,

Incompass Insurance Consultants (FSP23418)


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School Holiday Owners (3)

Typical Airbnb House Rules.

The list below may be typical but only the minimum. Each homeowner must take this list and complete it specifically to their own home.

When owners have additional house rules the newly  updated listed must be emailed to Agency.CapeHolidays.Info where the agent  will add it to online listings of the property.

Owner Only Protected Area

This content is password-protected. Ask for password on your mobile via WhatsApp Me HERE! OR try +828702004 Then please verify with your password to unlock the content.


The above list of minimum Airbnb House rules must be read by owners with the house manual, domestic person’s tasks and manager task manual.

Did you find this FAQ helpful?
0
0

 There Are Other Ways To Reduce Risk: Discrimination Is Absolute Useless As A Measure!

The age of people, their sexual orientation, the colour of their skin, their physical inabilities, etc. do not define if they will trample your home, or expose you to risk. 

 Risk comes in all possible disguises.   
Read more on vetting guests

You can set an age limit for kids. But that’s about it. You can share liability risks. But only the guest can decide on your honest rules and warnings that will lower expectations.

Today, with Airbnb-homeowner and guest reviews you  get a legal way to discriminate between good and bad 

Consider Transparency As Your Risk Reducing Measure!

Bad Airbnb guests have previous public reviews. And if they are not good you don’t have to accept their booking. If they have no reviews you can try and qualify them. But  there is no obligation to accommodate zero-reviewed-guest. .

We have found the change in guests behaviour pre and post the arrival of Airbnb significant. In the past guests would have very little respect. Today they care. Even owners have jacked up their offering.  Because no one gets away with bad stuff today.  

Transparency: Guests do care about their public profile.

The solution today is not discrimination; the real issue is rather: from which marketing site does the guest originate from? If the guest is an Airbnb referral the risk is less than when compared to any other website where there are no social profile risks | no real transparency.

NOTE: There is no foolproof way. Things can go wrong. And the way this world operates it will go wrong. But we should always try to minimise risk. 

airbnb-discrimination

 

Did you find this FAQ helpful?
0
0

This answer is specific to owners who only rent out during school holidays

Here are some of the responsibilities of the domestic. For any deviation, the appointed manager must be notified immediately.  Below are 15 minimum functions for the domestic.   Available to Agency.CapeHolidays homeowners and management staff. 

Owner Only Protected Area

This content is password-protected. Ask for password on your mobile via WhatsApp Me HERE! OR try +828702004 Then please verify with your password to unlock the content.

Be friendly, be accommodating, be FIRM!

We want a 5 Star review but our integrity is not for sale.

Did you find this FAQ helpful?
0
0

All FAQs: Home Owner (6)

The short answer: NO!

This is a common concern for new owners. As we implement our trust-building phase we use competitive rates to attract reluctant guests to stay and get reviews at the new accommodation. 

The Consequences of AirBnB’s Commoditization On Rates

It’s only after new owners become familiar with the painful reality and impact of AirBnB’s commoditization of the short term accommodation market, that they change their mind about our rate setting philosophy. 

After this introduction let me address the concern about low rates equaling bad guests

When we talk about low rates to buy trust we are talking about competitive rates only and not Rock-bottom rates. 

As you know, we don’t have the accommodation seeker’s trust yet, and we must use our only effective driver, namely rates, to overcome resistance to book. 

The guests who book initially are the same guest who may pay premium rate tomorrow. But with no reviews (trust) forget it. 

Only a remarkable holiday home at a bargain will do. 

In the market we operate, guests are not poor. 

Let me make a statement based on experience. 

Even if the rates are competitive you still get great guests. 

Now let me share why I say this:

The real risk is not bad guests but rather uneducated guests. With today’s social media profiles guests cannot hide any longer. 

And Forbes did a great job of explaining why guests’ requests to stay are sometimes declined more here.

We started our business in 2009. This was before social media. And many people left homes untidy as there was no recourse. Even owners got away with shoddy offerings. 

Today Your Social Profile Is A Valuable Asset

When a guest book and stay they review us. And these positive reviews made us SuperHosts. Trust! As guests depart we review them. And they establish trusting profile overtime. Today we all know the consequences of a bad review for both parties. 

Let me repeat: Even if the rate is competitive no guests will risk getting a bad review knowing other hosts will not approve them with a  bad previous review. 

The only risk for us is first time users on Airbnb. Unfortunately, they are not familiar with the implications of getting a bad review and how it impacts their future ability to use Airbnb. And some of them, ignorantly, will not leave the property in the same clean state they received it. 

When they get hit with a bad review they never again treat any Airbnb place poorly. And if they do they get blocked. 

Our challenge is to make it as difficult for new guests to book without first qualifying (See Forbes article above) them and then we educate them on what we expect. 

To answer the question: No. Competitive rates are not the cause of bad guests. Bad guests are mostly new guests unfamiliar with their responsibility.

Did you find this FAQ helpful?
0
0

Typical Airbnb House Rules.

The list below may be typical but only the minimum. Each homeowner must take this list and complete it specifically to their own home.

When owners have additional house rules the newly  updated listed must be emailed to Agency.CapeHolidays.Info where the agent  will add it to online listings of the property.

Owner Only Protected Area

This content is password-protected. Ask for password on your mobile via WhatsApp Me HERE! OR try +828702004 Then please verify with your password to unlock the content.


The above list of minimum Airbnb House rules must be read by owners with the house manual, domestic person’s tasks and manager task manual.

Did you find this FAQ helpful?
0
0
  1. Never have a phone available to guests. You cannot control any calls made by guests other than limiting it to local phone calls. If you don’t set it up for local calls only remove the handset and lock the ports.
  2. Internet is a must. Ensure you have uncapped.

PS. Never ever use Telkom for anything. Nothing. Cancel Telkom and ask us for alternatives.

Did you find this FAQ helpful?
0
0

 There Are Other Ways To Reduce Risk: Discrimination Is Absolute Useless As A Measure!

The age of people, their sexual orientation, the colour of their skin, their physical inabilities, etc. do not define if they will trample your home, or expose you to risk. 

 Risk comes in all possible disguises.   
Read more on vetting guests

You can set an age limit for kids. But that’s about it. You can share liability risks. But only the guest can decide on your honest rules and warnings that will lower expectations.

Today, with Airbnb-homeowner and guest reviews you  get a legal way to discriminate between good and bad 

Consider Transparency As Your Risk Reducing Measure!

Bad Airbnb guests have previous public reviews. And if they are not good you don’t have to accept their booking. If they have no reviews you can try and qualify them. But  there is no obligation to accommodate zero-reviewed-guest. .

We have found the change in guests behaviour pre and post the arrival of Airbnb significant. In the past guests would have very little respect. Today they care. Even owners have jacked up their offering.  Because no one gets away with bad stuff today.  

Transparency: Guests do care about their public profile.

The solution today is not discrimination; the real issue is rather: from which marketing site does the guest originate from? If the guest is an Airbnb referral the risk is less than when compared to any other website where there are no social profile risks | no real transparency.

NOTE: There is no foolproof way. Things can go wrong. And the way this world operates it will go wrong. But we should always try to minimise risk. 

airbnb-discrimination

 

Did you find this FAQ helpful?
0
0

This answer is specific to owners who only rent out during school holidays

Here are some of the responsibilities of the domestic. For any deviation, the appointed manager must be notified immediately.  Below are 15 minimum functions for the domestic.   Available to Agency.CapeHolidays homeowners and management staff. 

Owner Only Protected Area

This content is password-protected. Ask for password on your mobile via WhatsApp Me HERE! OR try +828702004 Then please verify with your password to unlock the content.

Be friendly, be accommodating, be FIRM!

We want a 5 Star review but our integrity is not for sale.

Did you find this FAQ helpful?
0
0

It’s obvious, after COVID 19, that the bad brings out the worst in some and the best in others. It’s for this reason that we decided to revisit short term rental insurance to best protect our Cape Town accommodation owners and the rental agency (Agency.CapeHolidays.info) they appointed to manage their accommodation.

BTW: You know we had a 60 day zero refund cancellation policy with Airbnb but they temporarily negated that, at the start of the pandemic. And can still apply it under extenuating circumstances. Therefore we cannot continue being at risk at their will. There must be a better way to protect income.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The main concerns to address:

  1. Better protect income when disasters strike for all involved.
  2. Evade the excuse by random insurers “I’ll not pay because of non-disclosure of material facts!”
  3. To protect all parties the agent must be included as a co-insured. As the agent is not the asset holder, the agent is exposed because the agency cannot independently insure.
  4. Although we recommend Incompass (see letter below), we have no affiliation. We hope all our owners will benefit as a group using Incompass. An owner can choose their provider as long as 1, 2, and 3 are adhered too. 
  5. The monthly fees should be less or similar to what the owner is currently paying – just correctly structured.

Actions To Take: 

We will require owners to ensure their policies protect them correctly and that the protection is extended to their agent. The following form needs to be sent to your insurer and sent back to us after your insurance provider completes it (find it here).  


We believe we have identified such a company. 

Incompass commenced in 2004 with a specialised team. Today they are South Africa’s largest Guest House Insurance brokerage. Focusing on both personal and commercial for the tourism industry. Even during the pandemic Jan Wink, Managing Director at Incompass, explains how they paid out 1000s of claims (see news article here).

The following is a letter from Jan to our owners on what the critical aspects are we need to consider. 

Hospitality Insurance To Protect Against Loss

Dear Agency.CapeHolidays.Info Owner

You agreed with Agency.CapeHolidays.Info to manage and market your home on listing sites like Airbnb. You expect a fair return. And from experience, you know you are in good hands.

You were well on your way. But then COVID struck. Everyone in the industry suffered massive losses, with booking income dropping right down to zero. And it remained at zero for a long time… The COVID havoc made you think. Made us all think about the exposure to risks, and in this case specifically to the loss of income.

No one expected the unreasonable and unjustified harsh attitude AirBnB (and other booking platforms) would take towards their hosts. All hospitality establishments experienced frustration.

At Incompass Insurance Consultants we create bespoke insurance solutions for our hospitality accommodation clients – we address risks such as loss of income, public liability, damage or theft by guests to name a few.

Unfortunately, most people assume that by having some kind of insurance in place, they’re automatically covered. That’s not necessarily the case – you might be insured on a personal policy, that covers you only in your personal capacity – meaning liability & theft claims will not be covered should the property be used for business purposes. And short term letting is considered business use by South African insurers.

Your property’s “type of use” has to include business use, or else any claim could be rejected (even geyser bursts or storm damage). The insurer will use their favourite rejection reason: it’s called “non-disclosure of material facts”. This basically means they were not made aware of the actual type of use of the property and hence will not be settling the claim.

But wait – you called the call centre and told them on the phone that you’re renting the place out. Which means you disclosed, and you should be insured right?

Right?

Except, you might not be. The truth is, that statement you made to the call centre agent often means very little to them. They can often only read from the options available on their screen… What you should rather do is pose 5 specific questions to them, and ask for their answer in writing:

  • If my short-term letting guest accidentally burns down the house, am I covered?
  • If a short-term letting guest falls down the stairs and sue me for their injuries, am I covered?
  • If a short-term guest forgets to lock the front door on their way out and I’m burgled without forced entry, am I covered?
  • A management agent looks after the property and bookings for me, am I covered if they advise guests incorrectly, forget to lock the front door or accidentally cause damage?
  • If my guest cannot honour his booking due to being hospitalised or attending a funeral, would my loss of income be covered?

Chances are, the words “short term paying guest” is going to result in all of your questions being answered with a resounding “NOT COVERED”. If you receive NO as an answer to any of the above, then you can be sure that you don’t have the widest cover available to short term letting establishments. If you’re going to bother paying insurance premiums, don’t you want to be sure that the cover is 100% correct? Just because you pay your premiums doesn’t mean you’re correctly covered.

An additional complication is that your property is managed by a third party. You’re not even controlling the risk… Agency.CapeHolidays.Info often manages all aspects of the booking process – marketing, communicating with the guests, handing over keys, showing guests the “house rules”, dealing with guest complaints, cleaning and being responsible for maintenance as well as repairs & replacement. Agency.CapeHolidays.Info is in full control of the risk, and therefore really needs to be noted as a co-insured. Agency.CapeHolidays.Info has an insurable interest.

Incompass Insurance Consultants specialises in short term letting insurance. We strongly advise owners to co-insure their agency when possible, because the agency is part and parcel of the success or failure of the enterprise. The agency is often in full control of the risk, more so than the property owner. And for this reason, we always include the management agent as a co-insured – it gives the insurer fewer reasons to reject a claim one day.

Incompass Insurance Consultants help ensure that our clients, who rent out their premises (via agencies or other) to short term paying guests, are correctly (and competitively) insured. It’s so much a part of what we do that we are the largest hospitality establishment insurance brokerage in South Africa and are the preferred insurance provider for the NAA, GHASA and the Tourism Grading Council.

What kind of cover does a guest establishment require?

  • Commercial public liability cover that will pay out should either of the owner or management be negligent in not pointing out specific risks such as slippery tiles
  • Damage caused by guests, such as red wine stains on carpets, or accidentally breaking an appliance (guests can sometimes do really stupid things…)
  • Theft by guests, during the booking period
  • No alarm requirements (guests often do not adhere or can’t remember the code)
  • No forcible entry required (even when the guest goes out for the day) whilst the property is tenanted (between arrival and departure date)
  • Loss of income cover – in case of fire, storm damage, burglaries, construction noise within 100m, cancellation beyond the control of the guest, and more
  • Locks and keys (guests sometimes take the keys with them)
  • Plumbing and electrical repairs, such as blocked toilets/drains
  • Mechanical repairs to tv’s, hi-fi’s, fridges, freezers, stoves, microwaves, washing machines, tumble dryers, dishwashers – up to R3,000 with an excess of the only R280

It’s not in your (and your agent’s) interest to have the incorrect insurance in place. It’s also not in your interest to pay a higher premium than necessary. At Incompass we address both these issues, thereby giving our clients the widest cover at the most affordable premiums (often lower compared to personal insurance premiums).

Disclosing to your insurer’s call centre agent that you’re an AirBnB host is not enough – you need written confirmation, signed and copy stamped, that they can answer yes to most if not all of those 5 very important questions.

For more information, visit www.incompass-insurance.co.za/airbnb

By Jan Wink,

Incompass Insurance Consultants (FSP23418)


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