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Who's responsible if you're injured at an Airbnb?

You decided that you wanted to experience New York City like a local rather than stay in one of the city's many fine hotels. You booked a loft in SoHo or maybe a little apartment in Williamsburg.

The vacation was going beautifully until you had an accident in the home and suffered an injury. Is the Airbnb host liable?

Most likely, their insurance will cover things, but it depends. Airbnb provides Host Protection Insurance, which provides coverage for things like medical bills as the result of mishaps that occur on the property or damage to a guest's belongings as the result of a problem with the property. If you tripped over a loose floorboard and broke your leg or a hammock on the patio collapsed while you were on it, that insurance would provide coverage for expenses and damages. If one of New York's many street varmints made it's way inside and chewed up your Louis Vuitton luggage, you'd probably be covered.

There are some instance in which guests may not be able to expect reimbursement for injuries. For example, it won't cover injuries or damage caused by intentional acts. If you decide to invite a few people over one night and one of them has way too much to drink and decided to start a mural on one of the walls, you may find yourself on the hook for that damage.

Hosts can also set house rules, which guests agree to abide by when they make their reservation. If you don't follow those rules and an accident or damage occurs, you may not be able to expect the host's insurance to cover it. For example, if the host has a "no smoking" clause, and your spouse sets fire to the bed with a lit cigarette, you may have to pay for the damage.

Whenever you make reservations at any vacation rental property, it's wise to carefully review all of the rules, and to treat the home as you would your own. However, when you're in an unfamiliar home, accidents can happen. If you believe you're not getting the compensation you deserve or are being expected to pay for something you think wasn't your fault, it may be wise to seek legal guidance.

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