Holiday accommodation booking platform Airbnb has announced plans to launch a new insurance product which will be offered to customers alongside bookings.
Airbnb says that the product will launch in spring 2022 and is currently being developed in partnership with a currently unknown ‘reputable insurance partner’ by ‘the same team that brought our AirCover host protection product to life.’
AirCover host protection is a free programme offered by Airbnb which offers free damage cover to the owners of Airbnb-affiliated accommodation.
Airbnb will also supplement travellers’ compensation for Covid travel disruption
The company also announced that it is introducing a new ‘Guest Covid Support Programme’ which will offer relief to guests who are ‘unable to proceed with their previously booked reservations due to unexpected travel disruptions caused by government mandates’ – including due to border closures and mandatory extended quarantine requirements.
Under the programme, guests unable to obtain full refunds under hosts’ cancellation policies can receive travel coupons covering 50 per cent of the unrefunded portion of their reservation.
Airbnb noted that there had been significant challenges over the past two months following the spike in coronavirus cases due to the Omicron variant and expressed its appreciation of the efforts made by hosts on its platform to accommodate for the disruption, often at their own expense.
In a statement, the company said “We are grateful that our host community has sought to offer guests greater flexibility — with almost two thirds of active listings now offering moderate or flexible cancellation policies. And many even went above and beyond their cancellation policies to support guests over the course of this unprecedented Omicron wave that hit over the holiday travel season.”