The Super Bowl and the Sharing Economy

With the Super Bowl in Arizona fast approaching, news outlets have been reporting a hotel room and rental car shortage for weeks, leading many Arizonans to consider renting their home for the weekend or using their personal auto to take passengers around. Unfortunately, they and others participating in the sharing economy could be unknowingly exposing themselves to significant liability.

While it is very understandable to want to capitalize on a major event like the Super Bowl coming to tow, there is also the very real possibility for things to go awry. Folks, who suffer a loss without checking their insurance coverage, could be in for a surprise.

Participating in the sharing economy could be unknowingly expose you to significant liability.

Though many people are not aware, most personal insurance coverage excludes using your property or vehicle in a commercial manner. This means that if you are offering your home to renter’s for the weekend, there is a good possibility you are not covered.

Personal insurance expert Joe Clark stressed, “Unfortunately, most people don’t understand the risk associated with renting their primary residence for a special event. One should always contact their agent prior to making any decision.”

While the odds of having to deal with a negative situation while renting your home seem remote, Judy Lowe Arizona Real Estate Commissioner notes, “we have had problems in the past with rentals when a big international event comes to the state.” If you contact your insurance company after you have a problem, you could find yourself without coverage and liable for any damages. For those Arizonans who feel the benefit of renting their home, during Super Bowl week, outweighs the risk here are several tips for protecting yourself.

Tips for Renting Your Home During the Super Bowl

  1. Contact your insurance agent and let them know you are planning to rent your home for Super Bowl week. This accomplishes two things, one ensure your current homeowners coverage protects you should something go wrong and two your agent may suggest adding some additional coverage for the rental period.
  2. Take a credit card for the rental. Services like PayPal make it easy to setup an account. This provides a simple layer of additional protection.
  3. Insist on a completed rental application and background check.
  4. Take the largest security deposit allowed by law. This is an extremely important step as should you rent to the wrong guests this guess you the largest buffer to pay for damages they may cause.
  5. Create or update your home inventory.

Using Your Personal Vehicle For Profit During Super Bowl Week

Those without the ability to rent out their home and still looking to earn some money , the allure of driving for one of the transportation networking companies (TNCs), is very real. It is important to note that few if any personal automobile insurance plans will provide coverage. If the question of insurance coverage was not enough, there is the potential to receive a ticket.

According to a recent article, the state is now cracking down on the popular rideshare companies, and has a warning for anyone driving for Uber or Lyft that they could get hit in the pocketbook. “Are the civil penalties hefty? Yeah, you bet a $2,500 to $2,700 (fine) per stop,” said Shawn Marquez with the Arizona Department of Weights and Measures. ” God forbid you get in a wreck or somebody else hits you…Your insurance company is going to find out you were transporting people, and you’re going to have your insurance canceled. Everyone’s on the hook at that point.”

Though it may seem like an excellent way to generate extra income with the Super Bowl in town, it is important to realize that the extra money does not come without risk. The best way to mitigate the potential risk is a quick phone call to your local personal insurance agent.

About Kevin O’Brien

Kevin O’Brien is Client Services Coordinator for Willis Personal Lines, responsible for that practice's marketing…
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