Dog Bite Sheds Light on Airbnb Liability Issues

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Many questions have been raised in the last few years about liability issues stemming from the practices of Airbnb.  Recently, there have been several newsworthy instances regarding Airbnb liability issues.  In the latest publicized case, a 58 year old American man traveling with his wife in Argentina suffered a serious dog bite from the host’s Rottweiler.  In a country without the liability laws Americans enjoy, the question was raised: who was responsible for the dog bite?  Initially, Airbnb refused to pay any medical bills, claiming that such liability was not included in their terms and conditions.  It was only after a New York Times reporter contacted Airbnb that the company contacted the traveler requesting receipts for his medical bills and lodging.          

Although Airbnb operated for years without having offered liability coverage to hosts, it recently began providing some coverage last year.  The company claims that it will protect hosts or guests up to one million dollars in damages, but excludes defects caused by a location (such as bedbugs, mold, or asbestos).  However, Airbnb does not provide for coverage outside the U.S.  Furthermore, it only offers “secondary liability coverage,” encouraging hosts to obtain their own insurance policies.  There are still many grey areas in terms of who is liable in the event of a serious injury.      

If you have suffered from injuries or damages as a result of renting through Airbnb, contact a personal injury attorney who will make sure that your legal rights are protected and you get the compensation you deserve.  Contact the Law Office of Georgaklis & Mallas PLLC at (718) 238-2400 or (212) 779-2400.             

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