Gold fever: surge of 2010 rentals flags home insurance risks

    BURNABY, BC, April 15 /CNW/ - With major sporting events like the 2010
Olympics and 2009 World Police and Fire Games maxing out local lodgings, many
opportunistic residents are "going for gold" by leaving town and handing over
their keys to short-term renters - athletes, volunteers or spectators who will
pay almost anything to find a place to crash.
    While many homeowners may enjoy a well-funded break far from the
excitement, BCAA Insurance is warning first-time or uninformed landlords of
the dangers of under-insuring their most valuable asset - whether they rent
out their homes in whole or in part.
    "Many homeowners considering short term rentals may not be aware that
their home insurance policy is subject to a number of clauses and exclusions,"
explains BCAA Home Insurance Product Manager, Brooke Hanson."
    "Renting your home can be really profitable, but not all home insurance
policies are the same. It pays to get some insurance advice to avoid potential
gaps in coverage."
    For instance, BCAA has responded by introducing "short-term rental
insurance" - additional coverage designed to provide peace of mind to
homeowners wanting to accommodate renters on an informal, ad-hoc basis.
    The coverage can be easily tacked on to any existing BCAA home insurance
policy and includes $2 million in liability coverage, $5000 vandalism and
theft coverage and coverage for loss of rental income. Starting at $55 the
premium also includes a short-term rental kit: a sample rental agreement, tip
sheet for protecting your home and an emergency phone list for your
out-of-town guests.
    "At BCAA we make a point of responding to customers' needs," adds Hanson.
"We see this as a solution for hosts wanting to protect their most valuable
asset when they're not there."

    Tips for short-term home rentals:

    -   Research provincial and municipal laws. You could be responsible for
        extra taxes or permit charges if you rent out your home.
    -   Determine your rental rate by researching rental properties in your
    -   Once you have a prospective renter, obtain a deposit. This will
        ensure that the renter is serious about renting your home and signify
        to them you won't pursue other tenants.
    -   Use a rental agreement. Visit to access an
        online version recommended by the Residential Tenancy Branch of B.C.
    -   Take a personal property inventory before you leave your house. You
        can find one at
    -   Remove your valuables from the home and leave them with a trusted
        family member or in a safety deposit box.
    -   Establish rules and expectations with your guests, especially
        regarding cancellation, pets and smoking.

    For more advice on short-term home rentals, check out

    BCAA Insurance is one of the largest providers of home, auto, travel
medical and life insurance in B.C. BCAA insures over 115,000 homes and 195,000
vehicles in the province. Each year, BCAA sells more travel insurance than any
other provider in B.C. To learn more about the products and services offered
by BCAA Insurance, visit

For further information:

For further information: Editors note: For further information, contact:
Brooke Hanson, BCAA Home Insurance Product Manager, Office: (604) 268-5590,
E-mail:; Jennifer Timm, BCAA Media Relations, Office:
(604) 268-5342, Cell: (778) 228-8859, E-mail:

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