Airbnb speeds ahead with $50,000 Host Guarantee

Ronny Kerr · August 15, 2011 · Short URL:

Plus address verification, full name visibility, a 24/7 hotline and more, Airbnb is responding

Airbnb announced Monday the launch of the $50,000 Airbnb Host Guarantee, a new addition to the accommodations network designed to offer hosts peace of mind.

Under the terms of the new guarantee, a host’s property “is covered for loss or damage due to theft or vandalism caused by an Airbnb guest for up to $50,000.” The guarantee is completely free and built into Airbnb’s marketplace, so the host doesn’t need to do anything to be covered.

Current countries where the guarantee applies include the United States, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece, with further expansion planned.

The monetary value and launch date of the new guarantee were both set two weeks ago, in the wake of widespread media reports circulating the story of EJ, a woman whose San Francisco apartment was ransacked and vandalized by guests who had booked the place through Airbnb.

And the guarantee isn’t the only action Airbnb has taken.

The birth of Airbnb is a unique story. But the founding of our company simply does not compare to recent events. Two weeks ago, Airbnb got a wake up call. We experienced what felt like a rebirth, and we have since committed our company to trust and safety. Since the beginning of August, we have designed, built, and shipped over 40 new trust and safety features. Check out a list of the new features in our Trust & Safety Center.

Launching today alongside the $50,000 Guarantee is Address Verification, whereby Airbnb will actually be sending hosts a mailer to verify their address.

Hosts can now see a potential guest’s full name before accepting or declining their reservation request, information that will likely be used for some background (read: Facebook) research. Also, hosts can require that guests fill out the purpose of their trip when reserving a spot.

Also newly added today: users can now have multiple profile pictures, more granular privacy controls, and access to a completely revamped help center.

Other changes that rolled out over the last two weeks include a 24/7 hotline (1-855-424-7262), references (a makeover of recommendations), video profiles, voice connect (without having to exchange a phone number), LinkedIn and Twitter validation and more.

For such a well-funded company reeling from a potentially disastrous PR blunder, Airbnb seems to be doing a fantastic job of getting back on its feet.

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Joined Vator on is the “Ebay of space.” The online marketplace allows anyone from private residents to commercial properties to rent out their extra space. The reputation-based site allows for user reviews, verification, and online transactions, for which Airbnb takes a commission. As of June, 2009, the San Francisco-based company has listings in over 1062 cities in 76 countries.