Cover risk for home shar­ing

Mercury (Hobart) - - NEWSFRONT - HE­LEN KEMPTON

A TAS­MA­NIAN in­sur­ance provider is urg­ing lo­cal Uber driv­ers and short-stay ac­com­mo­da­tion hosts to check their as­sets are prop­erly cov­ered with new fig­ures show­ing thou­sands may be ex­posed to risk.

The warn­ing from RACT In­sur­ance fol­lows an­other from the In­sur­ance Coun­cil of Aus­tralia that cars and houses used for com­mer­cial pur­poses may not be cov­ered by ex­ist­ing in­sur­ance.

RACT In­sur­ance CEO Trent Say­ers says data col­lected in Novem­ber showed there were more than 5000 Tas­ma­nian prop­er­ties listed with a pop­u­lar short-stay web­site.

“When we com­pare this fig­ure with our data, we can make a fair as­sump­tion that a sig­nif­i­cant pro­por­tion of these prop­er­ties may not have the ap­pro­pri­ate in­sur­ance cov­er­age for their homes and con­tents,” Mr Say­ers said.

“In 2018, RACT In­sur­ance re­ceived just 35 no­ti­fi­ca­tions from pol­icy hold­ers that their homes were be­ing used as short-stay ac­com­mo­da­tion. We are con­cerned there could be thou­sands of Tas­ma­nian home­own­ers out there that may not have ap­pro­pri­ate cover should the worst hap­pen while a hol­i­day-maker is stay­ing at their prop­erty.”

Mr Say­ers said RACT In- surance data for rideshare in­sur­ance poli­cies told a sim­i­lar story.

“Data ob­tained from Trans­port Tas­ma­nia shows there were 873 ve­hi­cles reg­is­tered as ‘ride-sourc­ing’ as of Novem­ber 2018. These fig­ures could be higher given some driv­ers may not have cor­rectly reg­is­tered their ve­hi­cles yet,” he said.

“Our data in­di­cates we only re­ceived no­ti­fi­ca­tions from 104 pol­icy hold­ers, let­ting us know their ve­hi­cles were be­ing used for ride shar­ing, less than 11 per cent of the cur­rent fleet.”

Mr Say­ers said a small num­ber of in­sur­ers now pro­vided cover for rideshare ve­hi­cles and short-stay prop­er­ties, but typ­i­cally, pol­icy hold­ers must no­tify their in­surer of their in­ten­tions be­fore start­ing their ser­vices.

“If you fail to dis­close this in­for­ma­tion and you need to make a claim, it may have an im­pact on your claim,” Mr Say­ers said.

He said short-stay home­own­ers could also re­duce their risk by re­mov­ing valu­ables and ir­re­place­able pos­ses­sions like art­works, jew­ellery or col­lec­tors’ items dur­ing the short­term stay and by en­sur­ing their prop­er­ties are safe and se­cure.

“Rideshare op­er­a­tors can re­duce their risk by en­sur­ing that GPS and mo­bile de­vices are not in­ter­fered with while driv­ing,” he said.

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