Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler fined Airbnb $20,000 for acting as an unauthorized state insurer.
Kreidler also ordered the vacation rental company to obtain an excess lines insurance policy to continue offering Washington’s Host Damage Protection program.
The order requires Airbnb to pay the fine by June 5, and it must obtain a surplus lines policy through a broker licensed in Washington by August 5.
Kreidler’s office opened an investigation based on the HDP program, which advertised $1 million in coverage for injuries caused by a guest. It is included in bookings as part of the company’s AirCover program, which is provided under a general liability policy with hosts covered as insureds.
As part of the order, Airbnb must review all previously denied HDP claims filed by hosts with properties in Washington since January 1, 2021, and must pay any covered costs deemed which was improperly denied. All claim coverage and amounts paid to Airbnb hosts will be determined by an insurance adjuster licensed in Washington state in the future, according to the order.
Between Jan. 1, 2019 and March 23, 2022, Washington hosts submitted nearly 13,000 reimbursement requests, with 5,525 of those made directly to Airbnb. The company has paid 3,565 of those claims for a total of more than $2.3 million, according to Kreidler’s office.
As of January 25, 2022, Airbnb has 15,160 hosts listed in Washington, the office reported.
Since 2001, Kreidler has assessed more than $38 million in fines, directed to the state’s general fund to pay for state services.
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