Airbnb will offer travel insurance this spring

Airbnb knows you might be reluctant to book a stay as the COVID-19 pandemic makes travel risky, so it plans to offer its own protection. The rental service has revealed it will introduce personalized travel insurance for guests this spring. Although terms are not available, Airbnb will team up with a “reputable” insurer to provide coverage.

The company has also launched a COVID Customer Support Program that partially compensates travelers if border closures, quarantine periods or other government policies make existing bookings impossible. If a host does not provide a full refund, Airbnb will offer a travel voucher worth 50% of whatever has not been refunded thus far. The program applies to all stays with an arrival date of December 1, 2021 or later. You might want to talk to Airbnb if your vacation plans fall apart.

There is no mystery behind the strategy. Airbnb’s business has been hit hard by the pandemic as a whole, and the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has only heightened concern among hosts and guests who hoped the worst was behind them. Liability insurance and coupons might persuade some would-be adventurers to book stays when they would otherwise stay home.

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