Do Your Homework Before Using Home-Share Rental Services

Do Your Homework Before Using Home-Share Rental Services

Dover, DE–Delawareans are increasingly planning their summer vacations through online rental services like Airbnb. The peer-to-peer rental marketplace has grown substantially in recent years as travelers seek alternatives to traditional rental market options, and owners rent out their homes, or sometimes just a room within their home, looking to earn some extra income.

“For years, state residents and vacationers from the USA and around the world have enjoyed spending part of their summer at homes in Delaware’s beautiful resort towns,” says Delaware Insurance Commissioner Karen Weldin Stewart. “However, it’s important to make sure you have the proper insurance coverage before you list your home for rent. And if you cause any damage as a traveler renting someone else’s house, you should be aware of the effect that may have on your existing homeowners policy.” Consequently, Commissioner Stewart wants Delaware consumers to be aware of the following information provided by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners:

Thanks to the internet, property owners can now rent a room, or their whole home, directly to a stranger who found their listing through an app or a website. Home-sharing, or peer-to-peer rentals (P2P), are sites like Airbnb, Roomorama and HomeAway that connect hosts with guests. Guests find a property and pay for the stay like a hotel. The difference is that the property is not a licensed hotel or bed and breakfast and is often a privately-owned apartment, condo or house. Anyone can register as a host or guest.

What’s the risk?

What if your guest vandalizes your property, the hallway of your condo or even your neighbor’s swing set? What if your guest gets injured on your property? Both guests and hosts could incur costs if things go astray. As a host, your homeowners or renter’s insurance policies are not designed to cover accidents arising from property rental and your insurance company may deny coverage for any resulting claims.

While operating as an online platform, these types of rentals may fall outside of local zoning or housing laws and regulations, which could result in violating local law or code. Even if you have not violated any law, you might have to hire legal counsel to protect and defend yourself.

How can you protect yourself as a host?

Most homeowners policies provide coverage if a home visitor falls and is injured. However, that is likely not the case if a paying guest falls in your home, because coverage may not be intended for commercial use. And without liability insurance protection from the company facilitating the host agreement, your homeowners or renter’s insurance policy might leave you with no coverage.

Homeowners policies vary, but usually exclude or provide very limited coverage for homeowners who are running a business in their home. Once you begin earning income from renting out your home or a room, you are probably considered a home-based business. If you lease out a room or your entire home for profit, your insurer could claim you’re essentially running a hotel or bed and breakfast and deny coverage. However, if you seldom rent out your home, your insurer might provide coverage. A renter’s insurance policy is subject to the same limitations as a homeowners insurance policy.

To make sure you are protected, talk to your agent about your situation and participation in this activity. If you only occasionally rent a room or your house, your current homeowners insurer might be willing to provide an endorsement to protect you. However, if you plan to rent your house for a long term or if you plan to frequently rent out a room or the whole house, then purchasing a landlord policy (also known as landlord property insurance or rental coverage for landlords) might be your best option. A landlord insurance policy will cover your home, structures on the property, property contents that you own (such as appliances and furniture), lost rental income due to building damage, legal fees and liability protection.

Some experts recommend only renting to guests who have homeowners, renter’s or personal liability insurance and are able to show proof they are insured. Then if your property is damaged, you could file a claim under the guest’s policy.

How can you protect yourself as a guest?  

Your own homeowners, renter’s or personal liability insurance policy will generally protect you even as a guest if you happen to cause damage to a host’s property. But understand that per Airbnb’s user agreement, the company reserves the right to make a claim under your homeowners or renter’s policy for any damage or loss you cause to an accommodation. Other P2P companies may have similar agreements so make sure to check their terms of use.

What else do I need to know?

Currently, Airbnb provides host protection insurance with coverage up to $1 million if a third-party claims bodily injury or property damage against you as a host. This liability insurance program is automatically applied to every listing in the U.S. and the coverage is secondary. It only applies after your primary insurance policy either settles or denies a claim. Laws regarding P2P companies vary from state to state, even city to city so it’s important to speak with someone who is knowledgeable about your location. Since home-sharing companies are still a fairly new phenomenon, talk with your agent or insurance provider about your risks as a host to make sure you are properly covered before you list your property for rent.


Delaware Department of Insurance: “Protecting Delawareans through regulation
and education while providing oversight of the insurance industry to best serve the public.” | 302.674.7300

DCVA Memorial Day Services: May 25 & 30, 2015

When/Where: Monday, May 25, 2015 @ 11:00 am. Memorial Day Service being held at Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery, 2465 Chesapeake City Road, Bear, DE 19701.

When/Where: Saturday, May 30, 2015 @ 10:30 am. Memorial Day Service will be conducted at the War Memorial Plaza, Delaware Memorial Bridge, New Castle, DE 19721.

The Delaware Commission of Veterans Affairs will be honoring all the men and women who sacrificed their lives while serving in the U.S. Military. We would like to extend this invitation to our fellow Delawareans and our neighboring states in paying tribute to all our deceased veterans on this most solemn day. The service held on May 25th will be hosted by the Military Officers Association of America-MOAA. The next service held on May 30th will be hosted by American Veterans- AMVETS.

Did you know that Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day? It originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries, memorials and participating in parades.

Also, look out for all the Buddy Poppy distributions during this holiday. “To honor the dead by helping the living,” as stated by VFW’s Buddy Poppy Program. On that note, we would like to share this following poem by John McCrae, In Flander’s Field: In flanders fields the poppies blow, between the crosses, row on row, that mark our place; and in the sky, the larks, still bravely singing, fly, scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the dead. Short days ago, we lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, loved and were loved and now we lie, in flanders fields. Take up our quarrel with the foe to you, from failing hands, we throw, the torch, be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us, who die, we shall not sleep, though poppies grow, in flanders fields.

The Newark Memorial Day Parade: May 17, 2015

Where/When: Ceremony starts on the University of Delaware’s Campus Green @ 1:00 p.m. and the parade starts on Main Street @ 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 17, 2015.

The Newark Memorial Day Parade is an annual event that is held the third Sunday in May. During this annual event, veterans of wars from all branches of services have continued to march in the parade.

To start the day, a ceremony honoring our nation’s veterans is held on the University of Delaware’s Campus Green at Memorial Hall followed by a wreath laying ceremony at the Academy Building lawn. Local and military bands and drill teams will then participate in the parade on Main Street.

Each year, the costs associated with transporting parade groups, providing a courtesy reception to participants, and other related costs have increased. Therefore, an effort is underway to establish a continuing source of income to offset parade costs. These costs can total more than $10,000 annually.

To achieve this goal, the parade committee and other interested parties are working together to receive pledges from at least one hundred individuals, businesses, or organizations in the amount of $20.00 or more for a total of approximately $2,000. This funding is vital to the continued success of the parade and ensuring quality programs in years to come.

For information, registration or to make a donation to the parade, please contact:

City of Newark, Parks & Recreation Department, 220 South Main Street, Newark DE 19711

(302) 366-7060/ /

Governor Jack Markell to Announce the Delaware Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness: May 4, 2015

Where/When: American Legion Post 2, 835 South Bay Road, Dover, DE 19901 on Monday, May 4, 2015 @ 10:00.

Governor Jack Markell to Announce the Delaware Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness in 2015.

At 10:00 AM on Monday, May 4th, at American Legion Post 2, Dover, DE, Governor Markell will gather state and local leaders together to announce the Delaware Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness in 2015. This is one of the goals the Governor included in his State of the State Address on January 21, 2015.

The Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness is an initiative begun at the suggestion of First Lady Michelle Obama and Second Lady Jill Biden and organized under the auspices of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH). USICH, in cooperation with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), developed the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness in 2015, challenging mayors and community leaders throughout the nation to create new local initiatives to reach the goal of ending veteran homelessness in their communities. Since then, local initiatives have become active across the nation.

In October, 2015, Mayor Christiansen of Dover officially accepted the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness and he formed a working group of local volunteers to begin working toward the goals of outreach to identify homeless veterans; prevention of homelessness by promoting stable housing solution; and diverting veterans from temporary shelters to alternative housing arrangements and supportive services leading to permanent solutions. Mayor Christiansen asked the Vice Chairman of the Delaware Commission of Veterans Affairs to lead the efforts of the working group. In collaboration with HUD, VA, Delaware State Housing Authority, Dover City Planner, Dover Housing Authority, Kent County Levy Court and a host of other federal, state and local agencies as well as local private shelters, veteran service organization, businesses and interested individuals, the Dover Working Group brought together volunteers for a training program based upon strategies being successfully employed in various locations throughout the country. Through that effort the volunteers organized the Dover Veterans Welcome Home Team with the specific goals designed to end veteran homelessness in Dover in 2015. The team meets regularly to review the status of cases for veterans they are assisting.

From this initiative, the Delaware Commission of Veterans Affairs and the Delaware State Housing Authority in conjunction with the Delaware Joining Forces Coalition have developed the Delaware Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness in 2015 and to assist local communities throughout the state to create their own local goals and initiatives to end veteran homelessness.

On May 4th, Governor Markell will officially challenge state and local leaders to join the effort to end veteran homelessness in 2015.


Economic Development Director Alan Levin to End Successful Tenure in June

Governor recognizes Levin’s efforts to help Delaware post strongest job growth in the region

Dover, DE – Having helped rebuild Delaware’s economy from the depths of the Great Recession to record employment numbers and the best job growth in the region, Economic Development Director Alan Levin announced today that he would leave the Markell Administration at the end of the year’s legislative session to pursue a new business opportunity.Levin

Beginning in July, Levin will join SoDel Concepts, the successful restaurant and hospitality group in Sussex County started by his late friend and mentor Matt Haley. He will serve as Senior Advisor to the management team to help take their successful Delaware company to the next level in a dynamic industry.

“Alan took his position at a particularly challenging economic time,” said Markell. “Alan has shown great leadership during six years that have been marked by great progress in recovering from the Great Recession and addressing the challenges of the 21st century.”

“Successfully improving the economy since 2009 has required a relentless pursuit of opportunities to attract new companies and support existing ones, as well as an ability to recognize and adjust to the forces of globalization and technological innovation that are shaping today’s world. Alan excels in all of these areas and I’m forever grateful for his tireless service to our state and for his long-term commitment to the Administration.”

Levin has led the Delaware Economic Development Office (DEDO) since Governor Markell took office in 2009, at a time when tens of thousands of Delawareans were losing their jobs as result of the national economic crisis. As the Administration’s top priority focused on putting people back to work, the state’s initial economic development successes included re-opening the shuttered oil refinery in Delaware City and attracting new manufacturing and other economic development to the site of the old Chrysler plant in Newark.

Other large and small companies that have re-located or expanded their operations in Delaware include: Amazon, Baltimore Aircoil, Barclays, Atlantis Industries, Calpine, Citigroup, Capital One, ILC Dover, Johnson Controls, JP Morgan Chase, Kraft Foods, Miller Metal, Mountaire Farms, PTM Manufacturing, Purdue, Sallie Mae, and Testing Machines, Inc.

“I would like to express my gratitude to Governor Markell for the opportunity to serve the people of Delaware during this very difficult time in our state’s history,” said Levin. “From the start it has been challenging, but I am pleased to say that we are in a much better place than when we started and the outlook for our citizens in the years to come is much brighter because of the hard work of the staff at DEDO. While I leave with mixed emotions, the opportunity to perpetuate the great work of entrepreneur and humanitarian Matt Haley will allow me to continue service to the people of Delaware in different but equally rewarding ways.”

At 4.4 percent, Delaware has had the fastest job growth in the Mid-Atlantic over the past two years, also exceeding the national average of four percent. Meanwhile, the state’s unemployment rate has fallen to 4.6 percent, the lowest in the region, and average annual wages have increased more than nine percent since 2009, among the best in the region.

In releasing its job creation index for 2014, Gallup noted that Delaware had gone “from one of the lowest-ranking states in 2008 and 2009 to one of the top-ranking in 2013 and 2014. Delaware holds the distinction of being the only state anywhere along the Eastern seaboard to be in the top 10.”

In addition, Delaware was recently recognized by The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation as one of the top two states best prepared for the new economy, which is “marked by globalization, technological innovation and entrepreneurial development.”

Markell plans to make an announcement about a nomination for the next DEDO Director in the coming days.