Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Who Should Initiate Damage Coverage …the Lodging Provider or Guest?

If you look at Online Travel Agent's (OTA) like VRBO or AirBnb, they provide an option for the guest to purchase damage protection. While both parties benefit, we believe that is backwards.  It's the lodging provider who stands to suffer a loss in the event of guest damage and its best that they be the one to initiate coverage and receive the funds in the event of a claim. 

Traditionally, vacation rental owners have protected against accidents through the collection of damage deposits. The funds were held in escrow and the property was inspected at departure to ensure there was no damage resulting from the guest stay.  If not, the deposit was refunded. If yes, the lodging provider and guest have an unpleasant conversation about cost of repairs.

Today, the financial risk is taken on by the underwriter and the guest pays a fee equal to a fraction of the coverage amount.  Eliminated is the need to for the guest to come out of pocket with hundreds or thousands of dollars and the need for the lodging provider to manage those funds. The lodging provider purchases coverage and adds a fee, typically referred to as a 'damage waiver', to cover the expense of the policy. Both parties are protected. 

Damage protection should be put in place for every reservation.  You never know when an accident will happen, no matter how large or how small. Guests should be made aware that coverage is in place and set rental terms that require a guest to report damage.  We provide sample rental agreement terms to our participating partners.  Once damage is reported, an online claim is initiated including a photo of the damage and a copy of the receipt(s) for repair or replacement. 

Travel Insurance Explained

Travel Protection - Standard and Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) Coverage.  Travel insurance is designed to cover the risks and financial losses you might incur while traveling, either internationally or domestically.  Unforeseen events can result in the need to cancel or cut short your travel and insurance is designed to reimburse you for losses you face for non-refundable costs such as lodging, airlines, cruises, excursions, events and more.  Included is reimbursement for medical costs, medical evacuations, flight delays and lost or delayed baggage. The coverage is underwritten by Nationwide® Mutual Insurance company, a trusted name since 1926 and covers all members of the traveling party (up to 20 ppl).

Should I purchase coverage?

The short answer is, it depends.  Travel insurance makes sense if you want to protect the money you’ve laid out for your vacation. But no one can blame you if you’re hesitant to add additional cost to your travel budget after paying for airfare, lodging, meals and activities. Still, if you prefer not to lose that money if something unexpected happens, travel insurance can be a smart investment.  

What travel insurance should you get?

Before looking into travel insurance, think about the reasons you might cancel. Are you traveling during hurricane season? Perhaps there are family members in ill health? Is it possible your school year will be extended, or you will your employer require you to work?  Maybe there is unrest in the country you’re going to visit? Are you nervous about the CDC issuing a travel warning for your vacation destination?  Concerned with airline cancellations happening more frequently?  These are all valid reasons for cancelling a trip or wanting insurance coverage. But not all travel insurance covers these concerns.

Standard travel insurance covers cancellation or interruptions due to more than 30 different events that could come up.  These events will reimburse you for 100% of your loss up to the coverage limit purchased. Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) provides added flexibility providing everything in the standard policy PLUS  partial reimbursement (typically 60%) should you cancel for a reason not covered by the policy.  With CFAR, you don’t need a reason to cancel, however the decision to cancel for a non-covered reason must be made 48 hours prior to your trip start date.

What does coverage cost?

Travel insurance cost is based on the price of the trip and the coverage selected.  Coverage for the group, regardless of the age of the travelers, is 7% for standard coverage or 10.8% for Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) coverage.  It can be a small price to pay to safeguard your investment for a short getaway or the trip of a lifetime.  Coverage can be purchased at and your policy is delivered by email to your inbox. 

About Protection Brands

Travel Protection products are offered by InsureStays agency and powered by the Protection Brands and RentalGuardian technology platform.   Insurance is underwritten by Nationwide® Mutual Insurance Companies. Coverage can be purchased at

Friday, October 2, 2020

Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) Offers Greater Flexibility

Protection Brands is please to offer travel protection underwritten Nationwide Insurance Company.  Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) coverage provides added flexibility for the traveler by providing partial reimbursement should they find the need to cancel their travel plans for something not normally covered by travel insurance.

A standard plan will protect your financial investment with 100% reimbursement for a loss for one of the more than thirty covered events. Those events are wide ranging and include such things as sickness, accidents, death of a family member, job change or transfer, weather, jury duty, travel provider default and more (reference policy for specifics). 

There may be other events that cause you to not want to travel, but those events are not covered by a standard policy.  It could be any reason or not reason.  Maybe its scheduled to rain all week, your car broke down and you could use vacation funds for repairs, an event got cancelled, you are leery of traveling due to COVID or literally any reason at all.

With CFAR, you would receive 100% loss reimbursement for you loss for a reason covered by the standard plan or 60% loss reimbursement for a non-covered reason.  CFAR has certain requirements that must be met.  Coverage can only be purchased at the time of booking travel or within 14 days thereof and your travel must start more than 30 days out.  After the 14 days, only the standard policy is available.  Cancellations for non-covered reasons must be made at least 2 days (48 hrs) before the scheduled start of your trip.

More information at  Policies are purchased at the website and delivered to you by email with 24 hrs.

New Professional Association for the Vacation Rental Homeowner Community

 A new association for vacation rental owners, the Association for Short-Term Rental Homeowners (, recently launched to serve the individual vacation homeowner community through the establishment of a professional association.  Its intent is to “bring together like-minded individuals and companies with a shared interest in offering safe, legal, and successful short-term rentals for owners, guests, and vendors.” 

Property Managers have their association known as VRMA which is the Vacation Rental Management Association, but until ASTRHO there was not a professional association for the individual homeowner. The association was founded by passionate lodging industry experts whose backgrounds includes short-term and vacation rentals, hotels and resorts, and lodging and travel associations. The team brings different business expertise including technology, marketing, operations,  finance, and of course, homeownership.  

Protection Brands is please to join in and we hope to bring our expertise with guest damage protection and travel protection to the group.  More information at

Thursday, September 12, 2019

How to Prepare for a Road Trip [Video]

Nationwide Travel Video
Play Video
Planning, packing, car maintenance – so much to do when heading off on vacation.

Nationwide Insurance shares this video on how to prepare for a road trip to ensure a smooth journey.

Consider Nationwide Travel Insurance for peace of mind.#travelinsurance #vacationplanning #smoothtravel

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Tropical Storm Dorian Travel insurance Update

Tropical Storm Dorian is expected to make landfall in Puerto Rico this weekend, potentially as a category 1 hurricane. Dorian's center will pass over or near Puerto Rico and the U.S. and British Virgin Islands later Wednesday and the storm will be near hurricane strength when it does. Rainfall amounts of 4 to 6 inches are expected, with ten inches in some places.  Dorian is on track to hit the Bahamas and Florida in coming days.

For those with travel insurance, you may be covered as travelers can be refunded their entire trip cost if their flight or cruise to their destination is canceled by the storm or if their accommodations at their destination are rendered uninhabitable. Those travelers with Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) coverage have added flexibility and may elect to cancel their vacation plans to avoid the weather. CFAR decisions and claims must be initiated 48 hours in advance of start of travel.

It is too late to purchase travel insurance for Dorian as travel insurance only covers unforeseen events. As Dorian became a named storm on August 24th, new policies purchased on or after that date will not refund trips cancelled by this storm.

Travel policies purchase now may not cover Dorian, but as we are in the heart of the hurricane season and this will likely not be the last storm of the year, it will cover future storms yet to be named.  Protect your travel investment by purchasing travel protection at

Saturday, July 13, 2019

How to Purchase Damage Protection

As a Protection Brands Partner you will want to put coverage in place through your partner portal.  It is the most efficient means and it provides preferred pricing for lodging providers who make reoccurring purchases. Visit and then bookmark it for future visits. Choose 'PURCHASE' from the main menu to initiate a transaction.

At the site you will see that there are three form sections to be completed:

  1. Primary Coverage Holder - this is information about you, the individual who is purchasing the coverage and who will receive the check when a claim is processed. It's your basic contact information and often your browsers auto-fill function, if turned on, can populate this information for you, saving time. 
  2. Property and Coverage Information - this section is about the property and guest stay for which coverage is being purchased. The only guest information that is needed is the booking date and the begin & end dates of the stay.  Contact information for the guest is not required, although in some cases a claims adjuster may request this information from you should a claim be filed. The booking number is for your reference. If you click the 'save property profile' box, property information will be saved and made available by selecting the property from a drop down menu that will appear the next time you visit. This is especially helpful if you own or manage several properties. 
  3. Payment Information - This information is needed to process your credit card payment.  If much of the information is the same as the Primary Coverage Holder, you may elect to check the box and copy that information to the billing section. Also if you would like the system to remember your payment preferences, you can click the box labeled 'save card'.  The encrypted information is stored on the credit card merchant servers, not on our servers to speed up time on your next visit.
Once you click the 'purchase' button the order is submitted for credit card processing and the program administrator receives the coverage information. You will have the option to print the confirmation to a file which we recommend you do for future reference. 

Purchase information is available in your partner portal.  A future software release will expand on the details to make the information of greater use. 

Who Should Initiate Damage Coverage …the Lodging Provider or Guest?

If you look at Online Travel Agent's (OTA) like VRBO or AirBnb, they provide an option for the guest to purchase damage protection. Whil...