More than one-third (36 percent) of Americans would rent someone else’s home for vacation, but far fewer (20 percent) would rent out their own home to others, according to a new survey sponsored by the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies.
The survey also found nearly a quarter would rent out their vehicles, and a third of boat owners would rent out their boats.
Nearly 60 percent of respondents cited the cozy comforts of a real home as an allure for renting a private home, and one-third (33 percent) said they liked the idea of staying in a home they could never afford to own.
Survey respondents selected several fears that might prevent them from letting others rent their home: bedbugs as a parting gift from renters (73 percent); theft of silver, antiques or family heirlooms (70 percent); breakage of valuables (69 percent); and someone sleeping in their beds (56 percent). Other significant fear factors included: renters leaving lit candles that could burn down the house (76 percent); renters throwing a wild party (75 percent); and someone getting hurt on their property (70 percent).
Several economic and societal factors have fueled the growth of the sharing economy, in which people rent, borrow, share and swap items they might have purchased 10 or 20 years ago.
But what is being overlooked in the rush to embrace this new way of consumerism are the risks to those on both sides of the transactions, said Kathleen Tierney, chief operating officer of Chubb Personal Insurance.
“As more people turn their homes into hotels and their cars into cash, many are relinquishing some of their personal privacy while relying largely on trust to make deals with strangers they’ve met online,” Tierney said.
“In this brave new world where laypeople — not businesspeople — are making the deals, many owners and renters are not adequately considering or managing all the risks. It would be wise for them to discuss their plans to share homes, cars and boats with their insurance agents or brokers and legal advisers to fully assess what exposures they may have.”
The Chubb Sharing Economy Survey of more than 1,000 adults was conducted by Caravan ORC International, an independent market research firm, on behalf of Chubb.
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