Vomit covered walls, glass encrusted carpet, stolen family heirlooms - the horror stories of slovenly or downright criminal Airbnb tenants are well publicised when they occur.

But how likely are you to actually suffer property damage or theft as an Airbnb host?

According to a survey by AA Insurance, one in seven hosts report some form of damage to, or theft from, their property over their leasing journey.

But this relatively high incidence, in a small sample size of 77, did not discourage the hosts from continuing to rent their properties.


Of those hosts who experienced damage or theft, four out of five said they planned on having more guests over the next six months.

Jeremy Craw is one such Airbnb host who hit the headlines in June after his Dunedin property was visited by more than 100 young teenagers holding a boozy party.

After one of Craw's Kaikorai neighbours alerted him to the rager, he called police to break it up, and discovered the person who had rented his property was only 14 years old.

Craw says while there was not major damage to his property, the incident was a wake-up call.

"I've definitely made some changes to my check-in process. I now meet any first-time Airbnb user, anyone with no feedback, on arrival," he said.

Craw made no insurance claim following the June 16 teen party because the aftermath was "mainly just mess" consisting of glass, vomit, and "booze splashed up on the walls".

The 14-year-old renter's father paid for professional cleaning and he says most of his Airbnb experience has been positive.

Airbnb strongly disputes the AA Insurance property damage and theft survey numbers.


Citing their own Host Protection Insurance programme, Airbnb says of the 49 million trips at Airbnb listings worldwide last year, significant property damage was reported only 0.001 per cent of the time.

"Based on 2017 data you could host a new reservation every single day for over 63 years without expecting to file a significant property damage claim under our Host Guarantee," an Airbnb spokesperson said.

Claims of "significant property damage" made under Airbnb's Host Protection Insurance programme were those over $1000.

However, as Jeremy Craw's case shows, many incidents of Airbnb property damage do not lead to an insurance claim.

The AA Insurance survey also found only six in 10 Airbnb hosts had informed an insurer of a vacation rental property.

The potential insurance headache for Airbnb listings was highlighted in the case of Auckland host Ravi Punjwani, who on August 25 had his Onehunga property trashed by Aussie rugby fans following the All Blacks test at Eden Park.

Punjwani's suburban home was littered with glass fragments and empty beer bottles, smudge marks were on the carpet, his living room wall was dented, the occupants' underwear and bedding strewn everywhere and liquid splattered on the walls.

Punjwani had insurance for the house, not including contents, but his excess was $1000 so it was unlikely he would claim the damage, he said at the time.

Airbnb assured Punjwani would have the full support of their Million Dollar Host Guarantee property damage protection, and stated they had removed the tenant from their renting platform.

Airbnb said there had been more than 400 million guest arrivals on their listings worldwide to date and negative incidents were extremely rare.