The Return and Rise of the Vacation Rental

After a year of people being cooped up inside their homes, they’re eager to flee the nest for a change in scenery. With over 35% of the U.S. population now fully vaccinated, many are willing to take a chance on travel and reuniting with loved ones they haven’t seen in months. Google is reporting search queries for hotels and resorts in the U.S. are at the highest levels in 10 years. With vacation rental sites like Airbnb and Vrbo seeing the impact, insurers now have a greater opportunity to offer coverage to those set to lease their homes in the short-term market.


The pandemic sent the travel market into a tailspin, but people hit the roads for Spring Break and are making plans for summer. 82% of families already have travel plans for 2021 (Vrbo). Vrbo had its best start to a year in 25 years, shares of Airbnb are up more than 20%, and Expedia’s have risen 30%. Airlines and hotel stocks are up as well, with American Airlines reporting airfare sales are now hitting 90% of pre-pandemic averages.


Let’s Book a House

Vrbo president Jeff Hurst said there are two major trends they’re seeing drive short-term rentals. First, guests are looking for ways to safely reunite and connect with loved ones, and second, the work-from-home trend is leading more people to book “flexcations,” leasing rentals for longer periods of time where they can work, play, and do online schooling. 


Now that families are looking to reconnect with loved ones, finding accommodations for large groups is helping to drive short-term rentals. People are searching for places where they can gather with the whole family or vacation together with close friends. The desire for more spacious bookings is driving the masses to look for rental homes or condos over hotels. 


No More Off-Season 

Flexcations are also changing the “seasonality” of vacation rentals. Since people can work and learn from anywhere now, there isn’t a need to limit travel to typical vacation times. Families are able to be more flexible with their vacation dates. As a result, someone who leases their vacation home may get more opportunities to lease during seasonal down times. Potential lessors are choosing to enter the market since they’re seeing more value in leasing their home. 


Give Us the Great Outdoors

With many opting to drive instead of fly due to health concerns, close-to-home travel, especially to great outdoor destinations, is still popular. 59% of families say they are still likely to drive instead of fly on their next trip, and 61% said they are more likely to visit an outdoorsy destination than an urban one (Vrbo). 


There’s increased interest in renting near the beach, on a lake, or in the mountains, as opposed to near national landmarks and sightseeing ops, and many who have second homes in those outdoorsy areas are getting inquiries from people looking to rent short-term. Seeing new opportunities to cash in on the increased demand is leading new lessors into the short-term rental market—lessors who will now need additional coverage for their second home.


Getting a Vacation Rental Covered

For your insureds who are getting into the short-term rental market, we have the perfect vacation rental coverage for them, where a “vacation rental” is not considered to be a “business.” Features include:

  • $15,000 Personal Property of guests
  • Theft of Personal Property
  • $5000 Fair Rental Value per guest
  • $5000 Refrigerated Products
  • Broadened definition of “personal injury”
  • Broadened definition of “residence premises”


Contact us with questions or to get a quote. 

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