How unsafe is the sharing economy?

Daisy Doctor

The rise of the sharing economy has been unavoidable globally.

Not to scare you, but the whole phenomenon has just about taken over our everyday lives.

Just ask yourself when the last time was you booked a taxi instead of Uber as an example.


The likes of Airbnb and other holiday rental start-ups have surged in popularity in recent years because of the affordability and interest in homestyle travelling.

But what are travellers giving up when they opt for the sharing economy option?

According to new data released by general insurer IAG, it seems Aussie holidaymakers have been faced with their fair share of strife when choosing homes over hotels.

Speaking to more than 1,000 Australians, the study revealed that overall, we’ve definitely encountered some issues.

It found that:

  • More than 1 in 6 (17 per cent) have accidentally broken something or damaged their accommodation while on a holiday
  • One in 7 (14 per cent) have been injured or seen a fellow guest injured, and
  • One in 5 (19 per cent) have hosted a party or been to a party at a holiday rental property.

The research also found that young men (aged 18-34) are more likely to cause damage, injure themselves or host a party while on holiday in a holiday rental property.

For example:

  • Men are more likely than women (24 per cent vs 17 per cent) to have accidentally broken something in an Airbnb
  • Men are more likely than women to have hosted or been to a party in an Airbnb and Stayz property (35 per cent vs 19 per cent)
  • Men are also more likely to have injured themselves in an Airbnb than women (18 per cent vs 13 per cent)

In November last year, a Morgan Stanley research study found that the novelty of Airbnb may be wearing off, as popularity was waning.

In the third AlphaWise survey of its kind, Morgan Stanley found the popularity of the home sharing startup was diminishing, as Airbnb use in consumers grew by only 3.3 per cent in 2017.

While it still showed growth, the number had almost halved since 2016, which experienced a 7.9 per cent growth year-on-year.

The survey measured the responses of 4000 consumers from the UK, US, France and Germany, however, discluded Australasia and Latin America.

While the numbers were still promising for Airbnb, and counting in the fact that only around two-thirds of global consumers were surveyed, the industry speculated the service might be plateauing.

IAG developed product ShareCover seeks to aide Aussies with incurred expenses through

ShareCover (an IAG developed product) spokesperson Mitchell Sweeney said the research findings show that people who rent their property out on Airbnb this summer need to understand the potential risks involved.

“Holiday rental sites such as Airbnb and Stayz have given people the freedom and opportunity to maximise the use of their assets and earn some extra cash,” said Sweeney.

“However, these opportunities don’t come without risk and it’s important that people protect themselves, and their most important assets, when they rent their home with holiday rental platforms,” he added.

Also, check out five of the quirkiest holiday rental property claims according to ShareCover data:

  1. A frozen chicken broke a kitchen sink after being dropped
  2. 14 circular burn marks (cause unknown) were found on the carpet of a property
  3. One guest fell through a flight of stairs causing personal injury
  4. A brawl after a party caused extensive damage throughout a property
  5. Guests lighting sparklers that dropped onto floor causing burn to floorboards