Conditions and details of HomeExchange Guarantees

Last Updated: September 1, 2021

Former version (03.12.2019): https://www.homeexchange.com/p/copy-homeexchange-service-termsofuse-2019

(i) Definitions and general information

(a) The following definitions will apply to these conditions :

“Covered Damage” means: (1) Property Damage and (2) Damage to Contents.

“Contents” means household goods, art, antiques, collectables, jewellery, gemstones, watches, furs, guns, clothing and other personal property typically used in a home and that belongs to a Host Member at a Residence (but, in the case of jewellery, gemstones, watches, fur and guns, only those that are properly kept in a locked safe inaccessible to Guest Members or occupants), but does not include cash, bank and currency notes, cheques, credit cards, postal orders, travelers’ cheques, money orders, crossed bankers drafts, current postage stamps, National Savings Stamps and Certificates, National Insurance Stamps, gift certificates, customer redemption vouchers, travel tickets, luncheon vouchers, animals, plants, trees, hedges, vehicles of any kind, watercraft, or buildings.

“Damage to Contents” means the damage to any Contents within the Host Member’s Residence caused by accidental or maliciously harmful actions or inactions of a Guest Member or occupants of the Residence during an Exchange.

“Maximum Sum” means  $1,000,000 USD for general HomeExchange Services. For HomeExchange Collection Members: “Maximum Sum” means $2,000,000 USD for general HomeExchange Collection Services

“Property Damage” means the damage to any permanent building, including fixtures and fittings, within the Host Member’s Residence caused by accidental or maliciously harmful actions or inactions of a Guest Member or occupants of the Residence during an Exchange.

Any other defined terms used in those conditions shall have the meaning given to them in the Terms of Use, which can be located here.

(b) No payments by HomeExchange under these guarantees whether to a Host Member or a Guest Member shall release, reduce or waive any liability of a Member for any damage or injury caused by that Member or any other person, or for which a Member is responsible.

Notwithstanding the coverage offered by HomeExchange under these conditions, the Host Member is still responsible for taking reasonable steps to secure the Residence and Contents during an Exchange (e.g., placing valuable Contents in a locked, inaccessible safe, periodically changing locks or codes on the Residence). In addition to any specific exclusion in each section of these guarantees, HomeExchange’s liability to make any payment is subject to the general exclusions at sections (xi) and (xii) below.

HOMEEXCHANGE’S TOTAL LIABILITY UNDER THESE CONDITIONS SHALL NOT IN ANY CIRCUMSTANCES EXCEED THE MAXIMUM SUM.

(ii) Amount and conditions of coverage in the event of Property Damage:

In relation to Property Damage, HomeExchange shall pay:

(a) the cost of rebuilding or repairing the buildings to a condition equal to but not better or more extensive than their condition when new.

(b) the following necessary and reasonable costs and expenses incurred in rebuilding or repairing following guest damage insured by this section:

  • (i) the cost of removing debris of the buildings from the premises or the area immediately adjacent;
  • (ii) the cost of dismantling, demolishing, shoring up or propping up any part of the buildings;
  • (iii) the cost of complying with any statutory or local authority requirement regarding the damaged part of the buildings, unless notice of such requirement was served before the guest damage and provided the buildings were originally built according to any government and local authority regulations in force at that time;
  • (iv) the fees of architects, surveyors or consulting engineers; and
  • (v) adjusters fees and expenses,
  • up to the lesser of the amount of the Host Member’s applicable insurance on or at the Residence and the Maximum Sum.

Compensation for Property Damage shall not include:

  • (x) alternative accommodation for the Guest Member or other permitted occupant; nor
  • (y) any resulting loss of use of the Residence by a Guest Member or other permitted occupant.

Any compensation from HomeExchange to the Host Member is conditioned on the Host Member declaring the damage to HomeExchange within the earlier of 10 days after the departure of the Guest Member and prior to the arrival of the next Guest Member and providing to HomeExchange a sworn statement or attestation describing all known details about the Covered Loss, including, but not limited to, the following items to HomeExchange:

  • Proof of damage (including statement and photos);
  • Original invoices, if possible, or other documents that evidence the actual value of the damaged items or property;
  • Proof of ownership of, or other legal responsibility for (e.g., a lease), the damaged property;
  • Quotation or estimate for replacement/repair;
  • Proof of submission of a police report where the Covered Loss occurred due to theft of violation of law; and
  • Submission of the Member’s home insurance for damages above  $5,000 USD.

Compensation will only be paid following our receipt from the Host Member of satisfactory evidence of the applicable limit of the underlying insurance.

If the Host Member’s Residence is rendered uninhabitable by any Covered Damage, we will also pay the Host Member’s suitable and equivalent alternative accommodation costs for a period of up to 6 months.

(iii) Amount and conditions of coverage in the event of Damage to Contents:

In the event of Damage to Contents, HomeExchange will, at its option, pay to the Host Member the cost of replacement or repair of the Contents, or make a cash settlement for lost or damaged Contents, in each case after making an allowance for depreciation up to the lesser of the amount of the Host Member’s applicable insurance on the Contents and/or Residence and  $100,000 USD for general HomeExchange Services and for HomeExchange Collection Services. However, the maximum amount of reimbursement in the event of Damage to Contents shall not exceed the value of the Contents declared under the insurance for the Contents and/or Residence of the Host Member.

Compensation will only be paid following our receipt from the Host Member of satisfactory evidence of the applicable limit of the underlying insurance.

(iv) Amount and conditions of cover in the event of theft:

In the event of Covered Damage caused by theft or attempted theft caused or enabled by actions or inactions of a Guest Member or permitted occupant in the Host Member's Residence during an Exchange, the damage suffered shall be reimbursed by HomeExchange up to (i) the Maximum Sum where the theft causes Property Damage (as provided in section (ii)), or (ii) USD $100,000 USD for general HomeExchange Services, and for HomeExchange Collection Services where the theft causes Damage to Contents.

The maximum amount of reimbursement in the event of theft shall not exceed the value of the losses declared under the Host Member’s applicable insurance (whether for the Contents or the Residence of the Host Member). Any compensation from HomeExchange to the Host Member is conditioned on the Host Member submitting the following:

  • original invoices for stolen items;
  • report for theft;
  • quote or estimate of replacement or repair;
  • a handwritten statement made upon honor by the host; and
  • where applicable, receipted invoices for the replacement of stolen objects.

(v) Amount of the deductible payable by the Guest Member in the event of accidental Covered Damage

In the event of accidental Covered Damage covered under these conditions, the Guest Member shall be liable for a deductible, which will be deducted from the Deposit.

For HomeExchange members: the amount of the deductible is a one-time amount and is set at $500 USD per Covered Damage claim.

For HomeExchange Collection members: The amount of the deductible is a one-time amount and is set at $2500 USD per Covered Damage

(vi) Amount of the deductible payable by the Guest Member in the event of willful Covered Damage

In the event of willful Covered Damage caused by abnormal behavior on the part of the Guest Member or the occupants, and not respecting the lifestyle rules specified by the Host Member before the exchange, an amount up to the cost of the damage caused will be deducted from the Deposit. If the damages exceed the amount of the Deposit, the Deposit will be fully debited, and the Guest Member will remain liable for the balance to HomeExchange. Damage suffered by the Host Member will be processed in accordance with the applicable Property Damage coverage.

(vii) Amount and conditions of coverage in the event of cancellation by the Host Member:

In the event of cancellation of a scheduled Exchange by the Host Member, and if HomeExchange is unable to find a replacement Residence whose basic amenities (see (x)) are substantially equivalent to those of the cancelled Exchange and the Guest Member’s subscription remains active during the original timeframe for the cancelled Exchange, the Guest Member and their travel group shall be entitled to:

Financial compensation up to $120 USD / night (or $350 USD / night for HomeExchange Collection Services) for a relocation (on presentation of invoices for the payment of a replacement lodging on the same dates as the canceled Exchange) within the limit of USD $1,800 USD per Exchange (or $4,900 USD per HomeExchange Collection Exchange).

For example, if the cancelled Exchange (not a HomeExchange Collection Service) was for four nights, the Guest Member will be entitled to a maximum refund of $480 USD for emergency accommodation costs.

(viii) Amount and conditions of the guarantees in case of substandard or inaccurate Residences:

In the event of a substandard or inaccurate Residence meeting the criteria in (ix), and if HomeExchange is unable to find a replacement Residence whose basic amenities (see (x)) are equivalent to those of the cancelled Exchange, the Guest Member shall be entitled to either:

  • Financial compensation up to $120 USD/night (or $350 USD / night for HomeExchange Collection Services) for re-housing (upon submission of invoices for payment of replacement accommodation on the same dates as the cancelled Exchange); within the limit of $1,800 USD per Exchange (or $4,900 USD per HomeExchange Collection Exchange), or
  • Financial compensation up to $120 USD/night (or $350 USD / night for HomeExchange Collection Services) for reimbursement of non-refundable expenses directly related to the cancelled Exchange (upon submission of invoices, for which the impossibility of reimbursement is otherwise proven - airline tickets, train ticket, etc.). within the limit of $1,800 USD per exchange (or $4,900 USD per HomeExchange Collection Exchange).

For example, if the substandard or inaccurate Exchange (not a HomeExchange Collection Service) was for four nights, the Guest Member will be entitled to a maximum refund of $400 USD for such non-refundable transport tickets.

(ix) Criteria for a substandard or inaccurate Residence in order to benefit from the guarantee:

A Residence is considered substandard or inaccurate when it has any of the following characteristics, but otherwise meets the Listing’s criteria. The Guest Member shall not be entitled to any compensation if they choose not to stay in a Residence that meets all required criteria. 

1) for any Residence:

  • No electricity;
  • No running water;
  • No hot water;
  • No refrigerator or refrigerator out of order;
  • No functional cooking elements (oven, stove, or microwave);
  • Significant presence of pests (rats, cockroaches, etc.);
  • No toilets (or no functioning toilets);
  • Lack of a functional bathtub or shower;
  • Inability to close a door or window on the ground floor overlooking a public space (street, building courtyard);
  • Faulty roof resulting in the interior of the dwelling not being protected from rain; or
  • Lower sleeping capacity than the number of guests declared in the exchange request.

2) when expressly indicated that it would be provided:

  • Heating in the occupied rooms which does not permit the maintenance of a temperature above 18°C;
  • Air conditioning in the rooms which does not permit the maintenance of a temperature lower than 35°C;
  • Unusable swimming pool (no water or water quality making swimming impossible);
  • No WiFi or WiFi out of order;
  • Handicap access declared but not provided for one of the following rooms: bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, toilet, lounge; or
  • No elevator or elevator out of order if the Residence is located above the 3rd floor.

(x) Basic amenities for a replacement Residence in case of cancellation by the Host Member or substandard or inaccurate conditions

The basic amenities of a replacement Residence are as follows:

1) for any offer:

  • Sleeping capacity corresponding to the number of guests;
  • Hot and cold water supply;
  • Power supply;
  • Refrigerator;
  • Bathroom; and
  • Cooking element.

2) when expressly indicated that it would be provided:

  • Swimming pool;
  • WiFi;
  • Handicap access;
  • Elevator.

3) Location:

Furthermore, the replacement Residence must be located less than 50km from the original Residence and less than 5 km from a beach if the original Residence was located less than 5 km from a beach.

(xi) General exclusions

HomeExchange shall not make any payment to a Host Member or Guest Member under these conditions in respect of any:

(a) loss or damage which occurred before the Residence was the subject of the most recent Exchange;

(b) loss, damage, liability, cost or expense of any kind caused directly or indirectly by ionizing radiation or radioactive contamination from any nuclear fuel or waste which results from the burning of nuclear fuel, or the radioactive, toxic, explosive or other dangerous properties of nuclear machinery or any part of it;

(c) loss, damage, liability, cost or expense of any kind caused directly or indirectly by war, invasion or revolution;

(d) loss, damage, liability, cost or expense of any kind caused directly or indirectly by pressure waves from aircraft;

(e) loss, damage, liability, cost or expense of any kind directly or indirectly caused by, resulting from or in connection with any act of terrorism. For the purposes of this exclusion, ‘terrorism’ means the use, or threat of use, of biological, chemical and/or nuclear force or contamination by any person(s), whether acting alone or on behalf of or in connection with any organization(s) or government(s), committed for political, religious, ideological or similar purposes including the intention to influence any government(s) or put any section of the public in fear;

(f) loss, damage, liability, cost or expense of any kind caused directly or indirectly by or resulting from wear and tear, viruses, disease, natural disasters, corrosion, rusting, damp, insects, vermin, fungus, condensation, fading, frost or anything which happens gradually, the process of cleaning, dyeing, repair, alteration, renovation or restoration;

(g) loss, damage, liability, cost or expense of any kind caused by or resulting from poor or faulty design, workmanship or materials;

(h) loss or damage caused as a result of the buildings being used by the Host Member for illegal activities;

(i) claim or expense of any kind directly or indirectly caused by or arising out of pollution or contamination;

(j) loss, damage, liability, cost or expense of any kind caused by rot;

(k) accidental death, disease, illness or accidental physical injury to a Host Member, Guest Member or occupier (unless caused directly by HomeExchange’s negligence or more culpable conduct);

(l) damages caused by a Guest Member or occupier to adjacent third-party properties;

(m) loss or damage caused to equipment by its failing correctly to recognize data representing a date in such a way that it does not work properly or at all, or by computer viruses.

(n) legal expenses, legal benefits and /or liability arising directly or indirectly from equipment failing correctly to recognize data representing a date in such a way that it does not work properly or at all or computer viruses. For the avoidance of doubt, any claim for legal expenses/benefits to pursue compensation for personal injury is not excluded.

For the purposes of (m) and (n) above:

    • Equipment includes computers and anything else insured by this policy which has a microchip in it.
    • Computers include hardware, software, data, electronic data processing equipment and other computing and electronic equipment linked to a computer.
    • Microchips include integrated circuits and microcontrollers.
    • Computer viruses include any program or software which prevents any operating system, computer program or software working properly or at all. 

HomeExchange will not be liable to make any payment under those guarantees offer which:

(x)would breach economic, financial or trade sanctions imposed under the law of the country in which this policy is issued or would otherwise provide cover; or

(y) would breach economic, financial or trade sanctions imposed by Canada, the European Union, United Kingdom or the United States of America.

(xii) 

Uncovered geographical area

Any Residence posted on the website is eligible for Covered Damage coverage under these conditions unless it is located in a country that the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office has determined is not suitable for travel, or that the U.S. Department of State has designated as under a Level 4 (Do Not Travel) travel advisory.