Assessing Safety Risks - Peer to Peer Locations

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Assessing Risk in Peer to Peer Renting

People assess the risks of peer-to-peer renting based on financial assurance and transparency, trustworthiness of platform and hosts, reputation and quality of service, payment options and cancellation policy, and property insurance. They also assess risks based on hosts' awareness of gender-based violence, race similarity between traveler and host/culture, and regulation or registration of property. More information on the topic is provided below.


  • Risks in peer-to-peer renting (sharing economy) can be looked at from the perspective of both the traveler and the host, because both parties have their respective concerns about adverse situations or conditions.
  • Researchers have found that some drivers for safety concerns for travelers include race similarity between traveler and host and culture, which are considered when deciding to use/ rent a property.
  • According to Stone and Gronhaug, the risks associated with peer-to-peer renting include "performance risk, physical risk, financial risk, psychological risk, social risk, and time risk".
  • Travelers consider the time risk involved in figuring out which service to use based on regulations (e.g. registration and consulting reviews), offering and desire compared with going the traditional route.


  • When it comes to making arrangements that involve monetary sharing services, travelers need to get information pertaining to the facilities and its environment, but hosts focus on what is external to it, which leads to issues relating to trust.
  • Travelers consider the financial risks involved and their economic benefits.
  • They make decisions about booking and staying at various properties if these promise to be cost effective while offering value and are favorable.
  • A good price, value, and authenticity increases the likelihood for travelers to stay in an Airbnb rental home.
  • The Airbnb platform provides financial assurance for both hosts and guests, which is also important in assessing risks using the services. However, travelers are sometimes unaware of additional lodging costs that they may have to cover.
  • Deciding on whether to book a property or spend the entire trip at a property depends on the performance of the specific destination. This means that travelers consider whether the property will meet or exceed expectations and the cost associated with booking and staying at the property.


  • Liang, Choi and Joppe found that there is the issue of trust in both Airbnb platforms and the host. Hosts, on the other hand, consider reassurance from guests that they'll have good behavior and not damage their property.
  • They also consider any risks of injury especially because they would be held accountable for that.
  • Travelers consider physical risks when staying at the property.
  • Forty-one percent of Airbnb hosts refuse rental services if they are not satisfied with the information they receive from their prospective guests at the inquiry stage.


  • Researchers highlighted the fact that reputation, as well as the quality of service (including cleanliness) from the hosts, are usually considered when booking the services.
  • In 2018, Birinci found that travelers decide whether to make purchases or bookings with Airbnb based on safety and security.
  • To avoid psychological risks such as buyer's remorse, travelers do research to identify the best platform and property to book.


  • People also assess risks involved in booking based on the cancellation policy, which applies to both travelers and hosts. Also, flexible payment solutions are preferred by travelers.
  • Homestay is one of the companies that offers this solution by using Payoneer to alleviate last minute cancellations by transferring a 25% deposit (paid by guest) to the host upon cancellation (if done less than 7 days to arrival date). The company's "pay on arrival policy" is flexible for both guests and hosts and is likely to build trust and confidence in their platform.


  • Other risk assessments for staying with hosts include awareness of gender-based violence, destination reputation, and if the property is registered and/or regulated.
  • If a property is insured, guests are more likely to be interested in staying for the entire duration of their trip because concerns of liabilities relating to the building (e.g. cost associated with a fire) would be minimal.
  • While the peer-to-peer renting platforms are not responsible for the properties being rented, some provide insurance to hosts (e.g. Airbnb and HomeAway).
  • Travelers are likely to check on these aspects because if an accident should occur at an uninsured property, a legal case can be filed.


To provide insights that explain how people assess the risks of peer-to-peer renting, we consulted several sources on the topic and on the risks that were assessed or discussed by both travelers and hosts. We identified patterns involved in the sources and provided information/insights accordingly. Sources used include Wrold Bank, Taylor & Francis Online, UKnowledge, and others.

  • "Ye et al. [44] examined the influence of race similarity among the guests and hosts on trust and intention to use Airbnb, and Chen[45] found that online trust is a strong driver and/or barrier to potential customers’ use intention. "
  • "Brochado, Troilo and Shah [47] examined travelers’ experiences of Airbnb and found that their culture and preference trends supported convergence in the hospitality industry."
  • " Borchado and colleagues [47] asserted that convergence is observed in Airbnb themes across nations and cultures. Because, lodging they believe differs from food in the level of risk assumed” (p. 210). "
  • " Jung et al. [50] investigated distinctive traveler motivation of monetary or non-monetary-based sharing services and found that, while Airbnb guests focus on describing the facilities and environmental circumstances, the host concentrates on describing the external characteristics [48]. "
  • "According to Liang, Choi and Joppe [24], a distinction exists between experience-based and transaction-based satisfaction,while trust is divided into trust in Airbnb (institutionbased) and trust in hosts (disposition to trust). "
  • "... users’ faded trust is one of the most important complaints against the Airbnb platform. "
  • "... “question asking hosts about reasons for refusing permission to buy reveals trust and insufficient information from prospective guests as key drivers of rejection mentioned by 41% of hosts, pointing to hosts undertaking what is effectively a risk-assessment exercise for each booking inquiry” "
  • "Hoshmand [28] claimed that home-sharing poses various risks to all involved and the host is not sufficiently protected because of the lack of proper insurance"
  • "Similarly, Birinci et al. (2018) assessed perceptions of customer satisfaction and repurchase intentions in Airbnb accommodation. They also focus on the advantages and disadvantages of each accommodation type, including authentic travel experiences and risks by employing structural equation modelling and multi-group analysis (P2P and hotel gusts). Their results indicated that safety and security risk play an important role for tourists who patronize Airbnb accommodations. "
  • "Tourists increasingly desire low-cost services and direct interactions with communities and businesses therein. However, trust, reputation and service quality factors play a vital role in such access-based service experiences (Ert et al., 2016; Gregory and Halff, 2017; Guttentag, 2015; Resnick and Zeckhauser, 2002)."
  • "Although there is no evidence that fires or accidents are more likely in P2P rentals than residential homes, the risks facing guests who may not be familiar with a building and its exits and fire extinguishers are always higher. "
  • "The platforms are not the actual providers of accommodation, so they have no obligation to take out insurance for the stay. Some platforms, such as Airbnb and HomeAway, offer insurance to hosts. However, if accidents happen in uninsured accommodation, they may negatively impact the reputation of the destination and could result in legal disputes."
  • "According to Park and Tussyadiah (2016), travelers consider performance risk as a primary risk in purchasing tourism products. Furthermore, performance risk is important because expected performance for peer-to-peer accommodation is different from traditional accommodation; peer-to-peer accommodation was often expected to outperform budget hotels/motels, underperform upscale hotels, and have mixed outcomes compared to mid-range hotels (Guttentag, 2016)."
  • "Physical risk is the possibility that a purchased product lead to physical injury or threat while using the product or services (Chang & Hsiao, 2008; Kim et al., 2005; Lee, 2009). Physical risk is important in peer-to-peer accommodation because the safety is among the top perceived risks for potential peer-to-peer accommodation guests (Nowak et al., 2015; Guttentag, 2016)."
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  • "Based on a survey involving 395 Airbnb users in Canada and the US, the authors examined how perceived risk and perceived value contribute to repurchase intention and how factors characterizing the sharing economy, such as perceived authenticity, peer reviews, and price sensitivity, affect perceived risk and perceived value. As hypothesized, perceived authenticity and electronic word-of-mouth were found to positively affect perceived value and negatively affect perceived risk."
  • "However, price sensitivity was found to improve perceived value and lead to repurchase intention. Therefore, from a marketing point of view, this research confirms the importance of communicating information about price and authenticity in the peer-to-peer accommodation experience to consumers. That is, lower prices alone may not prevent consumers from perceiving risk associated with future stays in peer-to-peer accommodation, but a combination of lower prices and authenticity will increase the perceived value of an Airbnb stay."