The work is reportedly handled by a secretive safety team of about 100 people who are positioned across the globe. Team members, some of whom have backgrounds in the military or emergency services, can “spend whatever it takes” to make victims feel supported, according to Bloomberg. The team’s activity, which reportedly includes keeping incidents under wraps, involves paying guests and hosts for flights, damage repairs, hotel stays, health costs and testing for sexually transmitted diseases in rape cases.
Airbnb declined to comment on the report. The company told Bloomberg that most of its payouts are related to its property damage protection program for hosts.
The Bloomberg report highlights safety concerns surrounding the short-term home rental platform. Airbnb has taken several steps in recent years to improve safety, including requiring that all listings are verified, a practice introduced following a that left five dead. The company also banned “party houses” and launched a 24-hour hotline to deal with complaints and safety issues in a more timely manner.