Tenants of a French holiday rental are not obliged in law to take out insurance and few landlords insist on it as a condition of taking the accommodation.
As a result, most landlords seek to cover their risks through an assurance multi-risques habitation, whether for the principal home let out on a temporary basis, or for a separate rental property.
If the property is your own home most of these policies do contain a clause that allows you to let out the property on a seasonable basis to third parties for up to three months maximum. You will need to advise your insurer of the details of your letting period.
However, such policies normally contain an excess and exclusions, which is one of the reasons why the vast majority of landlords demand a deposit from their guests against damage or loss to household effects or the property.
Some extensions to comprehensive French insurance policies are also available, as follows:
One option is for the landlord to ensure that their house insurance policy contains the clause 'pour le compte de qui il appartiendra' (for the benefit of whomsoever it may concern), which covers both the landlord and the tenant against the accidental damage to the property (and to third parties) caused by fire or water. This clause means the insurance company will cover such incidents, and deal themselves with any claim against the tenant.
Alternatively, or in addition to, the use of a clause of 'abandon de recours', which acts as a waiver against the tenant, held on their own landlord policy. Of course, an additional premium will be payable and not all insurance companies in France offer it. Contrary to the first option, such policies alone do not cover the tenant against other third parties than the landlord.
This covers the landlord in the event of a prejudice suffered by a tenant during their stay, due to a problem that occurs in the property, as well as against other third parties.
Such protection may already be included within a comprehensive assurance multi-riques habitation, particularly if you have advised your insurer you let out the property. You just need to verify.
Major landlords will carry a similar but wider policy called responsabilité civile professionnelle, although such cover is expensive.
Again, it may be part of your existing comprehensive policy, but if not it is worth considering as it offers insurance for legal costs in the event of litigation.
Tenants may be able to make use of the insurance policy on their main home to cover some or all of their risks, although such policies may need to be extended to cover such risks.
Certain credit cards may also offer a level of cover.