Holiday rental property insurance options in France for both landlords and their guests.
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 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, the 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:
i. Garantie pour le compte de qui il appartiendra
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.
Such policies are also sometimes called assurance pour le compte d’autrui.
ii. Garanti abandon de recours
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 option i. such policies alone do not cover the tenant against other third parties than the landlord.
iii. Responsabilité civile de propriétaire non occupant
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.
Major landlords will carry a similar but wider policy called responsabilité civile professionnelle, although such cover is expensive.
iv. Garantie protection juridique
Such cover 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 a litigation. You can read a full review of such policies in our article Legal Protection Insurance in France.
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.
Many comprehensive home insurance policies in France contain the garantie villégiature, which offers insurance protection during your stay in holiday accommodation.
The terms of such policies do vary, so you need to check with your insurer. If your main house insurance policy does not contain such a guarantee you can ask for a modification to the policy.
Generally speaking, the insurance covers all damage that may be caused by negligence in your holiday location by yourself or members of your family and pets.
Some policies also include taking charge of the holidaymaker in the event of theft or destruction of their personal effects in the holiday home.
Landlords of holiday rental accommodation can, therefore, ask their guests to provide confirmation of such cover, with an attestation d’assurance villégiature through their insurer.
Certain credit cards may also offer a level of cover.
**Article Updated July 2020