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Insurance when renting apartment in France?

Insurance when renting apartment in France?

Old May 5th, 2010, 05:40 AM
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Insurance when renting apartment in France?

We have already done this several times without special coverage, but I have been told that according to the French Civil Code (article 1732), renters are responsible in case of damage caused by fire, explosion or flood. Insurance coverage is required for the rented apartment, and that documents confirming such coverage must be provided by the renter on request. Has anyone had such an experience, or advice in this area? Thanks.
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Old May 5th, 2010, 06:20 AM
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The agency I rent from provides insurance so therefore I don't have to pay even a security deposit. I think it runs about $25,00. Check with your agency
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Old May 5th, 2010, 06:44 AM
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It was required by our contract, but I assumed it was just to cover us (and therefore the owner) in the event of travel interruption.

Realistically, I'm not sure how cost effective it would be for a French owner to sue someone in another country -- the damage would need to be significant.
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Old May 5th, 2010, 06:57 AM
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This was required in our apt rental this winter. Our homeowners policy covers rentals which I told the rental agent for the apt. He was fine with that. He did not ask for proof, but I could have sent him that portion of our policy showing we are covered.
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Old May 5th, 2010, 07:18 AM
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We've rented 43 gites in France and 6 apts in Paris. Insurance like you described has never "come up".

Stu Dudley
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Old May 5th, 2010, 07:36 AM
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The issue has come up when I've rented apts in Paris, I think what you've been told is correct. The last time I rented from an agency that had that requirement, they had an arrangement with a French insurance company (really, they just provided me with the link to their website, but I think it was tied in to their agency somehow by ID), so all I had to do with click on it and fill out a short form and pay it. It wasn't very expensive, only about 30 euro for 10 days to 2 weeks or something like that. If I didn't buy that, the owner did want me to show proof of insurance. Well, I didn't have any as my homeowners policy wouldn't cover some apt in Paris for those kind of things.

I think it is kind of odd to require the tenant to have such insurance on the building, although I agree the tenant could be the one to cause a fire, of course. I don't know about how they could cause a flood. But France has lots of laws that I sometimes find a bit strange.

Isn't the landlord providing you with any information on how to easily buy such a short-term policy like mine did? If not, I can try to find the website/link from that old email.
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Old May 5th, 2010, 07:44 AM
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I found the French civil code section on that:

Basically, if you can't read French, it says a tenant is responsible for damages or losses that happen during his enjoyment of the apt., unless he can prove it was not due to his fault. So it does require it be something that you were responsible for, however, I believe French law presumes you are responsible until you prove otherwise. So it is different than what Americans are used to where the person who sues for damages would have to prove you were responsible or negligent. The civil code does require you to have insurance and to show proof to the landlord.

Really, it is safer to take out a small policy as it should be cheap. I think most French owners who haven't brought it up just aren't being picky about the law or else are covering it somehow themself (I had one agency basically build it into the bill, with my notification, of course, and that was a long time ago).
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Old May 5th, 2010, 08:57 AM
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Oh-oh! I had better go back and read through our rental agreement! We have paid the deposit which is half the rental and pay the other half in cash when we take occupancy. The only other item was the cleaners fee of 50euros but it was not mentioned in the agreement, only on the internet ad.
I'm not overly worried. It seems the French wheels turn slowly because they are so embroiled in red tape. Even if they decided you may be responsible, could they prevent you from leaving the country, or even demanding you pay before you leave?
Can't get blood out of a stone you know....Or is this what "Banged up Abroad is all about??
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Old May 5th, 2010, 01:52 PM
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SemiMike, take a look at your homeowner's policy and have a chat with your broker. Like yestravel, above, our homeowner's policy expressly states that we are covered for damages we cause to property we rent "anywhere in the world." Just to be sure, I called our agent, who confirmed it.

As an aside, when we rent in France I'm a bit like Jack Nicholson in As Good As It Gets: prepare to leave the apartment. Check the stove. The gas is off. Step out into the hallway. Lock the apartment door. Re-open it. Check the stove again. The gas is still off. Repeat. Repeat again ...

I'd really hate to set fire to anything.

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Old May 5th, 2010, 04:12 PM
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Make sure the apartment you're renting is a legal rental, i.e. it should be registered as a commercial property whether privately rented or rented through an agency.

If it isn't, any insurance coverage could be deemed invalid.

This is more of a concern with "unofficial" private-owner rentals.

The issue was raised in an earlier thread:

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Old May 6th, 2010, 03:19 PM
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I checked the insurance company my last rental agency allowed me to purchase from and it was this one

Unfortunately, it appears they are a legal/insurance company for businesses and you do have to have some client number to login to buy their insurance product. I guess various agencies have a contract with them to provide services for their renters. I know two that use them (lodgis.fr and parisattitude.fr).
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Old Jul 13th, 2010, 10:42 AM
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What do the French mean by "flood"? This is an area of much concern in the US. If we mean that the tenant caused an overflow (like in a both) and that caused damage, that is one thing. If we mean that a river rose up and damaged things while the tenant was in residence, that is another thing entirely.
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