Insuring your accommodation - what are your legal obligations?

As a tenant, you are liable for any damage caused to the accommodation during the term of the lease. You must therefore repair any damage caused. For this reason, in most cases, the law requires you to take out insurance to cover these risks, known as "tenant's risks".

A compulsory formality

You must produce an insurance certificate:

  • before signing a lease
  • then every year
  • whether you are living in privately rented accommodation or a university residence managed by a CROUS

If you do not have insurance, the landlord can terminate your lease.

By taking out home insurance, you will be insured against damage from a fire, explosion or water damage. However, your insurance only covers damage caused to the accommodation and/or the building. Your belongings - computer, console, musical instruments, in short everything you own - will not be covered.

You can of course take out more extensive, supplementary insurance.

NB: it is not compulsory to take out an insurance policy for furnished "tourist" accommodation (not your place of residence / if you are staying there for 90 days maximum during the year). However, it is recommended that you cover your liability towards the landlord.

What to do in the event of a claim

You must contact your insurance company to notify them of the claim within 5 working days (48 hours in the event of theft) by registered letter with receipt acknowledgement.

Please specify:

  • Your name
  • Your policy number
  • The date of the loss
  • The type of loss
  • The description of the damage

Also note any damage to your neighbours or in the building. In the case of water damage, it is preferable to complete an accident declaration water damage report, which will speed up and facilitate compensation of minor claims.

Which insurance should you choose?

If you have to insure your accommodation, the choice of insurer is up to you.

The cost of home insurance varies significantly according to the location of the apartment (large cities are always more expensive), its size or the tenant's movable capital (sum of the value of all the property).

The GMF, the MAAF or the MMA - for example - offer solutions especially for students.

Most insurance company websites will offer a simulation calculator.

Apartment-sharing: who pays what?

Insuring your accommodation every year is a legal obligation, whether you're living in a studio apartment or an apartment-share.

Who insures the accommodation in an apartment-share?

  • At least one co-tenant must be insured for tenant's risks
  • In the event of a claim, each co-tenant must, however, receive compensation for the loss according to their share of the rent

Note that it is important that each co-tenant is insured, at least for civil liability.


The Excess is the amount you have to pay in the event of a claim, which is not reimbursed by your insurer.

The Movable Assets is the estimated value of all the property (furniture, clothes, appliances) kept in the accommodation. Be careful, as in the event of a claim, you will only usually be reimbursed according to the declared movable capital, so don't underestimate it!

Tenant's risks and civil liability cover: "tenant's risks" cover does not always include "civil liability" cover. You must check that civil liability is included in tenant's risks cover. It is usually covered in "multi-risks" insurance, but might only be partially covered. Check with your insurer.

The loss simply refers to the damage and loss caused by an event. A loss leads to a claim.

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