Tenants: Things you should know

Mandatory home insurance What exactly is its role?

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Updated 23/06/22


Mandatory home insurance

What exactly is its role?


Are you moving to Paris? Did you know that it is mandatory to take home insurance in France? In this article, we explain what multi-risk insurance is for and who needs it depending on your situation (tenant, owner, or co-owner).

What is the use of home insurance?

Home insurance protects your home against risks related to housing damages that could occur in residents' absence. This insurance contract offers many compulsory and optional insurance coverage. Among these guarantees, we find, in particular, civil liability, which covers damage caused to people outside their homes. It may be damage committed by yourself, your children, your animals, or the objects falling from your balconies. (source: https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/vosdroits/F2123).

The necessary insurance coverages that concern your accommodation are:

  • Water damage
  • Fire guarantee,
  • Glass breakage
  • Theft guarantee
  • Natural disaster guarantee

It is possible to choose options depending on your accommodation. Thus, you can protect your outbuildings, your garden, your garage, and its furniture, etc.

Who is concerned by compulsory home insurance?

It is important to know that home insurance may be compulsory, but not for everyone. Who is concerned, and why? To explain this to you, we will divide the status of an inhabitant of a dwelling into four categories:

  • The owners (except co-ownership),
  • The co-owners,
  • The tenants,
  • The roommates.

(source: https://bonne-assurance.com/automobile/assurance-multirisque-habitation/)

Private property owners

People who own a house that is not part of a condominium have no obligation for taking home insurance. On the other hand, it may be useful for owners to take out Non-Occupant Owner's Insurance (PNO) if they are renting out their property.


The property in co-ownership is in direct contact with other people's property, which is why it is mandatory to take comprehensive home insurance in France. This insurance must include civil liability. In this way, damage caused to neighbors, third parties in the condominium, or shared areas will be covered.


Tenants also must take compulsory multi-risk home insurance to protect their accommodation in France. This way, homeowners know that any damage to their property will be covered. Landlords are entitled to request an insurance certificate from the tenant on the day the keys are handed over to them and can refuse the tenant if not insured. If the tenant does not renew his insurance annually, the landlord has the option, after one month, to take out insurance himself on behalf of the tenant and bill them after. 


As with tenants, home insurance is compulsory for shared flats. For this, two possibilities are depending on the choice of the lessor:

  • A single contract with the name of all roommates: it offers identical guarantees for each of them,
  • An individual contract for each roommate: by taking out all the contracts with the same insurer, disputes will be limited in the event of a claim.

Note that there is an exception: occupants of seasonal rentals are not subject to compulsory insurance. It is therefore strongly recommended that the owner takes out a PNO Non-Occupant Owner's Insurance.

What is the cost of home insurance in France?

Home insurance may sound expensive, but it's nothing compared to preparing for the damage to your apartment and your neighborh's apartment. In 2021, the average price of multi-risk home insurance fell by 2.5%. Over the past five years, the fall has come to 17%.
Two factors explain this phenomenon, the arrival of 100% digital insurance companies and the development of telework.

Those 100% digital insurance companies are offering competitive prices of up to 30% reduction for basic home insurance, thanks to lower overhead (rent, staff, etc.). Also, traditional insurance companies follow this trend to avoid losing customers.

Enjoy your move and have peace of mind, thanks to your home insurance!

Credits picture 
@Scott Graham