Tenants: Things you should know
Posted at September 10, 2020

Mandatory home insurance What exactly is its role?

Mandatory home insurance

What exactly is its role?


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

What is the use of home insurance?

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

The other necessary guarantees of this insurance concern only your accommodation:

  • 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 (and its furniture), etc.

Who is affected by compulsory home insurance?

Itis important to know that home insurance may be compulsory, but not for everyone. Who is affected, 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 home insurance. On the other hand, it may be useful to take out Non-Occupant Owner's Insurance (PNO) in case of renting their property.


The property in co-ownership is in direct contact with other people's property, which is why, since 2014 (Alur law), it is mandatory to take out comprehensive home insurance. This insurance must include, at a minimum, civil liability. In this way, damage caused to neighbors, third parties in the condominium, or shared areas will be covered.


Tenants also must take out home insurance to protect their accommodation. 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. In this case, the contributions will be added to the rent and their amount increased by 10% for compensation.


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.

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

Credits picture 
@Scott Graham

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