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The system and the insurance obligations for houses in France


As a real estate lawyer in France, it is important to advise foreign clients about the system and insurance obligations for houses in France. In this text, I will discuss the legal framework surrounding home insurance in France and the obligations of homeowners.

Legal framework for home insurance in France

Home insurance, or “assurance habitation” in French, is not mandatory in France. However, it is strongly recommended for homeowners to protect their property against unforeseeable events such as theft, fire, and natural disasters. Home insurance is regulated by French law, and insurance companies must comply with certain standards to provide coverage.

Types of home insurance in France

There are two main types of home insurance in France: “multirisque habitation” and “responsabilité civile”. “Multirisque habitation” covers the homeowner’s property and its contents against various risks such as fire, theft, water damage, and natural disasters. “Responsabilité civile” covers the homeowner’s liability for damages caused to third parties such as neighbors, visitors, or tenants.

Obligations of homeowners in France

Homeowners in France have certain obligations when it comes to home insurance. First, they must ensure that their property is adequately insured against unforeseeable events. They are also required to notify their insurance company of any changes to their property or its use, such as renting it out to tenants. Failure to comply with these obligations may result in a loss of coverage or legal liability.

Insuring rental properties in France

If a homeowner in France decides to rent out their property, they are required by law to provide their tenants with “responsabilité civile” coverage. This coverage protects the tenant’s liability for damages caused to third parties, such as neighbors or visitors. The homeowner is also responsible for insuring the property against risks such as fire, theft, and natural disasters.

Consequences of not having home insurance in France

In France, home insurance (assurance habitation) is not mandatory by law, but it is highly recommended. Without home insurance, you may face significant financial consequences if an unforeseen event occurs, such as a fire, theft, or natural disaster.

Here are some of the potential consequences of not having home insurance in France:

Financial loss: If your home is damaged or destroyed due to an unforeseen event, you will be responsible for covering the cost of repairs or rebuilding. This can be a significant financial burden, especially if the damage is extensive.

Liability: If someone is injured on your property, you may be held liable for their medical expenses and other damages. Without insurance, you would have to pay these costs out of pocket.

Loss of personal belongings: If your personal belongings are stolen or damaged, you will have to pay to replace them without insurance coverage.

Legal expenses: If you are sued by someone who is injured on your property, you may have to pay for legal expenses and court fees.

Difficulty obtaining a loan: If you are planning to obtain a mortgage or loan to purchase a home, most lenders will require you to have home insurance as a condition of the loan. Without insurance, it may be difficult to obtain financing.


It’s important for homeowners to carefully review their insurance policies and make sure they have the coverage they need to protect their investment and themselves from potential financial losses. A French real estate lawyer will guide you through this process.

About the Author :

Business lawyers, bilingual, specialized in acquisition law; Benoit Lafourcade is co-founder of Delcade lawyers & solicitors and founder of FRELA; registered as agents in personal and professional real estate transactions. Member of AAMTI (main association of French lawyers and agents).

FRELA : French Real Estate Lawyer Agency, specializing in acquisition law to secure real estate and business transactions in France.

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