Requirement for Gite guests to be insured when taking a rental

This came up in discussion today and made me wonder. The statement was that when booking a gite in France, it was necessary for guests to have their own insurance against damage in a similar way to taking out insurance for a car rental.

Does anyone know about this?

If so, are there simple ways of making sure this happens?

I think it’s mainly a problem for guests from the UK. In France, your household insurance automatically covers gites and other premises that you rent / occupy temporarily, so anyone who lives in France and has household insurance has this insurance already and doesn’t have to do anything. I think it’s the same in most EU countries. UK household insurance doesn’t include this but you can find travel insurance that specifically does include it. There are a couple of insurers who offer this insurance separately but it’s probably cheaper to get it as part of your travel insurance.

Thank you. I am fine with that.

I should have said that we have gites and my concern is how do we ensure that those who rent from us have adequate cover as they would be liable, for example, if the whole property was totally damaged by fire.

I have not seen any standard terms and conditions which other sites use which cover this point, although they do advise that guests should arrange travel insurance. Proving that they have adequate cover could become tricky!

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This type of insurance has always been a pretty standard requirement for most French rental companies e.g Gites de France, Clévacances etc. It’s know as Assurance Villégiature - normally included in French household insurance to provided Civil Responsibility insurance whilst on holiday.

Here’s a link to a specimen GdF contract

The reason I became aware of what I posted above, is that now and again I translate gite contracts from French to English for French gite owners, and the contracts always state quite clearly that the guest must have insurance. Sometimes the contract requires the guest to send a copy of their insurance policy a certain number of days in advance of arrival, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes the contract also adds a special paragraph explaining the situation to UK customers and recommending they take out the appropriate travel insurance or a separate policy. I guess it’s up to the gite owner to deal with it in whatever way they want, to make sure they’re covered in case as you say the guests accidentally burn the place down.

It is very difficult to enforce, we have been doing gites for ages, always recommend taking out travel insurance, and we always get a caution/damage deposit. Fortunately, or luckily maybe, never had a major damage problem. Had a major cleaning problem recently, but don’t think travel insurance covers people being disgusting or having no respect.

Apparently we are only really covered if the contract is in FRENCH too and translated by a French
Lawyer…or so my insurance agent tells me.
We never really know who is going to be coming to stay.

Completely correct Barbara.

Thanks for the link Simon…very interesting…

I have friends who hope to startup a Gite business in the Charente… and we are all gathering what info we can to pass on to them…

Translations of contracts normally add a cause saying that the translation is provided for guidance only and only the French version of the contract is legally binding. The contract is subject to French law and a French court won’t rule on a contract written in English; there are certain terms that have very specific meanings under French law that have no exact equivalent in English simply because the same concept does not exist in England.

Yes I suppose so…
But many clients would not understand.
Complicated…just like every thing else these days.

When we took out our house insurance the man from La Mutuelle de Cluny came out to the house and looked around. We told him that we used the second house as a gite and he put cover into our policy. It did not cost any more.

Jane hi - this is about your guests being appropriately insured, not you.

Hi Simon, I understand that, but as far as we know we do not have many guests who will have that type of transferable insurance.
Do you know if Belgian or Dutch insurance covers them, as these people make up the bulk of our guests?
Do you not accept guests unless they have their own insurance?

Hi Jane - ‘normally’ non-French residents will have some type of travel insurance providing the required cover. My own T’s & C’s require my guests to be appropriately insured - so, no - I don’t accept reservations from those without at least civil responsibility insurance.

Since posting this I have spoken to our insurance company to check the detail. Our policy does, in fact, cover us and our guests if they have a serious mishap. The company will reimburse us and then claim against the client or client’s insurance. It seems the devil is in the detail, so worth checking with our own company if you have any doubts.

It sounds from that more as if your policy covers you but leaves your guests well exposed. They’re not going to like having your insurance company claiming against them if they didn’t have insurance and hadn’t been warned, are they. Doubt if they’d be back next year!

That’s great Alison and you’re right - the devil is indeed in the detail. What if your clients cause wilful damage to the property or THEY injure someone else at your property? True your insurance company will claim from theirs but only if THEY are appropriately insured for holiday accommodation.

Quite right, but we always advise guests to take out appropriate insurance. Whether they do and the level at which they do this has to be their responsibility.

Agreed, especially for non french clientele.