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A specific question re: insurance for rental apartment

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Nova Scotia Canada
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A specific question re: insurance for rental apartment

I am renting an apartment in Paris for two weeks for the first time in September. I already have both health and trip cancellation insurance of my own. The apartment rental company is offering their own insurance at a rate of 5 % of the rent. My question is should I purchase their insurance as a protection against something going wrong with the plumbing, electrical work, etc.

I don't see the necessity in having two policies for trip cancellation.

New York City, New...
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1. Re: A specific question re: insurance for rental apartment

Just confirm with your travel insurance company whether or not they they will cover that specific cost. Then decide.

Edited: 11 March 2013, 23:29
Los Angeles
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for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
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2. Re: A specific question re: insurance for rental apartment

Check with the company. We almost rented from a company that, it turns out, requires proof of insurance before they will actually give you the keys (this is unusual, I think, but they had a web link to the place to buy insurance). After many emails back and forth (and me not being able to see the quote, even though the landlord sent me sign in information and a password), I gave up.

The insurance was *not* cancellation insurance. It was apartment insurance and it covered any damage (by ourselves or others) while we were occupants. It included theft (by anyone) of any of the apartment's furnishings, graffiti, etc. In other words, we were going to be held responsible for any damage of any kind to the apartment, without said insurance (which came in various deductibles). I have been on other apartment rental sites where it says insurance is strongly encouraged (and where they make it clear that you're personally liable for any damage - whether caused by you, a guest, or an intruder - while in the apartment).

Made me think twice about those apartment agencies (the ones we use simply collect a damage deposit, and the contracts specify the only damage we're responsible for is what we ourselves cause...so far, we've managed to collect our deposits back in full each time).

Brisbane, Australia
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3. Re: A specific question re: insurance for rental apartment

I may be naive, but shouldn't insurance taken out by a tenant only relate to mitigating risk of the tenant's actions doing some damage to the premises? Surely the owner's insurance would cover something like, say, the hose connecting the water supply to the washing maching springing a leak? Similarly for an electrical fault that causes damage to an appliance or to furniture - I read in an apartment review that the tenant was relieved that the owner took responsibility for a lamp which melted when the bulb came into contact with the lamp shade - darn tooting he ought to!

If the tenant leaves a pan on the stove that smoulders and deposits soot over the walls and ceilings - that is the kind of circumstance that tenant insurance should cover, to my way of thinking?

Perhaps the bigger problem - one that might justify the tenant taking our blanket coverage for any damage whatsoever - is that there may be no tribunal to resolve a dispute between tenant and landlord over liability?

Are there some residents - maybe some resident lawyers - who can help us with this dilemna, please?

Los Angeles
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for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
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4. Re: A specific question re: insurance for rental apartment

From the emails back and forth, my sense of this particular landlord was that they wanted nothing to do with settling who did what to the apartment (it was a listing on VRBO, person owned several apartments in S-Germain). There certainly was such insurance. I got the feeling they'd been stiffed before by tenants who claimed they weren't responsible for whatever damage it was (but reading the insurance contract, in French, as best I could, left me with the impression that it covered everything from a broken window to a car smashing into the place...)

Check carefully with the rental agency to make sure that it's not *required*.

New Hampshire
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5. Re: A specific question re: insurance for rental apartment

Travel insurance doesn't cover the same things as the policy some rental companies require. If the rental company will not rent to you without the insurance they require, you'll have to make a decision.

Nova Scotia Canada
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6. Re: A specific question re: insurance for rental apartment

Thanks for the input. No, the insurance offered from the apartment agency is optional, not mandatory. Besides covering cancellation, the policy lists many "exclusions applying to cover for the Occupant's Civil Liability" and names things such as " breakdown of equipment available for use by the insured", "The cost of repair, unblocking or replacement of pipe work, taps and fittings attached to water and heating installations, "theft or loss of keys to the accommodation", "damage incurred by fixtures considered as fittings" - to name a few.

My confusion is in the use of the word"exclusions"- which to my way of thinking means these things are NOT covered- hence my question as to the necessity of buying this insurance.

Brisbane, Australia
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7. Re: A specific question re: insurance for rental apartment

If the agency cannot answer your questions clearly and simply, how do you know what your liabilities are and what you are paying for?

You ask about coverage of existing services in the apartment - things for which you cannot reasonably be held responsible if they should fail while you are staying there. If an agency required me to insure against failure of services installed by the owner or the owner's landlord, I would not accept the responsibility - and if it were a condition of rental, I would not rent from them.

Damage - accidental or otherwise, caused by you or by any person you invite into the apartment - is another matter. Warning you that you will be held liable, and that you can insure against that eventuality, is fair enough. Making such insurance a condition of rental and requiring that you take the insurance from the rental agency itself is a conflict of interest for the agency - not acceptable. Some agencies will recommend an external insurer. If you were concerned about insuring against damage, that would be a more acceptable option.

There is necessity and there is the insurance offered. Necessity is a call about risk - the place where you buy the cover from is something between you and the agency, or you and someone else.

Naples
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8. Re: A specific question re: insurance for rental apartment

Now, I'm getting a little concerned about the apartment we just rented. Below is the exact wording taken from the contract. We will, of course, purchase Travel Insurance from a carrier in the U.S. but I'm confused about what they mean by "French Law REQUIRES ...." ~ then go on to say such insurance policy is "at your discretion." Further, the "Jurisdiction" section is a bit unnerving. Any thoughts?

Travel Insurance

French law requires all parties to be covered by comprehensive Travel Insurance, including coverage for personal liability, while occupying a rental property. The purchase of such an insurance policy is at your own discretion.

Jurisdiction

Any disagreements or disputes concerning your rental of this apartment will be handled under French law and fall within the jurisdiction of the French courts.

Bedoin, France
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9. Re: A specific question re: insurance for rental apartment

Those are normal clauses Polly. I think what they are saying regarding "discretion" is that it is up to you to decide what (if any) insurance you purchase. If you do not purchase insurance, any damages you cause will be charged to you.

The French law jurisdiction is in nearly every contract I've ever signed. Totally normal and logical.

Edited: 12 March 2013, 14:45
Perpignan, France
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for Languedoc-Roussillon, Perpignan
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10. Re: A specific question re: insurance for rental apartment

"Further, the "Jurisdiction" section is a bit unnerving. Any thoughts?"

As Toutou said, it is normal : you rent a flat in France, you sign a contract valid under French law, disputes will be settled by French courts. Would you find it normal if a French person rented a flat in the US and asked for disputes to be settled by a French court?