So far everything is fairly simple but don’t let us forget that we are in France and something that seems straightforward at the start can rapidly become rather complicated! In fact, if you ask your insurance company the simple question, “What must I do?”, he will simply reply, “It’s not complicated: you just ask each client to produce a holiday extension certificate (“extension de villégiature” in French), which very often is one of the guarantees included in the client’s own comprehensive home insurance. This clause allows the client’s own comprehensive home insurance to function during his holiday in your property.”
In effect, this extension ensures your client for potential damage that he might cause to your property (water, fire and theft), or to that of your neighbours during his stay, by transferring certain guarantees (third party liability insurance) from the client’s principal dwelling to your property that he is renting on the Ile de Ré.
Following this principle, this special holiday extension certificate is the ideal solution. Nevertheless, this does not necessarily completely solve the problem, for at least three reasons:
- Your furniture (in particular the linen-covered sofa I mentioned before), will only be covered by the insurance if the damage was caused by a specific event such as a fire or water leak. But the greasy chocolate stain which the dear little child might have left when eating a pain au chocalat on the sofa, will not be covered.
- Despite what some insurance companies might say, it isn’t always easy to ask each client for a valid holiday extension certificate, as some clients do not understand that your property must be insured by them and not just by you, the owner. This is particularly true for luxury rentals.
- Lastly, if for example, you have Russian or Chinese clients, and there will likely be more of these in future, it is up to you to explain in English why in France they must produce a holiday extension certificate and, should they produce this document on arrival, it is up to you to check that it is valid and that all risks are covered.
Another solution would be to ask the client to take out a specific insurance for this type of stay (holiday insurance), which would then include a third party liability clause for accidental damage caused to any furnishings and fittings such as the linen sofa, as well as to parts of the actual building, all of which belong to the owner of the property. This guarantee very often contains a maximum claim limit and an excess, which you should check. It is important to note that this insurance must remain optional and can never be imposed on the client nor be included nor hidden in the rental price.