I rent an apartment and move out soon. Will the insurance cover damages in my apartment?
The insurance that is responsible for these kinds of damages is called: “Personal Liability Insurance” (in French: Responsabilité civile privée). To reply this question we took AXA Company as an example. We have made some studies of the conditions and also called to their hotline. At the first part we will explain you who is covered and what is covered based on their general conditions. On the second part we will provide you with the comments that we received based on the phone talk with the representative.
General Conditions of Personal Liability Insurance. What is covered?
To reply the question above we shall have a careful look on the section “Which liability claims can one insure oneself against?” I should admit that it is easy to find all the conditions on the web site of AXA. They are also translated into 4 languages, so, if you want to investigate the question, it is relatively easy.
“Which liability claims can one insure oneself against?
Personal liability insurance covers claims arising from personal injury or damage to property (GIP A 1) which is brought against you or members of your family (GIP A 2) in your private capacity. This also includes claims, which you are liable for as a homeowner, tenant, head of a family, animal owner or which occur while you are practicing any kind of sport.”
A 1.: What does the insurance cover?
- homicide, bodily injury or other injuries to the health of persons (personal injury);
- destruction, damage or loss of property (property damage). Homicide, injury or other injury to the health of animals and the loss of animals are treated in the same way as damage to property.
Who and what is insured based on General Conditions of Personal Liability Insurance? Note: we only check damages related to an apartment/house.
This insurance will cover damage or loss of property (property damage) unless third parties are involved. In other words, it will cover damages of walls/windows (only due to accident) in case, if your family members caused them, provided that they live in this house. It means that they are registered there.
Moreover the insurance will cover third parties that provide you with help for free. Have a close look here:
“A2.2.: The insurance also covers
Employees and assistants of the insured for loss/damage caused to third parties while carrying out activities against payment or free of charge that concern the private sphere of an insured pursuant to A 2.1; caretakers only if they work for an insured property. The insurance does not cover self-employed professionals or persons working for a company;
Other persons in their capacity as:
- head of the family for loss/damage caused by insured minor children and other persons who share the same household temporarily;
- keeper of the animals of an insured that are left in their care temporarily. The insurance does not cover people who care for animals in a professional capacity;
- owner of a plot of land on which an insured building stands.”
Insurance Case. I scratched a wall in my apartment. Will insurance cover it? Which insurance covers it?
To understand what is covered we called to AXA and asked questions. I should admit that the conversation was not an easy going one. I did not receive a representative with a good level of English. Moreover my questions really blocked two persons. If you want more clear information, you should investigate yourself with a contract or an offer for contract in your hands and it’s better, if you visit their office.
Conversation with AXA representative:
CARBONIE: If I rent an apartment from real estate agency or a private individual, and I make some scratches on the walls will it be covered by “Personal Liability Insurance”?
AXA: Well, it depends. Depends, if it’s an accident or inappropriate use of the apartment.
CARBONIE: What is considered to be inappropriate use of apartment?
AXA: Let’s say, if you cook and never clean oil from the walls after it’s almost impossible to get rid of oily spots unless you use professional cleaning service. These kinds of damages will not be covered by insurance.
Comment: General conditions – Inappropriate use.:
“A 12. 2.: The insurance does not cover claims for (23) the performance of contracts or substituted performance due to non-performance or incorrect performance (business hazard)”.
CARBONIE: All right… Can you give me more examples?
AXA: When you do not make proper work at home. It’s quite logical. You should understand. We also do not cover damages that come with time. Let’s say if you live in an old apartment and at one moment paintings on the wall are distorted due to time. These kinds of damages are considered to be “damages from time”.
Comment: General conditions – What does the insurance exclude?:
- “Wear and tear, claims arising from damage which should in all probability have been anticipated (e. g. stained walls due to many years of smoking in a rented property);
- Claims arising from gradual damage (e.g. damage caused by damp in a rented property caused by failure to air rooms);
- A 13. 8.: Claims arising from wear and tear. The insurance in particular does not cover claims arising from wear and tear, regular use, excessive use or deliberate changes to the rented property (holes made by dowels, nails, etc.) and the restoration of the rented property to the original condition;
- A 13. 9.: for damage which should in all probability have been anticipated;”
CARBONIE: I got it. What is considered to be an accident?
AXA: It also depends. We cannot provide the full list of damages. Only if a scratch on the wall was maid by accident the insurance will cover it.
CARBONIE: I guess, if it’s not done by third party that provide me with a service and the service is not a free of charge? All right, and how do you check the insurance cases?
AXA: You should call to insurance claim department. I think, they can come to your place and check the damages.
So, to sum it up, “Personal Liability Insurance” covers damages of the walls/floors etc. only if they are considered to be an accident (something that you cannot anticipate) and only if they are done by people that are registered and live in apartment.
If you have noticed any mistake in the text or would like to share your experience with any other company, feel free to do it in the comments. Insurance brokers and representatives are more than welcome to give their feedback, make comments and comparison between insurances but without commercial offers.