What is third party liability cover?

What is student liability insurance? It is about repairing damage caused to others, either in everyday life or in the context of a contract. What are the grounds for exemption from liability? What is the scope of student (or young working) civil liability in a student home insurance policy?

What is Civil Liability?

Civil liability refers to the obligation of any person to repair the damage he or she causes to others or to the property of others. This civil liability may be of a tortious or contractual nature (for example in a student civil liability insurance). 

Tort liability is an unintentional act, but one that has legal consequences (such as a traffic accident). In contractual liability, the signatories of a contract deliberately intend to subject their relationship to rights and obligations. 

Articles 1240 to 1244 of the Civil Code govern the main principles of civil liability. 

In tort, there are different forms of liability. 

Firstly, personal liability, where a person’s fault causes damage to others (e.g. in the case of recklessness, negligence or omission). 

More anecdotally in student liability insurance, liability also makes one responsible for the actions of those for whom one is responsible (e.g. parents responsible for damage caused by their child). 

One can also be liable for things belonging to or in one’s custody. This applies to buildings, because a defective building can also cause damage to third parties (such as water damage to neighbours). 

As for contractual liability, a person may be held liable if he or she fails to perform his or her contractual obligations properly.

Student Civil Liability insurance is a guarantee included in student housing contracts. In certain cases, it provides for compensation to the insured in the event of damage caused to others. 

Cases of exemption

Apart from an insurance contract covering certain risks, there are only 3 cases of exoneration allowing the person responsible for the damage to be partially or totally exonerated from his liability: force majeure, inexcusable or intentional fault on the part of the victim and the act of a third party.

Force majeure is an external, unforeseeable, irresistible event (such as a storm) and constitutes a cause of exoneration in your Student Civil Liability.

Intentional or inexcusable fault refers to the case where the victim, by his action, bears some responsibility for the occurrence of the damage, because he was motivated by an intention to cause harm (for example, a person deliberately starting a fire). 

Student liability insurance also provides for third party exemption, which refers to the situation where the intervention of a third party in a damage can partially or totally exempt you. For example, a motorist avoids a car that has just run a stop sign and hits a cyclist.

Otherwise, the person responsible without student civil liability must repair the damage caused to third parties (such as health costs not covered by Social Security).

Student Civil Liability Insurance

In the context of a student home insurance policy, a Civil Liability guarantee will cover you for 3 types of risks:

Personal liability

It is not compulsory but is strongly recommended. It covers damage to property and personal injury caused to third parties by yourself, by members of your household (for example your spouse if you live in the same house), or by objects belonging to you or in your care. This damage must occur in the context of private life. 

However, student liability insurance will not cover damage caused intentionally by the insured. 

Recourse from neighbours and third parties
As a tenant, you are covered by this guarantee (also called Civil Liability for the dwelling) for the consequences of damage caused to neighbours or third parties and originating in your student accommodation (such as a fire). It also applies to persons for whom you are responsible for objects belonging to you or in your custody. 

If an insured person is not obliged to take out this cover in his or her home insurance policy, the recourse cover for neighbours and third parties is an option in the student civil liability policy that is strongly recommended for the tenant or owner (occupant or non-occupant) of student accommodation.

Rental risk cover

Rental risk insurance or rental liability insurance is compulsory. It covers you vis-à-vis your landlord or the building against damage to the rented accommodation resulting from water damage, fire or explosion.

N.B.: Some multi-risk student home insurance policies also include coverage for defence costs or legal protection.


Student Civil Liability insurance covers you against the financial consequences of damage that you, your relatives or objects belonging to you or in your care may cause to others or to the property of others (your landlord, your neighbours, etc.).

Once you have signed your Etudassur multi-risk home insurance contract online, you will automatically receive your Civil Liability certificate by email and you will also be able to download it to your personal space.

Civil Liability is found in car insurance and in business insurance (Professional Civil Liability). In your home insurance, the student civil liability insurance is a guarantee that manifests itself in 3 ways: the civil liability for private life, the civil liability for recourse from neighbours and third parties, and the rental risks guarantee.

Civil liability insurance can be taken out individually. However, it is automatically included in certain contracts, such as Etudassur’s comprehensive home insurance contracts. You can download the certificate or ask your insurer.

The Etudassur student home insurance or student travel insurance contains a school civil liability. This school insurance covers you if you cause damage during your studies or during a work placement in France or abroad. This will be automatically sent to you by email when you take out an insurance policy via Etudassur.

Student civil liability insurance is included in home insurance. However, be sure to look at the guarantees covered by the Civil Liability, which may be more or less extensive depending on the insurance company (the Civil Liability guarantee for private life is not always included, even in certain multi-risk contracts, which means that insurance prices are fairly low, but with limited cover in the event of a claim…)

In an Etudassur multi-risk home insurance policy, a student’s Civil Liability insurance covers risks in the context of his private life, recourse from neighbours and third parties and rental risks vis-à-vis his landlord or the building.

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