robbery in hotels

Theft in a hotel room in France, what liability?

The liability of hotels for theft is provided for by the Civil Code

Indeed, article 1952 of the Civil Code provides that: “innkeepers or hoteliers are responsible, as custodians, for clothing, luggage and various objects brought into their establishment by the traveler staying with them: the deposit of these kinds of effects must be regarded as a necessary deposit “.

And article 1953 of the Civil Code provides that hoteliers “are liable for theft or damage to these effects, whether the theft was committed or the damage was caused by their employees, or by third parties coming and going in the hotel […]    ».

The responsibility of hoteliers in case of theft is severe, they have an obligation of custody of result, that is to say that it is enough to establish that the goods have disappeared in the hotel room for the responsibility of the establishment to be engaged.

Compensation for theft in a hotel in France

As a matter of principle, hoteliers’ liability is limited:

  • 100 times the price per night for belongings stolen from the room
  • 50 times the price of the night for belongings stolen from the vehicle parked in the hotel car park

Nevertheless, by way of exception, the hotelier’s liability is unlimited:

  • In case of theft or deterioration of objects of any kind deposited in the hands of the hotelier, so this may be the case of objects placed in a safe
  • When the hotelier has refused to receive objects without legitimate reason, so the hotelier will be required to compensate the traveler for all of his damage
  • In case of fault of the hotelier or the persons for whom he must answer, what will the victim have to establish

Hotel Liability Insurance in France

Liability insurance in hotels in France is a fundamental part of the hotel operation in the country. This type of insurance is designed to protect hotel owners and operators from possible claims and legal liabilities that may arise during their operation.

One of the main coverages of French hotel liability insurance is protection against injury and damage to guests. If a guest is injured while at the hotel due to the negligence of the property, this insurance can cover medical costs, rehabilitation, and compensation for damages suffered. This includes accidents that occurred in the hotel facilities, such as falls on stairs, slipping on wet floors or accidents in the pool, among others.

In addition to guest liability coverage, the insurance may also cover damage and theft to third-party property. This means protection in the event of damage to properties neighboring the hotel due to fire, flood or other incidents originating from the hotel.

France hotel liability insurance may also include coverage in cases of professional negligence. This implies protection against claims related to errors or negligence in the provision of professional services, such as problems with reservations, errors in billing or problems with the quality of the services offered.

It is important to note that the specific coverages may vary depending on the insurance policy and the needs of the hotel. Some hotels in France may choose to extend their coverage to include special events, such as conferences or weddings, or to protect against additional risks, such as data theft or cyber-attack.

In conclusion, French hotel liability insurance is essential protection for hotel owners and operators in the country. Provides financial peace of mind by covering medical costs, compensation and legal expenses in case of injury or damage to guests, as well as protection against other legal claims. By investing in adequate insurance, hotels can operate with confidence and fulfill their duty of care towards their guests and the general public, knowing that they are protected against possible contingencies.

What happens in the presence of limitation of liability clauses?

It is not uncommon for hoteliers and their insurers to deny their liability by invoking such clauses.

First of all, the limitation or exclusive clauses of liability are valid provided that:

  • there is no willful misconduct or gross negligence on the part of the debtor
  • that the customer has been aware of this clause and has accepted its principle.

In such a case, it will be up to the hotelier to provide proof of the knowledge and acceptance of this clause by the customer.

The case law interprets the validity of these clauses very restrictively.

If you, or someone close to you, has been the victim of a theft in a hotel in France, the BCVLEX team is at your disposal to evaluate your file, advise you and accompany you in your compensation process.


Kathleen Doyeux

BCVLEX France.