There was a very sad story on BBC news this morning, which might act as a warning to others. A thatched cottage was totally burnt down when the thatch on the next door house caught fire. The lady owner had let the insurance lapse and she thought she would be covered by the neighbour's insurance. However, this only holds good if there has been negligence leading to the event.
In France, you have to have insurance whether you are an owner or a tenant, and it covers third party risks. If you have an open fire of any kind, you have to send the insurance company a copy of your bill for chimney sweeping each year.
I hope all of you have full cover, for your house if not for its contents.