Public liability cover has always been included in the building section of a home insurance, often referred to as public liability for family (responsabilidade civil familiar) but this does not cover anyone renting the property.
As per article 13-A of law 62/2018 from August 22nd, revised by article 347 of law 71/2018 from December 31st, all operators of short-term rental properties (titulares da exploração) are obliged to obtain a public liability insurance for their property with a minimum coverage of 75,000€ per liability case.
The article in question also makes clear that the operator of the property and their tenants are jointly responsible for any damage caused to the building in which the accommodation is inserted and that the operator of the property must obtain a non-contractual public liability insurance which covers damage caused to tenants and third parties as a result of the provided accommodation services;
Whenever the accommodation is an apartment or a townhouse, i.e. a property with communal areas, the operator of the property is furthermore obliged to contract an insurance which covers fire damage.
Failure to comply with this new requirement is grounds for cancellation of the registration of the property at the National Local Lodging Registry (RNAL – Registo Nacional de Alojamento Local).
Operators who registered their property before the 22nd of October 2018 were given two years, as from the aforementioned date, to adapt to the new legal requirements which does not mean that a public liability insurance is not required until then.
Since the legally defined minimum coverage may be inadequate if a claim was to be made by serious injury it is advisable to contract a substantially higher coverage. The operator of the property would be responsible for the excess of any award made by a court over the amount covered by the insurance.