In France it is mandatory to have your domicile insured with Assurance Habitation or home insurance, even if you're the tenant and not the owner. It is not the responsibility of the owner but the tenant to purchase Assurance Habitation. A landlord will not give you access to a domicile until you supply an attestation - a signed letter stating you have Assurance Habitation. There is no way around not getting this insurance.
Any insurance company can sell you Assurance Habitation and they all seem to be about the same in price. For an apartment you can expect to pay between 150 to 250 euros per year. Assurance Habitation very easy to buy and doesn't take long. You just need your address and to make payment. Once payment is made an attestation can be printed out for you.