Living in Belgium
You can find insurance agencies under “assurances/verzekeringsmaatschappijen” in the Yellow Pages but of course it is better to have personal recommendations from your company or colleagues.
There are four main areas of insurance cover: fire, theft, car insurance, and third party/family liability. Contracts are for one year and are renewed automatically, but as a foreigner, you may ask for a rupture clause allowing you to terminate the contract if you have to leave Belgium for professional reasons. Cancellation must be in writing, sent by registered post, three months before the expiration date.
Fire and Theft insurance
Your lease usually requires you to take insurance for fire and water damage. In the event of a fire it is difficult to prove how it started and therefore it is counted as the tenant's liability. It is advisable to have your broker visit the property to ascertain the value. In addition, a complete inventory of the contents should be carried out in order to obtain a realistic global value.
Make sure theft is covered in your insurance.
Insurance companies sometimes insist on changing the locks or installing a official alarm systems in order to offer this type of cover.
c) All Risk Insurance is subscribed to as an additional cover to the standard Fire and Theft Insurance, and is subscribed to as to obtain a refund amounting, to the cost of replacement. This type of insurance is sub-divided into several categories:
- All risk Jewellery
- All risk Works of Art
- All risk Photographic and Video Equipment
- All risk Computer and Electronic Equipment
a) Third Party Insurance
This is the obligatory part, subject to a no claims bonus scale, on the basis of which together with the vehicle's power output, the premium is calculated. Your green card must be carried in the car at all times. You can take a full cover out but this is expensive and not normally recommended for cars over three years old.
b) All Risk Insurance
An optional contract, the premium is calculated on the basis of the vehicle's catalogue value, net of VAT.
Covers your legal responsibilities to a third party within the context of your private life. For example: if you have not cleared the snow and ice from the pavement in front of your house and someone falls you are held responsible and will have to pay for the damage. It is also legally required that you take out a cover for anyone working on your premises; i.e.. cleaning ladies, gardeners etc.