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You are here: Home Finance & Business Pensions & Insurance Insurance in Belgium
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09/11/2012Insurance in Belgium

Insurance in Belgium Health, home and car insurance, here is our comprehensive guide to good coverage in Belgium.

Health

Healthcare insurance is a part of the Belgian Social Security system and to benefit you must join a health insurance fund mutuelle (mutualité)/ziekenfonds (mutualiteit). Once you are employed by a Belgian company your contributions and those of your employer will be automatically deducted from your salary by the ONSS (National Office of Social Security). Then you sign up with a health insurance fund, which will reimburse your medical costs. To take you on they will need written certification of employment signed by your employer.

Although most funds are affiliated to a religious or political institution there is no real difference, because reimbursement rates are fixed by the government. These funds do not, however, cover 100 percent of your bills; you may get around half to three-quarters of a typically doctor’s or specialist’s visit. Check also with your doctor that what he prescribes is refundable. Pharmacies maintain a state-advised list. Consequently, many people opt for additional private insurance (

complémentaire). Once insured you get a standardised credit card style SIS card which you will need in pharmacies and hospitals. You also get a sheet of ‘Dickensian’ stickers (vignettes), which you need to attach to a doctor’s bill to get a refund.

Car

Belgian car insurance is expensive, and it is the car not the driver that is insured. This means that anyone can drive your car, but if you want cover for injury sustained by the driver you need to ask for additional coverage. The minimum insurance required by Belgian law is Third-Party Liability (Responsabilité Civile/wetteligjke aansprakelijkheids verzekering), which covers death, bodily injury, or physical damage that you cause to another person. You can opt for Fully Comprehensive coverage, which provides for most eventualities including vandalism, fire, theft, or damage resulting from a collision. There is also a Part Comprehensive cover, which includes Third Party along with fire cover. Like insurance in other European nations, a no-claims bonus scheme is the norm.

The insurance company will issue you with a Green Card, which you should keep in your car at all times. You will also receive an accident report form, which you must keep in your car. Ask for additional copies in French, Dutch, and your language, so you can complete it more easily. If an accident happens, do the following:

  • Ask for the other driver’s Green Card as proof of insurance
  • Get the names and addresses of any witnesses before they leave the scene
  • Fill in the accident report form (and get both parties to sign)
  • State the facts but nothing else regarding liability.


Home

 Insurance in BelgiumWhether you own or rent your property, you need to get home insurance. Almost all rental agreements in Belgium require the tenant to take out insurance on the rented property within 30 days of signing a lease. This insurance is required by the Belgian Civil Code, which holds a tenant responsible for any damage to the building unless proof can be given that it was not his/her fault. If you are renting, take your lease with you when you arrange your insurance. You are also responsible for providing coverage against third-party liability, but the owner is required to have a policy covering the property against earthquakes, lightning, fire, etc. If you are in furnished accommodation you are required to take out insurance against damage to the landlord’s furniture.

Homeowners may have a policy linked to their mortgage, but there is no obligation to do this. Additionally, if you employ a part-time or fulltime cleaner or nanny you need to take out special low-cost liability insurance in case they injure themselves on the job; for instance, slipping on the stairs. Homebuyers are responsible for the insurance after signing the compromis de vente - around four months before they get the keys. Contents insurance is not compulsory but advisable. Remember that theft is not covered automatically in contents insurance; but is available as an option. Valuable personal items, such as jewellery or cameras, may require an All Risks policy, which will cover you for damage or loss in or out of the home. Premiums on desirables such as laptop computers tend to be high.

Sources
www.socialsecurity.fgov.be/en/
www.belgium.be/en
http://driving.drive-alive.co.uk

 

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6 reactions to this article

Brian Iselin posted: 2008-10-22 16:44:50

I note your comment that car insurance is expensive. I just received a quote from ING for comprehensive cover for a VW Golf: more than 3000EUR. That is more than expensive: I am flabbergasted. You might consider changing your text to: Car insurance in Belgium is appalingly expensive.

Kris posted: 2008-11-19 11:15:20

I left my car on the street and three hours later I found it completely crushed. No phone number left behind, no evidence, no whitness. I had a Mini Omnium, or "Low-cost comprehensive policy", as you call it, and it doesn't pay me at all. Not even for total loss, as it is my case. So I do not recommend it to anyone.Even if the Full Omnium is expensive, go for it. By the way, Brian, 3000 Euros is way too much for a Golf. Change company. :-)

Ann Demaret posted: 2011-04-03 13:12:55

I am belgian, and now live in U.K Will my SIS card cover me for private medicine in England? Thank-you

Jacky Devis posted: 2012-05-07 12:29:56

I'm importing my car bought in France to Belgium and Renault doesn't know how to get the COC Certificate of conformite. I search the web and have seen companies charging anything from 164€ to 250€. Should it cost that much? where do I actually get the certificate from?

Kendra posted: 2012-09-20 00:14:53

Im getting stationed in Belguium...im coming from the US.. need to find good car insurance...my insurance in the States and its going to go from $106 USD to $248 USD.

denis sheahan posted: 2013-09-25 21:22:35

[Edited by moderator. Please post (elaborate) questions on Ask the Expert or on our Forums. If you have questions for the Expatica staff, please contact us directly.]

6 reactions to this article

Brian Iselin posted: 2008-10-22 16:44:50

I note your comment that car insurance is expensive. I just received a quote from ING for comprehensive cover for a VW Golf: more than 3000EUR. That is more than expensive: I am flabbergasted. You might consider changing your text to: Car insurance in Belgium is appalingly expensive.

Kris posted: 2008-11-19 11:15:20

I left my car on the street and three hours later I found it completely crushed. No phone number left behind, no evidence, no whitness. I had a Mini Omnium, or "Low-cost comprehensive policy", as you call it, and it doesn't pay me at all. Not even for total loss, as it is my case. So I do not recommend it to anyone.Even if the Full Omnium is expensive, go for it. By the way, Brian, 3000 Euros is way too much for a Golf. Change company. :-)

Ann Demaret posted: 2011-04-03 13:12:55

I am belgian, and now live in U.K Will my SIS card cover me for private medicine in England? Thank-you

Jacky Devis posted: 2012-05-07 12:29:56

I'm importing my car bought in France to Belgium and Renault doesn't know how to get the COC Certificate of conformite. I search the web and have seen companies charging anything from 164€ to 250€. Should it cost that much? where do I actually get the certificate from?

Kendra posted: 2012-09-20 00:14:53

Im getting stationed in Belguium...im coming from the US.. need to find good car insurance...my insurance in the States and its going to go from $106 USD to $248 USD.

denis sheahan posted: 2013-09-25 21:22:35

[Edited by moderator. Please post (elaborate) questions on Ask the Expert or on our Forums. If you have questions for the Expatica staff, please contact us directly.]

 
 
 
 
 
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