Key expat insurance in Belgium

Key expat insurance in Belgium

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Other than health insurance, there are several other important insurances in Belgium for expats. Learn what they are to ensure your safety and avoid unexpected expenses.[Contributed by ING Belgium]

We all want to protect ourselves against unforeseen big ticket mishaps, even if it sometimes means paying a yearly hefty insurance premium.

Health insurance is mandatory and a well-developed topic in Belgium while other types of insurance are not often discussed. Expat insurance provider ING Belgium discusses the various key insurances available to expats in Belgium.  

Fire, theft or civil liability insurance for your property (highly advisable and often contractually obliged) is the second most obvious example of a key insurance. Car insurance (legally mandatory in Belgium) is another.

Premiums may vary between insurance companies even if the conditions of the insurance are the same. There are also many cases of low insurance premiums linked to a more limited cover of insurance. It is thus important to compare and research various insurance offerings. Read what is covered and ask questions.

As an expat, some insurance coverages do not continue when you move between countries. Car insurance is a typical example. The insurance company in your home country will often not have an offer to insure cars registered in your host country.

More peculiar is the situation with travel insurance. Unless you have an international insurance, a regular travel insurance policy will typically state in the terms and conditions that there is no longer insurance cover if you leave the country for more than a certain period of time. Do not forget to cancel such insurance and take out a new policy in the country of destination or an international insurance.

Expats employed by companies often get some insurance cover paid for by their employer. Nevertheless, it is important to check the reach of that cover. Who is included? Only the expat? His accompanying family? Does he need to be married for his or her partner to be included? What with same sex partners? What with a family member studying abroad?

Double insurance is to be avoided, but no insurance is surely worse.

Last but not least, there is insurance linked to you renting a house or apartment: Renter civil liability insurance. The landlord may include it in your rent. A good insurance gives you the option to also include the following: the content of your apartment or house, insurance against burglary, family insurance and damage to third parties.

A thorough check on whether you have all the insurance you need is important. It may not only save you money but more importantly clarify for which risks you are not or under-insured. When something bad happens it is too late. You cannot take out insurance for the past.

Dave Deruytter
Head of Expats & Non-Residents at ING Belgium

Contributed by ING Belgium
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