Probably the most important type of insurance you can have in Belgium, joining a mutelle/ziekenfonds and taking out health insurance allows you to be reimbursed for medical care that you will need whilst in the country. After joining, there is a six-month waiting period before you will be reimbursed for any medical costs, although people who are entitled to benefits in another EU country will be covered.
If you are a permanent resident of Belgium, you need to have Belgian car insurance, regardless of whether you have imported a car from your last home or have bought one from you new one. It is the car, and not the driver, that is insured here.
There are three levels of insurance:
- Fully Comprehensive (Maxi Omnium/Volledig Casco): This policy is the highest level offered and covers pretty much everything
- Part Comprehensive (Mini Omnium/Mini Casco): This covers third party damage as well as fire
- Third Party Liability (Responsabilité Civile/wetteligjke aansprakelijkheids verzekering): This provides cover against damage to third party property as a result of an accident and is the most basic level you can have.
This is called assurance contenu or inboedelverzekering and is part of your home insurance which should cover you for fire, water damage, burglary and vandalism. It is interesting to note that the Belgian law does not require you to insure your home, however, if you are renting a property, the owner will usually stipulate that the insurance is needed. Similarly if you wish to take out a mortgage, most lenders will insist on this type of insurance. Speak to your bank and see what they can offer you for contents insurance first.
(image © Hebi B)
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