How do I insure my home as an expat in Belgium?

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Published on 2021-10-04 at 08:56
If you're thinking about moving to Belgium, taking out a home insurance policy will be one of your priorities. Here is everything you need to know.

With a capital like Brussels, which hosts several international institutions, Belgium is understandably home to numerous expatriates. But before you move and experience what Belgium has to offer, you'll need to find somewhere to live and think about insuring your new home. What type of home insurance is mandatory in Belgium? Tenant or owner: who is responsible? What does home insurance cover you for? What kind of insurance is best suited to expats? Here is everything you need to know!

Let's start with the basics: in Belgium, home insurance is normally mandatory, both for tenants and owners. In the rare situations in which it is not legally required (for example for tenants renting property in the Brussels area), in practice it is still unavoidable, as it is stipulated in most tenancy agreements.

What does home insurance in Belgium cover you for?

In everyday words, home insurance is often known as "fire insurance". However, it actually covers a very broad range of things. 

As a minimum, home insurance covers you against damage caused by:

  • Fire
  • Storms
  • Hail
  • Water
  • Natural disasters

You can also then of course select additional coverage to suit your specific needs (contents, theft, garden, swimming pool, etc.).

Why is home insurance mandatory in Belgium?

As a tenant, you are obliged to return the property in the state in which it was found when you signed the tenancy agreement. Insuring your home is therefore vital; if it is ravaged by flames and you are not covered, you could face a hefty bill.

As an owner of an apartment or house, you must repay your mortgage loan to the bank at the end of the agreed term. If your home is destroyed by a flood and you are not covered, you risk being left with nothing.

That's why Belgium places particular focus on security and equality when it comes to the rules on home insurance.

  • Security: without any insurance, a home that is destroyed by a fire or washed away by a flood could leave a family on the streets. The mandatory cover (in the majority of cases) for this type of disaster means that whatever happens, you still have a roof over your head.
  • Equality: all Belgian residents are obliged to cover themselves against the same risks, regardless of their personal situation. This means that someone renting an apartment on the 5th floor in Brussels is covered against the same risk of flooding as the owner of a house located on the bank of a river. This automatically creates a de facto level of solidarity between all insured parties.

What insurance policy do I need as an expat tenant in Belgium?

The insurance market in Belgium is extremely diverse, as reflected by the specially tailored "Home Insurance for Expats" solution launched by Immoweb. As the name suggests, it responds specifically to the needs and expectations of expats:

  • 100% digital: from running the price simulation to signing the contract and making a claim, everything can be completed online in seconds, with immediate coverage provided.
  • Multilingual customer service (French, Dutch, English, Spanish and Italian)
  • "Relocation fee" guarantee: if you have to leave your new home or say goodbye to Belgium before the end of your tenancy agreement, your landlord may charge you a relocation fee. Immoweb covers you against this risk under its basic package so that you can enjoy complete freedom and peace of mind.
  • A solution suitable for shared accommodation: Immoweb allows you to choose between joint insurance for all housemates or personal cover taken out by each housemate individually.

Click here to find out more about "Home Insurance for Expats member? Enjoy an exclusive 20% discount for the first year! Use the promo code : EXPAT21 

Company description
Immoweb, Belgium's top real estate site for over 20 years, has created Immoweb Protect, an insurance broker, to offer you the best experience for your property. Immoweb Protect is rated 4.5/5 on Trustpilot. Join thousands of other expats who trust us.