Thinking of buying or building a home? Or renting an apartment? Perhaps you are on the other side of the fence as an owner or landlord. Whatever position you are in, your home is worth protecting. We will help you find the right insurance for your house or apartment.
Which types of insurance do you need if you are buying a house?
The insurance options vary from one insurance company to another. You should therefore always ask for clearer info at your bank branch or from your insurance expert.
Protected by property insurance
Fire insurance policies vary. Certain policies provided by insurer A will not be provided in the package offered by insurance company B. You can assume that the average property insurance policy will protect you against the following:
- Damage to your home: such as fire and burglary, water and storm damage, glass breakage and explosions
- Your contents: your furniture and other items in your home
- Your legal liability to others: for example a water leak in your bathroom that also causes damage to your neighbours' property
You should take out property insurance as soon as you sign the contract of sale. This is certainly the case if you also acquire the ownership and keys at that time.
Loan balance insurance as a safety net
If you are buying a home, you will probably also take out a mortgage. You spread the repayments over several years. But what if you die during this period? Loan Balance Insurance will protect your next of kin from any negative financial consequences. If you die, your loved ones will not be saddled with the repayments. The outstanding mortgage capital will be fully or partially repaid, according to the option you've gone for.
Tip! The mortgage protection cover premiums may qualify for tax deduction. Ask about this when you take out the insurance.
You suddenly lose your job or unexpectedly become disabled... This can seriously disrupt repayment of your mortgage loan. When disaster strikes, you can rely on free Guaranteed Housing insurance. Guaranteed Housing insurance is a government initiative with a number of conditions attached.
There are many supplementary types of cover you can take out. Whether you are buying or renting. From demolition costs to a fire in your home that has damaged your neighbours' property as well: maximum protection can be as extensive as you want.
Which types of insurance should I take out if I am buying an apartment?
Can you cover yourself from A to Z if you are buying an apartment? Of course you can. You need the same kinds of insurance as when you buy a house. You should also include one more type of insurance: a joint policy.
What is a joint policy?
This is also known as a 'block policy' or 'co-ownership policy'. The association of joint owners or 'syndicate' takes out the insurance because the building in question has multiple units and therefore multiple owners. A joint policy is actually a form of property insurance.
Some of the key features:
- Taken out by the association of joint owners or syndicate.
- Covers the whole building and every co-owner's share
- Covers all private living units and the communal parts of the building
- You finance the insurance from your share of the building
Important: A block policy does not cover contents. If you are the owner-occupier of an apartment, you also have to pay the insurance company a visit.
What if you have bought the apartment in order to let it?
If there is a 'syndicate', you will be included in the block policy. But even if there is no syndicate, it is worth taking out your own property insurance. For example, in order to protect your property as well as your liability for damage caused to the surrounding apartments.
You do not need to worry about contents belonging to your tenant. It is up to them to take out contents insurance. Ask them to apply for tenants' insurance.
Waiver of recourse against your tenant
As a landlord, you want to make sure your tenant is insured for any damage they might cause to your property. This is how the 'waiver of recourse' aspect of your insurance protects both parties. If the tenant causes any damage, they do not need to worry about the financial side. Your insurer will deal with it.
The advantage for you as the landlord is that there is no back and forth between insurance companies. You can factor the extra cost of this clause into the rent.
Additional legal assistance for disputes with the tenant
Is your tenant behind with the rent? Or not complying with the agreements? Some insurers also grant protection against disputes with tenants.
Tip! Register with the Vlaams Huurgarantiefonds (Flemish Rent Guarantee Fund). For full protection against possible rental arrears.
Do you need to take out insurance if you are planning to rent a home?
Suppose you rent. Do you have to take out property insurance? Yes and no. There is no legal requirement. However, the landlord can make it a condition of renting the property to you.
In any case, you can benefit from taking out property insurance for tenants. Your furniture and other items will be protected against numerous risks, your tenant's liability will be covered and with some insurance companies you will even receive legal assistance thrown in.
What happens to my home insurance if I move?
If you move home and temporarily occupy two houses or apartments, both homes and their contents will be insured against loss or damage. Do not forget to inform your insurance company of your new address. Your policy will then be updated immediately to cover your new home. You will therefore never be under- or over-insured.
Important: The bridging period is set at a certain number of weeks or months. Read your policy carefully and ask your insurer if necessary.
Important: Important Moving abroad? Your home insurance will end on the date of the move.
What happens to my home insurance if I am planning on carrying out renovations?
If you are thinking of renovating your house or apartment, you should inform your insurer as soon as possible. They will ask you to describe the nature of the works:
- The volume of the extension
- Changes in the layout of the rooms
- Installation of a new kitchen, bathroom or other extra rooms
Important: If you forget to mention this to your insurer, you risk being underinsured.