Insuring your property

1. Housing and insurance go hand in hand!

  • 1.1. Housing and insurance go hand in hand!

    This is vital for the financial security of your family and for the long term success of your project.

    Indeed, as soon as we decide to start a family, forward planning should be a natural reflex. We are responsible not only for ourselves, but also for our spouse and children.

    When you contract a housing loan, you are normally required to take up one or even several insurance policies. The purpose of insurance policies is to guarantee the lending institution as well as the persons themselves.

2. Outstanding balance insurance

  • 2.1. Definition

    This insurance covers your loan against the outstanding balance in the event of death.

    Your spouse or heirs will become the owners of the building, without having to pay the remaining monthly instalments (capital and interests) in your place.

    It also represents a security for the family (spouse, children) since, in the event of a death, the repayment of the home loan is covered by the insurance (fully or partly, depending on the terms and conditions chosen).

  • 2.2. To note

    You can also divide the capital between the two persons, taking into account that:

    • in the event of death of one of the two borrowers, only the latter’s debt will be written off and the surviving borrower will have to continue to pay his share of the loan.
    • it can be paid as a single premium (included in the loan amount and tax deductible, therefore advantageous) or through annual premiums.
    • the capital insured decreases annually based on the amounts already repaid.
    • the insurance amount is mainly a function of the amount borrowed and the age of the insured.
  • 2.3. Tax benefits in the case of a single premium

    Tax deductible amount of the outstanding balance insurance:

    Taxpayer Increased ceiling (up to 30 years) Over-increased ceiling (31 to 49 years, slice multiplied by the number of years) Over-increased ceiling (50 years and more)
    no children 3,000 € 240 € 7,800 €
    with 1 child 3,672 € 294 € 9,547 €
    with 2 children 4,344 € 347 € 11,294 €
    with 3 children 5,016 € 401 € 13,041 €
    with 4 children 5,688 € 455 € 14,788 €
  • 2.4. If you have already taken a life-insurance?

    If you already have taken a life-insurance, this may be amended into an outstanding balance insurance (under certain conditions).

    It is therefore recommended that you contact your insurer to jointly look into whether, and under what conditions, your life-insurance could be converted into an outstanding balance insurance.

3. Home insurance

  • 3.1. Definition

    This insurance guarantees the building, and the purpose is to repay the cost or to reconstruct the home after a loss.

    • It is often offered free of charge by insurers, either for 1 or 2 years, or until the building under construction is completed (generally when the heating system is installed).
    • The conditions for this free insurance may vary slightly from one insurer to another.

    In the case of a rental, the law considers that the tenant is responsible for the loss, unless he can prove otherwise.

    • It is the responsibility of the tenant to compensate the landlord… and the neighbours, if necessary.
    • Generally the lessor requires the lessee to take up a “home” insurance in his own name.
  • 3.2. To note

    Water damage – lightning – storm – hail – electrical hazards – theft – attempted theft – vandalism.

    Since 1992, the law also provides for damage caused by a terrorist attack or an industrial dispute.
    Due to this extension of risks covered, fire insurance is now called “home” insurance.

    Civil liability can generally be included in the same policy.

  • 3.3. Determining the amount of your home insurance policy

    It is therefore important to calculate this figure as accurately as possible when the insurance is taken and also to revise it on a regular basis.

    It is recommended to keep photos and any other proofs of your household effects and valuables.

4. Decennial liability insurance

  • 4.1. Definition

    It offers the owner the guarantee that he will be compensated over 10 years following the completion of works, in the event of construction problems.

  • 4.2. To note
    • load-bearing units used for the stability and solidity of the building,
    • units used for the purposes of enclosure, cover and water tightness,
    • ducts, radiators, pipe work, lines, shafts and coverings of all types,
    • in the event of failure of the builder, the buyer is protected during the decennial period.
  • 4.3. Advice

    Since it is not compulsory but it can be very useful, it is important for the owner to ensure – before any commitment – that the builder has taken such an insurance.

5. General liability insurance

  • 5.1. Definition

    If it is not included in your “home” insurance policy, take it as a separate insurance.

    In effect, it covers all damages for which you could be liable and which are not included in the fire, storm, water damages and other clauses of your “home” insurance.

  • 5.2. To note

    You are liable under the law.

    You will be required to compensate the victim fully, without compensation limit or ceiling.

6. Contract works insurance

  • 6.1. Definition

    It covers damages caused during the building’s construction.

  • 6.2. To note
    • physical injuries,
    • damages caused to neighbouring buildings,
    • theft,
    • neighbourhood annoyances.