Taking out fire insurance is recommended as a precautionary measure.
Always check whether you, as owner or tenant, are not obliged to do so under regional regulations. It is also possible that you may be contractually obliged to do so, for example, by your landlord or your mortgage lender.
Basic cover in fire insurance
Unless otherwise agreed, fire insurance covers the insured property against damage caused by:
- falling or striking air navigation equipment or objects falling or being thrown from it;
- collisions with any other vehicles or animals.
All fire insurance that covers simple risks necessarily includes cover against damage resulting from:
- an attack or a labour dispute (Annex RD 24 December 1992);
- a storm (Annex RD 24 December 1992);
- a natural disaster (art. 123 law of 4 April 2014).
"Simple risks" are defined in Article 5 of the RD of 24 December 1992 implementing the law of 25 June 1992 on terrestrial insurance contracts
Please note! Damage caused outside the home is not necessarily covered - garden sheds, cars, swimming pools, greenhouses, etc.
Check your policy to see what is covered and what is not.
Frequent extensions to the fire insurance
Most fire insurance policies also cover damage caused by:
- the effect of electricity on electrical installations and appliances (e.g. damage to electrical appliances as a result of overvoltage, or the resulting loss of the contents of the freezer (defrosting);
- smoke or soot;
- water damage caused by a broken pipe, overflowing gutters, sanitary facilities or household appliances, water infiltration through the roof, frost, provided that the necessary precautionary measures have been taken;
- broken glass (e.g. window, verandah);
- damage to the building (e.g. door, window, garage door) caused as a result of burglary or vandalism, accident (sometimes it is required to also have theft cover which is optional).
Fire insurance also covers other costs related to a claim:
- salvage costs: costs arising from measures to prevent or mitigate the consequences of the damage (e.g. the tarpaulin stretched over the roof after it has been damaged to prevent water infiltration from causing further damage);
- the cost of storing your assets for the duration of the reconstruction of the building (e.g. at a furniture repository);
- the cost of demolishing damaged property, whether or not necessary for reconstruction, and the transport of the excavated material to a landfill site;
- relocation costs when the premises became uninhabitable;
- the expertise costs for the claim;
- property redundancy (also known as deprivation of use), when the insured building is rendered uninhabitable during the period of reconstruction or repair;
- third party recourse: extra-contractual civil liability if an insured claim extends to the property of third parties (for example, a fire that spreads to another home).
Please note: theft and vandalism cover as well as cover for indirect losses which covers miscellaneous losses, costs and damages you suffer as a result of the incident (administrative hassle is optional cover).