You set off on a trip around the world in a mobile home, you spend the winter in the sun ... Unforeseen events can crop up during your stay, think ahead and check your insurance before leaving.
- Are you insured to drive abroad?
- Is your home still covered by fire insurance during your stay abroad?
- Will your civil liability family insurance also cover claims made abroad?
- If you are ill or hospitalised abroad, do you have insurance to cover these costs?
- Can you call on the assistance of an insurer if you have to be repatriated, if your vehicle has broken down, if you are no longer able to bring it back to Belgium, etc.?
Your civil liability car insurance
No stay of the designated motor vehicle in another Member State of the European Economic Area during the term of the contract can be considered as an increase or reduction of the risk, and cannot give rise to a modification of the contract. (Art. 9 of the Minimum Conditions of compulsory motor vehicle liability insurance contracts)
Your civil liability car insurance is valid throughout Europe and even beyond. The period of validity and the countries in which your civil liability is covered are indicated on the green card.
If the country(ies) visited is/are not on your green card, you must ask your insurer for an extension of cover or take out frontier insurance.
Also keep in mind your obligations in terms of:
- A technical inspection. In the event of an accident, your insurer may refuse to intervene if your vehicle is no longer in technical compliance.
- Registration of your vehicle. If you are going to live abroad for more than six months or permanently, you will have to register your vehicle in the country in question.
As soon as the designated motor vehicle is registered in a country other than Belgium, the insurance contract is fully terminated.
Your home insurance
As regards insurance for fire/theft/water damage, check whether there is a clause in your contract that provides for a maximum period of absence. If it is the case, we advise you to contact your broker and/or insurer and negotiate insurance cover at a possible additional premium.
Do not overlook the preventive measures incumbent on you either. Do not forget to protect your water and heating installations against the consequences of frost, drain the pipes before leaving, if necessary envisage minimal heating, etc.
Please note: if you do not take precautionary measures as described in the insurance policy, you may not be covered for water damage. As such, definitely consult the obligations listed in your fire insurance policy.
If the contents of your home are insured, the assets you take abroad will normally be covered against theft. However, the maximum compensation for a theft at your temporary place of stay is often limited. Finally, make sure you take out additional insurance for your valuables.
During the trip, your belongings are not normally covered by home insurance, except in the event of theft with threats or violence against the insured party. Check the details in your policy before you leave.
Your civil liability family insurance
It can happen to anyone that they cause damage to others. The insurance is likely to help you defend yourself and compensate injured third parties. Civil liability family insurance provides cover throughout Europe and even worldwide. However, it only provides cover up to a maximum amount.
Moreover, it only covers extra-contractual civil liability. Therefore, check whether your legal protection policy - also called Defence and Legal Action - is likely to provide cover.
Your hospitalisation insurance
Before going to a hospital abroad, check the terms and conditions of the insurance policy and/or consult your insurer. In particular, consider the territorial validity of the insurance cover: even when the cover is "worldwide", also check whether, in addition to unexpected hospitalisations during a trip, "planned interventions" are covered.
In principle, when the RIZIV/INAMI - i.e. your mutual insurance company - covers treatment abroad, the hospitalisation insurance provides cover. Do not forget to ask for your European Health Insurance Card, if you are staying in Europe. For other countries, you may be able to take out health care/medical expenses cover in addition to assistance insurance.
Your travel assistance insurance
Travel assistance insurance can be very useful. For example, for
- a car or vehicle breakdown;
- an illness or accident abroad;
- the need for repatriation or unexpected return due to the death of a relative, etc.;
Please note! Check that your insurance covers the countries you visit.