In Belgium the Bonus-malus system is used for calculating premiums. This means that the premium that a person needs to pay depends on the history of that person. So if you have a history of car accidents, then your premium will be higher than if you have never had an accident in the past.
You should take into account the amount you use the car, its value and the costs associated with having an accident when choosing what type of insurance to buy.
There are a few different levels you can choose from when it comes to picking the right insurance;
Third party liability
This insurance is obligated by law and will cover damages to others that were caused by your car. So if there is damage to your car or you are hurt yourself, this is not covered by the insurance.
This is considered to be an extra insurance to the third party liability and will cover damages to your car and physical injuries that you yourself have sustained.
With a complete coverage insurance you are not only covered for damage due to an accident but also for damage from a storm, glass fracture, theft and fire. But this kind of coverage can be quite expensive so it’s best to make sure you actually need it.
Also take into account that your insurance company will require you to take a third party liability (NL: burgerlijke aansprakelijkheid FR: responsabilité civile) insurance whenever you want complete coverage.
The amount you pay is different for everyone since insurance companies use the bonus-malus system. But it can range from €300 up to €900 depending on the insurance company, the car you drive, your age, etc. This price does not include the required civil liability insurance. Total price for complete coverage and civil liability can range between €800 and €3000, again depending on your insurance company. These prices also differ in the services that they provide; some insurance policies also cover damage caused by people who where borrowing your car, speeding, ...
When getting car insurance, check whether your insurance company provides coverage abroad. (If you ever want to drive back to your home country or are planning on taking it on vacation). Most insurance companies provide coverage in most of Europe.
When you have an accident, you need to fill out an accident report form (NL: aanrijdingsformulier FR: constat d’accident) together with the other party, doesn’t matter if it’s your fault or not. You get this form from your insurance company and both parties need to sign it. You should make sure that you have the address of the other party and their insurance details. Also find out if there were any witnesses to the accident and ask for their names too. You usually need to send the form to your insurance company within one week.
You will also receive a Green card, which extends your normal coverage to other European countries. Of course, you need to keep this in your car whenever you leave the country.