In Belgium, people are automatically covered for medical costs by the social security system. In addition, you can get extra medical insurance, since the basic coverage doesn’t refund the total costs for all treatments and/or medicines. What this extra insurance includes really depends on what insurance company or bank you go to and what kind of services you want. Some banks only offer the minimum insurance, other offer 10 different packages where the largest one covers everything from a headache to repatriation if you have a car accident abroad.
When it comes to health insurance, most banks offer these different insurance policies:
Private liability insurance (NL: familiale verzekering FR: assurance familiale) covers material and physical damage caused by you or any other member of your family. For example, if your children are playing outside and one of them shoots a football through a neighbour's windows, then the private liability insurance will cover this, or at least a big part of it.
Also, when someone else does something which causes you damage, this insurance will make sure that the necessary steps are taken for you to receive the compensation you need from the other party. Legal steps will be taken to solve private disputes and usually these are fully reimbursed.
Most insurance companies accept all people who are living together as families but make sure you check this before you sign the contract.
This particular type of insurance covers costs related to being committed to a hospital. These costs can be: fees for specialists, transportation to and from the hospital, fees for staying with your child overnight, etc. As a general rule you are covered all over the world.
It is possible to get an extra insurance to cover costs that are not covered by the hospital insurance or work accident insurance. These costs can be for re-modeling your home to allow a wheelchair to enter, loss of income, not being able to work for a long term, etc. This insurance usually covers accidents in your home, traffic accidents, and sport accidents.
If you want an extra on the standard care that is compensated by the government you can get an extra care insurance. People are considered to be in need of care in the following circumstances: difficulties washing, dressing, going to the toilet or eating. This insurance also covers temporary care, for example if you break a leg and need looking after.
The difference between these 2 is that with life insurance (NL: levensverzekering FR: assurance vie), a specified amount is paid out if you are still alive on a predetermined date. Whereas with life assurance (NL: overlijdensverzekering FR: assurance décès), a certain amount is paid to a beneficiary on your death.
When someone in your family dies (especially if it was the only person with a job) you can get into financial difficulties. That is why it might be a good idea to take out a life assurance. This will make sure that when someone dies you get a certain amount of money to make sure you don’t get into debt immediately and to help you get through those first difficult years. This amount is decided when you take out the assurance and will determine the premiums you pay.
If you want to save money for your pension or children then you can opt for a life insurance. Here, you will deposit a certain amount of money every month, or at other intervals and after a certain time the bank will repay the capital with interest. This can provide your children with a great way to start their adolescence or provide you with a nice pension.
These contracts should be reviewed every few years, especially if you change employers or one partner stops working in the meantime.
A fixed capital life insurance (NL: schuldsaldoverzekering FR: assurance solde restant dû) is a temporary insurance where the amount decreases as the end date approaches. There is also a much bigger competition which keeps the premiums lower.
The premium will be determined based on the capital that you want to ensure and data like your age, sex, whether you smoke, etc. If you are not able to pay the yearly premium, just settle for an amount that you can pay and bear in mind that that you are not fully assured.
If for some reason you are unable to continue working (due to illness or work-related accident) this insurance gives you a guaranteed income, which is actually a bonus to what the Social Security already pays.