Expat moving in guide
When you rent or buy property, the Belgium Civil Code requires you to get home insurance usually within 30 days of signing the final paperwork.
For renters you need to take your lease to the insurance company. A tenant is deemed responsible for damage to a building unless they can prove they were not at fault, though the owner is responsible for insurance covering damage due to natural disasters, fire etc. The tenant is also responsible for the landlord’s furniture, equipment and other household items and the insurance you obtain will cover that.
For homeowners, insurance may be linked to your mortgage though this is not mandatory. In addition, you should have third-party liability insurance in the event, for example, that someone hurts himself in your house. When purchasing a house, the insurance becomes your responsibility at the signing of the compromis de vente(provisional sales agreement), usually around 4 months before you move in.
Below is a list of insurance companies;
- Frame – 016353246. Website: http://www.frame-pfp.be/
- ING – 027289111. Website: http://www.ing.be/private/index.jsp
- KBC – 078152153. Website: https://www.kbc.be/IPA/D9e01
- Winterthur-Belgique – 025197411. Website: http://www.axa.be/
In Belgium it is the duty of the tenant to pay for utilities unless otherwise stipulated in the rental agreement. If moving to an accommodation with gas and electricity connections in place already, call the company and request a transfer form which will enable the connection to be made into your name. If requiring new connections call the company and they will make the necessary connections. Billing is dependent on the company but generally you get a bill in the mail every month/quarter/half-year showing your consumption, and how much need to pay, then you can go on-line and pay by direct transfer from your bank. For gas and electricity you have a number of options when deciding which service providers to use and you can also compare the prices at:
Below are the providers;
- Electrabel – Boulevard du Regent 8, Brussels 1000. Telephone: 025186166/025186400. Website: http://www.electrabel.be/
- Nuon – Medialaan 34, Brussels 1800. Telephone: 080092902/022909501. Website: http://www.nuon.be/
- Sibelga – Chaussee d’Ixelles 133, Brussels 1050. Telephone: 025494100. Website: http://www.sibelga.be/
- Essent – Noordersingel 19, Antwerp 2140. Telephone: 078157979. Website: http://www.essent.be/
- Luminus – Boulevard d’Avroy 37, Liege 4000. Telephone: 078155100. Website: https://www.luminus.be
For more companies go to http://www.brugel.be/
The different regions in Belgium have their own water companies and setting up a contract will require the following information:
- Address of property
- New occupant’s name
- Signature of previous owner/tenant or landlord
- Moving in date
- Metre reading
- Identity card or passport details of new occupant
The supplier for Brussels is the Intercommunale Bruxelloise de Distribution d’Eau (IBDE)/ Brusselse Intercommunale voor Waterdistributie (BIWD). Address: Rue Aux Laines 70, Brussels 1000. Telephone: 025188111. Website: http://www.ibde.be/index.cfm
If you are living outside of Brussels, ask your landlord or real estate agent for the water company that services your area.
There are numerous post offices around the city. Most post offices are open from 9am-5pm on weekdays , and close for lunch between 12:30-1:30pm and maybe open half-day Saturday, though you should check the website (http://www.depostlaposte.be/locations/residential/fr/index.php) for the hours of the closest post office to you. When you move into a new residence you can simply request your mail be forwarded to your new address online http://www.bpost.be/site/fr/residential/letters-cards/absence-move/index.html.
There are many moving companies in Belgium and below are a few that can handle all your moving requirements:
- Dockx Movers – http://www.dockx-movers.be/en/
- Crown Relocations – http://www.crownrelo.com/belgium
- Inka Moving – http://www.inkamoving.be/welcome.htm
- Reliable Moving – http://www.reliablemoving.nl/uk/index_adres.htm
To find shipping companies of all sorts go to http://www.ezilon.com/regional/belgium/business_and_economy/freight_forwarders/index.shtml
For small packages that need to be delivered fast, FedEx has a presence in Belgium. Also, bpost, the Belgium Postal Services, handles small to medium packages sent internationally for reasonable prices.