Check your fire insurance !
For foreign students who are renting a room at one of the following addresses, the (fire) insurance is arranged by the University of Antwerp and/or the landlord (tenant’s liability, liability to third parties as well as personal possessions).
This concerns academic residences or buildings of which the University of Antwerp is co-managing the property:
Student home Stadscampus, Koningstraat 8, 2000 Antwerpen
Student home Campus Middelheim, Middelheimlaan 1, 2020 Antwerpen
Student home Campus Drie Eiken, Dr.Donnyplein 30, 2610 Wilrijk
TPC, Groenenborgerlaan 149, 2020 Antwerpen
‘Zomaar een dak’, Prinsstraat 32, 2000 Antwerpen
Rodestraat 36/1, 2000 Antwerpen
Rodestraat 36/2, 2000 Antwerpen
Lange Winkelstraat 19, 2000 Antwerpen
Lange Winkelstraat 33, 2000 Antwerpen
Lange Winkelstraat 35, 2000 Antwerpen
Korte St.-Annastraat 6, 2000 Antwerpen
Frans Halsplein 2, 2000 Antwerpen
St.-Jacobsmarkt 37, 2000 Antwerpen
Jozef Kenneslei 2, 2610 Wilrijk
Zwartzustersstraat 2, 2000 Antwerpen
If you are not renting a room in one of the above mentioned buildings, it is important to read the following information carefully.
(Fire) insurance really is a necessiry!
Is your student housing accommodation adequately ensured? This is an important question for every tenant. It is surely recommended to take out insurance, especially for three reasons:
The Belgian book of Civil Law states that “the tenant is fully responsible for all consequences of fire and related hazards, unless he/she proves that the fire was not caused by his/her fault”.
As a tenant you will have to pay the costs if the accommodation gets damaged, unless you can prove that the damage was caused:
With no fault on your side (force majeure/act of God);
By a third party (e.g. neighbours);
By a defect in the building.
With fire, the damage can be substantial. It is not sufficient if the accommodation is (only) insured by the landlord. After the landlord’s insurer has compensated the landlord for the damage to the building, the insurer will turn against the tenant to reclaim that compensation.
Liability to third parties
If the fire spreads to any adjacent property or accommodation and damages it, you will be held accountable for his sustained loss. The neighbour or his insurer will turn against you to claim the damage.
As a tenant, you can suffer considerable material damage when your personal assets go up in smoke. Therefore it is important to insure them for risk of damage. Be aware: theft is not included in the household effects insurance!
How can you insure yourself?
As a tenant you’d better be well insured. This can be done in several ways:
Through your landlord
Your landlord can arrange that not only his own goods are included in his insurance policy, but also his tenant(s)’s liability. The additional charge he will have to pay can be added to your rental fee. With such an insurance policy, the landlord’s insurer will compensate for damage to the building and its contents (belonging to the landlord!) and will not turn against you as a tenant. The rental contract must also explicitly state that the landlord waives his rights to redress the tenant and that he commits to recover any damages from his insurer. The tenant then in principle doesn’t need (fire) insurance for his tenant’s liability anymore. Already renting a place? Verify that there is a waiver of redress. Check your rental contract or ask your landlord to confirm in writing.
: if your landlord has insurance with a waiver of redress, that doesn’t mean you aren’t at risk as a tenant. The landlord’s insurance with a waiver of redress doesn’t completely substitute the tenant’s insurance:
the tenant’s liability to third parties is usually not covered, unless the landlord extends his insurance policy to also cover this risk;
your personal assets aren’t insured.
Liability to third parties
Your liability to third parties (e.g. housemates or neighbours) can be covered by the insurance of the landlord. Check this with your landlord! If the landlord’s insurance (with a waiver of redress) doesn’t cover this risk, it will be in your interest to arrange complementary agreements:
by taking out a separate insurance YOURSELF
The insurance of the landlord doesn’t cover the damage to your personal assets! It is recommended to take out a separate insurance at an insurance company or bank. The additional insurance of your household effects is a personal choice, but realize that the value of your personal belongings in your student accommodation can increase rapidly e.g. when you have a computer, a printer or a microwave oven.
Take out insurance yourself
If the rental contract of your landlord doesn’t provide a waiver of redress, you have to take out insurance yourself that covers the three risks: tenant’s liability, liability to third parties and damage to your personal possessions. For more information you can consult an insurance company or bank.
E.g. Ethias, Mechelsesteenweg 66, 2018 Antwerpen, tel. 03 203 41 41, opening hours and closing days can be found at http://www.ethias.be/; ING Belgium, http://www.ing.be/; Dexia, http://www.dexia.be/; KBC,
What will it cost?
The cost of the insurance depends on the value and age of the premises and household effects to be insured.
If you want more information or if you have any specific questions, you can contact An Jacobs, legal services - University of Antwerp, firstname.lastname@example.org, tel. 03 265 30 48.