You have just found the home of your dreams in Luxembourg or you are about to move in? Whether you are a homeowner or a renter, it is urgent to find the home or apartment insurance that will allow you to avoid turning this dream into a nightmare.
To help you in your approach, we give you here the essential points to know:
- Who needs home insurance?
- What risks are covered by home insurance?
- Which contract to choose and how to evaluate the assets to be covered?
- Which company to contact?
- What to do in case of an emergency in your home?
Home insurance is essential
Whether you are a tenant or an owner, including non-occupying owners, it is essential in Luxembourg to take out home insurance. The goal? First of all, protect your home and property. But insurance also allows you to insure your responsibility towards third parties in case of damage caused in your home. Home insurance not only protects your home and possessions against the many losses that can occur, but it can also protect your loved ones.
Through a home insurance contract taken out annually with an approved insurance company, the latter certifies a partial or total reimbursement in case of damage. It also offers civil protection to its occupants.
Who needs home insurance?
Whether you are a tenant or an owner, it is strongly advised to subscribe to a home insurance as soon as possible. Whether it is compulsory or not, home insurance is one of the insurances to be taken out in Luxembourg.
Tenant’s home insurance
In Luxembourg, tenants or roommates can take out insurance to cover housing, furniture,but also personal belongings against the risks of fire, storm, water damage or theft. However, Luxembourg law does not require the tenant to take out insurance.
If in some countries like France, the civil rental liability is mandatory, it is only optional in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.
Careful! Although it is not compulsory to take out housing insurance, the tenant is nevertheless obliged to reimburse the damage in the event of fire or water damage, for example. Taking out insurance is therefore highly recommended…
Buying homeowner’s insurance allows homeowners to be covered in case of damage. In the event of a claim, the insurer will pay compensation to cover the damage. This applies even if you rent your home to a tenant and do not occupy it yourself.
Home insurance for landlords
The owner of a rented property has the possibility to take out home insurance covering the risks of fire, ice breakage, theft or water damage. There are risks to be covered that are the responsibility of the landlord, not the tenant. In case of lack of insurance, the owner will be required to repair the damage as soon as possible for the well-being of his tenant.
What are the main losses covered by home insurance?
Generally, home insurance policies offer a comprehensive package that includes coverage for various risks that may occur in a home. We have ranked them in order of likelihood of occurring in your lifetime, namely:
- Water damage insurance: in case of flooding or water damage, you will be reimbursed for damage to the building and damaged materials. Attention, it is necessary to dissociate the damages produced by a leak caused by its own installation to the detriment of third parties, and also, to be able to be compensated for damages caused by a third party badly insured or not insured.
- Theft insurance: we recommend that you be very vigilant about the amounts covered by this insurance. Indeed, you must evaluate the value of the goods, take pictures, keep the invoices of the goods, especially for jewelry.
These two insurance guarantees are major. If you don’t have a lot of time to study insurance contracts, don’t neglect the aspects on these two coverages.
Other coverages are generally integrated into home insurance, namely:
- The building civil liability. In order to cover you for facts caused to the detriment of third parties(a person slips on your sidewalk because you did not clear it of snow for example), a building civil liability is generally included.
- Insurance for the roof: the wind and storm risk in Luxembourg is relative. But the risk exists. Witness the tornado that arrived in 2019 in the Petange area that devastated many homes. The risk of roofing usually covers material damage caused directly by hail, snow or an object such as a tree that falls on the roof.
- The glass breakage insurance covers various risks such as the replacement of glass panes, and by extension glass plates, sanitary appliances, greenhouses, solar panels and/or photovoltaic installations for private use.
- Insurance covering risks caused by the electrical installation and electrical and electronic devices. It is strongly recommended to have an electrician come and validate the electrical layout of your home. Also keep the proof of the inspection carried out proving that your installation is in conformity, especially in the case of a house over 20 years old. In parallel, the guarantee covers material damage to computer, multimedia and office equipment.
- Earthquake and sewer backup.
Unlike its neighbouring countries, coverage of natural disasters – namely earthquakes and floods – is optional in Luxembourg. This is not the case in France and Belgium, where it is mandatory to subscribe to such coverage. In France, insurance must cover floods, earthquakes and drought. In the Kingdom of Belgium, housing insurance must cover floods.
Which home insurance policy should I buy?
Home insurance commercial offers
Home insurance is available in several commercial offers more or less complete according to the insurance companies. Several types of contracts are generally proposed in order to protect yourself according to your needs.
However, home insurance contracts always cover the basic risks, i.e. fire, water damage, theft, glass breakage, storms and civil liability.
Both homeowners and renters are encouraged to purchase so-called “modern” insurance. The latter makes it possible to cover the risks associated with the property, but also many other elements, as required.
- 68% of Luxembourg Internet users (Statec figures, 2016) claim to have already disclosed banking information on the Internet. Be aware that some insurance companies offer an “e-protection” option with your home insurance! “E-protection” is a legal protection offered by some insurance companies. This option aims to protect the insured against risks related to the Internet such as a fraudulent payment, a dispute during a purchase from an e-merchant, identity theft, but also an attack on the e-reputation.
- Careful! When moving, remember to cover the contents of the vehicle. Moving companies usually offer specific coverage.
Estimating the value of property for home insurance
Distinguish between real and tangible property
Physical assets are those assets that can be moved or taken away and have a certain value. In fact, some goods are not included in the contract, such as doors for example. However, it is important to integrate everything. Remember to integrate your curtains and blinds, especially if they were custom made!
To ensure your housing, it is important to properly assess the value of its contents and personal belongings. Indeed, this value impacts home insurance and the resulting reimbursements.
Please note that when taking out an insurance policy in Luxembourg, it is important to take into account the value of the kitchen when declaring the total value of the goods to be insured in your home. The value of the kitchen will indeed be deducted from your total coverage. Remember to include it when you value the amount of insurance!
How to properly evaluate the contents of your home?
Draw up an inventory of your assets. This list is used to identify valuable objects. The reference, the date of purchase and the invoice of the object can help to calculate the value of the goods. These elements can also be very useful in the event of a disaster.
When calculating, it is important to take into account the user price of the goods and not the purchase value. Depending on the property, their value may depreciate over time. The insurance will take into account the value at time t, not the purchase value in case of compensation.
Moreover, if the movable capital is composed of many precious objects or works of art, it is strongly advised to subscribe to a specific contract.
Take pictures of your valuables and keep the bills. In the event of a burglary, they can be very useful to assert your rights with your insurance company! Save these documents in a physical file, in a safe place, and electronically directly on the Internet.
Regularly revaluing the insured capital for your home
Year after year, the movable heritage evolves. Moreover, since the insurance contract was taken out, you have acquired new sofas or bought a new valuable object. It is important to regularly re-evaluate your contract, so that you always benefit from an insurance contract adapted to your current situation.
Which criteria for which home insurance rate?
The cost of a home insurance policy depends on many factors. Among them, the type of building, the value of the content, but also the guarantees subscribed. Here are the different components that will intervene in the fixing of the contract, the insurance premium being the main but not the only one.
- The annual premium: you can get a significant discount when taking out your first home insurance
- The deductible: the deductible is the amount that remains at your charge in case of a claim. Remember to compare it carefully between companies. She can be null according to certain companies.
- Some guarantees may be offered
- The alarm guarantee can be a condition to obtain very advantageous conditions. Remember to tell your company if you are getting equipped after the policy is in place. Don’t forget that theft is one of the main losses, including in Luxembourg!
Some insurance companies offer discounts for no claims, for the purchase of a fire system (mandatory in homes)… These vary according to the contracts and companies. It is therefore advisable to contact an insurance advisor directly and compare offers.
Which insurance company to choose?
In Luxembourg, there are many insurance companies. Each has its own specificities and contracts.
It is therefore advisable to contact them directly in order to make an appointment with an advisor or request a quote.
What to do in case of an emergency or disaster in your home?
Water damage? Slammed door? burglary? What are the right reflexes to have? Most insurance companies offer a guarantee in case of emergency. A help desk then takes care of the insured. Before you have to deal with an emergency, check with your insurance company to get the helpline number.
Assistance: In the event of a major loss, you may have to leave your home temporarily and your life will be disrupted. To help you manage these small problems, financial and other assistance is available. This will allow you to cover the change of lock, the assumption of responsibility of your temporary housing (hotel), or the guard of your children during your working days. It is also important to know the amount of the indemnity to cover all the current expenses that will come after the disaster.
In case of loss, theft or forgetting of key
In case of loss, theft or forgetting of key, the insured is invited to contact directly the assistance of the insurance company with which the housing insurance contract was taken out. Indeed, some companies offer specific guarantees. These are thus intended to cover all or part of the costs in the event of a problem.
Some insurance companies send a repairman themselves and pay him directly. So remember to call your insurance before you even contact a locksmith!
In case of water damage
In the event of water damage, the first thing to do is toidentify the origin of the problem and to deal with it as far as possible. Then call your insurance company to see what steps can be taken to save the damage.
In case of fire
In the event of a fire, it is important tocall the fire department as soon as possible and to take shelter.
Once the fire is under control and access is allowed again, the victims must contact their insurance company. A claim, an inventory of the damaged property (accompanied by their invoice, as far as possible), a firefighters’ fire report and photos of the property must be sent to the insurer.
In the event of a burglary
In the event of a burglary, the first thing to do isto notify the police as soon as possible by calling 113.
Once the policy has intervened, it is important to notify the insurance company with which the home insurance contract was taken out. The latter can eventually take charge of securing the home (change of locks, doors, windows, …).
The inventory of stolen objects, photos and invoices – as far as possible – are then to be transmitted. Material damage and evidence of break-in must also be disclosed. Keep all the evidence of the break-in that must be shown to the expert mandated by the insurance during his expert visit, until the settlement of the claim.
Here are three tips to reduce the risk of burglary: with new technologies, you can simulate your presence by programming the lighting in certain rooms or turning on your television. Since the door is the main nerve center, it is possible to use fingerprint recognition openings, which reduces the identification of the lock systems. Every year the Grand-Ducal Police offers to watch over your home when you go on vacation.
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