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In Belgium, it is the car and not the driver that is insured. All vehicles must have at least third party insurance to cover any physical harm or damage to a third party or their property. Proof of insurance must be carried at all times, and there are penalties for drivers of vehicles without valid insurance.
Car insurance in Belgium is relatively expensive as it is subject to VAT. The premium depends on various factors, such as the make and model of car, its power and its age, as well as the age and driving history of the driver. Some companies have differing premiums according to the age, gender and place of residence of the driver.
Belgian car insurance has a system of no-claims bonuses, known as the Bonus-Malus system: annual rates may increase if a claim is made when an accident was the driver's fault; if the driver has no accidents, the rates will decrease. A no-claims bonus accumulated in another country may be transferred to a Belgian insurance policy, as long as the driver obtains written evidence from the present or previous car insurance company.
Use the Accident Report Form (Constat Amiable/Europees aanrijdingsformulier), obtained from the insurance company. Both parties must sign this form. Take the name, address and insurance details of all parties involved and any witnesses and the registration numbers of the vehicles. Drivers have up to one week to send the form to their insurance company.
An excess is often payable for a claim, depending on the car's value.
In Belgium, three months' written notice must be given when cancelling car insurance. It is possible to have a clause inserted into the policy allowing short term cancellation, for example, for those who are obliged to transfer out of Belgium for employment reasons.
Belgian insurers automatically provide a Green Card which extends normal insurance to other European countries. The Green Card must be kept in the car at all times.