Home insurance: fire or explosion hazards

Verified 23 April 2020 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

Fire and explosion risks are among the risks covered by mandatory home insurance (for tenants). If you have taken out a home insurance policy and you are faced with a fire or explosion accident, you must notify your insurer promptly. He or she will decide whether or not it is necessary to appoint an expert before compensating you.

If you are a tenant, you must subscribe to a home insurance. This insurance includes the guarantee against fire and explosion risks.

If you are a owner-occupierHowever, you are not required to take out home insurance. You will only be covered against the risk of fire and explosion if you have taken out insurance multi-risk housing.

If you are the victim of a fire or explosion, you must notify your insurer within 5 working days that follow the disaster.

You can contact your insurance company directly or the intermediary who manages your contract (general agent or broker).

The details of the insurer and broker are mentioned on the receipts or in the contract.

The declaration can be made by telephone, online, by post (preferably registered with notice of receipt) or on site, at the offices of the insurer or broker.

In all cases you must provide the necessary elements for the processing of your file:

  • Contact details (name, address)
  • Number of your insurance contract
  • Description of the claim (nature, date, time, place)
  • Description of damage (material or personal injury, importance)
  • Estimated condition of destroyed or deteriorated furniture and articles
  • Damage to others (e.g. if the fire affected a house or houses next to yours)
  • Victim contact information, if available

You will have to justify the damage you have suffered. Therefore, all objects that were damaged in the disaster, even damaged or burned, must be retained. It is also necessary to collect everything that can identify the damaged or destroyed goods in the disaster (invoices, photos, guarantee vouchers...)

You can also have refurbishment quotes prepared to estimate the cost of the work. .

But you can't start reclamation work before the crossing without the agreement of the insurer.


the insurance cannot refuse to compensate you because of the absence of a smoke detector in your apartment.

Insurance can appoint an expert which will specify the causes of the disaster and evaluate the damage.

The expert will contact you to schedule an appointment to carry out his expertise.

You'll have to give them the file you've prepared, and they'll report back based on their findings and what you've provided them with.

Your insurer will then send you its expert report.

You still have the possibility of challenging the expert report if you consider that his estimates are unfavorable to you.

Who should compensate?

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Disaster originating in your home

If you are the victim of a fire or explosion in your home, your insurer must compensate you for the damage you have suffered.

Disaster originating outside your home

If the fire or explosion occurred in another dwelling, or in the common areas of your building, the insurer of the dwelling concerned or the insurance of the condominium concerned must compensate you.

If there is disagreement as to who is responsible for the loss, the dispute must be brought before the courts.

In order to prevent the dispute over who is to be held responsible for the claim from seriously delaying the provision of compensation to the victims, the insurers have signed an agreement between themselves which provides for rules on compensation. This is the convention IRSI: titleContent.

Application of the IRSI Convention

The Convention IRSI: titleContent is an agreement between insurance companies to facilitate the settlement of claims and compensation of victims. The agreement lays down rules for the designation of a single managing insurer for each claim, as well as rules for determining the paying insurer for each party affected.

Affected claims

The Convention IRSI: titleContent applies to water and fire damage claims for which the repair of damage does not exceed €5,000.

Appointment of a managing insurer

The Convention IRSI: titleContent provides that, in the event of a loss in a private premises, the occupant's insurer will be responsible for the management of the compensation file, regardless of the origin or the perpetrator of the loss.

Designation of paying insurer

For damage with a value less than €1,600 excluding taxes, the managing insurer compensates the victim(s), without recourse against another insurer.

For damage between €1,600 and €5,000 excluding taxes, the managing insurer must carry out an assessment on behalf of the other insurers, who must each compensate their customers. In this case, the insurer who challenges the obligation to compensate his client has the possibility of bringing an action against the person who, in his opinion, must assume this obligation.

For damage with a value greater than €5,000 excluding taxes, the rules of the convention IRSI: titleContent do not apply. The insurers of the various parties must try to reach an agreement between themselves on compensation. In the absence of such an agreement, the dispute must be brought before the courts.