After the banking sector, it is therefore the insurance sector to make an effort for its customers.
Workers laid off temporarily and companies forced to close their doors or whose economic activity drops sharply will be able to benefit from favorable measures on the part of the insurance sector, announced Thursday the professional union Assuralia and the National Bank of Belgium. In particular, a system concerning insurance relating to the outstanding balance and fire insurance will be put in place.
After the banking sector, it is therefore the insurance sector that has agreed on efforts to mitigate the negative impact of the coronavirus crisis on individuals, households, the self-employed and businesses. Attention is focused mainly on the groups most affected by the economic fallout: workers who are temporarily unemployed and companies forced to close their doors or whose economic activity drops sharply.
Assuralia has reached an agreement on the matter, facilitated by the National Bank, in collaboration with the FSMA (financial markets authority) and the federal government. Over the next few months, insurance companies “will be flexible with regard to customers in difficulty and will ensure that they remain permanently protected.”
Concretely, for natural persons temporarily unemployed, interest payments and principal repayments of mortgage loans contracted with insurance companies, as well as the payment of insurance premiums balance due due to mortgage loans , are suspended until September 30. This as far as the insured can demonstrate that he was facing financial difficulties due to the Covid-19 crisis, detail the National Bank and Assuralia.
A deferral of payment until this date may also be obtained for fire insurance premiums linked to mortgage loans maturing between March 30 and September 30. This latter provision only applies to people who have been laid off.
With regard to all other insurance policies, policyholders who experience difficulty in paying their premium are asked to contact their insurer or intermediary directly to determine whether an adequate solution can be found.
The sector also undertakes to continue, without further formalities, pension, death, disability and hospitalization coverages as part of group insurance for people temporarily unemployed. The payment of premiums due by employers is postponed to September 30, while that of premiums due by workers is canceled.
For companies affected by the crisis, the subsequent adjustment of the premium in the event of a reduction in activities, already provided for by certain coverages (industrial accidents, civil liability, etc.) is charged automatically. Companies forced to stop their activities in accordance with the authorities’ request may obtain payment deferral, in consultation with their insurer, for all premiums due between March 30 and September 30. For any other possible measure concerning the suspension of contracts, Assuralie and the National Bank recommend that companies contact their insurer or intermediary directly.
As for loans to companies, insurers have agreed to postpone the repayment of credits until September 30, like what has been concluded in the banking sector.
Like the National Bank, Finance Ministers Alexander De Croo and Economy Nathalie Muylle welcomed the agreement and the efforts made by the sector.
The FSMA encourages banks and insurance companies to communicate proactively about the current crisis and the support measures that have been put in place. The financial markets authority is also working on setting up a short-term call center to which consumers can direct their questions, she said.
All the measures announced Thursday are part of the work of the Economic Risk Management Group (ERMG), the working group hosted by the National Bank that the federal government has set up to fight the economic consequences of the pandemic. .
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