One in four homes will face subsidence due to the ongoing drought in Flanders. Insurance Ombudsman Laurent de Barcy has received increasing complaints from families, like Antoinette’s, since the adoption of a new interpretive law on drought subsidence. The Ombudsman said: “The law has removed one hurdle, but the discussion remains very technical and every file is different. In some cases we are trying to convince insurance companies to intervene anyway. And also to avoid new problems in the future.”
Insurance companies also differ among themselves on how to deal with such files. For example, some companies simply reimburse the foundation repair costs. In order to arrive at a decisive solution, the Ombudsman looks mainly at politics and the insurance sector itself.
“We must take into account the new climate reality we live in. There needs to be a good discussion about how consequential damages are interpreted in these types of cases so that insurance companies can give a clear answer. It seems pointless to me to make repairs that will be damaged.” Existing homes within the area will collapse again within a few years because the foundation has not been treated. “We are also partly waiting for a case law to be issued on this matter, but this discussion will certainly continue for some time.”
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