Insurances for foreign researchers - guideline

Guideline for insurance covering foreign researchers at Ghent University

E.E.A. insured (*) and Switzerland insured (foreign income)

  1. You are legally obliged to have a health insurance during your stay in Belgium (for you and your family members staying in Belgium)!! You need to pay the premium yourself!
    • the E.E.A. researcher and the researcher from Switzerland who has a health insurance in a country of the European Union, has to apply in his/her country of insurance for
    • when main residence in Belgium: S1 form
    • when (second) residence in Belgium (no main residence): European Health Insurance Card (EHIC);
    • the holder of a S1-form can subscribe with a Belgian health fund to obtain coverage for medical costs in Belgium. (Medical costs in the foreign country are to be submitted to the health fund in that country);
    • the holder of an EHIC has the right to take urgent medical care during his stay in Belgium, at the same conditions as provided by the Belgian legislation  (after registration with a Belgian health fund), but he/she can only get (partial) reimbursement for the medical care that is necessary during his/her stay, taking the nature of the medical care into account and the duration of the stay; attention: healthcare in itself may not be the aim of the visit;
    • the EHIC is valid throughout any of the countries of the European Union (27 Member States), Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland;
    • if you can’t obtain an EHIC/S1-form and if you can’t get the health insurance directly with the health fund (**) in Belgium, you will need to subscribe the all-in insurance (policy). To subscribe to the all-in insurance, you will have to ask a member of staff of Ghent University (your contact person within your own faculty) to fill in the form to subscribe. It is obliged to fill in the cost centre (SAP). The premium paid by the department can be charged to the insured if previously agreed. The all-in insurance covers health (sickness and disability), civil liability in private life and travel insurance and this worldwide during the insured’s stay for research and education projects reasons under the auspices of Ghent University and in the framework of the European Erasmus Mundus program. . It is not possible to subscribe a separate health insurance, because the premium for the separate health insurance is the same as the premium for the all-in insurance.
  2. (only if you have an employment contract with Ghent University or if you receive a (post-)doctoral grant from Ghent University). As a health insurance normally does not cover most of the costs for hospitalization as a result of illness or accident, you can, if you have an employment contract with Ghent University or if you receive a (post-)doctoral grant from Ghent University, subscribe to a collective hospitalization policy (Belfius Insurance) that the University has signed for the benefit of its members of personnel and their families. A hospitalization insurance policy is an insurance that covers most of the costs for hospitalization as a result of illness and accidents that remain unpaid after the intervention of your health insurance fund (mutual fund, in Dutch „ziekenfonds‟) within the framework of the national health service. Remark: you are not automatically subscribed to this collective hospitalization policy, but you can subscribe to it upon request and you need to pay for it yourself.
  3. You can subscribe to an insurance for civil liability private life. To subscribe to this insurance (summary of the policy), you have to ask your contact within your department to fill in the inscription form and to have the department chair or the head of office sign the form. The inscription form has to be sent from an UGhent-mail address to , mentioning  the policy number, namely C11/1530.300, in the mail subject.
  4. You are not obliged, but we strongly recommend you to subscribe the insurance for travel assistance. To subscribe you will have to ask a member of staff of Ghent University (your contact person within your own faculty) to fill in the form. It is obliged to fill in the cost centre (SAP). This insurance is for example important when you need to be repatriated to your country of origin or if you need to return prematurely to your country of origin because a relative has died. You need to pay the premium yourself.
  5. In case of an employment contract or other contract ((post-)doctoral fellowship) with Ghent University, you will be insured automatically by Ghent University for industrial accidents. 

    If you are enrolled as a (PhD)student at Ghent University, you will be insured automatically by Ghent University as regards your “physical accidents during university activities".

    If you have no employment contract with Ghent University nor with another institution you do not receive a (post-)doctoral grant from Ghent University and you are not enrolled as a student, but you receive a visitor’s card and/or you are centrally registered at Ghent University, you are automatically insured for "physical accidents during university activities". If you don’t receive a visitor’s card and you are not centrally registered at Ghent University either, you need to ask your promotor / the professor who accompanies you, to  subscribe the insurance "physical accidents during university activities". You do not need to pay the premium: Ghent University pays it.  More information about this insurance can be found here:
  6. Through your employment agreement or other agreement ((post-)doctoral fellowship) with Ghent University, you are automatically insured by Ghent University as regards your "civil liability during university activities" (which does not include, however, the journey to and from such university activities).

    If you are enrolled as a student at Ghent University, you are automatically insured as regards your "civil liability during university activities" (which does not include, however, the journey to and from such university activities).
  7. If you rent a property for you accommodation in Ghent, the landlord will normally oblige you to subscribe a so-called fire insurance to cover your responsibility concerning fire and related dangers. In case you stay at a dorm belonging to Ghent University or in case you and your landlord sign the model lease available through kotatgent.be, you are automatically insured by Ghent University as regards your liability as a tenant in case of fire, explosions and water damages, on the condition that one example of the lease is sent to Ghent University timely (taking into account the stipulations of the lease). However, the fire insurance through Ghent University doesn’t insure your home contents: we advise you to contact an insurance company or insurance broker to subscribe an insurance of your home contents (it is not possible to subscribe such an insurance through Ghent University). Furthermore, if you don’t stay at a dorm belonging to Ghent University and in case you and your landlord don’t sign the model lease available through kotatgent.be, we advise you to contact an insurance company or insurance broker to subscribe a fire insurance, including the possible recourse of third parties and the insurance of your home contents (it is not possible to subscribe such an insurance through Ghent University). 

Non-E.E.A. insured (except Switzerland) (foreign income)

  1. You are legally obliged to have a health insurance during your stay in Belgium (for you and your family members staying in Belgium)!! You will have to approach a health fund (**) directly, immediately upon arriving in Belgium; this health fund will examine your specific situation. It is necessary to obtain health insurance cover from the health fund for yourself and for the members of your family residing in Belgium:
    • you need to pay the premium yourself!
    • the health fund will normally not require any waiting period;
    • to be able to register with the health fund as a researcher, the researcher must be able to present a certificate of enrolment as a researcher at Ghent University to the health fund;
    • as soon as the researcher will be in a position to produce proof of his/her registration with the register of foreigners (can take quite some time) as well as of a stay of more than three months in Belgium, and has signed a statement of his/her income, he/she may request the health fund, in principle, to be registered as a “resident” (also referred to as “party entitled according to the national register”);
    • if the health fund refuses (possibly on a temporary basis) to register you as a researcher, you will need to subscribe the all-in insurance. To subscribe to the all-in insurance, you will have to ask a member of staff of Ghent University (your contact person within your own faculty) to fill in the form. It is obliged to fill in the cost centre (SAP). The premium paid by the department can be charged to the insured if previously agreed. The all-in insurance covers health (sickness and disability), civil liability in private life and travel insurance and this worldwide during the insured’s stay for research and education projects reasons under the auspices of Ghent University and in the framework of the European Erasmus Mundus program. It is not possible to subscribe a separate health insurance, because the premium for the separate health insurance is the same as the premium for the all-in insurance.
  2. (only if you have an employment contract with Ghent University or if you receive a (post-)doctoral grant from Ghent University) As a health insurance normally does not cover most of the costs for hospitalization as a result of illness or accident, you can, if you have an employment contract with Ghent University or if you receive a (post-)doctoral grant from Ghent University, subscribe to a collective hospitalization policy that the University has signed for the benefit of its members of personnel and their families. A hospitalisation insurance policy is an insurance that covers most of the costs for hospitalisation as a result of illness and accidents that remain unpaid after the intervention of your health insurance fund (mutual fund, in Dutch „ziekenfonds‟) within the framework of the national health service. Remark: you are not automatically subscribed to this collective hospitalization policy, but you can subscribe to it upon request and you need to be paid for separately.
  3. You can subscribe to an insurance for civil liability private life. To subscribe to this insurance (summary of the policy), you have to ask your contact within your department to fill in the inscription form and to have the department chair or the head of office sign the form. The inscription form has to be sent from an UGhent-mail address to , mentioning  the policy number, namely C11/1530.300, in the mail subject.
  4. You are not obliged, but we strongly recommend you to subscribe the insurance for travel assistance. To subscribe you will have to ask a member of staff of Ghent University (your contact person within your own faculty) to fill in the form. It is obliged to fill in the cost centre (SAP). This insurance is for example important when you need to be repatriated to your country of origin or if you need to return prematurely to your country of origin because a relative has died. You need to pay the premium yourself.
  5. In case of an employment contract or other contract ((post-)doctoral fellowship) with Ghent University, you will be insured automatically by Ghent University for industrial accidents.

    If you are enrolled as a (PhD)student at Ghent University, you will be insured automatically by Ghent University as regards your “physical accidents during university activities".

    If you have no employment contract with Ghent University nor with another institution, you do not receive a (post-)doctoral grant from Ghent University and you are not enrolled as a student, but you receive a visitor’s card and/or you are centrally registered at Ghent University, you are automatically insured for "physical accidents during university activities". If you don’t receive a visitor’s card and you are not centrally registered at Ghent University either, you need to ask your promotor / the professor who accompanies you, to  subscribe the insurance "physical accidents during university activities". You do not need to pay the premium: Ghent University pays it.  More information about this insurance can be found here. For the time being only in Dutch, but your promotor/professor/contact person can translate the information, and you can contact  if you have unanswered questions.
  6. Through your employment agreement or other agreement ((post-)doctoral fellowship) with Ghent University, you are automatically insured by Ghent University as regards your "civil liability during university activities" (which does not include, however, the journey to and from such university activities).

    If you are enrolled as a student at Ghent University, you are automatically insured as regards your "civil liability during university activities" (which does not include, however, the journey to and from such university activities).
  7. If you rent a property for your accommodation in Ghent, the landlord will normally oblige you to subscribe a so-called fire insurance to cover your responsibility concerning fire and related dangers. In case you stay at a dorm belonging to Ghent University or in case you and your landlord sign the model lease available through kotatgent.be, you are automatically insured by Ghent University as regards your liability as a tenant in case of fire, explosions and water damages, on the condition that one example of the lease is sent to Ghent University timely (taking into account the stipulations of the lease). However, the fire insurance through Ghent University doesn’t insure your home contents: we advise you to contact an insurance company or insurance broker to subscribe an insurance of your home contents (it is not possible to subscribe such an insurance through Ghent University). Furthermore, if you don’t stay at a dorm belonging to Ghent University and in case you and your landlord don’t sign the model lease available through kotatgent.be, we advise you to contact an insurance company or insurance broker to subscribe a fire insurance, including the possible recourse of third parties and the insurance of your home contents (it is not possible to subscribe such an insurance through Ghent University). 

         

        (*) The E.E.A. countries are the Members of the European Economic Area, i.e. the Member States of the European Union, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.

        (**) For purposes of information, you will find below a limited list of authorised health funds in Ghent, in alphabetical order:

        For a complete list of health funds in Ghent and other cities, see: http://www.riziv.fgov.be/nl/professionals/andere-professionals/ziekenfonds/Paginas/contacteer-ziekenfondsen.aspx#.WAcni-Sa2Ul