Flanders has new decree on natural disasters
The government of Flanders has approved a new decree on funding provided to victims of officially recognised natural disasters to address what fire insurance doesn’t cover
Since that time, two events were listed as natural disasters in Flanders, on the basis of pre-existing legislation: heavy rainfall, including hailstones, which caused severe damage across the region in late July 2014 and again roughly a week later in August. The old legislation, however, dates from 1979.
The Flemish Disaster Fund covers damages not already included in fire insurance, which usually covers lightning, storm damage, flooding and earthquakes. The new decree covers, for instance, agricultural loss due to the effects of storms, such as hail or flooding.
Once a disaster is recognised by the government, victims have three months to lodge a claim. However, the current system where a provisional sum is paid pending deliberation of the claim has been ended, as has the system of covering the cost of expert assessors brought in by the claimant to evaluate the damage.
“These costs are often excessive,” said minister-president Geert Bourgeois, who proposed the new decree. “The victim’s own description of the damage, together with the bills, is sufficient for the disaster fund to evaluate the extent of the damage.”
The new decree removes much of the responsibility in disaster matters from provincial governors, making it simpler and more efficient, he said.
Photo courtesy Vilt
Government of Flanders
million people live in the Flemish Region.
provinces constitute the Flemish Region: West Flanders, East Flanders, Flemish Brabant, Antwerp and Limburg.
number of years for which the Flemish Parliament is elected. Its elections coincide with those of the European Parliament.