Compulsory Civil Liability and Professional Indemnity Insurance for Intellectual Professions in the Construction Industry

On 1 July 2019 it became compulsory for service providers other than architects to have civil liability and professional indemnity cover.

The legal obligation to have insurance is no longer confined to architects, but extends to every intellectual profession in the construction industry. It is now a requirement that architects, land surveyors, health and safety coordinators, engineers, consultants, certifiers, auditors, project managers, quantity surveyors, interior architects and other professionals have civil liability and indemnity insurance (outside the ten year structural warranty) when delivering intellectual services for construction work undertaken in Belgium. Civil liability and professional indemnity insurance is not a requirement for contractors, who need only offer the ten-year structural warranty.

Peeters-Borsus Law

A plenary meeting of the Belgian Chamber of Representatives of 25 April 2019 supported and submitted for Royal assent a bill concerning compulsory civil liability and professional indemnity insurance in respect of construction work for architects, land surveyors, health and safety coordinators and other construction industry service providers and amending several provisions of law relative to civil liability and professional indemnity insurance in the construction sector, whereupon the Act of 9 May was published in the Belgian Official Journal on 26 June.

This piece of legislation supplements the Act of 31 May 2017 concerning the ten-year structural warranty in housing construction: the so-called Peeters-Borsus law. The legislation was due to take effect on 1 July 2019. A year later, in other words, than envisaged for its simultaneous introduction with the Peeters-Borsus law.


The biggest difference with the insurance obligation for architects, imposed by the Laruelle law, is that the ten-year structural warranty under Articles 1792 and 2270 of the Civil Code is not included under the legal obligation to have insurance. Under the Act of 31 May 2017 only the ten-year defect liability in housing construction is insurable by law.

The current minimum capital sum requirements are identical to those set out in the Laruelle law. The minimum cover per loss may not fall below:

  • € 1,500,000 for damage caused by physical injury
  • € 500,000 for total material and immaterial damage
  • € 10,000 for equipment entrusted to the insured by the client

These sums are linked to the consumer prices index (physical injury sum) or the ABEX index (sums for material and immaterial damage and entrusted equipment). This time the law provides for the eventuality of restricting the guarantee to an annual total of €5,000,000.

In its present form the law offers insurers a chance to extend the number of exclusions. Previous legislation permitted just 2 exclusions (i.e. damage caused by radioactivity and damage caused by exposure to illegal products) whereas the current legislation permits 11.

The law also provides for posteriority insurance to cover the eventuality that a professional stops practising. And in cases where an insurer cannot be found it provides that applicants may resort to the rating office under the conditions set out in the law.

Source: Protect