Three quarters of the victims of the 22nd of March attacks on Zaventem Airport and the Brussels metro have received part or all of the damages awarded by their insurance company. Assuralia, the organisation for the Insurance sector, has informed Economy Minister Kris Peeters (Christian Democrats) of this development. These payments make up 15% of the total damages caused by the attacks.
The Public Health Minister Maggie De Block criticised the delay in compensating the attack victims during Parliament on Wednesday. The Minister did not hold back when laying into the insurance companies. She said it was “abnormal” and “unacceptable” that less than 15% of the estimated damages had been compensated and only 18% of the cases closed a year after the attacks. She claimed “insurers are letting the victims down”.
In a message to the Economy Minister, Assuralia provided an explanation and said that 75% of the 1,361 victims had already received damages. The delay can also be explained by the fact that some of the cases are work accidents – many victims were on their way to work or working when the attacks happened. The law does not allow monthly payments in these cases. “It can take years”, the Assuralia spokesman warned.
In other cases, the victims can only receive the final damage payments after a certain amount of time, when their medical situation is totally understood. The insurers have said that can take months or years.