Insurance transactions are regulated by the Insurance Control Office of the Ministry of Economic Affairs. Compulsory classes of insurance in Belgium are workers' compensation, automobile liability, and inland marine liabilities. Life insurance in force at the end of 1991 totaled BFr7,957 billion. Life and disability insurance needs are to a large extent met by Belgium's extensive social security system. Compulsory insurance includes third-party automobile liability, workers' compensation, "no fault" liability for property owners with free access to property, hunter's liability, and nuclear liability for power facilities.
In 1996 and 1997, a general pattern of mergers and acquisitions among European union insurers formed, as companies sought to strategically take advantage of the single market in insurance, which became effective in July 1994. Many insurance companies throughout the European Union (EU) are considered too small to operate effectively on an international scale, to meet the challenge of bancassurance , or to invest sufficiently in the new technology needed to survive in the increasingly competitive industry.