Some people may know the little witty Dutch sayings as “the large buildings where the insurance company holds its residence is due to the small print”. How funny some of the sayings are, it wise to understand the insurance in the Netherlands and what is beneficial in a personal situation. Knowing what you are insured for, hence the small prints.
There are various types of insurances available and explained, e.g. liability, home contents, etc. More people require to access the important financial protection that they need for their homes, holidays, businesses, and cars both when buying insurance and at renewal.
These insurances can be purchased from a variety of providers even conveniently at any local or online bank. There is also the possibility that some of the insurances can be combined in a package deal. Global Relocation Compass can provide advice and access a wide range of insurance providers to help find solutions for all types of insurance needs, including the most difficult of risks.
Global Relocation supports to avoid the risk of underinsurance or no insurance.
The Mandatory Health Insurance
You become become a Dutch resident, thus subject to the Dutch social security legislation. You are responsible to take out (compulsory) standard health insurance for consulting a general practitioner, hospital treatment and prescription medication. A health insurance policy is a Dutch insurance policy that provides coverage for healthcare costs and meets the requirements of the Dutch Health Insurance Act (Zorgverzekeringswet).
You may also opt to take out additional insurance to cover costs not included in the standard package.
If you are registered as a non-resident you may be exempted from this obligation. This needs to be determined on a case by case basis. Dispensation for people with conscientious objections to health insurance
Every person who lives or works in the Netherlands is insured under the Healthcare Insurance Act (ZVW) and the Long-Term Care Act (Wlz). If you have conscientious objections to health insurance you can apply to the Social Insurance Bank (SVB) for an exemption. You will then no longer be insured under the ZVW and the Wlz.
The Third Party/Liability insurance (WA verzekering)
Personal liability insurance protects you and your family in the event that you are held responsible for bodily injury or property damage to a third party. Personal liability covers the legal costs or damages that you are required to pay in compensation as a result.
The type of liability insurance you need depends on many factors, from your employment status, to your industry, to the country you live in.
In the Netherlands, for instance, it is relatively standard to take out personal liability insurance as an independent cover, however, it can also be included in many insurance packages. Other insurance packages that often provide personal liability insurance include:
- Travel insurance– for accidents that may happen while you are abroad
- Buildings and contents insurance – may protect you if someone is injured by an accident at your home, or by your possessions
Personal liability insurance would cover you if you were personally accused of putting someone’s health or property at risk through misfortune/neglect. For example:
In personal life, it’s unlikely that day-to-day activities will be particularly high-risk. During working hours, however, you may spend more time interacting with the public, increasing the opportunity for accidents – for which you could be held liable – to happen. In the Netherlands, damages caused in the line of work are generally covered by the liability insurance of the employer. A quick research with HR department should clarify whether the company’s liability insurance covers employees.
However, accidents happen. A friend enters your home and slips on a wet floor, injuring their back. They claim that you are responsible because you neglected to make sure the area was safe. Your children are playing in the garden, and they accidentally break a neighbour’s window with a ball. The neighbour claims you are responsible because you neglected to control your children. While on holiday abroad, you drop a lit cigarette, causing a fire that damages a business premises. The business sues you for the damages and expects compensation for its lost earnings because it had to
The resulting claim for damages can be quite high. Therefore, we strongly advise you to take out a quality liability insurance. You can get this type of insurance either in your own country or through your bank or insurance company in the Netherlands.
The Home/Contents insurance (Inboedelverzekering)
A home/contents insurance is a type of home insurance that could cover the cost of replacing your possessions in your home in the case of burglary, fire, weather conditions, water and other factors is the so-called ‘Contents Insurance’. It is important that the value of goods is known, a valuation report may be desirable. This allows an insured sum to be established. This sum is usually built up on the following:
- The amount for which the insured person wishes to cover the contents;
- The maximum for which the damage is reimbursed;
- The amount on which the premium is calculated.
In the case of damage, it is determined whether the insured sum is in accordance with the value of the insured item. In the optimal situation, the insured sum is equal to the actual value. However, there may also be underinsurance, over-insurance, or double insurance. A valuation report can be used to counteract under-, over-, or double insurance.
Even when renting a furnished apartment, it is not only recommended to get contents insurance for coverage. In general, this is also a serious mention in the rental agreement.
The monthly premium for a contents insurance depends on the policy conditions which vary significantly per insurance company. Also, on where you live (location), the type of house, and your household.
Furthermore, there is a variety of other insurances which may be applicable to in certain situations. Whether it is applicable depends on preferences and wishes.
Some of the insurance to consider and or confirm if the responsible party holds such an insurance.
This insurance covers the cost of legal advice on certain issues. Legal advice coverage may vary among the insurance providers.
Opstal- en glasverzekering (Property and glass insurance)
This is obligatory for homeowners. So, if you rent a property its recommended to ensure that such an insurance is in place. Please note insurance for the windows needs to be insured separately, so double check this with the owner!
Ongevallenverzekering (Accident insurance)
This is insurance covers the compensation for death or permanent disability due to an accident.
Reisverzekering (Travel insurance)
This insurance covers your belongings and required medical assistance during holidays/travel. You can also consider adding a cancellation clause to this insurance.
Repatriation insurance (Repatrieringsverzekering)
A repatriation insurance is highly recommended as we do not know what the future holds. With this insurance the cost for a family member to fly to the Netherlands to bring you home is covered, in the event of serious illness or passing away of a loved one.
Car Insurance (Autoverzekering)
Owning a car is a personal choice, however, a car insurance is mandatory. In the Netherlands, three types of car insurance are offered:
- WA: the most basic car insurance which only covers damages to the other party if these damages are your fault;
Insurance fees depend on the weight and catalogue price of the car, the area where you live, and the number of claim free years. For very expensive cars, the insurance company may require your car have a certified alarm system.