Thinking about getting Dutch home contents insurance? This guide to home insurance in the Netherlands explains what you need to know.
Whether you’re renting an apartment in the Netherlands or buying a Dutch home, it might be a good idea to get your household goods protected with contents insurance in the Netherlands. Our guide will help you navigate the process, with sections on:
- Introduction to home contents insurance in the Netherlands
- Types of home insurance in the Netherlands
- Home contents insurance costs in the Netherlands
- How to choose home insurance in the Netherlands
- Applying for home insurance in the Netherlands
- How to make a home contents insurance claim in the Netherlands
- Canceling a contract or changing providers
- Holiday home insurance in the Netherlands
- Useful resources
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Introduction to home contents insurance in the Netherlands
Many Dutch residents take out contents insurance (inboedelverzekering) to protect their household belongings. Although it’s not compulsory, it’s the second most common optional form of insurance in the Netherlands behind liability insurance.
Contents insurance in the Netherlands is different from homeowners’ insurance (Opstalverzekering) which protects against damage to the building itself. Home contents insurance, on the other hand, covers damage and theft regarding movable property and belongings.
Whereas homeowners insurance is sometimes a condition of Dutch mortgages, contents insurance is usually entirely optional. If you are renting a furnished property in the Netherlands, it’s likely that your rental costs will include contents insurance but you should check this with the landlord. However, you will need to take out additional insurance to cover your own belongings.
Similar to other forms of insurance, home insurance in the Netherlands is regulated by both the Dutch Central Bank (De Nederlandsche Bank – DNB) and the Netherlands Authority for Financial Markets (Autoreteit Financiele Markten – AFM).
According to 2016 statistics, there are 123 insurers in the Netherlands providing home insurance. Most belong to the Dutch Association of Insurance Companies (Verbond van Verzekeraars). Some of the main providers include:
Can you use home contents insurance from another country in the Netherlands?
This will typically depend on what type of policy you have purchased in your home country. Dutch insurance law allows contents to be protected by overseas insurance policies but coverage may be limited. However, you will need to have purchased a policy that covers your possessions in the event of a move abroad. Check with your insurance company if you are unsure.
Types of home insurance in the Netherlands
There are a few different types of home insurance in the Netherlands. Aside from homeowners insurance, you can take out any of these optional policies.
Standard home contents insurance (inboedelverzekering)
This policy covers you against things such as fire damage, storm damage, water damage, theft and vandalism to your personal belongings. These can include all movable belongings up to a certain value including furniture and carpets. Policies also typically include glass breakage, for example, the cost of replacing broken windows.
Coverage is available up to a maximum value which is typically around €150,000 – 200,000. You can usually purchase add-ons to the basic policy to cover things such as out-of-home use (e.g., taking possessions on holiday or for overnight stays).
Exclusions on this policy include deliberate damage, damage caused by gross negligence (e.g., water damage that results from an open window or failure to lock doors in the event of a burglary) or damage as a result of general wear and tear.
This is another home-related insurance very popular in the Netherlands. It insures against accidents that cause damage or injury to third parties in your home, plus damage caused by property such as dislodged tiles hitting a neighbor’s car. As with contents insurance, you won’t be covered against willful damage or incidents that result from gross negligence. Coverage only extends to third parties, for example visitors and guests to your home, and not you or other members of the household.
Combined home insurance (Woonverzekering)
Many companies offer customers the chance to save money by providing an all-in-one policy that includes homeowners building insurance, contents insurance, and liability insurance. This normally works out cheaper than separate individual policies.
You may also be able to buy different variations of combined insurance, for example, combined contents and liability insurance if you are renting and don’t need building insurance.
High-value contents insurance (kostbaarhedenverzekering)
If you have high-value belongings, for example, expensive jewelry or artwork, you may need to take out a separate policy to cover this. Alternatively, you may be able to pay an additional premium to cover any possessions that are too expensive to be included within the standard contents policy.
Students in the Netherlands who are renting may sometimes need to consider taking out home insurance if the landlord’s tenancy agreement doesn’t include contents coverage.
Fortunately, many Dutch insurers offer discounted student rates or tailored policies that take into account the fact that the total value of student belongings is typically lower than other tenants or homeowners. However, this means that the maximum payout in the event of a claim is also typically lower.
Home contents insurance costs in the Netherlands
Costs for home insurance in the Netherlands will depend on your personal situation. Factors taken into consideration include:
- The value of your home
- Value of goods you want to be insured
- Your neighborhood
- Level of coverage you choose
- Your customer record (e.g. companies sometimes reward renewing customers with discounts)
- Risk levels, for example, you may get a discount if you’ve taken measures such as installing anti-burglary security systems
You can find basic insurance policies for around €2 a month. Typical policy costs are usually between €4–10 a month. You may also have to pay an additional one-off or annual admin fees, but this will usually only amount to a few euros.
Unlike with car insurance, standard Dutch home insurance policies don’t typically come with an excess or deductible where you have to pay a fixed amount towards your first claim. However, the excess/deductible often applies to more advanced policies such as all-risk or combined insurance coverage.
How to choose home insurance in the Netherlands
Insurance is a high-performing industry in the Netherlands, worth just under 10% of annual GDP. Because of this, there is no shortage of Dutch insurance companies to choose from. They include:
You can compare home contents policies using a reputable price comparison website such as Pricewise.
When researching companies and looking for policies, ask yourself a few questions to make sure that you choose the coverage that best suits your needs. Questions might include:
- What is excluded in a basic policy and how much does it cost to add it on?
- What combined policies are offered and how much will you save?
- Can you sign up, make a claim, submit documents and contact the company online or via a mobile app?
- What are the cancellations policies and procedures?
- Do you have to pay a deductible?
- Does the company offer any incentives, for example discounts on other products?
- What is customer feedback like? It’s worth checking this on review sites.
- Is it an ethical company with a good record in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)? This is something that is becoming increasingly important with today’s consumers.
Applying for home insurance in the Netherlands
Taking out home insurance in the Netherlands is quite straightforward. Most of the bigger companies allow you to complete your application and submit all necessary information online. Other ways of applying include by phone or, if the insurer has a high-street outlet, in person.
The application process typically requires you to provide the necessary information (value of property and contents, personal circumstances, level of coverage wanted, etc.) to work out your premium. You will usually need to provide your:
- valid ID such as passport or BSN
- bank details
If you are applying online, you should receive your insurance policy and information regarding policy details and claims process electronically within 24 hours. Documents sent by post normally arrive within a few working days.
A standard Dutch insurance policy will last for 12 months. The renewals process can vary from company to company so you will need to check what you need to do and how much notice you need to give when you want to renew or cancel. This information should be included along with the initial policy information documents.
How to make a home contents insurance claim in the Netherlands
Making a claim will vary from company to company, with each one having its own process. Most Dutch insurance companies require you to submit a claim in writing or by telephone, however some may allow you to submit details via an online claim form.
You will most likely be asked to provide a brief overview of your claim, including details of all items missing or damaged. The claim is then assessed by the insurance company who may call in an expert to produce a full report. You will be notified if you need to provide any additional information.
It is important that you make your insurance claim as soon as possible. Your insurance company should give you details of any claims deadlines when you sign up.
You should receive notification of the outcome of your claim within around two weeks of submitting the claim. If you are unhappy with the outcome, you should contact the complaints department of the insurer in the first instance. Following this, you can complain to the Dutch Financial Services Ombudsman (Klachteninstituut Financiële Dienstverlening – Kifid) if you are still unsatisfied.
In the event of a burglary, don’t forget to also contact the police. Their report on the incident can sometimes prove useful in an insurance claim.
Canceling a contract or changing provider
Most Dutch home insurance contracts run for a 12 month period, during which time you normally can’t cancel without good reason. Following this, you will usually have to give one month’s notice if you want to cancel or switch to another provider.
Your insurance company should notify you towards the end of your contract period, giving you the chance to renew or cancel. However, some companies may have an automatic renewal process. This means that they will renew the contract automatically unless you inform them within 30 days of the end of contract that you don’t want to renew.
You can usually cancel early in the first year in special circumstances. These include if you sell your home, move home or if your personal circumstances change significantly. Check your contract for full details.
Canceling a Dutch insurance contract is normally done in writing, either by posted letter or by email. Some companies may have an online cancellation procedure accessed via their website.
Holiday home insurance in the Netherlands
If you have a holiday home or a second home in the Netherlands, the chances are that it won’t be covered by standard home insurance and you’ll need to take out extra coverage.
Most Dutch insurance companies offer specialist holiday home insurance to cover properties against a range of risks including building damage, content damage/loss, loss of rental income and public liability.
If you are renting accommodation during a vacation, you will need to have extended out-of-home coverage on your insurance policy to protect your belongings against damage or theft during any holiday stays.
- Dutch Central Bank (De Nederlandsche Bank – DNB) – regulates the Dutch financial sector
- Netherlands Authority for Financial Markets (Autoreteit Financiele Markten – AFM) – regulates Dutch insurance companies
- Dutch Financial Services Ombudsman (Klachteninstituut Financiële Dienstverlening – Kifid) – handles insurance complaints in the Netherlands