Find out what insurance in the Netherlands is needed for expats with this short guide which covers both mandatory and optional types of insurance available.
The types of insurance available in the Netherlands are similar to those elsewhere in Europe, although Dutch citizens spend a higher than average amount on insurance. According to 2016 figures, the Netherlands was the 4th biggest spender per capita in the EU with an average spend of just over €4,000 per person.
If you are moving to the Netherlands, you will have to take out certain insurances as compulsory while other optional forms are also available. We explain the types of available insurance in the Netherlands and give details of Dutch insurance companies.
Health insurance in the Netherlands
Health insurance in the Netherlands is mandatory for all residents and you have 4 months to register for an insurance scheme from when you arrive in the country. If you are eligible, you can register for public health insurance. Otherwise, you can take out private insurance.
Public health insurance in the Netherlands is deducted from your salary and consists of two forms: Zvw (zorgverzekeringswet), which is a basic package covering most general healthcare costs; and Wlz (wet langdurige zorg), which covers long-term nursing and care treatment. Health insurance costs in the Netherlands are among the highest in Europe, working out at around 4.2% of household spending. You also have to pay an annual excess fee of at least €385 towards medical bills.
The public insurance covers costs such as medication, GP consultations, specialist treatment, mental health treatment and maternity care. Dental care and physiotherapy are also covered up until the age of 18. If you are not covered by public insurance in the Netherlands or want to take out coverage for extra treatments (e.g. adult dental treatment, physiotherapy, specialist treatments not covered through public schemes), you will have to take out private health insurance.
To use your health insurance in the Netherlands, you’ll need to present your ID and health insurance card (issued by your provider). If you have to pay upfront yourself, ask for an invoice or receipt to send to your insurer for reimbursements. You can use this handy comparison tool to compare health insurance quotes.
See Expatica’s guide to health insurance in the Netherlands for more information.
Home insurance in the Netherlands
Homeowners insurance (woonhuisverzekering) is not compulsory in the Netherlands but it is often required when taking out a mortgage if you buy a property. A standard policy covers fire, storm, flood and theft. In terms of flood coverage, a distinction is made between rainwater damage, which is covered, and damage caused by breakdowns in the dike systems, which is not covered (although concessions may be available from the government). Also not included are damages caused by earthquakes or general negligence.
If you buy an apartment, the Association of Owners (VVE) takes out the house insurance, which is paid equally among the apartment owners in the building.
If you are a tenant renting a property in the Netherlands, you should find out the details of your landlord’s insurance covering damage caused by natural disasters to the building and if your contents are included. Also bear in mind that you are not generally allowed to make significant alternations to rented apartments. Significant changes may invalidate your policy, which is based on an estimate of total costs and values. Speak to both your insurance company and your landlord if you intend to make major changes.
Contents insurance (inboedelverzekering) is recommended for both homeowners and tenants, unless this is covered by your landlord’s insurance. Contents insurance covers furniture, glass breakage and general contents such as computers and appliances. Costs depend on the extent of the coverage but a standard policy is around €10 a month. For high-value items such as art, jewellery or antiques, you may need a separate high-value contents insurance (kostbaarhedenverzekering).
One other home-related insurance you might want to consider is liability insurance. This will cover you in the event of accidents or injuries to third parties that occur in your home, or against any damages caused by your property (e.g. dislodged roof tiles hitting a neighbour’s car). More than 95% of the Dutch population has this insurance, and it is often included in combination packages for either homeowners or tenants.
Car insurance in the Netherlands
By law, you must have at least third-party insurance (WA-verzekering) for your car. This covers you against all damage and injury to others caused by your vehicle. It is the car rather than the driver that is insured, so anyone with a valid driving license can legally drive the car, although the person whose name is on the insurance is the one legally responsible for any damage caused by the car.
If you want to increase your level of car insurance in the Netherlands, you can opt for a limited extension (WA Plus) which will cover your own vehicle against damages caused by theft, vandalism, fire, storms or collisions with animals. For comprehensive coverage, there is the ‘all risk’ policy (allriskverzekering) which covers all damage even if it was your fault.
As with many European countries, insurance costs will be cheaper if you are considered a lower risk driver (based on factors such as driving history, age and experience). If you are eligible for a no claims discount, you can save as much as 70% on insurance costs.
If you are involved in an accident in the Netherlands, make sure that you:
- get the contact and insurance details of the other driver
- get the names and contact details of any witnesses to the accident
- fill out a European Accident Statement form and send it to your insurer
If you move to the Netherlands from another EU country, you can use your existing insurance policy for as long as it remains valid, as long as the cover provided is equivalent to Dutch insurance coverage and your foreign insurer allows it.
Dutch car insurance companies include Aegon, ANWB, FBTO, Unive, HEMA Verzekeringen, InShared and Centraal Beheer
Life insurance in the Netherlands
The average life expectancy in the Netherlands is 83.2 years for women and 80 years for men. Life insurance (levensverzekering) can be taken out to provide financial security for family members in the event of your death. There are a number of insurance companies in the Netherlands that offer life insurance, with different packages to choose from. If you purchase life insurance in the Netherlands, make sure you are clear on the details so that you know the extent of the coverage, e.g. will you be covered in the event of a natural disaster or a terrorist attack.
Travel insurance in the Netherlands
Travel insurance will be needed if you make an application for a Dutch visa. If you are travelling on a Schengen visa, the insurance requirements are listed as:
- Minimum medical coverage of €30,000
- Coverage of expenses related to repatriation on medical grounds.
Besides medical coverage, good travel insurance should also cover things such as trip cancellation, emergency evacuation, lost, stolen or damaged possessions, overseas funeral expenses and pregnancy-related costs. As with any insurance policy, make sure you read the small print to see what is covered and if anything is excluded (e.g. sports-related accidents). You can compare travel insurance quotes with online comparison tools such as Compare or Finder.
Legal insurance in the Netherlands
This insurance (Rechtbijstandverzekering) covers legal expenses in the event of a lawsuit or a legal dispute. Just under half of the Dutch population have some form of legal expenses insurance which means that they don’t have to pay through the nose for expensive lawyers should a contentious situation arise. You can choose which type of situations to insure against, e.g. road accidents, employment disputes, family issues, etc.
Self-employed insurance in the Netherlands
If you are self-employed or have your own business in the Netherlands, there are a number of additional forms of insurance that you can take out to insure your business or livelihood. You can find out more about insurances for self-employed professionals on the Dutch government website.
Whether you are living, working, studying or retired in the Netherlands, you can find tailored international or expat insurance from both Dutch and global insurance companies. Most companies will be able to offer health insurance and life insurance to suit your needs. Many large insurers offer combination packages that can bring down costs and avoid the problems of figuring out which company or policy covers which damage in times of need.
See Expatica’s listings of international insurance companies as well as a guide on how to choose international health insurance versus state health insurance.
Dutch insurance companies
There are many Dutch insurance companies to choose from, some providing a specific form of insurance (e.g. health) and others offering multiple forms of insurance. Some of the most well-known providers are:
- CZ Groep
- Delta Lloyd Groep
- Independent Expat Finance (insurance broker with full service in English)
- Zorg & Zekerheid
You can also use a connection service such as Partner Pete, who help expats settling into the Netherlands get the best deals on their home utilities and all insurance contracts (health, car, property… etc) – at no extra cost, and in English!
If you need advice, you can visit the Dutch Association of Insurance Companies (Het Verbond van Verzekeraars) or speak to your bank or financial advisor.