Find out which types of insurance you’ll need to take out as an expat moving to the Netherlands, including healthcare plans, car insurance, and buildings and contents insurance for homeowners.
The available types of insurance in the Netherlands are similar to those elsewhere in Europe, although Dutch citizens tend to spend more than some of their neighbors.
This guide explains everything you need to know about insurance when moving to the Netherlands.
Dutch insurance companies
There are many Dutch insurance companies to choose from. Some provide a specific form of insurance (e.g., health) and others offer multiple forms.
The most well-known providers are as follows. The biggest insurance companies in the Netherlands by turnover are:
There are a number of expat-friendly insurance companies in the Netherlands, such as:
- Loon Zorg (offering packages from HollandZorg and CZ)
Some expat-friendly Dutch insurance brokers include:
- Independent Expat Finance: Offers an English-speaking service helping expats in the Netherlands find the right private insurance and health insurance policies.
- Partner Pete: English-speaking brokers helping expats settling into Dutch life get the best deals on home utilities and all types of insurance.
Health insurance in the Netherlands
Health insurance in the Netherlands is mandatory for all residents, and you have four 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. The cost of 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 4–5% of household spending. Insurers charge an annual excess fee towards medical bills, which is a minimum of €395 in 2019.
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.
Private health insurance in the Netherlands
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 instead have to take out private health insurance.
International private health insurers offering expat-friendly packages in the Netherlands include:
To use your health insurance in the Netherlands, you’ll need to present your identification and health insurance card (issued by your provider). If you have to pay upfront yourself, you should ask for an invoice or receipt to send to your insurer for reimbursements. You can use Expatica’s 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
A standard home insurance policy covers fire, storm, flood, and theft. In terms of flood coverage, policies distinguish between rainwater damage (which is covered) and damage due to dike failures (which is not covered). In some cases, concessions may be available from the government.
Insurance when buying or renting a home
If you buy an apartment, the Association of Owners (VVE) generally arranges a home insurance plan. Apartment owners generally share the costs equally amongst each other.
If you are a tenant renting a property, you should find out the details of your landlord’s insurance policy before arranging your own cover. Generally, your landlord’s insurance will cover damage to the building itself, but it won’t always cover your belongings.
It’s also important to be aware that making significant changes to a rented home may invalidate your insurance policy, which is based on an estimate of total costs and values. With this in mind, you should speak to both your insurance company and your landlord if you intend to make major changes when renting a home.
Contents insurance in the Netherlands
Contents insurance (inboedelverzekering) is recommended for both homeowners and tenants, unless this is covered by your landlord’s insurance. This form of 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 can cost around €10 a month. For high-value items such as art, jewelry or antiques, you may need a separate high-value contents insurance policy (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. It also covers you against any damage caused by your property (e.g., dislodged roof tiles hitting a neighbor’s car).
Around 85–90% of the Dutch population has this insurance; homeowners and tenants often receive this insurance as part of a combination package.
Car insurance in the Netherlands
By law, you must have at least third-party insurance (WA-verzekering) for your car. This covers you against any damage or injury to others caused by your vehicle.
In the Netherlands, insurance policies cover the car rather than the driver. This means that anyone with a valid driving license can legally drive your car. However, the person whose name is on the insurance remains legally responsible for any damage.
If you want to increase your level of car insurance, you can opt for a limited extension (WA Plus) which will cover your 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; and
- 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 coverage 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, according to the World Health Organization.
Life insurance (levensverzekering) provides 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. For example, not all life insurance policies cover natural disasters or terrorist attacks.
Travel insurance in the Netherlands
Dutch visa applications require you to have travel insurance. If you are traveling on a Schengen visa, the insurance requirements are as follows:
- 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 the policy covers (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 for expensive lawyers should a contentious situation arise.
You can choose which type of situations to insure against, such as road accidents, employment disputes, or family issues.
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.
Oftentimes, large insurers offer combination packages that can bring down costs and avoid the problems of overlapping insurance plans.
See Expatica’s listings of international insurance companies as well as a guide on how to choose international health insurance versus state health insurance.
More resources about insurance in the Netherlands
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.