Which insurances are compulsory in the Netherlands?
Moving to another country can be a complicated and stressful process. There’s a lot to keep in mind: residence permits, visas, driving licenses and not least, insurance. In the Netherlands, there are some insurances that are compulsory for everyone and some, while not mandatory, are extremely useful to have.
While this might seem overwhelming, the folks at Lemonade Insurance have provided a comprehensive rundown of what insurances are mandatory for anyone living in the Netherlands and which might prove beneficial to have.
Basic health insurance, or basisverzekering, is the only insurance that is universally mandatory in the Netherlands; anyone who comes to the Netherlands to live and work must take out basic healthcare coverage. However, anyone who drives a motor vehicle or wants to buy a house in the Netherlands are also required to take out compulsory insurances: car insurance and residential premises insurance.
Basic health insurance (basisverzekering)
Everyone living in the Netherlands is required to have health insurance and can choose between either public or private cover. Expats, regardless of whether they have cover in their home countries, must take out health insurance within four weeks of receiving a residence permit, or within four weeks of registering at their municipality if they are EU, EEA or Swiss nationals.
Despite Dutch health insurance generally being compulsory for anyone moving to live and work in the Netherlands, there are some exceptions. You do not need to take out insurance if you are a non-EU citizen staying for less than 90 days and EU citizens can rely on their EHIC card if they are staying in the Netherlands for less than a year. Students from the EU, EEA or Switzerland do not need to take out insurance as long as they do not take on a part-time job or internship during their studies. Students from outside these areas need to have private insurance or insurance in their home countries that cover them during their studies. Finally, children under the age of 18 are insured for free.
Dutch health insurance is funded through taxation, which includes mandatory fees and income tax. There are two costs associated with Dutch health insurance, a monthly premium and an eigen risico (own risk) cost, this is an annual cost that you might have to pay for specific treatments or medicines before your insurance will cover the rest.
The compulsory basic health insurance (basisverzekering) costs around 100 euros a month and includes:
- GP appointments
- Hospital care, surgery and emergency treatments
- Blood tests
- Mental health care
- Medical specialists
- Pregnancy, birth and maternity care
- Therapy services – including speech therapy and dietary advice
- Handicapped and elderly care
- Basic dental care
- Full dental care for children under 18
It is useful to know that you can take out additional medical cover (aanvullende verzekering) on top of your basic cover. Health insurance providers will often offer packages that cover full dental care, vaccinations, emergency travel care and alternative medical treatments among others.
Car insurance (autoverzekering)
It is compulsory for owners of motor vehicles, whether that be a car, motorcycle, campervan or quadbike, to take out car insurance. Drivers are required to take out WA (Wettelijke Aansprakelijkheid) coverage, or legal liability, which covers any damage you might cause. However, with basic WA coverage, any damage you incur will not be covered and you will have to pay yourself. For more comprehensive coverage, you can take out supplementary packages that cover you against a myriad of different risks, including natural damage, theft and vandalism.
Residential premises insurance (opstalverzekering)
Expats who want to buy a house in the Netherlands must take out residential permit insurance since it is required by mortgage providers. This insurance should be provided through your homeowners’ association if you have purchased an apartment, otherwise, you have to arrange cover yourself. This insurance covers any damage caused by unforeseen risks, like bad weather, theft, vandalism or leaks.
Beneficial, but not mandatory, insurances
There are some insurances you can take out in the Netherlands that are not mandatory but are extremely useful to have anyway. These insurances help protect yourself and your belongings from any damage, and from having to pay large, unexpected costs for any accidents you might have.
Home contents insurance (inboedelverzekering)
Where the residential premises insurance covers your house or apartment against damage or theft, house contents insurance covers your belongings inside your home from damage or burglary. This insurance covers your household possessions, including jewellery, furniture, clothing, electronics and clothing and covers against accidental damage caused by anything from leaky pipes to fire as well as any items that have been stolen or vandalised.
Insurance providers may also offer supplementary packages that cover thefts from anywhere, not just inside your home. They will also usually offer an “all-risk” package, that will insure you against both theft and accidental damage, even if you caused the damage yourself. Some home contents insurance might even cover you if your home becomes uninhabitable and you need to stay in a hotel, some even cover extra costs for food or parking.
Liability insurance (aansprakelijkheidsverzekering)
Liability insurance covers damage and physical injury caused to someone else or their possessions. Essentially, if you, or someone who is insured under your plan, damages someone’s possessions or cause physical harm then your insurer will cover the costs, and even defend you in court if you are held liable for the damage. However, this is subject to whether the insurer deems the case against you as justifiable or not.
The insurance will cover you for any accidental damage caused, any damage you have caused deliberately will not be covered by liability insurance. Rented or items you have lent are also not covered. It is important to note that damage caused to someone covered by the same policy is also not covered.
Liability insurance is usually offered singularly, or on a family basis. A single policy covers the individual person and any guests you might have, as long as the damage is caused to third parties. The family policy insures the individual, their partner, any live-in family members (including in-laws), small children and adult children who still live at home. Additionally, pets are usually covered by liability insurance, so you can rest easy knowing you are covered in case your precious pooch ruins a prized flower patch or bites someone.
Peace of mind
While navigating the world of Dutch insurances can seem pretty daunting at first, it doesn’t need to be! Lemonade Insurance aims to simplify the insurance process, making it quick and easy to take out contents and liability insurance and cover you and your loved ones and bring you peace of mind in knowing there’s one less thing to worry about.