When moving to a new country, you want to make sure that you not only abide by the rules, but that you are covered should anything unforeseen happens to you or your family. In the Netherlands, there are a few insurances that are mandatory and a few that are very useful to have. The mandatory insurances are required by the government and must be taken out, otherwise you risk a heavy fine. The useful ones are widely used and most Dutch residents have them as they protect you from a variety of possible scenarios that can occur. Therefore, the coverage is relatively extensive and premiums generally low. We will cover these insurances below and explain the value of having these insurances so that you will have peace of mind when living in your new home country.
Health Insurance, Basisverzekering
Health Insurance is mandatory for every adult and child residing in the Netherlands. When first arriving in the Netherlands, you are expected to enroll in a health insurance plan within four weeks of registering with a municipality. You are free to choose from any of the myriad of health insurance providers and all must offer you the basic package as mandated by the government.
Many employers have a collective insurance plan with an insurance company for their employees but an employee is not required to sign up with this company and may go with one of their choosing. All insurance companies have a deductible (eigen risico) and that yearly amount is also mandated by the state. Children under the age of 18 are covered for free and do not have a deductible.
Your health insurance basic package covers things like GP visits, blood work, prescriptions, maternity care and basic dental care. All insurance companies provide top-up packages to increase what is already covered in the basic package-including for example, extensive dental care. These prices vary by company and there are several websites available that help you compare health insurance companies based on the extra coverage that you need.
With your Dutch health insurance, you are covered by the EHIC, the European Health Insurance Card. This will allow you to be covered for emergency health care in an EU country. The coverage amount will be the same as if it would be in the Netherlands and anything extra is then covered by you or your travel insurance.
Car Insurance, Autoverzekering
If you own a motorized vehicle, be it a car, campervan or motorcycle, you must have insurance. The insurance, called Wettelijke Aansprakelijkheid, or liability insurance, will cover damage you as the owner of the vehicle causes towards others. It will not cover you should you damage your vehicle yourself. For that, you can take out supplementary insurance which can also protect you against other damages caused by weather or vandalism.
Home Owners Insurance, Opstalverzekering
When you purchase a home in the Netherlands, it is mandatory through your mortgage provider to take out home owners insurance, or residential insurance. Should you buy a flat or an apartment, the home owners association should provide you with this insurance, otherwise, it must be arranged directly with an insurance provider. This insurance is to provide coverage should your property be damaged by weather, fire or theft.
Non-Mandatory but useful insurances
Liability Insurance, Aansprakelijkheidsverzekering
Liability insurance covers you should you do unintentional damage towards someone or someone’s property. This insurance will cover the damage to someone’s personal goods or physical injury to a person. You can take out this insurance to cover yourself and all those that reside with you, including your pet. So should your dog chew up someone’s sofa, your insurance will cover the repair or replacement. As this insurance is very common in the Netherlands, most people have it so that keeps premiums low. This means people won’t necessarily sue you for damages as you will have insurance to protect you. This insurance is easily arranged via your bank or large insurance companies.
Home Content Insurance, Inboedelverzekering
Whether you own your home or not, it is wise to take out home contents insurance to protect your goods from possible theft, weather or fire and water damage. Home content insurance covers your personal items if you live in rented property. The owner/landlord has home owner’s insurance to cover the actual property, not your personal items and contents. You can extend your coverage should you have many valuables such as jewellery or expensive electronic equipment. You can also take out insurance that covers your goods outside your home from theft or damage, such as your mobile phone or bike. This insurance can be arranged with your bank or large insurance companies and premiums are dictated by your postal code.
As the old saying goes, it is always better to be over insured than under insured and whilst you live in the Netherlands, you can rest easy knowing there is an insurance to cover you from most of what can accidently or by act of god, happen to you. Here at Expat Help, we are happy to assist you in navigating through the many options and providers of insurances out there. Please reach out for a free quotation.