Insurance: you pay for it every month wondering why you pay so much, until disaster strikes. And then you’re thankful you have it!
But every country has different requirements and options for insurance policies. So we created a guide to insurances in the Netherlands to help you learn about them all!
Health Insurance in the Netherlands (zorkverzekering)
But don’t stress! After moving, you have time sign up for a plan because you need a BSN and a Dutch bank account. And if you need help setting up a policy, PartnerPete is a great resource for expats looking for insurance.
How much does Dutch health insurance cost?
While the government requires everyone to purchase health insurance, it doesn’t actually provide the healthcare or insurance plans. Instead, they require insurance companies to offer a basic health care plan at an affordable price – around €100 per month.
This insurance covers the bare necessities like annual check-ups, some medications, mental health care, prenatal care, and hospital stays. But they may not cover every cost if you go to a doctor that isn’t on your insurance provider’s list.
But the basic health insurance package definitely covers dental care and physiotherapy for children under 18.
Of course, companies happily offer additional packages that do cover more treatments and services. Dental insurance, physical therapy, more medications, and optometrists are a few examples of what may be included in supplemental insurance.
Do international students need Dutch health insurance?
It depends. If you come to the Netherlands only to study, you may not be required to enroll.
But check with your current health insurance company to confirm whether they cover health expenses outside the country. You don’t want to be stuck without coverage! And students who come from within the EU can apply for the EU Health Insurance Card.
If, however, you study and work in the Netherlands, you will need to enroll in a Dutch health insurance plan. The same applies for paid internships.
Other Mandatory Insurances in the Netherlands
Some forms of property insurance like homeowner’s insurance or motor vehicle insurance are required in the Netherlands.
Home insurance (woonverzekering)
Looking to buy a house? Be sure to include insurance in your monthly costs!
When you make such a large investment, you’ll want to protect it. Most basic home insurance policies cover things like damages from storms or burglars. They won’t, however, cover damage as a result of gross negligence, like leaving the front door open during a storm.
And usually, the insurance policy covers costs associated with the damage. For example, if your house requires repair work after a storm, the policy may cover the costs for a hotel.
Additionally, property insurance (schadeverzekering) is also a good investment if you’re renting an apartment or house. Usually, your landlord’s insurance policy will cover damage to the property itself, but not your furniture or the things you own. Or if you have a storage unit or shed on your property, the insurance plan will cover that stuff, too.
Motor Vehicle and Car Insurance (autoverzekering en motorverzekering)
If you drive a car, then you’ll have to get car insurance. But the basic plan doesn’t necessarily protect you – it’s to protect everyone else.
At a minimum, you’re required to have third-party liability driver’s insurance (wettelijke aansprakelijkheidsverzekering). This insurance covers the costs of any damage that the driver is legally responsible for.
If you want coverage for your vehicle, other plan packages include damage caused by storms, fire, theft, or even animals.
And if you drive a motorcycle, moped, or scooter, you’ll need insurance as well!
Optional Insurance Plans in the Netherlands
Insurance policies can be expensive, but some insurances in the Netherlands are truly worth the cost!
Liability insurance (aansprakelijkheidsverzekering)
If you help a friend move or plan to host visitors, you may want liability insurance.
Let’s say you drop your friend’s favorite lamp, or your mother-in-law accidentally sets your couch on fire. Liability insurance can cover those costs!
And it’s also a worthwhile investment if you have particularly aggressive – er, friendly pets. Liability insurance really covers all aspects of existing!
Self-employed business insurance (ondernemersverzekering)
Being an entrepreneur has risks, no matter your industry.
For example, as a handyman, you may accidentally damage someone’s property. As a marketing consultant, you may drop a client’s laptop or spill coffee on their tablet.
And do you make deliveries in your car? If you have an accident, your auto insurance may cover your car, but not the damage to your client’s property.
Each profession has its own liabilities, which is why entrepreneur insurance tends to be a bit more flexible. And in the unfortunate event that something happens to your client’s property, having insurance can help repair that relationship, too!
Travel insurance (reisverzekering)
With so many unpredictable factors, booking a trip can feel like a major life decision. But as we all know, the Dutch enjoy their holidays as much as they hate poor planning. So of course they have travel insurance!
Companies offer different tiers of travel insurance that cover anything from luggage loss to cancellations. Some even cover extended trip costs due to unforeseen emergencies.
And some policies will also cover medical expenses during your holiday – as long as you weren’t inebriated. Safety Wing offers health insurance for digital nomads, long-stay travelers, and anyone away from home!
Bike insurance (fietsverzekering)
Having your bike stolen or damaged is almost a rite of passage in the Netherlands. But that doesn’t make it a fun experience!
Most bike insurance plans will reimburse you for a stolen bike. Some will also cover bike repairs and accessories up to a certain price. And if you have more than one person on your bike, some plans will also cover the passenger in an accident.
Honestly, bike insurance is probably the most Dutch of the insurances in the Netherlands!
Life insurance (levensverzekering)
In the event of an untimely death, life insurance can help your family and loved ones settle your affairs. And as an expat, the costs of losing a loved one will add up quickly.
That insurance policy can help your family in the Netherlands connect with loved ones back home.
Plus, your family may want to move back to your home country. And in that case, a life insurance payment will relieve a huge financial burden for them.
Funeral insurance (uitvaartverzekering)
While we’re on the topic of death, do you know what you want done with your remains?
Funerals are already expensive! But if you want your body sent back to your home country, that could easily double the costs.
There are usually two types of policies: a set package and an expense-only package. With a set package, you pre-arrange the services with a funeral home. But with an expense-only insurance plan, your surviving family will receive a reimbursement for their costs.
In other words, you can pay to arrange everything ahead of time, or pay to have your family arrange it. But either way, your funeral costs will be covered.
Pet insurance (dierenverzekering)
OK, how about a more pleasant topic: pets!
Pet insurance covers the health care costs for your furry companions. And by furry, we mean only cats and dogs. Your hamster, rabbit, or snake likely won’t be covered by any pet insurance.
Most plans include some coverage for vet visits, vaccinations, and a chip implant. Of course, you can also purchase more comprehensive packages that cover dentistry, physical therapy, and health issues during travel. And some packages even cover advertising costs if your pet goes missing!
Legal insurance (rechtsbijstandverzekering)
No one hires a lawyer until they really need one! To save you from that potential money pit, legal insurance will help you manage those costs in your time of need.
Most plans will give you access to a team of lawyers who can answer your legal questions. And when you select your coverage, you choose what type of issues you want to be covered, like employment or consumer contracts.
If your situation requires representation by a lawyer, your insurance company may appoint or recommend one for you. And the plan may also cover some of those legal expenses.
Keep in mind that it usually doesn’t cover issues that started before you purchased the insurance plan. So if you’re already experiencing legal troubles, you should just hire a lawyer now!
International student insurance (studentenverzekering)
Insuring yourself and your valuables while studying in the Netherlands can make your experience less stressful.
International student insurance plans are a lot like the home content and liability insurance policies described above. But because you’re a student, the price you pay is lower for nearly the same type of coverage.
Valuables insurance (schadeverzekering)
Do you have family heirlooms in your jewelry box? Or maybe you own expensive audio recording equipment? Or have an original painting hanging in your living room?
The property insurance we mentioned earlier usually covers items only below a certain value. If that’s the case, consider buying a separate insurance plan for your valuables.
Some packages will also cover laptop computers. And if you want to ensure your mobile device, most phone providers offer insurance plans for a small monthly fee.
Why Do I Need Insurances in the Netherlands?
As an expat, your life over here may not feel permanent. And because of that, you may not value anything you have here.
But insurance isn’t always about you or the things you can control!
Life and funeral insurances will help the people you love in case you pass away. If they don’t have to worry about covering the initial costs, they can manage their grief better.
And liability insurance will help cover costs in case of an accident. Sometimes we make mistakes, even when we have good intentions. Having liability coverage means we’re just a little bit freer to make those mistakes!
Ultimately, you want to live the best life you can as an expat. So that might mean paying a little extra to ensure your dog is healthy and your laptop is safe.
And before purchasing any insurance in the Netherlands, discuss the options with your loved ones. They may have concerns or questions that you haven’t thought of yet. And it’s important for everyone to be on the same page.
Ready to Make Good Choices?
You may not need every insurance policy on the list, but a couple of them couldn’t hurt!
Do you have questions about insurance in the Netherlands? Contact PartnerPete to find the best package for your needs!
Plus, if you’re only living in the Netherlands temporarily, don’t you want to take advantage of all the travel opportunities? Travel insurance can put your mind at ease!