Monday, August 27th, 2018
What insurances do expats in the Netherlands need?
The point of covering risks with insurance is to not fall into a situation where you need to pay extensive bills if something unexpected happens. Most people don’t have a gigantic savings account which they can use when – God forbid – they had a fire in their house or to pay for the funeral of a loved one.
The hardest thing about getting insured in the Netherlands is to find out which insurance you need. To actually get insured is easy, it’s all done online and there are a gazillion insurers that can help you. A quick Google search can get you a long way but we can imagine that choosing the insurer that’s right for you can seem like a daunting task. How do you find out which insurer is reliable and which exact insurances you need?
There are plenty of intermediary websites where you can fill in your details and get a list of insurances that are best suited for you. These websites only tell you about the particular insurance you specified but don’t help you find out which insurances you need for your particular situation.
There are two types of insurance that are mandatory and one type of insurance that’s semi-mandatory in the Netherlands. These are the healthcare insurance, the car insurance, and the home insurance.
Everyone residing in the Netherlands is obligated by law to take out healthcare insurance. You have to get your healthcare insurance within 4 months of receiving your residence permit. If you’re a resident of the EU, EEA or Switzerland you need to be insured 4 months after registering at your city hall. If you have kids, they will also need to get healthcare insurance. You can add them to your own healthcare insurance, free of charge, until their 18th birthday. If you have a baby while living in the Netherlands, it needs healthcare insurance within 4 months after birth. If you fail to insure for healthcare within 4 months, you’ll be fined and registered with a random insurer by the authorities. They will have your monthly insurance fee deducted from your salary.
Healthcare insurance in the Netherlands is divided into a mandatory basic coverage insurance and an optional additional coverage insurance. Insurers aren’t allowed to ever reject you for basic coverage insurance.
You pay for healthcare insurance through a monthly fee and the ‘eigen bijdrage’. The ‘eigen bijdrage’ is a set annual amount. Some medical expenses in your basic coverage are automatically covered by your insurer. Other medical expenses are only covered by your insurer once you exceed the ‘eigen bijdrage’.
You can change your healthcare insurance once a year for the following year until the 31st of December.
If you own a car, you must at least take out third party liability insurance for it. This will ensure that the expenses that you’re legally accountable for are covered. This level of car insurance will only cover the damage that you make to the other involved parties.
The second level of car insurance is the third party liability plus limited hull insurance. This insurance gives you basic coverage and in certain cases also covers damage made to your own car.
With the all risk coverage, you are insured for almost anything that happens to your car.
So, if you get into a car accident and you aren’t legally accountable, the insurer of the accountable party pays. Your insurer pays for the other party if you’re the accountable party. Your own expenses are covered only if you have all risk coverage and in some cases also with the limited hull coverage.
This insurance isn’t compulsory by law, it’s an insurance that’s required by most mortgage providers. It will cover you when for example a fire or storm damages your home.
If you accidentally bump into a parked car while riding your bike, the damage to that car can be covered by a liability insurance. This insurance is the reason that a falling out over damaged things won’t happen often between the Dutch.
Suing in the Netherlands isn’t a common thing at all so you don’t have to get legal insurance for that reason – We see you, American readers, sighing in relief… – Don’t forgo on the legal insurance however as there are other cases in which you could need legal insurance. One of our clients bought a house which he could move into two months after the deed on his rental house expired. He asked his landlord if he could stay two more months in his rental place. The landlord refused because he couldn’t wait for our client to move out. In the current housing market, the landlord can easily ask for a much higher rent than our client was paying. In such cases, it’s nice to have legal insurance to help you.
Travel insurance can help you when your luggage gets stolen while traveling abroad. It can also help you in case you have an accident or are sick to get you back to the Netherlands. You can choose to include cancellation insurance in your travel insurance. This ensures you that you can cancel or reschedule your trip when something unexpected happens. Without losing your money.
Nobody wants to think about it but if you were to die while living in the Netherlands, where would you want to have your memorial service? With this insurance, your body is repatriated to your home country.
Need help to decide which insurance you need?
The Dutch sure love their insurances. A problem Dutch people have is that they are over-insured as opposed to under-insured. In reality, these are two similar problems with very real consequences. Either way, you’re losing money. Your goal should be to have just the right amount of insurances.
We know that you most likely don’t want to think about all the horrible stuff that can happen in life. So depressing, right? But sometimes, you need to take charge now to be safe in the future. We can help you get the right insurances in one appointment of an hour. That beats surfing the internet for days, trying to find out what you need and how to get it, right?
Contact us at +31 (0)23-3030110 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll set up a free, non-binding appointment. We can also help you switch to another health insurer.