Which insurance in the Netherlands is legally required?
Health insurance in the Netherlands is mandatory for all residents and you must register for an insurance scheme within four months of arriving 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;
- Wlz (wet langdurige zorg), which covers long-term nursing and care treatment
If you do not have public insurance in the Netherlands, you will have to take out private health insurance. In addition to this, private insurance can also be taken out by those covered publicly for treatment not included under public insurance, such as:
- adult dental treatment
- specialist treatments not covered through public insurance
Due to the nature of the Dutch healthcare system, you have plenty of choices when it comes to choosing a health insurance provider in the Netherlands. Dutch health insurers include:
In addition to these, there are several international private health insurers operating in the Netherlands. These offer premiums tailored to expat and include:
See our guide to health insurance in the Netherlands for more information.
In the Netherlands, insurance policies cover the car rather than the driver. Consequently, 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. 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.
If you want to increase your level of car insurance, you can opt for a limited extension (WA Plus). This 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. Most importantly, this includes damage which was your fault.
Similar to European countries, insurance costs will be cheaper if you are considered a lower risk driver. This will be 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, although this can vary between insurance companies. Dutch car insurers include:
For added peace of mind, you might consider taking out roadside assistance coverage from a provider such as ANWB.
If you move to the Netherlands from another EU country, you can use an existing valid insurance policy. However, this is only if coverage provided is equivalent to Dutch insurance coverage and your foreign insurer allows it.
Read more in these guides to driving in the Netherlands, Dutch drivers’ licenses, and buying a car in the Netherlands.
If you are working in the Netherlands, you are obliged to make Dutch social security payments. This is split into two areas. The first is national insurance (volksverzekeringen) which covers:
- child benefits
- survivor benefits
- long-term care
The second is employee insurance (werknemersverzekeringen) which covers:
- unemployment benefits
- sick leave
- disability benefits
Self-employed workers in the Netherlands have to make national insurance payments. However, employee insurance is optional. Because of this, many self-employed workers in the Netherlands do not have insurance against unemployment.
You can find out more about social insurance, including costs and benefits, in our guide to social security in the Netherlands.
Optional forms of insurance in the Netherlands
Homeowners insurance (woonhuisverzekering)is not compulsory in the Netherlands, but you may need to purchase it if taking out a Dutch mortgage when you buy Dutch property.
A standard home insurance policy covers fire, storm, flood, and theft. However, flood coverage policies distinguish between rainwater damage (covered) and damage due to dike failures (not covered).
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 in the Netherlands, you should find out the details of your landlord’s insurance policy before arranging your own cover. In general, your landlord’s insurance will cover damage to the building itself, but it won’t always cover your belongings.
In addition to this, it’s important to be aware that making significant changes to a rented home may invalidate your insurance policy. This is because the policy is based on an estimate of total costs and values.
Therefore, you should speak to both your insurance company and your landlord if you intend to make major changes when renting a home.
Contents insurance (inboedelverzekering) covers furniture, glass breakage, and general contents such as computers and appliances. It’s recommended for both homeowners and tenants, however, in some cases, the landlord’s insurance will cover this. Check your contract when signing the lease to avoid being left without coverage when renting accommodation. Providers include:
Costs will depend on the extent of your coverage, but standard policies are generally around €10 a month. A number of Dutch insurers provide contents insurance, although be aware that much of the documentation will be in Dutch. Many insurers, both large and small, also offer high-value contents cover (kostbaarhedenverzekering) for any rare or expensive belongings, should you need it.
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, plus it will also cover you against any damage caused by your property (e.g., dislodged roof tiles hitting a neighbor’s car).
Homeowners and tenants often receive this insurance as part of a combination package. Consequently, around 85-90% of the Dutch population has this insurance. Again, you’ll have plenty of options when it comes to choosing a premium. Dutch insurers providing this cover include Univé.
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.
You will need travel insurance if you make a Dutch visa application. For example, if you are traveling on a Schengen visa you will need the following:
- 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, and lost or damaged possessions.
Before purchasing an insurance policy, make sure you read the small print to see what the policy covers (e.g., sports-related accidents).
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. As a result of this, 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.
If you are freelancing in the Netherlands or run your own Dutch business in the Netherlands, you are not automatically insured against unemployment or sickness. Because of this, many self-employed and freelancers in the Netherlands do not insure themselves against periods spent out of work.
You can enroll in state-provided voluntary employee insurance through the Dutch Employee Insurance Agency. In addition to this, there are many private firms offering coverage to protect against the risks of self-employment, such as Univé.
You can find out more about insurance 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.
Large insurers often offer combination packages that can bring down costs. As a result of this, customers can avoid the problems of overlapping insurance plans.
See our listings of international insurance companies as well as a guide on how to choose international health insurance versus state health insurance.
As an insurance expert with a deep understanding of various insurance concepts, I can provide comprehensive insights into the types of insurance discussed in the article related to the legal requirements in the Netherlands. My expertise spans health insurance, car insurance, social insurance, home insurance, contents insurance, liability insurance, life insurance, travel insurance, legal insurance, and self-employed insurance. Let's delve into each concept:
- Public Health Insurance (Zvw and Wlz): Mandatory for all residents. Zvw covers general healthcare costs, while Wlz covers long-term nursing and care.
- Private Health Insurance: Required for those without public insurance or for treatments not covered publicly (e.g., dental, physiotherapy).
- Third-Party Insurance (WA-verzekering): Mandatory for all car owners, covering damage or injury caused by the vehicle to others.
- Additional Options: WA Plus for extended coverage and All-Risk Policy for comprehensive coverage.
- Factors Affecting Costs: Driving history, age, experience, and eligibility for no claims discount.
- National Insurance (volksverzekeringen): Covers pensions, child benefits, survivor benefits, and long-term care.
- Employee Insurance (werknemersverzekeringen): Covers unemployment benefits, sick leave, and disability benefits.
- Self-Employed Insurance: Optional for employee insurance, but national insurance payments are mandatory for self-employed workers.
- Homeowners Insurance (woonhuisverzekering): Not compulsory but recommended, covering fire, storm, flood, and theft.
- Contents Insurance (inboedelverzekering): Covers furniture, glass breakage, and general contents. Recommended for homeowners and tenants.
- Covers accidents, injuries, and property damage within the home.
- Often included in a combination package for homeowners and tenants.
- Levensverzekering: Provides financial security for family members in case of the policyholder's death.
- Coverage details may vary, and not all policies cover natural disasters or terrorist attacks.
- Required for Dutch visa applications, including a Schengen visa.
- Should cover medical expenses, repatriation, trip cancellation, emergency evacuation, and belongings.
- Rechtbijstandverzekering: Covers legal expenses in lawsuits or disputes.
- Options to choose specific situations to insure against, such as road accidents or employment disputes.
- Self-employed individuals in the Netherlands can opt for voluntary employee insurance through the Dutch Employee Insurance Agency.
- Private firms, like Univé, offer coverage against the risks of self-employment.
- Tailored insurance options for individuals living, working, studying, or retired in the Netherlands.
- Combination packages from large insurers may offer cost benefits and avoid overlapping plans.
This overview showcases a comprehensive understanding of the various insurance types in the Netherlands, including their mandatory or optional nature and specific coverage details. If you have any specific questions or need further details on any of these insurance concepts, feel free to ask.