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.
I'm an insurance expert with in-depth knowledge of the insurance landscape in the Netherlands. My expertise stems from both theoretical understanding and practical experience in the industry, enabling me to provide accurate and valuable information. Let's delve into the details of the concepts discussed in the article.
Health Insurance: Health insurance is legally required for all residents in the Netherlands. Public health insurance is mandatory and covers general healthcare costs. It consists of two components: Zvw (zorgverzekeringswet) for basic healthcare, and Wlz (wet langdurige zorg) for long-term nursing and care treatment. If not covered by public insurance, individuals must opt for private health insurance, which can also be taken by those covered publicly for specific treatments like dental, physiotherapy, and specialist treatments.
Car Insurance: Car insurance in the Netherlands is mandatory, and at a minimum, third-party insurance (WA-verzekering) is required. This covers damage or injury to others caused by your vehicle. Additional coverage options include WA Plus for extended protection and all-risk policy (allriskverzekering) for comprehensive coverage. Insurance costs depend on factors like driving history, age, and experience. Dutch car insurers include ABN AMRO, Aegon, Centraal Beheer, FBTO, InShared, and Univé.
Social Insurance: Workers in the Netherlands are obligated to make social security payments, covering pensions, child benefits, survivor benefits, and long-term care. This is split into national insurance (volksverzekeringen) and employee insurance (werknemersverzekeringen). Self-employed workers have to make national insurance payments, and employee insurance is optional for them.
Optional Forms of Insurance:
- Home Insurance: Homeowners insurance is not compulsory but may be required for a Dutch mortgage. It covers fire, storm, flood, and theft. Contents insurance (inboedelverzekering) is recommended for furniture and belongings.
- Liability Insurance: Covers accidents or injuries to third parties in your home and damage caused by your property.
- Life Insurance: Provides financial security for family members in the event of the policyholder's death.
- Travel Insurance: Mandatory for Dutch visa applications, covering medical expenses, repatriation, trip cancellation, and lost possessions.
- Legal Insurance: Covers legal expenses in lawsuits or legal disputes.
- Self-Employed Insurance: Self-employed individuals can enroll in voluntary employee insurance or opt for private coverage against unemployment or sickness.
- International Insurance: Tailored insurance for those living, working, studying, or retired in the Netherlands, offered by both Dutch and global insurance companies. Combination packages are available to avoid overlapping plans.
My knowledge encompasses the details of these insurance concepts, providing a comprehensive understanding for individuals navigating the insurance landscape in the Netherlands.