There are many types of insurances. Some of them could be very relevant and even obligated to you in a later stage, such as car insurance (including the WA-verzekering), pet insurance, legal insurance or long term life insurance. However, we will deal with those later in case you purchase a car or home or you decide to go on a holiday. For now, I have made a selection for you with types of insurances that are relevant for you right now. Often banks will offer you to apply for insurance at their site. Please note, the prices vary significantly among the various providers, so it is wise to compare prices and offerings first.
Health insurance is compulsory for all people who live or work in the Netherlands. International newcomers from outside the EU, EEA or Switzerland who arrive in the Netherlands must sign up for Dutch health insurance within four months of receiving their residence permit, even if they have an existing foreign policy. All health insurances packages are determined once a year before the first of January. Changing in between insurers is not possible during the year. Also, keep in mind that coverage of healthcare-related costs only applies within the borders of the Netherlands. You’ll need travel insurance if you want to be insured abroad.
In case you are still having foreign health insurance you can deduct this monthly premium with retroactive effect. This way you don’t have to pay double monthly premiums. We need to settle this after enrolment in your Dutch health insurance plan.
Submitting claims with your insurer
An insurance claim can easily be done on a personal account through the website of the specific insurance. Credentials will be delivered after purchasing your new health insurance package. Important to consider is that making an insurance claim mostly means that costs are already made and paid in advance by the policyholder. In order to submit any claim, most of the time your healthcare provider needs to be contracted to your insurance. The right sequence in this matter is choosing your health insurance first and afterwards choosing your contracted healthcare providers (like your general practitioners).
The basic package in the Netherlands is compulsory and provides the same basic health coverage across all insurers, as it is set by the government. A few things on the list:
Appointments with your doctor;
Hospital visits, surgery and emergency treatment;
Ambulance services and patient transport;
Click here for the full list
Until the age of 18, all children are included in health plans for. Children who are studying or working and have a maximum income below €29.562,- yearly, they may apply for healthcare allowance after turning 18. This covers basic healthcare costs. In addition, you are allowed to co-insure your child until the age of 27. This could be financially beneficial. There are a few conditions that have to be met such as that the child may not be married.
Basic health insurance costs between €90,- and €150,- per month, depending on the required supplements. The total cost consists of two types of expenses:
The monthly premium (premie), a fixed fee that is deducted from your bank account each month.
The "own risk" amount (eigen risico), which is an annual amount that you must pay out of your own pocket for some treatments and medicines before your health insurance will cover the rest. In 2018 the own risk is up to a maximum of €385,-. If you do not have any medical costs in a year, you don’t have to pay your own risk. You can decide the amount of your own risk yourself. This can be €385,-; €485,-; €585,-; €685,-; €785,- or €885,-. The cost of your monthly (or yearly) bill will be dependent on the amount of own risk you chose; how higher the risk, how lower the bill.
Do you want to learn more about Dutch health insurances? Check out the official government page here.
Liability insurance is not obligated, and often it is confused with the WA-verzekering (car liability insurance) which is in fact obligated if you have a car. However, it is good to know that we are dealing with two different insurances. The liability insurance covers any unexpected costs that you have unintentionally caused to someone else. For example, you accidentally broke your friend’s vase while visiting.
Liability insurance will cover costs up to €1.250.000,- while paying very low monthly fees between €3,- and €5,-. Therefore, I could really recommend one, just to make sure you do not end up paying a huge bill after an accident.
A household insurance is, just as the liability insurance, not obligated but recommended. If you bring a lot of valuable belongings, the household insurance makes sure you will receive the value of your belongings in case of any damages. For example, if a leakage damages your sofa, your washing machine catches fire, or someone broke into your house and stole your laptop.
Over the years you will collect a lot of valuable stuff, so household insurance is a wise choice considering the monthly fee which is typically between €5,- and €10,- per month.
If you would like more information about the types of insurances that are out there and when they will be relevant to you, please ask! I am happy to help. The two insurances explained above are a good start for a safe and comfortable stay here in the Netherlands.
The car insurance is, however, obligated, but only when you have a car obviously. Same as healthcare, car insurance is organised into layers. There are basically three packages you can choose from, regardless of the insurer:
Basic: includes coverage of damage to others;
Basic +: includes coverage of damage to others, theft & burglary, fire & storm, window damage;
All-risk: includes coverage of damage to others, theft & burglary, fire & storm, window damage and damages caused to your car;
There are additional insurances which you can choose from to add:
Passenger insurance after accidents (fixed coverage);
Insurance of damages to passengers (variable coverage);
Legal insurance (in case of conflicts after damages).
Costs of car insurance are hard to give as they depend on many factors. The type of fuel, for example, the year of construction but also the number of years without claims on car insurance previously has its influence. But to give you an idea, I prepared a simple example.
Year of construction: 2014
No claimless years on previous car insurances
Fuel: petrol with driving 12.0001 to 15.000 km yearly*
*for calculating miles into kilometres click here
Monthly premiums will start from:
Basic +: €63,39
The travel insurance applies to any damages incurred when travelling in between, towards or staying at paid accommodations. The insurance can therefore also be used within the Netherlands. Here you can find a shortlist of supplements you add to your basic travel insurance. Please let me know if you’d like to know more about a particular one.
Healthcare costs abroad
Car assistance abroad (after breakdown)
Study or internship
Passing away or permanent invalidity
Please note that banks also offer travel insurance making it therefore useful to take this one along in our consideration. Most continuous travel insurance with no supplements will cost between €25,- and €40,- yearly. Short term travel insurances depend on the number of days (below two weeks) you are travelling. Mostly this is a matter of a couple of euros.
This insurance only applies to residents purchasing a home. With every home insurance, your home is well insured for damage caused by fire, storm, water, theft and burglary. Some insurers offer you some extras. Most building insurance policies have a low deductible of around €150,- or no deductible at all. However, that does not apply to all types of damage. Sometimes you have a higher deductible for storm damage or damage that falls under the all-risk coverage. This, therefore, differs per insurer and can be found later in the comparison for more information about coverage. What this insurance basically covers:
damage due to fire and extinguishing water
damage from smoke and soot
damage caused by flooding after heavy rainfall
damage due to leakage of water pipe or central heating
damage due to a leaking water bed or aquarium
damage due to a lightning strike
damage caused by fallen trees
damage to the property due to the burglary
replacing forced locks after a burglary
Obviously, the monthly premium for home insurance as well depends on several factors. A three-bedroom purchased, the apartment will cost between €25,- and €60,- monthly. Keeping in mind that no supplements are added in this example.