The Dutch like to keep themselves well insured against all manner of incidents. As an expat, you have to learn at least a little about Dutch insurance, in order to get by in the Netherlands. It is legally obligatory to have certain forms of insurance in NL. Others are optional, but advisable. Life happens, so knowing that you will be covered if you: fall off your Dutch bike, contract appendicitis, or have your house broken into, can help you save money and feel protected! This page will give an overview of some of the most common forms of insurance available in the Netherlands. If you want to stay safe and covered during your time in Holland, read on.

Make sure you also take a look at our page about perhaps the most important kind of financial coverage in NL: Health Insurance! It is mandatory to have this is Holland.

Insurance for getting around in NL‘ is an important read as well.

Dutch Insurance: the Absolute Basics

In Holland, you can take out insurance from one of the following organizations:

Bare in mind that if you take out all of your insurance policies with the same insurance company, they may offer you a rebate on the entire package.

Comparing Insurance Deals in NL

In Holland, you can change insurance companies yearly, and many Dutch people do this. Here is what you need to know, before you start comparing:

  • The cost of basic insurance in the Netherlands is virtually the same, across the board
  • Comparing insurance deals only really becomes worth your while if you are interested in additional coverage of some sort
  • You could also save money by comparing, if you would like to eliminate certain forms of coverage
  • Whilst insurance companies cannot turn down applications for basic coverage in NL, they are not obligated to give you any additional coverage
  • This means that they are within their rights to refuse you an additional package

Tip

When comparing insurance packages, we recommend that you base your decision on the following matters:

  • What kind of coverage you will receive whilst you are abroad
  • The size of the deductible. In Dutch, this is described as ‘eigen risico, which translates literally as ‘own risk’
  • You can find a more thorough explanation of the ‘eigen risico’ on our page about ‘health insurance

Insurance for Students in NL

If you are coming to the Netherlands to study as an international student, you may well find that your higher education institution has arranged your insurance on your behalf.

Arranging your own Insurance in NL

It is not a given that your University will have arranged your insurance for you. So, we advise you to contact your host institution to verify whether or not they have. If they have not, here are your options:

  • Special insurance packages are available for students in Holland
  • If you are insured under the public health care scheme in your home country, you can request to be issued a European Health Insurance Card
  • In order to be eligible for such a card, you must be coming to NL from a country in the EU, the EEA or Switzerland
  • Be sure to have this card on your person at all times in the Netherlands
  • It serves as proof that you are covered by your home country’s health insurance policy, and means that you do not need to take out health insurance in NL

Disability Insurance in NL

1. Employed Persons in NL

Unfortunately, the Dutch government has made cuts to the benefits that residents of Holland used to receive when they became too disabled to work. Therefore:

  • To help cover your medical and living expenses if you become disabled, you will need to take out additional private disability insurance
  • It is possible that your employer has made arrangements, to help protect his or her employees incase they become disabled
  • Please ask your employer about this, before arranging additional insurance for yourself

2. Self-employed Persons in NL


Unfortunately, if you are self-employed, you will not be covered by an employee insurance scheme if you become disabled in NL! If you are your own boss, you will need to arrange private insurance for yourself.

Please note that you have no legal obligation to have this particular type of insurance in Holland. It is, however, worth looking into.

Selecting Your Insurance Package

We recommend that you take the following issues into account, when selecting your insurance package:

  • When you want to cease your insurance payments. This could be, for instance, when your pension starts to pay out
  • Your level of expertise. The amount of premium you owe depends on how qualified you are in your field
  • The degree of disability you wish to be covered for. You might, for example, wish your insurance to cover a level of disability that leaves you unable to perform your current job only. Or, you could up your insurance to cover similar types of work, or any job in the world
  • Whether or not you would like your insurance payments to be indexed over time

The Cost of Disability Insurance in NL

How much will you need to pay for disability insurance in NL?

  • The payments will amount to 80% of your average income over your last three years of employment
  • Some insurance companies do, however, offer a lower premium to new entrepreneurs
  • Premiums you pay for this insurance are tax-deductible
  • This means that you will only pay taxes over the payments you receive, if you become disabled and unable to work

Disability Insurance for your Budget in NL

  • Investigate your options carefully, when deciding whether you want to take out standard insurance, or insurance with the higher or lower premium
  • Different premiums will be more financially efficient for different business owners in NL
  • As we mentioned earlier, this particular insurance is not obligatory in Holland. So, you may simply opt not to insure yourself at all

Safety Net Insurance in NL

You will be considered a ‘high-risk client’ if, for example, you suffer from a

  • Chronic disease
  • Physical challenge
  • Past health issue

If you fall into the high risk category:

  • Insurance companies may charge you a higher premium
  • They may even refuse to insure you all together
  • If you are refused insurance for one of the aforementioned reasons, there is an alternative insurance option you can take
  • It is called ‘vangnetverzekering‘.This means ‘safety net insurance’
  • If you require this kind of insurance, you must request it within 15 months of starting your own company in NL

Self-employed Pregnant Women in NL

In the Netherlands, pregnant self-employed women have a right to 16 weeks of paid pregnancy leave. Here’s how it works:

  • This coverage is based on the ‘Zelfstandig en Zwanger Regeling
  • This is the Dutch ‘Self-Employed and Pregnant Regulation’
  • How much paid pregnancy leave you receive will depend on the number of hours you worked in self-employment the previous year
  • If you worked 1,225 hours or more, you will receive a benefit equal to the Dutch minimum wage
  • If you worked fewer than 1,225 hours, your benefit will be smaller
  • It’s size will depend, instead, on either your profits or your income from the previous year
  • You will also have a right to receive this benefit if you work for your partner or your spouse, or their company

Home Insurance in NL

Home insurance in the Netherlands is designed to cover you for costs incurred due to unforeseen eventualities. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Fires
  • Breaking and entering
  • Storms
  • Lightning
  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Explosions

Household Contents Insurance in NL

Household contents insurance covers virtually every item you have in your house against the aforementioned eventualities.

For household belongings that are especially precious you can take out additional insurance for ‘Valuable Possessions’. This insurance is intended to cover items like:

  • Jewelry
  • Antiques
  • Musical instruments
  • Rare stamp collections 

Home Electronics Insurance in NL

Some insurance companies offer ‘Home Electronics’ insurance too. This will cover items like:

Tip

  • Dutch Household content insurance will also cover your mobile phone, should you wish to insure it
  • Be sure to enquire about how generous your insurer’s coverage of your mobile phone will be
  • You may be able to find cheaper coverage, through a company that specializes in mobile phone insurance

Liability Insurance for Private Persons in NL

Liability insurance for private persons exists for those awful days we’ve all had when, for example:

  • Your kids are playing soccer in the front yard. Then, the ball flies through, not your own conservatory window, but your neighbors’
  • You drop a can of paint on the car parked next to yours

Liability insurance for private persons should cover the full cost of these incidents. You can take it out either individually, or on behalf of your whole family.

Legal Aid Insurance in NL

Dutch Legal aid insurance is for instances of the following nature:

  • Someone you have held liable for damages will not pay you
  • Your new kitchen has not been delivered on time
  • Your boss is not sticking to what you agreed to in your employment contract

How could Legal Aid Help You?

These kinds of problems are difficult and unpleasant enough to deal with, wherever you are in the world. When you have to sort them out in another country, another language and according to a different legal system they are especially tiresome and time-consuming. This is when Dutch legal aid comes in useful. To use it, you need to take out legal aid insurance:

  • Dutch legal aid insurance will help provide you with the aid you need
  • It could cover your legal aid expenses
  • Family members are often automatically included in this a legal aid insurance policy

Our page on ‘Legal Problems in the Netherlands‘ will be able to offer you further help and advice on this matter.

Tip

  • Any Dutch legal aid insurance provider will want you to make use of their own lawyers
  • Should you have to go to court, you are within your rights to select your own lawyer
  • The legal aid insurance provider will still be obligated to pay for your chosen lawyer’s expenses
  • However, if you select your own lawyer, when you are not legally required to do so, the legal aid insurance provider will provide you with a smaller amount of money
  • There may also be a deductible 

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