Do I need insurances when buying a property?

Most people in the Netherlands, especially home owners, will have these 8 different types of (general) insurance:

  1. Home owner. This is indispensable when buying your own home. Not mandatory by law, but money lenders will insist that you take out this insurance (opstalverzekering). It insures your property (not all the furniture in it) against the sudden and unexpected financial consequences of fire, storms break-ins and lightning strike. Earthquakes and mass flooding are considered extreme violence of nature. These incidents are not covered by your insurance. The Dutch government however, will provide assistance and (partly) cover your damages. Ask an insurance specialist about the details.

  2. Home contents. Everything you own, from clothes to furniture to jewellery to your hobby supplies. The value of all these objects can be considerable. Theft, a fire, flooding due to the breaking of a pipe and heavy rain can result in the loss or damage of your personal belongings. This insurance (inboedelverzekering) covers the financial impact of these incidents.

  3. Liability: This insurance (aansprakelijkheidsverzekering voor particulieren) gives you and your family the protection you need when someone holds you liable for damage. Not compulsory, but good to have if you accidentally break something belonging to someone else or if someone is injured due to your actions.

  4. Legal expenses: It is not a theoretical situation these days. More and more people find themselves caught up in a legal dispute. They usually result in paying substantial legal bills. A legal expenses insurance (rechtsbijstandverzekering) covers the costs of legal advice and assistance.

  5. Car insurance: Third-party liability cover (damages you inflict on others) is mandatory by Dutch law. In addition, you can get your own car covered against theft, vandalism, accidents, fire, window damage, storms and collisions with animals. Premiums of this insurance (autoverzekering) can vary according to age, number of kilometres driven, area or residence and especially years of no-claim.

  6. Travel insurance: This insurance (reisverzekering) covers the unexpected expenses as a result of an accident or emergency situation abroad. The luggage of you and your family is also covered against theft and loss. A cancellation insurance (annuleringsverzekering) covers the costs of your trip if you need to cancel your trip due to an illness, an accident or the death of a partner or family member.

  7. Life insurance: When buying a property your bank (or other party that lends you the money) might insist on a life insurance (levensverzekering). If the insured party dies during the term of the insurance policy, the relatives will receive a one-off lump sum that can be used to pay off all or part of a mortgage or other debt.

  8. Health insurance: Under the Health Insurance Act (Zorgverzekeringswet), all residents (Dutch nationals and others) of the Netherlands are obliged to have a healthcare insurance (zorgverzekering). This healthcare insurance covers standard medical costs such as general practitioners, hospitals, pharmaceutical costs and urgent medical necessary care abroad. Healthcare insurers have to accept everybody who applies for national healthcare insurance regardless of their age or their state of health. Most employers offer special packages with interesting discounts.