When we started our family, my husband and I were faced with dilemmas and future decisions. Suddenly, the thought of “YOLO” doesn’t appeal much to us. We had talked about morbid situations and what-ifs and planned for the future of our kid.
Insurances (most of them) works as “you pay for something in the hopes of never having to use it. But if so, it’ll be a huge help for all parties involved.” It is best to think about insurance once you are in a situation that all your needs/necessities are met. If you have a little bit of extra to spare for your future planning.
The western world has a lot of insurance available. Let’s say that they want that peace of mind if something happens. Hey, it is not a bad thing in these weird times. As the Scouts would say, “It is better prepared than sorry”.
Here are the 5 essential insurances to help you navigate through the anxieties of living in the Netherlands:
1. Health/Medical Insurance (Zorgverzekering)
Medical Insurance is mandatory in the Netherlands. The minute you declared that you are staying for long, you are immediately charged for health insurance. That is why this is the first thing you need to have as soon as you get your residence permit. There are a lot of choices for insurances, depending on what you need. Basic insurance is the cheapest, and it is enough to cover your health expenses if you are an able-bodied person.
A lot of expats have a difficult time adjusting to the health system of the Netherlands, as the Dutch have a more different approach to health. If you have pre-existing conditions and such, you may need to upgrade to the basic to cover all your medical necessities.
For a comparison of different health insurances, you can go to the Zorgwijzer site.
2. Liability Insurance (Aansprakelijkheidsverzekering)
Liability insurance is best for families with children or for clumsy people. In essence, if you (or your kid) caused any inconvenience to others, you can use this insurance to claim for damages. For example, your kid crashed your neighbor’s 65 inch TV screen by accident. You can file it under this insurance to claim an amount for the inconvenience to your neighbor. Because in the Netherlands, they acknowledge that kids will cause an inconvenience one way or another just by being kids.
3. Term Life Insurance (Overlijdensrisicoverzekering)
This is your general life insurance. It guarantees an amount given to your beneficiaries in case of death. This insurance is taken out under the name of the main provider of the family. In the event of death, the remaining family will be taken care of. You set the amount you think your family will need to adjust in case of death. You will pay a fixed monthly amount in a span of years, you will be insured within those years.
This is also a requirement for banks once you take out a mortgage. This is to ensure that the house will be paid off in case of death to the payer.
4. Home Contents Insurance (Inboedelverzekering)
Another insurance that is important yet you wish you never have to use. This insurance will guarantee the contents of your home in case of burglary and other unwarranted circumstances. All your belongings are insured to a certain amount depending on how much you declared. This is useful if you live in a city where crimes are prevalent or if burglary is eminent in your area.
5. Other Insurances
These insurances are also important, depending on your current situation. Let me break down some of those that are I seem to deem important:
* Home Insurance (Opstalverzekering) – This insurance is for homeowners. You want to save yourself the headache of costs on sudden repairs due to calamities and unforeseen circumstances.
* Car Insurance – This insurance is for car owners, even for leased cars. This insurance is mandatory and will often be arranged by the dealerships.
* Legal Insurance (Rechtsbijstandverzekering) – This insurance will save you a lot of money in lawyer fees. Lawyers are a regulated profession here in the Netherlands, which means they get paid well (and can charge more). This insurance is helpful here for landlord-tenant disputes, neighborhood disputes, marital disputes (divorce and custody battles), and so on and so forth.
* Funeral Insurance (Uitvaartverzekering) – This insurance is something you wouldn’t want to use, but handy in case. This will ensure that your funeral is taken care of once you passed away. Funeral costs thousands of euros and you wouldn’t want that to be a burden to your remaining loved ones. This comes in handy once you have your term life insurance arranged.
I have included the terms in Dutch for these insurances so you can go ahead and do your research. For a comparison of these insurances, you can check the Independer site for more details (You might want to disable some of your plug-ins in Chrome for the site to work optimally).
For our two years stay in the Netherlands, I can proudly say that we have four of these insurances. It takes away a bit of anxiety from us. I know that the topic of death is quite morbid and discussions are often neglected. But it is important to plan ahead and make sure you cross out the big “What-If’s” you have in your head. It will help reduce some of the stress that we are having in this uncertain world.