Wednesday 15 July 2020

Car insurance in the Netherlands: here’s what you need to know

Photo: Depositphotos.com

So, you’ve become the proud owner of a car. Here are a few things you need to think about when it comes to making sure it is properly insured.

First things first. To take out car insurance in the Netherlands you must be an official resident, you must have a European driving licence and the car licence plate has to be Dutch.

In the Netherlands all cars have to have at least a third party liability insurance, which covers damage caused by your own car to other people and their property. You will also have to pay the first part of any claim yourself (eigen risico) – and the size of this will impact  your premiums.

Insurance companies take your age and experience into account when assessing your premiums, and your premiums will also go down the more years you drive without making a claim – a discount that can mount up to 70%. If you do have an accident, do the sums. It might not be worth claiming because of the own risk element, and the impact a claim will have on your premiums.

Another thing to remember in the Netherlands is that it is your car which is insured not you personally, so family members and friends can drive it without having their names added to the policy – as is the case in Britain for example.

There are three main types of insurance:

WA coverage (third-party liability)
If you own a car you must have at least WA (Wettelijke Aansprakelijkheid) coverage, which means that if you cause damage to other people or their property, you are covered for the cost. If your car is at least eight years old, you don’t use it very often and if it is not worth much, simple WA insurance is probably your best bet.

WA + (beperkt casco) coverage (third-party liability + limited cover)
This insurance covers both the damage you might cause to other cars as well as damage caused by circumstances beyond your control, such as theft, fire, storm damage and a collision with an animal.

All-risk (casco) coverage (third-party liability + comprehensive cover)
All-risk insurance covers damage to other cars and almost all damage to your own car. This insurance is recommended when you have a new car or when you cannot take the financial risk of having to replace your car.

You may also be able to take out some additional protection if you want to be super sure that you have the best cover possible.

No-claim protection
No-claim protection (no-claimbescherming) is a way of insuring yourself against the increases in premiums that follow a claim.

Damage insurance for occupants
The damage insurance for occupants (schadeverzekering voor inzittenden) covers personal injury and damage to you and your passengers luggage or clothes caused by a car accident.

Personal accident insurance
Personal accident insurance (ongevallen-inzittendenverzekering) will reimburse your medical costs and provide compensation in case of disability or death caused by accidents.

Legal aid insurance
Legal aid insurance (rechtsbijstandverzekering) covers unexpected legal fees

If you want to take out car insurance because you have bought a new car and are not sure where to begin, you can use a comparison website like Autoverzekering.nl to check out 28 different Dutch car insurance companies.

It can also be useful to look at whether your current provider’s renewal quote is still both competitive and meets your needs when it is up to for renewal.

For example, the premiums for a WA+ policy for a five year Skoda range from €44 to €120 a month, so it could well be worth shopping around.

And to help keep you on the road once you’ve got the insurance paperwork sorted, the ANWB and Route Mobiel both offer breakdown help for a few euros a month as well.

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