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The Netherlands (Holland) - Insurance
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The Netherlands recently introduced a new statutory health insurance system under the Health Insurance Act 2006 (Zorgverzekeringswet), replacing the previous Ziekenfonds health insurance system. Everyone living in the Netherlands is obliged to take out health insurance under this scheme, and will be reimbursed for their main healthcare needs under the basic insurance package. The system is administered by private insurance companies, and individuals can choose which company's scheme to join. All companies are required by law to accept anyone who applies for medical cover.
Members of the insurance scheme aged over 18 pay a nominal contribution, which varies between insurance companies but is around 92 Euros a month. People in employment or receiving state benefits are also required to make an income related contribution (6.25% of income is paid automatically by employers directly from salary, people who run their own business receive a bill from the tax authorities/belastingdienst), which is usually reimbursed by their employer or the relevant benefits agency. No contributions are required for children aged below 18.
You are free to choose your insurance company and your level of income will not be taken into account. You are also free to change your insurance company once a year.
There is a no-claim system in operation, under which people who had few health care needs in a year can be refunded up to €255 at the beginning of the following year. The cost of maternity care and visits to a general practitioner do not count when calculating eligibility for the refund.
The basis insurance system includes cover for general medical care, prescribed specialist treatment, appliances such as medical stockings, some medicines, maternity and obstetric care, the cost of ambulances or other necessary healthcare transport, and some forms of rehabilitation treatment such as physiotherapy or occupational therapy. Dental care is also covered until the age of 18.
Insurance companies may offer you a package with or without an own risk excess. You are free to choose whether you want your health care package with or without own risk. There are different own risk amounts: 100, 200, 300, 400, 500 euros. If you decide to include an own risk excess in your package you will have to pay the first 100-500 euros (depending on your own risk amount) of medical costs yourself. Your insurance company will charge you with a lower insurance fee if you include an own risk excess in your package.
This new health insurance system supplements the existing statutory insurance under the Exceptional Medical Expenses Act, which provides cover for the whole population for the cost of long-term nursing care. Everyone in the Netherlands can also opt to take out additional insurance to cover the costs of medical treatment or care not included in the statutory schemes.
Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport
PO Box 20350
2500 EJ The Hague
Tel: (0)70 340 79 11
Fax: (0)70 340 78 34
Other types of insurance
Most of the main insurance companies as well as many of the banks in the Netherlands offer many different forms of insurance including motor insurance, buildings and contents insurance for the home, life assurance and travel insurance.
If you own a property in the Netherlands, you should take out homeowners insurance on the building, covering the risk of fire, storm, flood and theft, and this is likely to be required by your lender if you have a mortgage on the property. Tenants should check that their landlord has this insurance, and should find out whether or not their own contents are covered by the landlord's policy. Burglaries are not uncommon in the Netherlands, and everyone should therefore ensure that their personal possessions are covered by contents insurance (inboedelverzekering). Valuable items may need to be covered by a special separate policy.
It is compulsory under Dutch law for all road vehicle drivers to have third-party insurance (minimum liability coverage). This can be supplemented by optional all-risk cover (allriskverzekering) for theft or damage to your vehicle, or your own injury while driving, or by passenger insurance which covers the costs related to injuries sustained by any of your passengers. Motorbike and scooter drivers can take out Motor and Scooter Insurance package, as well as optional passenger insurance, and there is even a type of insurance designed especially for cyclists.
Other types of insurance commonly taken out in the Netherlands include personal liability insurance, accident insurance, life insurance, burial insurance, and legal insurance. Whilst many of these are similar to the insurance schemes in use in most other countries, the Netherlands is distinctive in the levels of insurance taken out by the population, which is reportedly among the most highly insured in the world. Legal insurance (Rechtbijstandverzekering) is less commonly used in other countries, but is taken out by many Dutch people to provide cover against the cost of disputes or lawsuits, and enables them to receive low-cost access to legal advice.
Finally, travel insurance is generally taken out by Dutch people when travelling to other countries. This usually covers the cost of lost luggage, cancelled flights, medical expenses abroad and any necessary repatriation to the Netherlands.
Many insurance companies offer discounted premiums for their customers who take out multiple forms of insurance.
Nederlandse Vereniging Van Assurantieadviseurs (NBVA)
4000 HD TIEL
Tel: 0344 - 62 02 00
Fax: 0344 - 61 79 28
Verbond van Verzekeraars (Dutch Association of Insurers)
2509 AL Den Haag
Websites of major insurance companies:
VGZ Zorgverzekeraar Insurance
Delta Lloyd Insurance
Expat Health Insurance Partners
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