Car insurance

Do you own a car or are you thinking of buying one? If yes, you are obliged to take out car insurance. What exactly does car insurance entail? What is covered by a car insurance policy? And what other insurance policies could you take out alongside it. The answers to these and other questions can be found on this car insurance page.

Table of contents

    using the car insurance after a broken front window

    What is car insurance?

    Car insurance is compulsory in the Netherlands for any person who owns a car or is about to buy one. This insurance covers damage caused to others. It is a mandatory policy because the costs of a car accident can add up very quickly.

    If you don’t have car insurance and you are involved in an accident, the costs can start to mount up, and there is a real chance that you cannot afford the costs associated. If car insurance wasn’t mandatory, it is likely that it would be unaffordable for a lot of people, and that is one of the reasons why everyone contributes to car insurance in the Netherlands. That way, there is never a discussion about whether or not a person can afford to pay the damage, as all premium payers jointly contribute to a pot of money that is used to pay the damage to the other party in the event of an accident.

    Some insurance policies also cover damage to your own car, and not with other cars. Pay close attention to the coverage within your car insurance policy, as there are three main types of car insurance coverage.

    Auto insurance coverage

    Auto insurance coverage varies by policy and by insurer. In addition, there are different types of liability insurance from different insurers. For example, you can choose from a regular WA insurance, a WA+ limited hull insurance, or a WA+ full hull insurance. What does this insurance cover, and what are the differences?

    CoversWA insuranceWA+ limited hullFull airframe
    Damage to third partiesYesYesYes
    Material damageYesYesYes
    Injury damageYesYesYes
    Consequential damageYesYesYes
    Window damageNoYesYes
    Storm damageNoYesYes
    VandalismNoMostly notYes
    Own damageNoNoYes

    Ordinary liability insurance

    Ordinary liability insurance does not reimburse anything other than damage to third parties. The condition is that the damage is two-sided. For instance, a collision with an animal is not a two-vehicle accident in this case and is therefore not reimbursed. In most cases, it is advisable to choose a cover that is slightly more extensive. This insurance is an interesting one for people with cars that are older than ten years.

    • Material damage that you cause to other road users with your car;

    • Material damage that you cause to goods and objects with your car;

    • Personal injury that you cause to other persons with your car;

    • Consequential damage resulting from the material damage or personal injury.

    More information about WA insurance →

    WA+ limited hull insurance

    A WA+ limited hull insurance is sufficient for most motorists with cars older than six years. This insurance covers the following risks:

    • Damage to third parties or a two-sided accident;

    • Fire, explosions and lightning strikes;

    • Theft;

    • A crack in the windscreen;

    • Animal collisions;

    • Storms and other natural disasters.

    The difference between this and full comprehensive insurance is that certain risks are not covered. For example, the damage is not covered if the car skids and lands in water.

    When should you opt for (limited) hull insurance?

    Car insurance with limited hull coverage (WA+) (in Dutch) offers more coverage than regular WA insurance but offers less coverage than comprehensive insurance. However, limited hull insurance can work out cheaper.

    The age of the car as a gauge

    It is good to use the age of the car as an indicator for the type of insurance you need. Significant savings can be made by switching to a lower cover for an older model of car. Usually, car owners opt for limited hull insurance for cars between 6 and 10 years old, all-risk for younger cars, and WA insurance for cars older than 10 years.

    Hedging risks

    You need to ask which risks you want to be covered for and what the (current) value of the car is (this can be found in the ANWB/Bovag Koerslijst - in Dutch). All-risk insurance is advised for those with a high-value car, or a car that hasn’t been fully paid off yet. It’s about hedging the risks against the cover you choose.

    Adjust the cover

    You can adjust the coverage of your car insurance at any time, and this can be a way of seeing if you can maintain suitable coverage but lower your premium. This can sometimes be the case with a car older than six years. Depending on the value of your car, a limited hull insurance policy can bring savings compared with an all-risk policy.

    In case of damage or total loss

    If the car is totaled through your own fault, and you have limited hull cover or WA insurance, you must compensate for the damage yourself. For a damaged car, the event is assessed to see who is liable and must pay damages. All-risk insurance covers a wider range of events causing damage.

    The bonus-malus system

    In case of damage with limited hull cover, there are no consequences for the bonus-malus position. Self-inflicted damage does affect it though, with car insurers often charging a deductible and the insured potentially losing one or more claim-free years.

    WA+ full hull insurance

    The most comprehensive insurance is the WA+ full hull insurance. This covers the risks of these causes of damage:

    • Damage to third parties or a two-sided accident;

    • Fire, explosions and lightning strikes;

    • Theft;

    • A crack in the windshield;

    • Animal collisions;

    • Storms and other natural disasters;

    • Collisions, skidding and landing in water;

    • Outside of natural events.

    This is the most comprehensive insurance, covering a lot of different risks and is often chosen for brand new cars. Once the car is older than six years, many drivers opt for the less extensive WA + limited hull.

    Casco insurance covers damage to your own car. This damage may have been caused by the driver or by another party. In the case of self-inflicted damage, an example would be driving into a pole. In the event of damage caused by others, an example would be of a parked car where someone else hits your mirror. In addition, there is also cover for 'external calamities'. In general, there are two types of hull insurance: limited hull insurance and full hull insurance.

    • Start at the beginning: WA insurance – the mandatory minimum cover that must be taken out by the owner of a motor vehicle, covering damage caused to others whilst driving your car, or if someone else is driving your car. Do not confuse this with third-party hull insurance.

    • Full comprehensive insurance – most comprehensive coverage for cars under 6 years old, covering not only damage you have caused to others, but also damage you cause to your own car, as long as it is accidental damage. Full hull cover is sometimes called ‘all-risk’.

    • Exclusions – insurers do not pay out for certain things. For example, if the driver does not have a valid licence, if there is intent, if the driver is driving recklessly, driving under the influence, or if the vehicle is rented, or is used for business purposes.

    • After a claim – if you have submitted a claim for damages this will affect your premium, as this is based on the bonus-malus system. You’ll automatically lose your number of no-claim years, paying a higher premium as a result, and you may face a deductible.

    • Replacement vehicle? – in some cases, you will be provided with a replacement vehicle. This will depend on the type of event that caused the damage with limited hull insurance. For all-risk insurance there is more likely to be a replacement vehicle given to the insured.

    All-risk insurance

    All-risk insurance (or WA+ full hull insurance) is what most car owners with a car under 6 years old opt for. It is the most comprehensive coverage, but that does come with a higher premium. Most damage to others and your own vehicle is covered.

    • What is all-risk insurance? - WA is a mandatory coverage, but all-risk insurance is an appealing comprehensive cover. All-risk insurance covers you for a whole host of potential issues, and is extra coverage that first-time drivers and those with cars under the age of 6 opt for in most cases.

    • Choose an all-risk insurance policy – the choice of coverage depends on a few factors, like the age and value of the car, the number of claim-free years you have, and the type of risk you want to be covered for. All-risk is advised if you have an unpaid loan financing the car.

    • Price of an all-risk insurance policy – you can expect to pay more for the policy with the most extensive coverage, although even this policy can be extended further with extra coverage. Each individual is unique, and each insurer will provide a specific quote.

    • Insurers that offer all-risk insurance – most insurers offer all-risk policies, making it a popular insurance for any person buying a new car. Each insurer has different specialities and criteria for individual applicants, which we have covered.

    • Coverage of all-risk insurance – the premium is higher because the coverage is much more extensive than with other types of car insurance we mention, including third-party liability insurance or WA+ limited hull insurance. For example, all-risk coverage includes:

      • Harm to others

      • Theft and burglary

      • Window damage

      • Storm damage

      • Fire damage

      • Damage through your own fault

      • Vandalism damage

    • Exclusions – not all damage is covered by all-risk insurance. For example, if the driver does not have a valid licence, if there is intent, if the driver is driving recklessly, driving under the influence, or if the vehicle is rented, or is used for business purposes.

    • Options – it is possible to expand your all-risk insurance, including a no-claim protector, where you don’t pay a higher premium in the event of damage, or the replacement value scheme where you have enough money back to buy a comparable replacement car in the event of a totaled car.

    • In case of damage – you are also covered for damage to your own car. Whoever appeals to their insurance falls on the bonus-malus ladder, with the insured paying a higher premium the next year and you may face a deductible.

    • Replacement vehicle? – more events are covered by all-risk insurance with regards to a replacement vehicle should you have suffered damage, for instance in the event of your car being totaled due to storm damage.

    • Comparing comprehensive insurance policies – there are big differences between different insurers and coverage available. There are different factors to consider, so always research thoroughly to ensure you are choosing the correct coverage for your needs.

    • Switch to another all-risk insurer – the market is incredibly competitive, so it is always worth looking at different insurers and seeing if any special promotions or discounts make it possible to save money on your premium as a result of switching.

    Additional insurance

    Anyone who takes out car insurance should consider additional car insurance policies. These supplementary insurance policies provide extra cover for damage or legal assistance. For example, you can opt for passenger insurance, legal assistance insurance and a no-claim protector. What exactly are these insurance policies for?

    • Additional passenger insurance – it is possible to insure against damage to your fellow passengers in some situations. A distinction is usually made between accident passenger insurance and non-life insurance for occupants.

    • Accident passenger insurance – covers against damage due to permanent disability or death in an accident, for both driver and their fellow passengers. Most insurers offer opt in for non-life insurance for passengers, with a higher compensation for certain events.

    • Passenger damage insurance – covers both personal injury and damage to luggage and clothing in the event of an accident. It does not matter who caused the accident, compensation applies to both driver and passengers, a comprehensive policy supplement.

    • No claims protector – allows you to claim damage once per year without affecting your no claims history and bonus-malus position. The premium remains the same, as long as you stay with the same insurer.

    • Legal expenses insurance – supplementary cover that provides you with help for any legal costs that you face due to a traffic accident that has caused damage or injury to another person or their belongings.

    • Legal assistance insurance – provides you with legal assistance to help obtain compensation for damage to your car or injury suffered by another party. Legal assistance is there to help you prove your innocence.

    • Legal expenses insurance – the most comprehensive way to get as much legal support as possible, providing you with expert legal guidance, saving you time and effort. You will also receive assistance as a cyclist, motorist, or pedestrian.

    • Special formulas – there are some interesting formulas that some insurers use, such as not including your claim-free years but using the appraisal value of the car alone. Old-timer insurance, or classic car insurance, is for those classic cars used for hobby purposes (cars at least 20-25 years old).

    • Compare by detail of the policy – the policyholder must always agree to the policy conditions, which will have certain restrictions and exclusions. Each insurer and policy will be unique, calculating damage in different ways too, based on the age and state of the car etc. Always check you are happy with the content of the policy.

    • Own risk – there is always a deductible with car insurance. This can be increased or bought off, which changes the premium accordingly. Each insurer is different from the next in what it can offer you in this regard.

    Car insurance in practice

    In practice, there are not only differences between the three types of car insurance, but also between the policies offered by insurers. That is why it is important to make an informed choice between the different types of car insurance and to pay attention to the different policies offered by car insurers. With additional car insurance you can also choose additional car insurance policies that can significantly expand your coverage, but with additional costs applied. Including damage insurance for occupants, additional passenger accident insurance, legal expenses, breakdown assistance, and no claims protection.

    Cost of car insurance →Save on car insurance →Switch to a different policy →
    vrouw sluit deelautoverzekering af

    Cost of car insurance

    The cost of car insurance depends on several factors. This includes the type and age of the car, as well as the age of the insured person and their claims history. The cost of car insurance primarily depends on the chosen formula. The all-risk insurance is the most expensive option, followed by the WA + Limited Casco and the WA insurance, respectively. Of course, the all-risk insurance also offers more extensive coverage. The difference between these three formulas is shown below.

    Type of costsWA-insuranceWA + limited CascoAll-risk insurance
    Harm to othersYesYesYes
    Car theftNoYesYes
    Burglary damage to the carNoYesYes
    Storm damage to the carNoYesYes
    Fire damage to the carNoYesYes
    Collision with wild animalsNoYesYes
    Traffic damage through fault of the insuredNoNoYes
    Damage by unknown perpetratorsNoNoYes

    Additional car insurance – more cover can be taken out voluntarily, covering a whole host of potential issues, such as accident passenger insurance, non-life insurance for passengers, no-claim protection and legal assistance insurance.

    Risk assessment – the cost of the premium depends on various factors, including the characteristics of the car, whether it is used for private or business purposes. Number of kilometres driven per year, the age of the driver, their driving history, and number of claim-free years.

    Insured value – the maximum insured damage also plays a role in the cost of the premium, with a higher price associated with a more expensive car. This is why younger drivers tend to opt for a cheaper car, as this will give them access to cheaper car insurance.

    Own risk – every insurer has a fixed deductible, but this can sometimes be adjusted voluntarily. This will have an impact on the premium of the car insurer, and this will differ between car insurance companies and individual policies.

    Discounts and benefits – some insurers offer discounts and promotions, especially to new customers. This makes it possible to make some significant cost savings, such as discounts for annual instead of monthly payments where you can save some money.

    Save on car insurance

    Car insurance can sometimes be quite expensive, especially for young people or seniors. Fortunately, there are several ways you can save on car insurance. They might sometimes only be small savings, but it all adds up. Below are some ways you can save on your car insurance.

    Pay for minor damage yourself – sometimes it is better to pay for damages and not claim, as you will lose your no-claim discount and the premium will increase. A small claim has the same impact as a big claim, so always check the consequences for your no-claim discount.

    Increase the deductible – many people choose a low deductible because they worry about what they will pay in the event of damage claims. By increasing the deductible though, you will pay a lower premium. A good choice if you are a good driver with no history of claims.

    Be careful with additional coverage – if you are interested in additional, specialist coverage, be 100% sure that it is the right choice for you. The more policies and additions you have, the higher the premium will be.

    Make annual payments – most insurers offer discounts to policyholders that want to pay annually, in one chunk, rather than with monthly payments. If you can afford to do so, this is a great way to make some savings, especially in transaction costs and fees.

    Regularly compare insurance – make it a habit to regularly check your policy to ensure you are getting everything that you need out of it. You should also keep on eye on the market and see if it makes sense to switch car insurance policy to make savings.

    Take your claim-free years with you – if you are driving a leased car, it is not automatic that your claim-free years go with you when you switch insurers, so always check and pass on the data so that your new insurer has the accurate data on you.

    Commercial discounts for multiple policies – there are all sorts of discounts and promotions out there for you to discover, including multiple policies with the same insurer. This is beneficial to those with a second car, for instance.

    Savings through specialist policies – depending on the specifics, some specialist policies could also help you save money on your car insurance premium. Think classic car cover, oldtimer and youngtimer insurance, and mileage insurance.

    Switch to a different policy

    Switching to a different car insurance policy can give you considerable savings and you may find a policy that is better suited to your situation. More insurance companies are offering greater flexibility in terms of switching, but you should always look at the cancel policy within your specific insurance.

    Cancelling insurance through en-bloc change – it is sometimes possible to cancel your insurance if the policy conditions have been changed to your detriment. The insured may cancel within 30 days of the change, if the insurer does not communicate the change in policy.

    Price differences between policies – there can be several reasons why a person wants to switch to a different insurance policy for their car. A lower premium is often the reason, but it could also be down to package discounts and switching promotions.

    Cost of cancelling car insurance – you must always be 100% sure before switching, as you will have to prove the cancellation (we recommend registered mail to send a written letter). There will likely be a charge file cost, and you must pay the premium first.

    The insurance obligation – in the Netherlands, there is only an insurance obligation to third-party liability, not full cover. You can be fined and face huge damages should you be liable without having third-party insurance. Always have a new insurer agreed before switching, so you are not left with periods of no coverage.

    Notice period – the notice period for cancelling your car insurance is important, as it gives the insurer time to complete administrative matters. You may legally cancel your insurance policy after one year, though many companies offer greater flexibility with earlier cancellation an option.

    Claim-free years and switching – when you switch car insurance policy you do not lose your claim-free years. Your old insurance company is obliged to send this information to your new insurer. With a no-claim protector, if you have an accident you won’t lose your no claim information but your premium might still be higher with a new insurer.

    You don’t always need to switch – it can pay off to switch insurers, but it isn’t always the case. Look around and see what is available to you and if it works better for you to switch. There are some things to consider:

    • Increasing coverage to a more expensive formula is almost always immediately possible.

    • Lowering your coverage is only possible after the first year in most cases.

    • Switching from all-risk insurance to WA+ limited casco is a good choice when your car is 6+ years old

    • Switching from WA+ limited casco to WA is a good option for cars over ten years old

    • For older cars always check which specialist formula works best for your policy

    Right of withdrawal – you may face a cooling off period of 14 days when cancelling and switching your car insurance. You can change your mind at any point during this period, free of charge.

    Frequently asked questions about car insurance

    Taking out car insurance can sometimes be quite complicated and there are many questions that can arise. For example, the difference between a normal liability insurance and a liability + insurance is not always clear. That is why we have listed some frequently asked questions with the corresponding answers below.

    Is an insurer obliged to accept car insurance?

    An insurer is not obliged to accept car insurance. It is therefore possible that you will be rejected for the insurance. This occurs if you have often suffered damage, or if you are young and drive a very expensive car. In addition, a negative payment history and a criminal history are also grounds for rejecting the insurance. In theory, it is possible for all conventional insurers to reject someone. In that case, you should turn to insurers that are happy to offer policies to people with a high-risk profile, although the premium will be considerably higher.

    My child has just turned 18 and already has a driver's licencelicense. Can I take out car insurance for them?

    In principle, the licence plate holder takes out the car insurance. So, if the child has their own car, they should take out the insurance themself. It is therefore not possible to insure a car for a child. The reason why parents would want to pay the premium is obvious: insured persons up to 24 years old pay a high premium.

    I bought a new car. Which insurance should I choose?

    We cannot advise on which insurance you should take out, we can only inform you. Statistical data show that most policyholders opt for WA+ comprehensive insurance when they buy a brand new car. Slightly older cars often receive a WA + limited hull insurance and cars from 10 years and older are usually insured with WA.

    What does provisional car insurance include?

    Those who take out car insurance online are not allowed to hit the road immediately. The insurer must first approve the application. That may take a while. That is why insurers sometimes provide 'provisional cover'. The applicant is thus insured until the application has been definitively accepted. The applicant can simply hit the road and know that they are covered in the meantime. Whether the insurer of choice provides provisional cover can often be found in the terms and conditions. Cars that are too expensive or too heavy usually do not receive provisional cover. The same goes for people with negative damage-free years.

    How can I request claim-free years?

    Claim-free years can be requested in three ways: 1. Request damage-free years via a cancellation statement: are you cancelling an old car insurance policy? Then the insurer will send a cancellation statement. This also shows the accrued number of damage-free years. This can be requested when taking out a new insurance policy. 2. Find claim-free years at the old insurer: haven't received a cancellation statement yet and you don't know where the policy schedule is? Then it is best to contact your intermediary or the old car insurance company. They will send a statement stating the number of claim-free years. 3. Request damage-free years via Roy-data: insurers note damage-free years in the database of Roy-data. In this way, insurers can easily check whether the number of claim-free years is correct. Via this database you can therefore, via the insurer, request the number of claim-free years. This can sometimes take up to a month. This is not the fastest way of requesting the number of damage-free years.

    Can't I claim under my personal liability insurance?

    Personal liability insurance (AVP) provides cover for matters other than third-party liability insurance or car insurance. By also taking out additional insurance, you can be sure that you are insured against all kinds of situations. You can hardly ever claim road events under the AVP.

    What is the bonus-malus ladder?

    The bonus-malus ladder is a table that car insurers use to determine the discount on car insurance. The more claim-free years you have, the higher you are on the ladder and the more no-claim discount you can receive. Every year that you do not damage someone, you’ll rises on the ladder. However, if someone claims damage, they fall back at least 5 damage-free years on the ladder and the premium increases.

    What happens if I claim damage from an all-risk insurance policy?

    If you claim damage, you may be faced with an excess. You can read what the deductible amount is in the policy conditions. In addition, you fall back into the damage-free years and fall on the bonus-malus ladder. As a result, you will pay a higher premium in the coming Year. It can therefore sometimes be more advantageous to pay for the damage yourself.

    Does all-risk insurance apply abroad?

    In most cases, the all-risk insurance also applies abroad. In the event of damage, the insurance will pay for the damage and the insurer will settle the matter with the other party.

    Is it true that a move can have a major impact on my premium?

    Yes. The zip code certainly has a big impact. The Netherlands used to be divided into large risk zones, but nowadays insurers have so much data that they can even calculate the premium per street or per house number. Sometimes a move can save a few tens of Euro per month when moving from the city to the countryside. Moving just to save on car insurance is of course not the best idea, but in general Friesland is the cheapest province. This is followed by Drenthe, Groningen and Zeeland. South Holland, Limburg, North Holland and North Brabant are the most expensive provinces to insure a car. In South Holland, the insurance premium is on average up to 26% higher than in Zeeland.

    What is the second family car scheme?

    In the second family car scheme, the no-claim discount of the first car is also applied to the second family car, but a claim involving one car has no effect on the no-claim discount of the other car. Sometimes additional conditions apply, and the second family car may only be used for a maximum number of kilometres. Moreover, the car of children living at home is often excluded.

    Does an excess always apply with a hull insurance policy?

    Yes, with hull insurance there is an excess. This is a fixed amount that you pay yourself in the event of a claim. The rest of the damage is paid by the insurer. The amount of the deductible depends on the insurance policy. You will find this in the policy conditions. Unlike with health insurance, you pay the deductible per claim that you claim. In the event of a new claim, you will therefore have to pay the deductible again.

    What is the difference between new value and current value?

    The current value is the amount a car is worth at the time the value is determined. This is based on various factors. For example, we look at: the catalogue value, the age of the car, the brand and type of car, the mileage, accessories and the general condition of the car. In addition, there are other matters of importance. Even the colour of the vehicle can affect the current value. The new value is the value of the car if you had to buy it again. Some insurers offer a scheme for this in the car insurance. During a certain period of time, the insured will be paid the replacement value if the car is totalled. Usually, this period varies from 1 to 3 years. It is also possible to insure the car against purchase value. The condition is that the purchase value has a ceiling. For example, you can insure a car for up to €50.000, if you bought it second-hand, for example. Here too, the purchase value applies for a specific period.

    Are all accessories included in the insurance?

    Accessories are co-insured in the WA limited hull insurance and the WA full hull insurance. The insurance policies usually offer standard cover for accessories up to a total of €1.250. There are two types of accessories: "ex works accessories" and "additional accessories". The first type of accessories are is already in the car when the car leaves the factory. Consider, for example, an audio or navigation system. Its value is then already included in the catalogue value. It is also possible to insure 'additional accessories'. These are accessories that were installed later. Think of an upgraded audio system, more expensive rims or a separate sliding roof. The value of all these accessories quickly exceeds €1.250. That is why you can increase the amount by €2.500, €3.500 or €5.000. You will then pay a higher premium. Loose accessories, such as a separate navigation system, are not covered by the hull insurance. They are not built into the car. Instead, these accessories are covered by home contents insurance.

    What if I cannot pay my premium on time?

    There will first be a warning with a final date by which the premium must be transferred. After exceeding this deadline, a reminder will always follow. Is a payment still outstanding? Then the insurer will suspend the insurance. The obligation to pay the premium remains, but the insurer no longer has to pay compensation in the event of a claim. From this moment on, the RDW can also impose a fine because the car is uninsured. This fine is €400. If no payment is made even after suspension, the insurer will cancel the insurance. The insurance will then be terminated from the day on which the insured should have paid the premium.

    Is the premium gross or net?

    Insurers generally always indicate the premium that the insured must pay. This includes an insurance tax of 21%. The amount that the insured must pay does not therefore go entirely to the insurer. Administration costs, rarely more than a tenner, are often not included in the amounts posted.

    What happens to incomplete claim-free years?

    The new insurer decides for itself how to deal with this. In theory, a new insurer may decide to convert 1 year and 11 claim-free months into 1 claim-free year. Some insurers round up in such cases and can therefore offer a cheaper premium. Keep this in mind when comparing car insurance companies.

    Do I have a reflection period when taking out a new car insurance policy?

    A cooling-off period of 14 days applies to car insurance. During this period, it is possible to cancel the new car insurance without giving reasons.

    What is shared car insurance?

    Shared car insurance is car insurance for shared cars. There is then no main driver and the car may be used by different people.