taking out an insurance at 18 years old

The importance of taking out insurance when you turn 18

Your 18th birthday is a happy moment. The time where you grow up and become an adult. It is a big milestone in every person’s life, but with maturity comes with it some practical issues that you need to resolve. One such issue concerns insurance. There are immediate consequences in terms of health insurance, but there are other policies that you should look into.

What insurance policies should you consider when you turn 18?

There are many different insurance policies taken out by the family that eighteen-year old people will gain protection from, even if they are living away from home to study. This changes when a person over the age of eighteen moves out of home and begins work. This is when they must take out their own personal insurance. There are also situations where personal insurance is mandatory or needed.

Health insurance

Up until the age of 18, a child does not have to pay a health insurance premium. Once the child becomes an adult, they have to deal with health insurance for the first time. In most cases, parents place their child with the same health insurer and same package as they are in once it is time for them to have their own policy. This might not be the best choice for that young adult, but it is convenient and the easiest thing to do at that point. It could end up costing a lot more money to do so, and this is why it is important for a person who has just turned 18 to look at different insurers and compare prices.

When can I change health insurer?

Switching to a health insurer is only possible on the 1st January each year. However, when you turn 18 you can immediately switch from the policy you were on as a child as part of the family and find your own policy, at any time of the year. The main insured (your parent or guardian) must terminate the health insurance. You have one month from the date of turning 18 to switch to another insurer.

What happens if I stay on my parents health insurance?

Once a person turns 18, the deductible is automatically adjusted to the standard. If this should be higher, it is passed on to the health insurer. So, immediately at turning 18 you are at a financial disadvantage if you do not switch providers. You can apply for a care allowance if you are still studying, have a low income, and continue to live at home.

Contents insurance

If you continue to live at home after you turn 18, your items will continue to be covered by your parents’ home contents insurance. There may be restrictions here though if the person has moved away to study for a short period, with a maximum amount applied, and evidence of visible damage should there be theft at the property. Only properties in the Netherlands and Belgium are usually covered by contents insurance too. Once you move out of your home, either to study or to work, you should seek out the best policy of your own, insuring your household effects.

More information about home contents insurance →

Car insurance

Many teens will start learning to drive and use their parents’ car in the first instance. This means they are covered by the car insurance their parents have. If you begin to drive the car more regularly, as in to drive to and from your studies or work, you must report this to the car insurer, and it will affect the premium.

Learn more about car insurance →

Travel and cancellation insurance

Annual travel insurance will differ from person to person. Children who live away from home are not automatically insured on the family policy in some instances, and there are often age restrictions. Always consult your insurer to find out the detail of the policy. The same applied to cancellation insurance.

More information about travel insurance →

There are no worries with legal expenses insurance within a family policy. Even if the child goes away to college and is not living at home, the legal assistance insurance will still cover them. Always look at the detail though as there could be a no housing package that ends with legal conflicts with the landlord and you have no coverage. So, check the fine print.

More information about legal expenses insurance →

Funeral insurance

You might not want to think about your funeral when you’ve only just turned 18, but it is something that you need to think about eventually. The earlier you take out a funeral insurance policy, the cheaper the premium will be. You might already be co-insured on your parents’ funeral policy and this can be transferred to the child’s name in some cases.

Liability insurance

Children are covered under certain conditions on the liability insurance their parents have taken out. This applies even if they live away from home for their studies. Even if your parents do not have liability insurance, if you live away from home to study it might ease some worries for you to be covered for liability.

More information about liability insurance →

Accident insurance

In the event of an accident that causes death, injury, or disability, accident insurance pays out regardless of the actual damage. Children are often co-insured on family accident insurance even when studying and living away from home.

More information about accident insurance →

Watch out for the fine print

As you can see, there are many different types of insurance to consider once you turn 18 and become an adult. This is the case even if you remain living at home or co-insured on family policies as you move away to study. It is important to be aware of the different policy types, the different coverage, premiums, and to understand the fine print before taking out a policy. Every insurer is different, for instance, there are different age limits on how long an insurer will continue to reimburse if a young adult is away studying. This can be anywhere between 23 to 30 years of age. There are also consequences to consider when a young person moves out, starts working, gets married, and other life factors. Always check the details before committing to a policy and ensure you are covered for everything you need to be now that you’re 18 years old.

​​Frequently asked questions about insurance after 18 years of age

Is there health insurance for students?

Yes, some insurers offer health insurance policies for students of 18 years and over. This is a limited package on top of the basic insurance, containing reimbursements for the care needs that students often have. This could include reimbursements for glasses and contact lenses, dental insurance, and more.

I am 18 and a student living away from home. Can I also receive a rent allowance on top of a healthcare allowance?

There is also an income limit for rent allowance, like with a healthcare allowance. If there are additional requirements however, such as an independent living space, you must pay rent yourself and be registered with the municipality. Rent allowance cannot be applied therefore, in most student rooms.

What are the conditions for a healthcare allowance for students?

The student must be 18 years or older and have Dutch health insurance. IN addition, the student must also have Dutch nationality or legally reside in the Netherlands. There are also income and capital requirements to consider too. The income must be below the (joint) income limit (currently standing at EUR 31,138 with no allowance partner). A capital limit also applies (currently at EUR 118,479 without allowance partner).

What is the difference between the reimbursement policy, the in-kind policy and the combination policy for health insurance?

- The in-kind policy is a basic insurance with limited freedom of choice. You are obliged to choose care providers within that insurers list, but this does mean a low premium. - The reimbursement policy offers 100% freedom of choice and healthcare costs are reimbursed that are higher than the market rate, with some upper limits. - The combination policy is between the two, with complete freedom of choice with some forms of care.

I did not switch to another health insurer in time, when can I cancel my current policy?

The deadline for cancelling health insurance is December 31st each year, with a new health insurance policy taken out by the 31st January at the latest.

Am I required to take out health insurance?

Yes, health insurance in the Netherlands is mandatory. There are a couple of objections – conscientious objectors and military personnel on active duty. They must register with the SZVK (Stichting Ziektekostenverzekering Armed Forces).