Five things to know about third-party insurance in the Netherlands in 2020

You may be looking at this article and wondering why you need to worry about third-party insurance on top of all the other things that have been thrown your way this corona ridden year. 

But perhaps of all the years, 2020 is the year make sure you’ve taken out third-party insurance. Not to jinx anyone, but let me just say it would be in keeping with the theme of the year if one of your morning commutes was to involve you driving into your neighbor’s expensive garden gnome.

If the fear of rear-ending an expensive object is one of the many things that keeps you up at night this year, well then this is the article for you. 

What is third-party insurance?  

So, what is third-party insurance? Put simply, third-party insurance is insurance that you take out if you own any sort of vehicle, be that a car, a motorbike or a moped. It is mandatory to take out. 

The insurance is meant to cover any damage you might do to the belongings or the bodies of other people while driving.  It’s important to note that the insurance doesn’t cover your vehicle, but the vehicle that you have caused damage to. 

But don’t worry, should your morning commute end with you getting rear-ended by a fancy Mercedes, their third-party insurance should cover any damage done to your vehicle. 

Third-party insurance is often confused with liability insurance in the Netherlands, because these two used to have the same name. Third-party insurance is called WA-Verzekering in Dutch, and is mandatory. Third-party insurance covers any damage you do to someone else’s car while driving. Liability insurance is called Aansprakelijkheidsverzekering (AVP), and is not mandatory (but encouraged). Liability insurance basically covers any damage you do in your everyday life to other people’s belongings, or their bodies.  

Will everything be covered by third-party insurance? 

In short, no. The coverage for third-party insurance depends on the policy that you take out. However, third-party insurance at its most basic is only meant to cover damage that has been done to the vehicle of the person you have crashed into. 

This means that if you happen to crash into a sneaky wall or a discombobulated cow, no one is going to be paying you out (walls and cows do not have third-party insurance.) 

This is why third-party insurance websites such as suggest that you take out insurance policies that offer slightly more comprehensive cover. For example, you can find policies that will also cover you should your car explode or get struck by lightning (again, 2020 would be the year). 

Is it mandatory?  

Third-party insurance is mandatory in the Netherlands if you own a car, scooter or moped. In fact, your vehicle should be covered for third-party before you even leave the place from which you bought it.

This goes for internationals and Dutchies alike. So for any expats who dream of driving a bright pink moped along the autumnal canals of Amsterdam, take out third-party insurance first, then carry on living the dream. 

The Dutch and insurance 

Mandatory third-party insurance comes as no surprise in a country in which bikes, cars and mopeds can all be found on the same, unbarriered stretch of road. Liability insurance is probably also a good idea in this country. While you may roll your eyes at the idea of covering yourself for future damages you may cause, it’s actually quite a smart move. 

Also, if you’re thinking that 2-3 insurances are good enough in this safe little country then you’re missing a very important part of the Dutch experience: living your life to the fullest without a thing to worry about because there is always an insurance coverage for every aspect of your life. The Dutch just love their insurances! A typical Dutch person would be contributing to the 6 or 7 types of insurance every month easily, sometimes going with double cover.

Am I covered internationally? 

If you should decide to take the pink moped for a trip to the Italian countryside, then you need to understand that third-party insurance only covers you for the Netherlands. However, there are policies that can cover a Mr.Worldwide-on-a-pink-moped lifestyle.

Not to worry you any more than you already are this year, but maybe 2020 is the year to look at third-party insurance. Let us know what you think in the comments below!

Feat image: SplitShire/Pexels

Ailish Lalor
Ailish Lalor
Ailish was born in Sydney, Australia, but grew up by a forest in south-east Ireland, which she has attempted to replace with a living room filled with plants in The Hague. Besides catering to her army of pannenkoekenplantjes, Ailish spends her days convincing her friends that all food is better slightly burnt, plotting ways to hang out with dogs and cats, and of course, writing for DutchReview.


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