FAQ insurances

Consider how or if you can insure yourself for income during unemployment, illness, disablement and retirement. Also think about insuring yourself against expenses in cases of illness, fire, theft, damage and accidents or for claims by third parties in cases of car accidents and not being able to work/perform due to illness.

What to do?

That depends on the combination risk/damage. A small risk can cause great damage or a bigger risk can cause small damage. Your ‘capacity’ also matters: legally speaking people can have several ‘capacities.’ Many artists have three: private individual, employee, self-employed person or business. 

Check carefully which risks are covered in the insurance. When you compare them: don’t just look at the costs. Check where your equipment is covered: only in the Netherlands or worldwide, only for what you own or also for what you have hired? Does it cover liability or damage? Also check who has to take out the insurance, or in what capacity you have to get insured. If you buy expensive equipment for your business, you have to put the insurance on the name of your company as well. Professional associations and unions can advise you and sometimes offer discounts on insurances.

Insurance for private individuals and employees

  • Social services like supplementary benefits, study financing and AOW (old age pension). This insurance for minimum incomes is paid through tax money. You don’t have to pay premiums for this. You have to belong to the legally specified category. Then, under certain conditions, you can request the benefits.
  • Employees’ insurance. This insures that you have income during illness, unemployment, and if you’re fired. Employees are required to have this insurance (arranged by the employer).
  • Pension schemes. Most employers offer their employees a pension scheme. Both employer and employee make monthly payments for this.
  • Health insurance. The rules in the 'zorgstelsel' apply for everyone in the Netherlands who is 18 year or older. Health insurance is compulsory.
  • Wettelijke Aansprakelijkheid verzekering (WA, third-party liability insurance). It is not compulsory, but still a must. The premiums are low, and if you cause damage it could involve large amounts of money. Liability insurance for car owners is compulsory!
  • Other insurance. Loss, theft, etc. These are not required, but are advisable. Check the risks in advance and make sure you know who will be liable for the consequences, according to the assignment contracts you have but also for other risks/damage.

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Social security

Insurances for the self-employed and businesses

You can also insure yourself for risks you have as a self-employed or as a business. It doesn’t matter whether or not you have established a legal entity for your company. If you establish a foundation, association or private limited company (bv) and are then employed by it, then the above forms of insurance apply. In other cases you have to consider the following forms of insurance:

  • Disability insurance (AOV in Dutch). Self-employed people are not covered by the Law on Work and Income according to Capacity for Work (WIA). There are private insurances against loss of income through illness. The costs depend on the level of insurance. A Dutch Broodfonds is an alternative for an AOV: you save money in a fund with a small group of people you know. This fund temporarily pays money to the fund member that cannot work because of illness. A combination of a Broodfonds and a regular AOV is also possible.
  • Unemployment insurance. This does not exist for self-employed people. It is advisable to keep savings for when business is slow.
  • Health insurance. The rules in the 'zorgstelsel' apply for everyone in the Netherlands who is 18 year or older. Health insurance is compulsory.
  • Pension scheme. Independents have to arrange this themselves.
  • WA and other insurance. The forms of insurance for private individuals do not apply to business’ risks. So find out the risks and who would be responsible for possible consequences. Check what has been settled in your contract.

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Insurances in arts and culture

There are various special insurances: if you have an expensive instrument, check if you need a special musical instrument insurance. The same goes for expensive equipment. Other examples are production insurance for film, event insurance for festivals, and transit insurance for fine arts.

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Advice and information