FAQ what do I want to insure?

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.

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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 (zorgverzeking). The rules in the 'zorgstelsel' apply for everyone in the Netherlands who is 18 year or older. Health insurance is compulsory.
  • Liability insurance for private individuals (AVP, aansprakelijkheidsverzekering voor particulieren). An AVP insurance is not mandatory, but it is very useful. The premium is low, but if you cause damage, the financial damage can be big. Some employers or schools require an AVP insurance.
  • Legal liability (WA, Wettelijke Aansprakelijkheid verzekering). A legal liability insurance is for car owners and is a mandatory liability insurance for damage to third parties when using the car.
  • 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 (arbeidsongeschiktheidsverzeking, AOV). A self-employed person does not pay any contribution to employee insurance schemes and is therefore not entitled to a benefit in the event of illness, for example. As a self-employed person, you are not therefore compulsorily or automatically insured against the loss of income that arises if you become (chronically) ill/unfit for work. You can insure against the risk via an invalidity insurance policy, but other options and combinations are also possible. Examples include participation in a so-called ‘solidarity fund’, often referred to as a ‘broodfonds’ (bread fund) or ‘schenkkring’ (donation circle) in Dutch (a fund which self-employed people make monthly payments into, which can then provide a basic income for anyone in the group who becomes too ill to work), a voluntary insurance policy with the UWV, saving money or a part-time job in salaried employment.
  • Unemployment insurance. This does not exist for self-employed people. It is advisable to keep savings for when business is slow.
  • Health insurance (zorgverzeking). 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.
  • Business liability insurance and on approval coverage. This business liability insurance (bedrijfsaansprakelijkheidsverzekering) covers damage to others that you, or your employees, volunteers or interns, cause while working. A personal liability insurance (aansprakelijkheidsverzekeing voor particulieren, AVP) is not valid in work situations. If you use, borrow, rent or process things from another person, this is also referred to as on approval (opzicht). In principle, supervision is excluded from a business liability insurance. You can add an on approval coverage (opzichtdekking).
  • Professional liability insurance. With a professional liability insurance (beroepsaansprakelijkheidsverzekering) you insure the financial damage that a client suffers as a result of a professional error for which you are liable. Suppose you are an architect and construction comes to a standstill due to an incorrect calculation. Then a professional liability insurance protects you against the consequences.

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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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Representative bodies