Do I need travel insurance for the Netherlands?
Travel insurance is essential if you’re planning a holiday in the Netherlands. It will protect you – and pay costs – if you fall ill, have an accident, lose your baggage or something is stolen while you’re there.
Travel cover also provides financial protection if you need to cut short or cancel your trip in an emergency – knowing you’re covered means you can relax and enjoy your holiday.
What type of travel insurance do you need for the Netherlands?
Trips to the Netherlands are covered by any regular European travel insurance policy. When you’re comparing policies with MoneySuperMarket, your trip will fall into one of the following categories:
- One holiday just to the Netherlands: If you are only taking one trip, select single-trip travel insurance with the Netherlands as your destination
- One trip to Netherlands and other countries: If you are visiting other countries during the same trip, select multi-trip insurance and then pick each country you plan to visit as multiple destinations. If you are backpacking, select backpackers’ insurance
- Several holidays throughout the year that include the USA, Canada or the Caribbean: You might be able to save money by selecting an annual multi-trip travel insurance policy. If you plan to visit the USA, Canada or somewhere the Caribbean, you need to select a worldwide policy that covers these countries
- Several holidays throughout the year that do not include the USA, Canada or the Caribbean: Again, you could save by selecting an annual multi-trip travel insurance policy. If you don’t plan to visit the USA, Canada or the Caribbean, you can select a worldwide policy that excludes those countries
What should your Dutch travel insurance include?
A good travel insurance policy should include the following:
- Cover for medical expenses, usually up to a limit of £5m. This is especially important in light of Brexit, as your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) may no longer be accepted in Dutch hospitals if Britain leaves the EU without a deal on 31 January 2020
- Cover for the cost of bringing you back to the UK, otherwise known as ‘repatriation’
- Cover for the cancellation or curtailment of your holiday, in case you have to head home earlier than planned or an emergency prevents you from going in the first place
- Delay and missed departure cover, in case events beyond your control (such as a car breakdown) cause you to miss your flight
- Travel abandonment cover, for unusual circumstances where the journey to your destination becomes unfeasible
- Baggage cover, in case your belongings are lost or stolen during your trip. Make sure you include cover for any particularly costly items you’ll have with you, such as jewellery
- Passport cover, because getting a replacement for a lost or stolen passport while abroad can be both complicated and costly
- Personal liability cover, protects you in case something you do causes injury to someone else, or the loss or damage of their possessions
Dutch travel insurance: Exclusions and what to watch out for
Many standard travel insurance policies won’t include the following:
- If you have a pre-existing medical condition, or you’ve had one in the past for which you’ve received advice or treatment, you may find you’re charged a higher premium. You might even have to take out a special policy for pre-existing conditions
- Cover for unexpected incidents that may affect your holiday, like civil unrest, war, terrorism and natural disasters
- Cover for accidents or injuries that can be linked to you drinking too much
- Cover for travel to locations that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has said British holidaymakers should avoid
- Cover for accidents or injuries that happen during sporting activities such as skiing and snowboarding. If you know you’ll be doing something adventurous, check to make sure you have adventure or winter sports cover in place first
How much should my travel insurance excess be?
The excess on your travel insurance is the amount you will have to pay before your travel insurance company will pay out on a claim. While a higher excess might reduce the cost of your cover, you shouldn’t increase it to the point that you wouldn’t be able to afford to if you made a claim.
When should my travel insurance policy start from?
Start your travel insurance policy from the day you book your trip, not from the date when you are planning to travel. If you delay the start of your policy, you will not be covered if you unexpectedly need to cancel.
Top travel tips for the Netherlands
The Netherlands is one of Britain’s closest neighbours, just a short hop across the North Sea. The two nations have an inextricably linked history both as allies and enemies, while a Dutch prince known as William of Orange even sat on the British throne between 1688 and 1702.
Of course, the days of empire are long behind us, and now the Netherlands is a very popular destination for British tourists. These are our tips on making the most of a trip there:
- On your bike: The Netherlands has incredible cycle infrastructure, and it’s really easy to get around cities – or even between them – because the land is so flat. So make sure you hire bikes to really see the sights – but remember not to walk into the cycle lanes, because the locals really hate that
- English spoken: The Dutch are probably the best English speakers in the world. Almost everyone is fluent, so don’t worry too much about learning the local language before you leave – even though it’s very similar to English
- Coffee vs café: It is very important to learn the difference between a café and a coffee shop. The former is a place to get hot drinks, pastries and cakes, and while you can buy all those things at the latter, coffee shops are also where people go to legally smoke cannabis. Beware of the cakes at coffee shops too, as they might have marijuana baked into them!
- Red light etiquette: Amsterdam is famous for its seedy side too, but the red light district has plenty of strict rules for conduct. We won’t list them all here, but don’t photograph the women in their booths; it’s rude, and they might well come out and chuck your phone in the river
- Get out of Amsterdam: The capital might be the Netherlands’ cultural nexus, but there are plenty of other picturesque towns and cities worth a visit. Leiden is particularly pretty, for instance
- Debit card difficulties: VISA debit cards are much less commonly accepted throughout the country, while American Express and MasterCard aren’t much better. This is because everyone uses Maestro, a MasterCard-owned system which uses different tech to process card payments. Most tourist locations and ATMs will accept other debit cards, but there are entire national chains which won’t, so stock up on euros before you leave
- Tulip season: Tulip season is very beautiful as huge fields suddenly burst into brilliant colour, but it’s surprisingly short – lasting six to eight weeks from March to early May
- Spend a penny: Male urinals are free in the Netherlands, but you have to pay for anything else so bring small denomination coins with you
- Get your skates on: This doesn’t happen every year, but sometimes it gets cold enough in winter for the canals to freeze over. This stops the country in its tracks as everyone gets out and goes skating; if you’re lucky and you time it right, you can join in
- Get a museum card: The ‘I Amsterdam City Card’ is designed with tourists in mind, and will save you a lot of money if you plan to visit a lot of the city’s many attractions, despite the high up-front costs
Compare travel insurance policies before you buy
While travel insurance for the Netherlands is a necessity, the price of a policy varies. Different companies will sell the same level of cover at completely different prices, so it’s important to compare before you buy.
MoneySuperMarket’s comparison tool asks you a few simple questions about you and your holiday: where you are going, how long for and what you want your policy to cover, and in just a couple of minutes you can compare prices from a range of leading travel insurers.