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With picture-perfect towns and eclectic cities, there’s so much to do in this historically rich, urban landscape. Relive history at the esteemed Anne Frank Museum or take in the scenic landscapes framed by 17th century windmills and vibrant tulips in Spring.

Ranked the sixth happiest country in the world in 2019,1 the Netherlands is the ideal getaway for those who need a vacation away from home.

However, for the ultimate care-free holiday, consider getting travel insurance. Keep reading to find out why.

Do I need travel insurance for the Netherlands?

Although the Netherlands are known for being one of the safest countries in the world, it doesn’t mean that it’s completely free of accidents, petty crimes and unforeseen illnesses.

Theft and accidents around bicycles are extremely common in the Netherlands, for example.2 Not only that, whether it’s location-specific or an issue with your health, things can go wrong on any holiday.

Not only can travel insurance financially protect you from the unexpected, it can also provide peace of mind so that you can kick back and focus on the important things, like swigging Dutch gin and munching on stroopwafel.

Landscape with tulips, traditional dutch windmills and houses near the canal in Zaanse Schans, Netherlands

What should my travel insurance for the Netherlands include?

What your travel insurance should cover will depend on your itinerary. With the right preparation, travel insurance can be a great way to cover your bases for the ultimate holiday.

Theft and loss of belongings

General theft, including pickpocketing and theft from cars, is common, particularly in Amsterdam.2 In fact, bicycle theft is the most common type of theft in the Netherlands – roughly 700,000 bicycles are stolen every year, 100,000 of which are reported to police.3

If someone steals your cash, pickpockets your belongings or breaks your luggage, this feature may cover all or a large portion of those losses.

Cover for medical expenses

Did you know that the Dutch travel more than a quarter of all their trips on bicycles? 4 It’s a great way for locals and tourists alike to travel and see the sites. In fact, there were more bicycles than people in 2018 – 17 million people compared to 23 million bicycles.

That’s to say, bicycles account for 63% of serious injuries in relation to other modes of travel in the Netherlands, according to the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management.4

Travel insurance can cover the unexpected costs that can come with accidents like these, provided you follow the Netherland’s road rules and are responsible. It can also cover medical expenses for illnesses and other injuries if the Australia-Netherlands reciprocal healthcare agreement doesn’t already cover it.

Adventure cover

Perhaps you’d like to try your hand at climbing the tallest free-standing climbing wall, Excalibur, in Groningen. Or maybe you’d like to go bungee jumping off Scheveningen Pier at the Hague.

If you’ve got the bug for adventure, you’ll want to get the adventure cover add-on with your general travel insurance policy. Without this, your insurer may void any claims related to adventure activities.

Snow cover

To enjoy winter activities like ice-skating on the canals of Amsterdam with the locals or indoor skiing, you should consider snow and ski cover. Like adventure cover, your insurer may void any claims related to snow sport activities unless you have this additional level of cover.

Coverage on the roads

Planning on driving? Rental car excess and motorcycle and scooter cover are going to come in handy in cases of accidents or theft. Your insurer can cover the rental company excess that comes with many misfortunes.

The Netherlands travel insurance: exclusions you should watch out for

Every travel insurance policy will come with terms and conditions and may not cover you in certain circumstances. In general, you may not be covered for the following:

  • Incidents related to pre-existing conditions. Your insurer may cover certain medical conditions, but not others. Regardless, you should disclose all medical conditions to your insurer before taking out a policy.
  • Luggage lost due to carelessness. If you left your belongings unattended or didn’t take the proper precautions to keep them safe, you likely won’t be covered.
  • Injuries sustained while driving under the influence. Alcohol and drug-related claims generally aren’t covered. Keep this in mind when travelling to Amsterdam.
  • Ignorance of road rules. Blatant disregard for road rules won’t be covered.
  • Driving without the right licence. Despite what you may hear, you need an international driver’s licence to drive in the Netherlands. Not having one could void any claims.

Find out more about other common exclusions. For policy-specific exclusions, read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) provided by your insurer.

Are the Netherlands safe?

The Netherlands is one of the safest countries you can travel to. Most Dutch people are fluent in English as well, so you probably won’t come across many language barriers.

However, there is always some risk in all countries, especially when it comes to travelling. Travelling in a foreign country with different customs and laws can put you in a vulnerable place. Make sure you are well prepared and watch out for pickpockets, as tourists are often easy targets.

Christmas time in Amsterdam with the Rijksmuseum in Netherlands at twilight

Top travel tips for the Netherlands

1. Book in advance

The Netherlands has an abundance of great cultural works, from the esteemed works of Van Gogh and M.C. Esche, to quirky monuments littered throughout the country.

With hundreds of interesting museums and sights to see, you’re going to want to book in advance if you want to avoid long queues.

You may want to consider getting an “I Amsterdam” City Card for major attractions and city-wide transport in Amsterdam, including rental bikes and canal cruises.

2. Lock your bicycle

Lock it twice if you can – once at the wheel and again at the frame – to really deter thieves. Bike thieves are a lot more common (and savvy) than you’d think. Keep a close eye on your bike, and don’t buy suspiciously cheap bikes off the street – it’ll likely be a stolen bike. Both you and the thief can get fined for handling stolen bikes.

3. Keep cash on hand

While the Netherlands are slowly moving towards becoming a cashless society, cash is preferred over credit cards in most places. Credit cards aren’t popular and you may have trouble with using any non-European debit cards.

It’s a good idea to carry cash on you, but there is one type of card used across the Netherlands. The Dutch rely heavily on Maestro cards. In fact, certain shops, such as Albert Heijm (Holland’s largest supermarket chain), won’t accept any other type of card.

A Maestro card is type of debit card that works like a Mastercard or Visa card. It works at ATMs and point of sales (POS) as a contactless, swipe or insertion payment, just like any other card. The only difference is that it doesn’t have a CVV number and the expiry date isn’t written on the card, making it less secure than other types of cards.

4. Travel visa-free for three months

If you’re travelling on an Australian passport, you can travel through the Schengen area for 90 days without a visa. The Netherlands is included in the Schengen area.

Compare travel insurance for the Netherlands

If you’re looking get travel insurance for the Netherlands, try using our travel insurance comparison service to compare a variety of policies from some of Australia’s best-known insurers!

It’s simples to find great-value policies.

Curious about travelling to other parts of Europe? Find out more about getting cover for other countries.


1 World Happiness Report. (2020). It’s a Three-Peat, Finland Keeps Top Spot as Happiest Country in World. Accessed 31 August 2020.

2 Expatica. (2020). General safety in the Netherlands. Accessed 31 August 2020.

3 Velo Mondial. Bicycle Theft, The Dutch Experience. Accessed 31 August 2020.

4 Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management. (2018). Cycling Facts. Accessed 31 August 2020.

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