So, you got your first bike in the Netherlands. Congratulations! You’re probably excited to experience the true essence of being a local. However, I must bring up a rather unfortunate aspect that you may have already heard about: bike theft. Let’s face it, the Netherlands is an incredible place, but it does have its fair share of bike theft troubles. In fact, in 2021 alone, over 700,000 bikes were reported stolen according to the Central Bureau of Statistics. Hence, it’s worth considering getting bike insurance to ensure that your precious ride remains protected.
Can I insure my bicycle?
No matter what kind of wheels you have – whether you have a regular bike, a stylish bakfiets, or a speedy e-bike, you can insure it! Is it mandatory? No, unless, you have a “high speed” e-bike (so one that goes faster than 25km/h). In that case, then it is legally required for you to have liability insurance (we will soon provide more information about choosing liability insurance, or “aansprakelijkheidsverzekering” in Dutch, in our blog. For now, you can consider looking into providers like ABN AMRO, which you may already be familiar with as your banking company, or InShared.nl, which also offers this type of coverage).
You may also want to know, that bike insurance can cover both new and second-hand bikes. However, keep in mind that you will need proof of purchase, such as an invoice or receipt, to establish the value.
How to choose the right bike insurance for your needs as an expat
Most insurers offer three kinds of coverage: theft, damage (by fall or collision), or a mix of both – theft & damage. What will affect the premium amount – is the type of your bike, its value, but also your age, and your zip code. It is a good idea to compare premium with one of the comparison websites, so you can compare the providers directly. If you have an e-bike, make sure to check if the provider covers your battery as well (this will be possible only for new and refurbished batteries).
Some insurers also offer an option to insure bike accessories (so parts of your bike that have not been installed on your bicycle at the factory, like a basket, bicycle lock, child seat, and saddlebags). When applying for your bicycle insurance, you can specify which accessories you want to insure. To do this, provide the value of the accessories as stated on the purchase receipt.
Does it make sense for me to insure my bike as an expat
As it was mentioned above, the answer depends on several factors, including the value of your bike, your location, and your personal preferences. Let’s explore a couple of scenarios to help you make a comparison.
Imagine you live in Amsterdam Zuid, and you’ve recently purchased a brand new Batavus e-bike worth 1800 euros. Allianz Global Assistance – Pechhulp, fiets- en reisverzekeringen insurance will serve us as an example here, although there are many other providers offering similar packages.
Allianz offers two options: standard insurance covering theft and battery insurance, or extended insurance with added coverage for damage. We will focus on extended insurance because we want to have great piece of mind. With Allianz, in the case of theft, they will reimburse the replacement value of your bike, regardless of whether it is stolen in the first or last year of the insurance policy, which is important! Additionally, the battery is also covered without a separate premium. This extended insurance option includes reimbursement for repair costs in the event of damage to your bicycle or its parts. However, it’s important to note that certain types of damage, such as scratches and scrapes, or damage to specific parts like tires, dress guards, chain boxes, quick binders, cables, bell, and lighting, may not be covered (please refer to the specific terms and conditions for details).
Now, let’s talk about the cost. Based on June 2023 rates (which are of course subject to change), the premium for 3 years of extended coverage with Allianz Global Assistance is 145.08 euros (paid upfront), which is equivalent to approximately 4.03 euros per month.
This means that you pay around 8% of your bike’s worth upfront and enjoy three years of peace of mind.
Now, let’s explore a different scenario. Imagine you’ve purchased a well-used second-hand omafiets for 150 euros. In this case, you can consider either expiring bicycle insurance, aflopende fietsverzekering in Dutch, or continuous bicycle insurance, referred to as doorlopende fietsverzekering. The main difference between these options lies in the commitment period (3 years versus a minimum of 1 year) and the payment scheme (upfront versus monthly).
For a 3-year coverage with expiring insurance, the total cost would be 108.47 euros, plus an insurance tax of 22.78 euros, amounting to 131.25 euros in total. This represents 87.50% of your bike’s value.
Alternatively, if you opt for the monthly payment option with a one-year commitment, the premium would be (as of June 2023) 5.06 euros per month, plus an insurance tax of 1.06 euros (also to be paid monthly). This brings the annual cost to approximately 73.56 euros, which is roughly 49% of your bike’s worth, solely for one year of coverage.
Please note that this information is provided for general knowledge and should not be considered financial or legal advice. Always consult with a professional insurance provider and carefully review their terms and conditions to determine the best coverage options for your specific needs.
Did you know?
Did you know that in addition to bike insurance, you can also get road assistance for your bike in the Netherlands? Just like how you can have roadside assistance for your car, there are services available specifically for bikes. With bike road assistance, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing that help is just a phone call away, 24/7, whether you’re at home or out on the road. So, if you ever find yourself with a flat tire or a mechanical issue while cycling, you can count on professional assistance.