Is liability insurance compulsory or not in the Netherlands? The answer is: no. And because the Dutch hate obligations, that’s a good thing. Or not? It is a fact that society is changing at a rapid pace. And that certainly applies to claim awareness. Accidents used to be mutually arranged. Nowadays people come up with a claim much faster. The liability insurance for private individuals, in short, the AVP, can then offer a solution.
What problem does mandatory liability insurance solve?
If you cause damage to another person, you may be legally liable. Many people do not realize that the damage caused can be considerable. It can even get so far that you never get out. This is especially important if someone sustains permanent injuries as a result of you. However, almost one and a half million Dutch people are not insured for this type of damage. Damages, therefore, which they inflict on others, and for which they are liable. And that, while this liability insurance is one of the cheapest insurance policies. An insurance that should never be missing from your insurance package.
Whether liability insurance is mandatory or not shouldn’t really matter. Because the lack of this insurance has already resulted in the necessary dramas. For the victims, but also for the perpetrators. For the victims, because they were not compensated for their damage, or only received it late. But also for the perpetrators, because they had to pay off the damage for years. Good insurance could have prevented this misery. And that is why more and more people are calling for mandatory liability insurance. Just like with third-party car insurance, which is also required by law.
Liability insurance required? Isn’t that going too far?
Mandatory liability insurance can prevent many problems for victims. But, of course, an obligation also encounters resistance. The obligation to insure your car WA has long been established. But if you were also obliged to have liability insurance, some people think that would be going too far.
Mandatory liability insurance is really worth considering. Without obligation, it turns out that many people are still not insured. Everyone has that freedom of course. But that freedom can mean for others that they get into big trouble because of you. Simply because you are unable to compensate them.
Examples of liability.
Unfortunately, there are plenty of examples, and often there is also injury. Damage caused by a dog, for example. The animal bit a child in the face. This caused permanent damage to the face. The owner of the animal was liable here. Or accidents between pedestrians and cyclists, or between cyclists themselves. Sometimes such serious injuries occurred that the victim became permanently disabled. And even became completely incapacitated for work. As the owner of a house, you are also liable if a defect in this house causes damage to someone else.
Consider, for example, a raging fire, as a result of a short circuit due to poor maintenance. Or a roof tile blown off by a gust of wind. When you see the huge amounts of damage, you can imagine that liability insurance should be mandatory.
You can therefore be held liable for hundreds of thousands of Euros. And sometimes even considerably more. That is why liability insurance has high sums insured. Nowadays € 1,250,000 is the minimum standard.
Liability insurance required? It would be prudent to protect both victims and perpetrators. After all, the financial consequences of an unexpected loss cannot be foreseen. And that is why a social discussion is valuable.
Kees van den Berg
Kees van den Berg was an inspector at Delta Lloyd for a number of years. He has been an independent insurance adviser since 1988. Insurance on the internet has grown rapidly, but consumers and entrepreneurs often miss human contact. Depremie Comparator.nl has therefore remained an ordinary “old-fashioned” insurance office. With the personal service of the past and the digital technology of today.