Road Accidents in the Netherlands

Information on what to do when you have a road traffic accident: who to call and how to fill in the accident report document for insurance after a car crash...

It is obligatory for all cars in the Netherlands to have at least third party liability auto insurance (wettelijke aansprakelijkheid) other motor insurance: fire, theft, vandalism is optional.

The insurance agent will provide a European Claim Form, which should be kept in the car. The claim form is the basis on which an insurance claim is made. In the event of an accident, all parties complete and sign the form at the scene. Copies are then sent to all claimants insurers for assessment.

What to do at the scene of the accident

  • Stop immediately
  • If the vehicle is blocking the road, use hazard lights and place a red warning triangle 30m from the scene to warn oncoming traffic
  • All parties involved must exchange details:
    • Name and address of all the people involved in the accident
    • Vehicle registration numbers
    • Details of the insurance companies

Minor accidents

If the accident is not too serious (for instance, if it only involves damage to property), then take the following action:

  • All parties involved in the accident complete and sign a claim form. This may be used as evidence. If there is disagreement and the form cannot be signed by all involved, the police can be asked to intervene
  • The names and addresses of any witnesses should also be mentioned, as well as information on the facts of the accident
  • If possible, take a photograph of the scene of the accident

The claim form must then be sent to the insurance company; in the Netherlands there is no time deadline.

Accidents involving an injury or a fatality

In the event of an accident in which someone is injured or killed:

  • Contact the police and call an ambulance if necessary: 112
  • The police will make an official report describing the details of the accident and take note of the personal details of all people involved, including registration numbers and insurance information
  • A copy of the accident report can be requested by writing; mention the time and place (municipality) where the accident took place and include relevant vehicle registration numbers. Write to:
  • If the police do not attend the scene of the accident, those involved must collect the names and addresses of all relevant parties and witnesses. The European claim form may be used and signed by all
  • Taking photographs or drawing a sketch of the scene is advisable

Note: Leaving the scene of an accident without providing this information is considered an offence.

If the party responsible for the damage is uninsured or unknown, the claim can be submitted to the Road Traffic Guarantee Fund (Waarborgfonds Motorverkeer).

The 5th Motor Insurance Directive is in force in the European Union regarding traffic accidents outside a person's own country: victims of traffic accidents can now claim compensation in a simple manner from the insurer of the party at fault. These claims are submitted to the representative of the foreign insurer in the victim's country.

In the event of a fatality

Should a fatality occur in an accident, the deceased will be taken to a mortuary. The family is usually asked to identify the body. The Crown Prosecutor's Office (Officier van Justitie) may investigate the cause of death. In such cases, the Officier van Justitie will give permission for the cremation or burial.

Useful Organisations