“There is no such thing as a free lunch…”

Today, during my daily meditation, I was interrupted by the door bell ringing.
So naturally as you do, I answered the door, to find a man in a G4S Jacket claiming to be from “Securitas” offering me a “Free home alarm system” – in a strong South African accent – Now I’m usually the first in line for a free ANYTHING, but something seemed off (and it wasn’t just his accent).

The first thing that alerted me to the fact that this might be a scam, was that I was pretty damned sure, securitas don’t do home alarm systems. They take large amounts of money or jewelry from banks and stores to other banks and stores.
The next thing that made me wonder was that he didn’t seem to understand that since I rented the place, that I would first have to check with the landlord (verhuurder) if I could get it installed.

But if those two things alone weren’t enough to make me concerned about the man standing at my door, then this would have to be the clincher. After I insisted that I would have to consult the owner of the property first, and asked if he have a leaflet or card, so that I could make arrangements once I had done so, He said “It’s okay, I’ll come back at 8 O’Clock”.

Now I don’t know about you, but I’ve done “Face to Face Marketing” / Door Knocking before, and even though they work you like a dog (0845 to 1900 with no breaks) they certainly don’t have you working after 8PM. And I’m pretty sure that in the Netherlands – Home of “14 month wages per year” and the lowest average working week in Europe, that they most certainly don’t come back after 6PM.

Needless to say, after that experience I will be getting my home insured ASAP.

Expat Note: For those that don’t know, for some unknown reason There is no such thing as Inclusive cover in The Netherlands, now you might be thinking “Why does that matter? And what do you mean by ‘Inclusive’,”. Well let me put it this way, in my experience in every country I’ve been too you have been able to get something called “Home and Contents insurance” which covers, Unexpected damage to the property, the contents of the property and even the Glass in the windows.
However (and I’m not complaining, just observing) in The Netherlands you must ask specifically for each element or you wont get it.
So not only do I need to get Home insurance but I must purchase separately; Contents insurance, Special insurance for the ‘Glass in the Windows’ and last but not least Liability insurance (should the owner wish to sue me for damages to his property as a result of my getting burgled). FUN!

On the upside due to the fact that everyone and his dog has insurance in The Netherlands, insuring ones self is both hassle free and very cheap (compared to elsewhere in the world), All I need is a bank account and I can bolt these things onto it and they get added to my monthly account fees. Don’t have a bank account yet? Well then you’d better get one fast.

Second Expat Note: Due to new regulations and thanks in part, no doubt, to Invader Stu’s pointing out publicly that he was living here for a number years with a bank account, paying taxes, getting married and having a job without even being registered. It is now a requirement that all Expats are first to be registered both with the IND and the “gemeentehuisr” (Town Hall) before you can open a bank account – meaning that if you arrive at a busy time of year then you can be waiting for 2-3 weeks before you can get a bank account.

Speak Soon,

One Response to ““There is no such thing as a free lunch…””
  1. Useful information and facts. Hope to see more fine posts later in life.

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