Over 80 pct of Dutch freelancers don't have occupational disability insurance

Less than 20 percent of the 873 thousand freelancers and self-employed in the Netherlands have insurance against occupational disability, according to figures by Statistics Netherlands and TNO. 70 percent of this group don't have insurance because they can't afford it. 

A quarter of this group say they can carry this risk by themselves and just over 20 percent can fall back on their partner's income. 14 percent don't have insurance because they don't trust insurers. This is especially common in the construction industry, according to the stats office.

About 25 percent of freelancers and self-employed don't have retirement savings. Among women, a third don't have pension provision. Here too expense is the main factor - over half can't afford it. Just over a quarter haven't gotten around to starting a pension and 20 percent feel retirement is too far away to worry about yet. A small group can count on their partner to cover retirement.

Of those who do save for pension, 37 percent do so with savings and investments, 33 percent by investing in their own home and 27 percent joined a pension fund. 

Despite the fact that many self-employed still can't afford insurance and pension, they are more satisfied about their financial situation. Of the 6 thousand self-employed and freelancers surveyed, 47 percent consider their financial situation to be good to very good, compared to 43 percent four years ago. The group that considers their income and job security to be moderate to poor decreased from 27 to 24 percent.