Germany clearly leads the world when it comes to number of insurance covers per head. A typical person in Germany has on an average 6 different types of insurance covers. Living in Germany without some important insurances can be very expensive in case things go wrong!
There is insurance cover available in Germany for anything you can imagine – from personal liability to a cover for your drone flying hobby! Some insurances like your health insurance and car liability insurance are compulsory in Germany, and others are quite important although not compulsory. Are you living in Germany without these important insurance covers?
Health insurance (Krankenversicherung)
Health insurance for you and your family is compulsory in Germany. It covers your regular medical costs. There are two types of health insurance covers available – Public and private. If you are with the public heath insurance, your dependents are also covered under your insurance. The monthly premium is based on your income and your employer contributes half of it. Here’s a great article in English on health insurance in Germany.
Vehicle liability insurance (KFZ Haftpflichtversicherung)
Vehicle liability insurance is compulsory in Germany. It covers the damage caused by your vehicle to other persons and their property. Of course there are further covers that cover damage to your own car (Kaskoversicherung). The insurance premium depends on various factors including your driving record. There’s a huge competition in the car insurance market and it’s a good idea to compare various offers. There are some online-only options offering really good value.
Personal liability insurance (Private Haftpflichtversicherung)
Personal liability insurance covers damages caused by you or your family members to other persons and their property. It’s one of the most recommended covers in Germany. As per German law, any person is fully liable for the damage he/ she has caused to other persons/ property (even unintentionally but due to carelessness), without any upper limit.
The conditions are complex and you must very carefully read what is covered and what is not in a particular cover. For example, some plans may not cover damage to your landlord’s carpeted floor in case you have an accident with your aquarium or waterbed. Damage caused if you crashed your quadcopter on somebody’s car will not be covered in the Haftpflichtversicherung and a separate cover would be needed for such special risks. So understand what is and what is not covered and go for additional cover as needed. Check24.de is a good website to read about different insurances (in German) and compare various liability insurance offers.
Legal protection insurance (Rechtsschutzversicherung)
Legal insurance is another important cover which is very useful in certain situations. For example if you are building a house or renting out your property in Germany, it is very useful to have legal costs cover in case you get into dispute. Or in case of personal injury or damage to your property caused by other persons. Cover for traffic accident disputes (Verkehrsrechtsschutzversicherung) and employer/ work related disputes (Arbeitsrechtsschutzversicherung) can also be added separately to the basic cover. Learn about various legal insurance offers and compare them here.
Household insurance (Hausratversicherung)
Cover for household items is very important when you have valuables/ jewelery at home, or the sum of total household items is significant e.g. furniture, electronics, kitchen appliances and so on. Loss of belongings due to theft, fire etc. is covered under this insurance. Again, it is important here to know what is covered and under which circumstances, e.g. Hausratversicherung does not cover damage to windows and doors in case of burglary. This will be covered in the Wohngebäudeversicherung as described below. However, many of them cover the belongings stolen from your car under specific circumstances. Bicycles may or may not be included depending on the insurance plan. Learn about the prerequisites for proper cover e.g. insured items/ jewelery must be properly documented and so on. Learn about various household insurance offers and compare them here.
Homeowners insurance (Wohngebäudeversicherung)
This is an important insurance for homeowners. It covers damages to your house due to fire, flooding, storm etc. The damage in such cases can have huge repair costs. If you are a property owner in Germany, make sure you have sufficient cover. Again it is important here to include additional cover as needed. For example, damage to glass doors and windows caused by burglars may not be included by default. Read about and compare various insurance offers here.
Inability to work (Berufsunfähigkeitsversicherung)
This can prove to be an important insurance if you have a dependent family and liabilities like home mortgage. It covers you in case of long term inability to work due to illness or accident, and when there is no possibility for you to move into a different profession. In such cases, a person is eligible to get the disability benefits (Erwerbsminderungsrente) from the government, however this is far from enough to meet your current living standards.
The regular premium for this insurance depends on your current age and expected monthly compensation, among other factors. It is not unusual to get your insurance application rejected by the insurer if there is a pre-existing illness. Here’s the website to get more information and compare various offers for Berufsunfähigkeitsversicherung.
Accident and disability (Unfallversicherung)
Covers costs and liabilities in case of accidents of all kinds. By default, as an employee, your are automatically covered under statutory accident insurance (gesetzliche Unfallversicherung). However it covers only the work related accidents. Therefore an Unfallversicherung makes sense in case of high risk of accidents at home or during sports, and/ or if it is not possible to get the Berufsunfähigkeitsversicherung because of some reason. Again it is very important to know what is covered and what are the prerequisites as the conditions for such insurance could be quite complex. Read about and compare various accident insurance offers here.
Life insurance (Risikolebensversicherung)
If you have dependent family and/ or liabilities like mortgage, life insurance is an important cover to have. It pays out a lump sum amount to the nominees in case of the unfortunate event of death or total disability. Many Indians might already have life insurances back in India, but it has to be evaluated whether that cover is sufficient or not depending on your current living standards and liabilities. The insurance premium is dependent on the amount of cover you need. You can compare various life insurance offers here.
Depending on individual circumstances like your profession, family, duration of stay, aspirations and future plans, some of the above insurances might be very important for you. So do you think you have enough cover for you and your family? Have you been in a situation where you thought a suitable insurance would have been really helpful? Share your thoughts, experiences and advise in the comments section below or you can also comment on Facebook – and of course if you want to write your own stories, feel free to contact euindians.