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Insurance in Germany: Everything you need to know

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Insurance to have in Germany

Before approaching further with the types of Insurance to have in Germany, we must develop a clear concept of Insurance. Pretty sure you have heard of the joke, “Germans have insurance for everything!”, it may sound like a bluff but it’s true. So, insurance is a set of documents that protects against a possible eventuality. If you plan on spending more than 6months in Germany for study or job-related purposes, insurance is inevitable. Even though there are a few mandatory ones and others optional, you must give it a thought.

Everything you need to know

1. Health Insurance (Krankenversicherung)

Whatever illness you may face during your stay in Germany, Health insurance ensures that you’ll receive coverage for the medical bills and hospital visits. Moreover, it is mandatory and indispensable for every resident (EU or NON-EU). On the other hand, those who will stay in Germany for 3 months or less are the only exceptions. Based on your work, you will get the liberty to choose between public and private health insurance providers. A few popular public health insurance providers include AOK, Barmer, and, TK Die Techniker.
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3. Automobile/Car Insurance (Autoversicherung)

Almost every individual with a vehicle must take out automobile/car insurance. Before registering your car in Germany, you need to provide automobile liability insurance. Additionally, liability insurance covers the damage you have caused to others’ cars. For instance, if you have damaged any other vehicle, road signs, or building, or harmed other people in an accident, it will look into that. However, ix n case you wish to cover the damages incurred to your automobile caused by accidents, you can avail of partial comprehensive insurance or full-comprehensive insurance.
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5. Homeowners insurance (Hausbesitzer Versicherung and Hausratversicherung)

This type of insurance will ensure that your home and the contents within it are covered in the event of any damage caused by fire, flood, storms, etc. Moreover, the landlords are the ones responsible for insurance covering water and fire damage. Good household insurance will guard you against theft and vandalism. Additionally, it will cover the damages incurred to your household possessions, such as a TV, laptop, furniture, etc. On the other hand, damages to rental furniture won’t come under this. The insurance amount is calculated by taking into consideration the replacement value of your belongings. If the possessions are worth 75,000EUR or more, several international insurance companies offer to provide all-risk coverage that will bring art collections, jewelry, and other items of value under its ambit. Also, those who are self-employed and work from home must get insurance for their office equipment separately. There is one vital thing to keep in mind though, if you are opting for 3-5year term insurance, then you can’t cancel it before the scheduled term is up.
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7. Renter’s liability insurance (Mieterhaftpflichtversicherung)

This is quite effective, as it will cover any damages in your rental apartment. This covers any kind of wall damage, water damage, or basic repairs. Hence, in case you are a tenant, renter’s liability insurance is a good thing to have even if you don’t take up homeowners insurance.
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9. Unemployment insurance (Arbeitslosenversicherung)

In case you are laid off, fired or when unexpected circumstances come up in the workforce, you can chill as unemployment insurance will cover you. This will cost you around 3% of your monthly salary and is mandatory. Most of the time, your employer will pay half of the expenses.
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11. Accident Insurance (Unfallversicherung)

In case you are laid off, fired or when unexpected circumstances come up in the workforce, you can chill as unemployment insurance will cover you. This will cost you around 3% of your monthly salary and is mandatory. Most of the time, your employer will pay half of the expenses.
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13. Pet Liability Insurance (Tierhaftpflichtversicherung)

If your pet has harmed/injured someone or may have caused any kind of property damage, don’t fret!! Pet liability insurance will free you of your trouble.
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2. Occupational Disability Insurance (Berufsunfähigkeitsversicherungen)

This allows you receive an income in case of an unforeseen event of disability. Eventually, it’s recommended to people who are the only earning member in the family. Moreover, it comes into being when you are unable to continue your profession for a long duration due to health issues. The health issues may vary from mental illness or nervous disorder to cancer. A predetermined amount is paid to the disabled person as a monthly pension system. However, the insurance premium varies depending on several factors, for instance, how much you want your pension to be, your age, your job, etc. This is not mandatory. Hence, most health insurance doesn’t cover it.
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4. Life insurance (Lebensversicherung)

Life insurance covers your family and those you care about in the event of your death. If you have people in your life who are financially dependent on you. Whether your children need your finances or you have a loan to be paid, a life insurance policy assures that your family will receive the amount in case of your death. Life insurance will also at the same time be a weapon to settle debts such as mortgages. However, they check the medical history before granting insurance, especially the smoker status of the insured person.
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6. Liability Insurance (Haftpflichtversicherung)

In Germany, Liability insurance covers the cost of damages that policyholders cause to objects or for that matter persons. It’s a very popular form of insurance for professionals such as tutors, carers, etc. Students renting apartments also opt for liability insurance as they are concerned about damaging the property of landlords. German law blames individuals for any negligence or damages incurred to others. For instance, if you accidentally knocked over a vase in a shop or you accidentally damage your friend’s phone. Hence, even though liability insurance is not compulsory, it is an essential one at that. Moreover, this third-party liability insurance is the most important insurance to have in Germany yet the least expensive one. It usually costs around 80EUR/year or even cheaper.
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8. Legal Insurance (Rechtsschutzversicherung)

Disagreements and misunderstandings with employers, tax authorities, landlords, and neighbors are fairly common in the hustle and bustle of city life. Hence, legal insurance will in turn save a significant amount of money. Thus, this will cover legal costs up to a certain amount depending on the policy. Apart from that, it covers the costs of an attorney, court fees, witnesses, costs of the opposing side in case you lose the case, and bail outside Germany. Moreover, a good insurance company will take care of traffic accidents and violations, disputes with neighbors/landlords, inheritance issues, claims for damage, and disagreements with tax authorities. On the other hand, divorce disputes don’t come under this.
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10. Travel insurance (Reiseversicherung)

Travel insurance will cover you in case you miss a flight, have a luggage mishap, or go through any illness abroad. It is a mandatory one while applying for a German visa. Once travel insurance is taken care of, it’s easier to explore Europe and hop between countries without giving a damn. Apart from that, most German health policies won’t reach across borders, however, a good travel policy will smoothly cover the Schengen region. Travel cancellation insurance, trip curtailment insurance, travel health insurance, and travel luggage insurance all come under its ambit. Barring the war zones, it provides global coverage. Moreover, there are no limits on how often you can travel.
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12. Repatriation Insurance (Rückführungsversicherung)

It is a part of accident-related insurance. However, it covers a quite specific forte that is accidental demise in a foreign land. Even though, it deals with a delicate topic, yet, international students and workers must pay heed to it. Moreover, this covers repatriation of the body in case of the worst-case scenario.
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14. Pet Health Insurance (Tierkrankenversicherung)

This will cover the medical bills and expenses in case your pet is sick or injured for that matter. Hence, bring your furry mate home and live a happy life!
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Jessica Kivakoud

 

Ergo Insurance Specialist

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