Main types of insurance in Germany

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Thinking about insurance in Germany ist not the most exciting topic to address, but it is important to plan ahead some coverage. You never know what life has planned for you so a good coverage makes sure you are not left penniless after something happens.

Although some types of policies may differ from what you know, most will be similar. This is an overview to the types of insurances you can subscribe to in Germany.

types of insurance in Germany guide

List of possible insurance in Germany:

Health insurance – Krankenversicherung

Proper health insurance is compulsory for all German residents. The German system is split between public & private insurance companies.

  • 90% of German residents have public health insurance; costs are set by your income.
  • If your earn more than a certain level, if you are not eligible to public, you can go for private, where costs are set by your health profile.
  • Most public should stay with public as going with private has serious life consequences.
  • Visa applicants can signup for special policies for a cheaper rate, but cannot renew a visa without local insurance.

It’s a difficult topic to approach. This is you can read a detailed guide on health insurance in Germany here.

Liability insurance – Haftpflichtversicherung

Personal liability insurance protects you against damages made to third-party property, persons or income, when involved in an accident.

  • Next to health insurance, this type of insurance in Germany is highly necessary. Accidents happen everyday with damages sometimes costing millions of euros.
  • In most EU countries, liability insurance is actually compulsory, not in Germany. However, the vast majority of Germans have one (83%).
  • As parents or pet owners, you are also responsible for your pets or kids too.
  • It only costs a few euros per month, it’s worth it.

I have written a dedicated post about liability insurance in Germany this way.  There are now trusworthy english-speaking providers to consider.

Home contents insurance – Hausratversicherung

Home contents or household insurance is covering damages & theft made to your movable items at home. We are talking about furniture, appliances, jewelry, clothes, etc.

  • It covers your belongings in case of fire, water damages and theft happening at home.
  • Some policies cover bikes or computer too, but make sure to read the fine prints.
  • Most Germans have this (76%).
  • Household insurance does not cover the actual walls, doors, windows or roof in your home. That is something else: Gebäudeversicherung, something we cover later in this post.
  • It only costs a few euros per month, so it makes sense.

I have written a detailed guide about home contents insurance for Germany (sometimes known as house insurance or household insurance). It includes tips on how to pick a good policy, recommendations with English-speaking providers.

Dental insurance – Zahnzusatzversicherung

Dental care is one of the more costly aspect of health care.

  • Standard coverage offered by public health insurance is sometimes not enough when you have high dental care needs, preconditions, etc.
  • It’s a good idea to sign-up for it if you plan to have implants, if your lifestyle is damaging your teeth a lot, if you will need parodontologie, or crowns a lot.
  • A lot of Germans have complementary dental insurance.

You can read whether or not you really need one in this good overview post on dental insurance in Germany.

Broken glass insurance – Glasversicherung

Unfortunately, the Hausratversicherung doesn’t cover broken windows in your flat, this will do the trick. It might be useful if you live in a place with large windows. However some Hausrat do have protection against broken windows, for a slightly higher fee. Broken windows are one of the most common damages in a house and one of the most labour intensive too.

Car insurance – Kfz-Versicherung

Anybody owning & driving a vehicle in Germany must have adequate insurance.

  • There are 3 types of car insurance in Germany: Haftpflicht (third-party coverage), Vollkasko (comprehensive coverage) & Teilkasko (partial coverage).
  • Haftpflicht only covers damages made onto other vehicles than yours in case of an accident. That’s the legal minimum.
  • Teilkasko includes Hafplticht as well as damages from theft , fire, broken glass, extreme weather & wilde animals. This type of policy is often picked for used cars.
  • Vollkasko includes Teilkasko as well as damages made to you or your vehicle even if the accident was your fault, as well as vandalism & hit-and-runs. This type of policy is often picked for new or leased cars.

This detailed post about car insurance in Germany gives you a lot more insights into this topic. It will help you decide which insurance is best for you and give you tips on how to get the best deal to save money. We also show you how to use your past driving record in your home country to get an even better price for your policy.

Rechtsschutzversicherung:

Literally “ law-protection-insurance”, this will cover you from any procedural fees you might have to pay when resolving a dispute in court.

  • If you feel that conflicts with your landlords or neighbors might arise, it could be wise to sign-up to such insurances.
  • It can also protect you from conflicts with your boss or even public bodies.
  • There are policies covering personal risks or professional risks. You might also need protection in your professional life as well. Doctors have often that type of insurance in case their make a medical error and they have to face it in court.

If you are interested, you can look into it with English-speaking providers like Feather.

Life insurance – Risiko-Lebensversicherung

Your life insurance in Germany. This is especially relevant for people who have a family & kids. This makes sure that they have enough financial means if you were to die.

  • It covers costs associated with paying for a funeral, paying for a mortgage, studies for your kids, etc.
  • This will make sure that the people you love have enough resources if you die prematurely.
  • You can pick policies that cover you for 15, 20, 25 or more years through your life. This is something people tend to subscribe to when they have children or get married. It gets more expensive if you sign-up when you are older.

Accident – Unfallversicherung

Your accident insurance in Germany. This makes sure that you have enough financial means in case you become handicapped after a grave accident.

  • It usually comes with a one-off lump sum, as a way to cover immediate costs associated with adapting your home & lifestyle to your temporary or permanent handicap.
  • Psychological side effects (PTSD, burnout, depression etc) are not covered.

Occupational disability – Berufsunfähigkeits­versicherung

Occupational disability insurance is available if you are no longer able to do your current job for at least 50 percent of the time for at least 6 months. It pays you a monthly pension for the duration of your occupational disability. The amount of that pension is set in the contract, at least 80% of your current monthly income.

  • This type of policy covers you even if the impairment isn’t the result of an accident.
  • It’s worth considering if you can’t do your job remotely or if you rely on the use of your hands for you job. Even developers or surgeons can be at risk there, if they can’t use a computer anymore.
  • This is also recommended for freelancers or people with a mortgage.
  • Psychological side effects (PTSD, burnout, depression etc) are covered.

Building – Wohngebäudeversicherung

If you get far enough to buy your own flat, you will need that to cover the actual building where you live in. It covers walls, roofs and basement. This is also important if you rent your flat out. Your tenant’s insurance doesn’t cover the walls he is living in.

I can not stress enough how important is it to have some sort of coverage. Living on the edge can be fun until you must pay 5000€ to your neighbor because of water damages caused by a flimsy washing machine (true story, it happened to me).

Tip : If you want to have a look at prices and compare plans between insurance companies, i would suggest to have a look on the price comparison website Preisvergleich.de. They specialize in comparing prices.

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