THE ULTIMATE INSURANCE GUIDE
As you might have noticed, insurances are a big thing in Germany. Apart from the obligatory health insurance, there are a couple more insurances you should get in order to fully protect yourself. In this article we will review them, so that you can make an informed decision about getting full insurance protection for your new life in germany
On this page, you will find a short introduction to the most important insurances which you need to get while living in Germany.
Before doing that, some important bullet points about insurance:
Termination of contract: In Germany, most insurances are valid for one year and extend automatically for another year if you did not terminate them on time. The termination period for most insurances is 3 months, terminations usually have to arrive until the 3rd workday of the month.
In some cases, insurances cannot be terminated before the contract expires - also if you leave Germany. This means, that if your insurance expires on July 31st, and you are leaving Germany on August 2nd, but did not inform them until July 2nd, you might have to pay for another year. Therefore, please check your policy´s terms of cancellation and termination of contract, in order to optimize your insurances (and save money).
Deductibles: Most policies have some deductibles, which means that your claims will not be covered from the first Euro you spend. For example, if your insurance deductibles are 150 Euros per year, and you made one claim of 100 Euros during the year, you will not be reimbursed. In case that you made a claim of 300 Euros during the year, you will be reimbursed 150 Euros (300 Euros claim minus 150 Euros deductibles).
Usually there is a negative correlation between the costs of the insurances and the amounts of deductibles: the cheaper the insurance is, the higher the deductibles. It is super important to take this component into consideration, in order to avoid misunderstandings and unpleasant situations in the future.
Preexisting conditions and waiting periods: Most insurances will not cover preexisting conditions and will have some sort of a waiting periods. For example, it is super common that legal insurances (see below) have a 3 months waiting period, in order to avoid cases in which people first get into trouble and only afterwards purchase the insurance. Based on that principle, your personal liability insurance will not cover the damages to your friend´s computer, which you broke one week before getting the insurance.
Starting date: Insurances cannot be purchased retroactively.
Review your policy! Offers vary from one another. Sometimes, there are big differences between products. Always review the policy and make sure that you are making the best deal for you.
After going through those basics, we can deep dive right into the types of insurances you could get - and consider getting:
Personal Liability Insurance (Haftpflichtversicherung)
This is the most important insurance. Personal liability insurance (Haftpflichtversicherung) protects you from damages that you do to others. It can protect you in case that you lose your keys (which might cost a small fortune in case of a general key), from water damages from your washing machine, from breaking other people´s computers or keys, and so on.
Since it is a standard insurance in Germany, everyone has it, and people do not hesitate before filing a lawsuit against you, in case of a damage. Additionally, in many cases having this insurance is a requirement of landlords while signing a lease (rental contract) . Due to the super low costs, this insurance is a must-have.
You can purchase this insurance from most insurance companies, over online portals and from all insurance brokers. It is super important to review the policy, in order to make sure that you are getting the deal which suits you most.
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Dog liability insurance (Haftpflichtversicherung für Tierhaltung)
Dog liability insurance is another common insurance, which covers damages that your dog can do to either people or property or possessions. As with the personal liability insurance, landlords usually want to see that your dog is insured when you ask for their permission to keep them in your apartment. Since this insurance is standard for dog owners, in case that your dog will do a damage to another person, their health insurance will not cover the treatment. Instead, you will get a letter from their health insurance provider and will be required to send in your dog´s insurance policy. If you do not have an insurance, the medical bills will be sent directly to you. In order to avoid unpleasant situations, make sure to have this insurance as well.
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If you have a cat, you should make sure that your personal liability insurance also covers the damages that your cat can make, since there are no designated liability insurances for cats.
House content insurance (Hausratversicherung)
In some cases, it also makes sense to insure your stuff against different types of disasters, such as fire, theft or floods. If you have expensive gear, furniture, bike or electronic devices, or if you live in an apartment you own, it makes sense to check out offers for house content insurance.
Same as with the personal liability insurance, this type of insurance is also available with most insurance companies, online portals and all insurance brokers. Also, it is super important to review the policy, terms and conditions, in order to make sure that you are getting the deal which suits you most.
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In some cases, it makes sense to get a separate insurance for your bike: usually, bike is included in your home content insurance, however, in some cases it either doesn´t make sense to get home content insurance (for example, if your belongings are not so expensive), or it makes sense to get a separate bike insurance which offers better conditions for your (maybe expensive or E-Bike Versicherung (EN)" target="_blank" data-content="https://financeads.net/-Code -->E-Bike Versicherung (EN)" data-type="external" rel="noopener">electronic) bike.
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Legal insurance (Rechtsschutzversicherung)
This is another common, however a bit more expensive, insurance. Those products will cover your legal fees, if necessary. With most companies you can get an insurance which will protect you in four fields: personal, transportation (as in: driving a car), housing and employment. If you are working as an employee, please note that conflicts with employers are somehow common in Germany and should consider getting this insurance for the case that you will get fired illegally.
Dental insurance (Zahnzusatzversicherung)
Dental treatments are no fun. However, they must be made. The public health care insurance providers do not cover dental treatments fully, which could create a situation in which you might have to bear many costs for your dental treatments. In order to avoid that, you should consider getting dental insurance, which will cover your dental costs. These insurances are usually being offered directly at your public health insurance provider (by their partner), or with your insurance brokers, and will cover your professional teeth cleaning, fillings, crowns and root canal treatments.