German Insurances

public liability insurances are recommendedGermany has a variety of different insurances for all kinds of unlucky situations. Not all of them might be necessary or useful for everyone, but there are certain policies, which are highly recommended by independent institutions, such as the Union of Insurance Customers.

Which insurances are required by German law?

Some insurances are actually required by law, such as the car liability insurance (Kfz-Haftpflicht) or health insurance (Krankenversicherung). Others might be necessary in certain situations: For example, the general public liability insurance (Haftpflichtversicherung) is always recommended, because it protects you from your possible financial ruin in case of a misfortune with the most serious consequences, as you are liable to unlimited amounts for all damages you cause anyone in Germany. When taking a loan for a house, banks usually require a life insurance (Lebensversicherung) in order for the loan to be secured.

Health insurance supplement insurances

Especially for your health insurance, there are multiple optional supplement insurances, which provide you with better treatment quality (e.g. better dental implants / inlays) or more comfortable treatments in hospitals (e.g. your private hospital room and treatment by a chief physician/surgeon).

We prepared informative explanations for all kinds of insurances below, just click on the name to expand the description.

Liability Insurances

Private Liability Insurance (Privathaftpflicht)

As you are liable in an unlimited amount for any damages you cause, it is recommended to buy a public liability insurance (Privathaftpflicht). Although the German word “-pflicht” means obligatory, it is actually not legally required to have a private liability insurance. The name originates from your legal obligation to replace any damage caused. You are liable with your whole fortune.

The German Privathaftpflichtversicherung protects you from the financial consequences of inadvertences, but also protects you against the legal expenses if someone wrongfully accuses you of damaging their property. It is not necessary to buy a policy for everyone in your family, your spouse is also insured, as well as your children until the completion of their first professional education. Read more about what personal liability insurances should cover.

Car Liability (Kfz-Haftpflicht)

German car insurances can be divided into two categories: Vehicle Public Liability Insurance (Kfz-Haftpflichtversicherung) and Comprehensive Insurance (Kaskoversicherung). Only the Kfz-Haftpflichtversicherung is required by law and you need proof of insurance in order to register your car.

By law, the Kfz-Haftpflichtversicherung has to cover at least €7.5 million in bodily injury, €1.12 million in property damages and €50,000 in financial damages. It is advisable to get a policy that covers a lump-sum of 100 million.

The Kaskoversicherung is not legally required, and covers damages that can not be attributed to a third party, e.g. theft of your car, or damages on your car that you caused yourself or were caused by an unknown individual (in Vollkasko). This insurance makes sense if you drive a rather expensive car. There is two different types: Teilkaskoversicherung (covers the replacement cost of your car) and Vollkaskoversicherung (covers the replacement cost of your car, plus some special damage cases). The more deductible you accept, the lower the monthly fee of the insurance will be. Deductibles between €300 and €500 in a Vollkaskoversicherung and a deductible of €150 in a Teilkaskoversicherung are recommended. Read more about German car insurances here.

Animal Liability Insurance (Tierhalterhaftpflicht)

When you own an animal in Germany, such as a dog or a horse, it is important to have an insurance for possible damages that these animals could cause (especially to third parties). Smaller pets, like cats or birds, are already included in the Private Liability Insurance (Privathaftpflichtversicherung), but bigger ones are not, because they could cause much higher damages. If dogs or horses are not used for commercial purposes, the animal owner is always fully liable for any damages caused b y the animals, even when the owners were acting responsibly and tried everything to prevent it.

Just like the Privathaftpflicht, the Tierhalterhaftpflichtversicherung (Animal Owner Public Liability Insurance) also protects you from wrongful claims by third parties, comparable to a legal expenses insurance.

A good animal liability insurance should cover at least €5 million in material, person, and property damages. You should choose a deductible / excess of 100 to 500 Euro.

Insurances in Germany