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Which is the best German personal liability insurance?

TOP 5 German Personal Liability Insurances

In Germany, you have the legal obligation to compensate anyone who you caused any kind of damage. As you are liable in an unlimited amount for any damages you cause, it is recommended to buy a personal liability insurance (Privathaftpflicht). The following German private liability insurances are in English language: Coya, Getsafe, ONE.

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See the following list for an overview of various personal liability insurances in Germany. The prices indicate the minimum price, the actual price of your insurance policy depends on your individual coverage and selected deductible amount. We recommend to check different insurances and compare their coverage to ensure that you select the policy that fits your needs best.

Why should you get a liability insurance (Privat-Haftpflichtversicherung) in Germany?

In Germany, you have the legal obligation to compensate anyone who you caused any kind of damage. As you are liable in an unlimited amount for any damages you cause, it is recommended to buy a personal 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, in most cases your spouse is also insured, as well as your children until the completion of their first professional education (family policy).

However, the personal liability insurance does not cover any kind of damages: If you have a dog or a horse, for example, you need to buy a special type of liability insurance called Tierhalterhaftpflichtversicherung (meaning insurance for people who own animals) to cover damages that your animals could cause. Furthermore, if you own property there are special insurances to cover damages connected to it (fire, water damage to your tenants, etc.).

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Who should get a liability insurance and who is covered?

Most contracts let you add certain people to your insurance plan, such as children, spouse, or other relatives. Some insurances even cover guests that stay at your place. So only one person really needs to buy the insurance and usually the whole household is covered automatically (in so-called family plans). Children over the age of 18 are usually still covered until a certain age when they are studying or working in an apprenticeship.

In Germany, children younger than seven years old are not liable (in road traffic situations younger than ten years) as well as dementia patients. However, as the Bund der Versicherten (a German alliance for insurance customers) recommends, a liability insurance is still beneficial as the insurance blocks unrightfully claims on your behalf.

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What coverage should a good liability insurance offer?

 

  • Choose the right deductible / excess (Selbsbehalt) for your German liability insurance, which would not ruin you financially – deductibles up to 500 Euro are recommended.
  • Choose the amount of coverage (Deckungssumme) as high as possible, but at least a lump sum of 15 million Euro for material damage, financial damage, and personal injury.
  • Damage to rented property (Mietsachschäden) should be covered with at least 1 million Euro
  • Damages in foreign countries (Auslandsaufenthalt), for a duration of up to 5 years
  • Taking care of other people’s dogs
  • Voluntary service activities
  • Babysitting for at least five kids
  • Loss of other people’s private keys
  • Domestic waste water
  • Damages of gradual forces, such as temperature, gases, moisture, smoke, dust, etc. (Allmählichkeitsschäden)
  • Internet damages, meaning causing damage to a third party by exchanging electronic data for damages up to 5 million Euro
  • Small private construction projects for up to 100,000 Euro damages
  • Loading and unloading other people’s private car for damages of at least 2,500 Euro
  • Changing conditions should still apply when they change to the benefit of the customer (Zukünftige Bedingungsänderungen)
  • Protecting you if other people cannot pay: Your personal liability insurance should also cover you when other people are not able to pay you damages. This is called Forderungsausfalldeckung in German. It should also cover legal expenses to claim your compensation from other people (aktiver Rechtsschutz).

In addition to the above mentioned coverage, your insurance should cover what is important to you and what you want to be protected against. So check your insurance policy before you buy it and make sure it covers what you find necessary.

How much does a liability insurance cost in Germany?

The German alliance for insurance customers (Bund der Versicherten) says that a good personal liability insurance for the whole family costs around 45 Euro to 65 Euro per year, with a deductible of 125 Euro to 500 Euro. A good basic personal liability insurance for single individuals (no family included) should cost around 30 Euro to 50 Euro per year. Insurances often offer various add-ons for your insurance, such as covering your bicycle against theft or damage that could be caused by flying your drone (if you have one).

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Which risks do you have to cover in a separate insurance?

A personal liability insurance (Haftpflichtversicherung) does not cover every risk imaginable. Certain risks are usually not included in your insurance policy, such as damages caused by dogs or horses, oil tanks (e.g. in your house for the heating system), property that you do not live in (even when it is not covered by buildings and just an empty lot of land). Furthermore, risks from driving your car have to be insured separately with a car insurance (Kfz-Versicherung).

What are my conditions and obligations concerning a personal liability insurance in Germany?

Conditions subsequent to the policy often include to give the notice of claim (or notice of loss) within one week after the liability event. You are also obliged to help the insurance to fulfil the claim, e.g. provide all information available.

Conditions precedent to the policy include to report any subsequently appearing risks to the insurance.

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