Insurance in Germany: what do you really need?

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You can read this text in German or Polish as well.

Have you been living in Germany for some time now and are you thinking about which insurance policies would be necessary and useful for you? The insurance market is very extensive and offers a range of insurance options. We would advise you to get plenty of information so that you don’t pay unnecessary amounts of money for insurance that is not useful or effective. You can find the most important information about insurance in Germany here.

Welche Versicherung brauche ich?
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Statutory social insurance – the key element of social insurance

Social insurance is the foundation of the German social security system. It is basically compulsory insurance. For example, are you an employee, student, intern, pensioner or recipient of unemployment benefits? You are then automatically insured.
Social insurance protects citizens from the significant risks life can involve and the consequences of these risks, such as illness, unemployment or care needs.

Social insurance is compulsory in Germany. However, you can decide for yourself which health insurance company you wish to use for your insurance.

Social insurance is based on five pillars:

Statutory health insurance

Statutory health insurance helps you and your family in case of illness and will pay for many healthcare costs (for example, visiting the dentist or giving birth). If you are unable to work for an extended period due to illness and are therefore not in receipt of your salary from your employer, the statutory health insurance company will pay you sick pay in compensation.

Statutory care insurance

If you are unable to look after yourself in old age or due to a serious illness and you are reliant on care, you will receive financial support from statutory care insurance.

Statutory pension insurance

As an employee, you are compulsorily insured with statutory pension insurance. This means that you are entitled to a pension when you retire. Pension insurance will also provide you with support during your working life if you can no longer work at all or you can only work on a part-time basis due to an illness or disability.

Statutory unemployment insurance

Has your contract been terminated by your employer or has your contract not been extended? You’re not alone. Thanks to statutory unemployment insurance, you will not only receive financial support but you can also contact the Federal Employment Agency to help you find a job. The Agency will help you find a new job or training and further education.

Statutory accident insurance

Have you had an accident at work or on the way to work or are you suffering from an occupational illness? In such cases, accident insurance can provide you with financial support for the direct consequences.

Which private insurance policies are worthwhile?

All supplementary insurance policies cost money. Do you need occupational disability insurance or additional protection for your family? It is not possible to make an all-encompassing statement regarding which additional insurance policies are really needed. Each individual needs to weigh up their own personal life situation and factor in the potential risks.

Private liability insurance is a fundamental must-have. Have you been clumsy and caused your friend’s laptop to fall onto the floor? Or perhaps your six-year-old son has broken your neighbour’s window with a ball? If you unintentionally cause damage to another person, your liability insurance will cover the costs. But only up to the agreed cover amount. We recommend a tariff that covers personal injury, property damage and financial losses and provides cover for at least 10 million euros – more is better.
As the different policies on offer from insurance companies are very varied, we would advise you to read the terms of contracts very carefully and to find a suitable tariff.
You can read more about private liability insurance here (in German).

Private liability insurance is a MUST-HAVE! When you take out the insurance policy, make sure that it provides cover for at least 10 million euros (cover amount).

Do you own a car or motorcycle? Then don’t forget to take out a motor vehicle third party liability insurance policy. It also makes sense to have comprehensive insurance for new and expensive vehicles. You can choose between fully comprehensive and partially comprehensive cover. You can read more about this here (in German).

Which insurance policies are superfluous?

You don’t need extra insurance policies which only cover insignificant damage, e.g. for bicycles, mobile phones, laptops or glasses. Such policies are only worth having for very expensive items.

 

You can read another text on the subject of ‘Insurance’ here (in German).