Types of insurance in Germany

Germans are the most insured people in the world! According to various sources, for every resident of Germany, including babies, there are six insurances. On average, they cost the Germans almost two thousand euros a year. Residents of Germany do not like to take risks and try to protect themselves to the maximum. The insurance market in Germany is huge and has offers to cover almost any, even the smallest, risk.

It is very difficult for a foreigner who has just arrived in Germany to sort out which insurance he really needs, and which it is not necessary to conclude. You cannot insure yourself from everything in the world. I will try to briefly talk about the types of insurance in Germany, so that everyone can understand for himself whether he needs to conclude this or that insurance. I must say right away that there are compulsory insurance that everyone living in Germany must pay. Often, contributions for them are automatically deducted from salaries, and the state pays them for the poor. I will not go into detail on each compulsory insurance, but some of them are present in the review.

Important German insurances

Gesetzliche Krankenversicherung – compulsory health insurance .

  • The volume of insured risks: high
  • Monthly contribution: 15.5% of salary, half paid by the employer
  • Target audience: all
  • Compulsory insurance: yes (possible alternative – private Krankenversicherung)

Compulsory health insurance covers the costs of doctor visits and hospital stays. Spouses and children without their own income are insured free of charge.

Private Krankenversicherung – private health insurance .

  • The volume of insured risks: high
  • Monthly contribution: high
  • Target audience: everything from a certain income level (2013: 53,550 € gross per year)
  • Compulsory insurance: no (alternative to public insurance)

Can be awarded when income exceeds the level for compulsory health insurance. The amount of the contribution does not depend on income, but on age and health status, which is beneficial for young people. The services are more extensive than in the compulsory health insurance system and the choice of doctors is much wider.

Zusatzkrankenversicherung – additional health insurance .

  • The volume of insured risks: low
  • Monthly contribution: depending on the services and the client’s health
  • Target audience: all
  • Compulsory insurance: no

State insurance in Germany covers approximately 95% of medical problems. But, for example, she only partially reimburses for dentist services, glasses or hearing aids. Additional private insurance will help you to insure your health for 100%.

Privathaftpflichtversicherung is a private insurance against damage to third parties .

  • The volume of insured risks: high
  • Monthly contribution: low
  • Target audience: all
  • Compulsory insurance: no

The insurance against liability for unintentionally caused damage to third parties assumes the losses caused by the client to third parties, and also pays for the consequences of accidents that occurred through his fault. Privathaftpflichtversicherung is the most important type of private insurance.

Berufsunfähigkeitsversicherung – disability insurance.

  • The volume of insured risks: high
  • Monthly contribution: average
  • Target audience: all
  • Compulsory insurance: no

Approximately one in four in Germany is unable to do his job until retirement due to illness or accident and becomes fully or partially disabled. The earlier the insurance is concluded, the lower the monthly premium, as well as the risk of refusal by the insurance company due to pre-existing diseases. The Berufsunfähigkeitsversicherung is second only to Privathaftpflichtversicherung.

Unfallversicherung – accident insurance.

  • The volume of insured risks: high
  • Monthly contribution: low
  • Target audience: everyone who does not have a Berufsunfähigkeitsversicherung
  • Compulsory insurance: no

If due to illness it is not possible to conclude a Berufsunfähigkeitsversicherung, then accident insurance is a reasonable alternative. If, for example, the injured person becomes disabled as a result of an accident, the Unfallversicherung pays the entire monthly pension or lump sum insured and, depending on the selected tariff, provides other services.

KFZ-Versicherung – car insurance .

  • The volume of insured risks: high
  • Monthly contribution: depends on many parameters
  • Target audience: all car owners
  • Compulsory insurance: yes

This type of insurance in Germany has already been described in detail in several articles. In addition to compulsory insurance, there is also an opportunity to receive additional services.

Hausratversicherung – insurance of household items and furniture.

  • The volume of insured risks: average
  • Monthly contribution: low
  • Target audience: people with expensive household items
  • Compulsory insurance: no

Hausratversicherung will indemnify for damage to the furnishings / furniture as a result of fire, theft or flooding.

Wohngebäudeversicherung – home insurance.

  • The volume of insured risks: high
  • Monthly contribution: average
  • Target audience: Property owners (Hauseigentümer)
  • Compulsory insurance: no (yes, if the house is taken on a mortgage that has not yet been repaid)

Wohngebäudeversicherung covers house damage caused by fire and natural disasters. Compared to potential damage, this is a relatively cheap type of insurance and therefore such insurance makes sense for all owners of their own homes.

Tierhalterhaftpflichtversicherung – insurance against damage to third parties caused by pets.

  • The volume of insured risks: high
  • Monthly contribution: low
  • Target audience: dog and horse owners (Hund- und Pferdebesitzer)
  • Compulsory insurance: no (yes, in some lands for owners of dangerous dog breeds)

Is concluded by the owners of dogs or horses. Animals can cause serious bodily or property damage to other people, which is covered by this insurance.

Private Altersvorsorge – private capital for old age.

  • The volume of insured risks: quite high
  • Monthly contribution: average
  • Target audience: all
  • Compulsory insurance: no

The state pension in Germany is gradually getting smaller and smaller due to inflation and problems with the birth rate. There is the possibility of creating additional capital that will be paid out upon retirement. There are a lot of options for such savings.

Rechtsschutzversicherung – legal costs insurance .

  • The volume of insured risks: average
  • Monthly contribution: high
  • Target audience: all
  • Compulsory insurance: no

Insurance in case of litigation. Reimburses lawyer fees and legal costs.

Other German insurances

If you thought that this is where the review ends, then it is not. These were only the most important of the German insurances. But there are also minor ones, which sometimes cover very exotic risks. Below is a list of them with my translation.

  • Reiseunfallversicherung – travel accident insurance
  • Reiserücktrittskostenversicherung – allows you to cancel your booked vacation
  • Reisegepäckversicherung – luggage insurance
  • Tauchgepäckversicherung – scuba diver’s baggage insurance
  • Pferdekrankenversicherung – health insurance for horses
  • Hundekrankenversicherung – medical insurance for dogs
  • Katzenkrankenversicherung – health insurance for cats
  • Tierlebensversicherung – animal life insurance
  • Jagd- und Sportwaffenversicherung – insurance for hunting and sporting weapons
  • Golfversicherung – golf accessories and clothing insurance
  • Musikinstrumentenversicherung – musical instrument insurance
  • Fahrradversicherung – bike insurance
  • Glasbruchversicherung – building glazing insurance
  • Handyversicherung – mobile phone insurance
  • Brillenversicherung – glasses insurance
  • Private Arbeitslosenversicherung – private from job loss

I hope the review has helped at least a little to understand the wilds of German insurance. Do not try to insure yourself against all possible risks in the world. This is not rational. It makes sense to conclude optional insurance in Germany only for risks that are relevant.

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Igor Smith/ author of the article
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