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Dog Insurance in Germany

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]It might surprise you to find out that in some German states, dog owners are legally required to buy dog liability insurance. However, regardless of the state, all dog owners in Germany are legally liable for any damages or injuries their dogs cause. Therefore, anyone in Germany that has a dog should buy dog liability insurance. Dog liability insurance in Germany covers both minor and major damages. This guide has all the information you need on dog insurance in Germany! [/vc_column_text]

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1. What is dog liability insurance?

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Your dog jumps on your neighbor and tears a hole into his new, expensive jacket, or your dog runs into the middle of the road and causes a car accident. If you have dog liability insurance, then you’re on the safe side. Dog liability insurance in Germany covers injuries, property damage, and financial loss that your dog causes.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator]

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2. What’s Covered

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Injuries

Dog liability insurance covers injuries your dog causes another dog or person. For example, your dog bites someone at the park and this person needs to go to the hospital for stitches. Dog insurance would help cover his/her medical costs. 

Property Damage

For example, if your dog runs into the middle of the road while cars are driving. This causes a car accident. Some dog insurance companies would cover damages your dog caused by running into the road, up to the insured sum. 

Broken Items

If your dog damages or destroys other people’s things while running wild, then dog insurance will cover the damages up to the insured sum. 

Financial Loss

This applies if a third party (such as a person or a business) has financial loss because of your dog. For instance, let’s say you leave your dog tied up on a leash outside a store. Your dog is barking so much that it scares away customers from the store. As a result, the owner of the store loses customers and might hold you liable for compensation.  [/vc_column_text][vc_separator]

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3. What’s Not Covered

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Self Damage

Dog liability insurance in Germany does not cover damages your dog causes to yourself or your own property. Examples of self damage include if your dog chews on your kitchen table or if your dog bites you. The general rule for dog insurance is that it covers damages your dog does to other people and their property, not you and your property. 

Wear & Tear

German dog insurance does not cover damages that inevitably occur because of normal use or aging. For example, if your dog sits on your couch everyday then eventually your couch will wear down. Dog liability insurance, however, would not cover your couch’s wear and tear. 

Some Dog Breeds

In Germany, some types of dogs are labelled “flighting dogs” and not all insurance companies will cover fighting dogs. You can find more information about coverage for different dog breeds in section 6 of this article. 

Fines 

Dog insurance in Germany doesn’t cover fines you receive because of your dog. For instance, let’s say you take your dog for a walk to the park but you don’t put your dog on a leash. According to the law where you live, all dogs have to be on a leash in areas with pedestrians. Since your dog isn’t on a leash, a police officer writes you a ticket. In this case, dog liability insurance would not cover your ticket. [/vc_column_text][vc_separator]

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4. Who needs dog insurance in Germany?

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Every state in Germany has different regulations for dog owners. In some states all dog owners must buy dog insurance. For other states, it depends on the breed of dog you have. In a few states it is not required by law, but highly recommended.  [/vc_column_text]

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Which German states require dog insurance?

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[vc_column_text]Below you can read specific information about dog liability insurance for each German state. Click on the state to find out if you need to buy dog insurance in Germany![/vc_column_text][vc_toggle title=“Baden-Württemberg“]
Dog Liability Insurance Baden-Württemberg

Dog liability insurance in Baden-Württemberg is mandatory for dogs classified as flighting dogs and dangerous dogs. For all other dogs, however, it is highly recommended because even harmless dogs can cause damage to people and objects. The dog owner is fully liable by law for any damages his/her dog causes.

According to the dog law in Baden-Württemberg, dogs are considered fighting dogs if they become aggressive and dangerous to humans or other animals. This may be due to breed-specific characteristics, breeding or a certain attitude and training.

Baden-Württemberg fighting dogs include: 

  • American Staffordshire Terrier
  • Bull Terrier
  • Pitbull Terrier
  • Dogue de Bordeaux
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Fila Brasileiro
  • Mastiff
  • Mastin Español
  • Mastino Napoletano
  • Staffordshire bull terrier
  • Tosa Inu

A behavioral test determines whether a dog should be classified as a fighting dog in this sense. The respective mayor’s office or the district office is responsible for administering this. 

Dog liability insurance is also compulsory for dogs classified as dangerous

In the Dog Ordinance of Baden-Württemberg, dogs are considered dangerous if their behavior poses a danger to humans and animals.

Accordingly, dogs are dangerous if they are

  • are snappy
  • jump on people or animals in a dangerous manner, or
  • tend to be aggressive towards wild animals, cattle or other animals in an uncontrolled manner.

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Dog Liability Insurance Bavaria

According to dog laws in Bavaria, dog owner liability insurance is not mandatory. Each municipality, however, has the authority to establish regulations for all dog breeds, especially fighting dogs and other large dogs. This means that if you are a dog owner in Bavaria then you should get the exact information about the legal requirements from your local authorities. This is especially true if you move to a new place of residence within Bavaria. Furthermore, different localities can establish individual regulations, such as attaching warning signs to your property if you have a fighting dog.

The following dog breeds and any of their cross-breeds are considered fighting dogs in Bavaria:

  • American Staffordshire terrier
  • Bandog
  • Pitbull
  • Staffordshire bull terrier
  • Tosa Inu

In addition, the following dog breeds and any of their cross-breeds are usually considered fighting dogs in Bavaria:

  • Alano
  • American bulldog
  • Dogue de Bordeaux (or Dogue de Bordeaux)
  • Bullmastiff
  • Bull terrier
  • Cane Corso
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Fila Brasileiro
  • Mastiff
  • Mastin Español
  • Mastino Napoletano
  • Perro de Presa Canario (Dogo Canario)
  • Perro de Presa Mallorquin
  • Rottweiler

In this second group, the dog can be unclassified as a fighting dog in individual cases by a submitted report from an authorized veterinarian that says the dog does not pose any danger to humans or animals. [/vc_toggle][vc_toggle title=“Berlin“]

Dog Liability Insurance Berlin

In Berlin, all dog owners must buy dog liability insurance in Germany. More specifically, the dog liability insurance must cover personal injury and property damage. The sum insured must be at least one million euros and the deductible cannot be more than 500 euros per year. [/vc_toggle][vc_toggle title=“Brandenburg“]

Dog Liability Insurance Brandenburg

In Brandenburg, only dog owners that own dogs classified as dangerous must buy dog liability insurance. Nevertheless, it is highly recommended for all dog owners to buy dog owner liability insurance. 

Brandenburg has many regulations for dangerous dogs. All dogs are considered dangerous if they show aggressive behavior as well as a tendency to fight because of their breed-specific characteristics, training or breeding. 

The following dog breeds, as well as any of their cross-breeds, are considered dangerous in Brandenburg: 

  • American Pitbull Terrier
  • American Staffordshire Terrier
  • Bull terrier
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  • Tosa Inu

The following dog breeds are considered dangerous unless the dog owner gets a certificate from an authorized veterinarian that says the dog does not have an increased “willingness to fight, aggressiveness, sharpness or any other comparable behavior towards humans or other animals”:

  • Alano
  • Bullmastiff
  • Cane Corso
  • Doberman pinscher
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Dogue de Bordeaux
  • Fila Brasileiro
  • Mastiff
  • Mastin Español
  • Mastino Napoletano
  • Perro de Presa Canario
  • Perro de Presa Mallorquin
  • Rottweiler

It is also important to note that if you want to buy any of the dogs listed above you must get an official permit from your local authorities. The permit is only granted if the applicant is at least 18 years old, has a dog handler license, and if the animal poses no danger to humans and other animals. 

These dogs must be kept on a leash in specific locations, such as at public gatherings and in parks. [/vc_toggle][vc_toggle title=“Bremen“]

Dog Liability Insurance Bremen

Not every dog owner in Bremen has to buy dog insurance. It depends on the type of dog you have. If you live and Bremen and own a classified dangerous dog then you must buy dog owner liability insurance in Germany. As mentioned before in the article, however, it is highly recommended for every dog owner in Germany to buy German dog insurance, regardless of the breed. 

The following dogs and any of their cross-breeds are considered dangerous:

  • Bull Terrier
  • American Staffordshire Terrier
  • Pitbull Terrier
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier

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Dog Liability Insurance Hamburg

All dog owners in Hamburg must buy dog liability insurance in Germany. The sum insured must be at least 1 million euros.[/vc_toggle][vc_toggle title=“Hessen“]

Dog Liability Insurance Hessen

Only dog owners of dangerous dogs are required by law to buy dog liability insurance in Germany.

Dog are considered dangerous if they have a tendency to fight or show aggressive behaviors. Hessen authorities consider the following dog breeds dangerous:

  • American Bulldog
  • American Staffordshire Terrier or Staffordshire Terrier
  • Bull Terrier
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Kangal (Karabash)
  • Caucasian Owcharka
  • Pit Bull Terrier or American Pit Bull Terrier
  • Rottweiler
  • Staffordshire bull terrier

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Dog Liability Insurance Mecklenburg-Vorpommern

Mecklenburg-Vorpommern does not require dog owners to buy dog insurance in Germany. However, if you own a dog in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern you should still consider buying dog liability insurance. Dog insurance covers property damage and personal injury and costs less than 10 euros per month. [/vc_toggle][vc_toggle title=“Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen)“]

Dog Liability Insurance Lower Saxony

In Lower Saxony, all dog owners have to buy German dog liability insurance for any dogs older than six months. Furthermore, the sum insured for personal injury must be at least €500,000 and €250,000 for property damage. [/vc_toggle][vc_toggle title=“Nordrhein-Westfalen“]

Dog Liability Insurance Nordrhein-Westfalen

In Nordrhein-Westfalen, dog owners of dangerous dogs and large dogs must buy dog liability insurance in Germany. For owners of dangerous dogs, the dog liability insurance must cover at least €500,000 worth of personal injury and €250,000 worth of property damage and financial loss. Nordrhein-Westfalen does not have a minimum insurance sum requirement for owners of large dogs.  

Nordrhein-Westfalen considers the following dogs and their cross-breeds dangerous:

  • American Staffordshire terrier
  • Bull Terrier
  • Pitbull Terrier
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier

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Dog Liability Insurance Rheinland-Pfalz

In Rheinland-Pfalz, not all dog owners have to buy dog liability insurance in Germany. Only dog owners of dangerous dogs must buy  German dog insurance. The dog liability insurance must cover at least €500,000 of personal injury and at least €250,000 of property damage. 

The following dogs and their crossbreeds are considered dangerous:

  • American Staffordshire Terrier
  • Pitbull Terrier
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier

In addition, Rheinland-Pfalz considers a dog dangerous if:

  • the dog jumps towards people in a dangerous or threatening manner, or
  • the dog has a sharpness, aggressiveness, willingness to fight or exhibits other dangerous behaviors.

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Dog Liability Insurance Saarland

In Saarland, dog owners of dangerous dogs must buy dog liability insurance in Germany. However, Saarland does not have any specific requirements on the level of dog insurance coverage. [/vc_toggle][vc_toggle title=“Sachsen (Saxony)“]

Dog Liability Insurance Sachsen

According to the Sachsen Dog Ordinance, whether or not you need to buy dog liability insurance depends on the type of dog you have. Dog owners of dangerous dogs must buy German dog liability insurance. Sachsen does not specify a minimum coverage amount for personal and property damage. Nevertheless, it is still important to buy a good dog insurance policy to cover personal injury, property damage and financial loss. 

Sachsen considers a dog dangerous if the dog has behaved aggressively towards people or animals (i.e. the dog has harmed a person or an animal without being provoked). 

The following type of dogs and their crossbreeds are always classified as dangerous: 

  • American Staffordshire Terrier
  • Bull Terrier
  • Pitbull Terrier

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Dog Liability Insurance Sachsen-Anhalt

Since March 2016, all dog owners in Saxony-Anhalt must buy dog liability insurance in Germany. If you own a puppy, then you have to buy dog liability insurance no later than three months after birth. The sum insured for property damage and personal injury must be at least one million euros. The sum insured for financial loss has to be at least €50,000. [/vc_toggle][vc_toggle title=“Schleswig-Holstein“]

Dog Liability Insurance Schleswig-Holstein 

All dog owners in Schleswig-Holstein must buy German dog liability insurance. The insured sum must be at least 500,000 euros for personal injury and 250,000 euros for property damage. [/vc_toggle][vc_toggle title=“Thuringia“]

Dog Liability Insurance Thuringia

All dog owners in Thuringia must buy dog liability insurance. For personal injury, the sum insured must be at least 500,000 euros. The sum insured for property damage and financial loss must be at least 250,000 euros each.[/vc_toggle][vc_separator]

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5. Best Dog Liability Insurance in Germany for Expats

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[vc_column_text]The best dog liability insurance in Germany for expats is COYA. First, COYA offers really good coverage. Secondly, all of COYA’s services are available in English and online. And, lastly, COYA dog liability insurance is cheap. You can get COYA dog liability insurance starting from €5.29 per month. 

What does COYA cover?

COYA insures up to 30 million euros worth of injuries and damages that your dog causes. With COYA, you can cancel your plan any day. In addition, COYA covers people who have insured permission to watch your dog. In other words, it doesn’t just cover your family members or people living with you. 

Examples include:

  • Damages that occur while your dog is in dog school
  • Damages when you’re walking your dog without a leash 
  • Damage to your rented apartment, such as the walls or floors
  • Damages due to your dog’s excreta, like if your dog vomits inside your friend’s car 

What does COYA not cover?

COYA does not cover deliberately caused damages. It also does not cover hunting dogs. For hunting dogs, you need an a specific hunting liability insurance policy. 

  • Deliberately caused damages
  • Hunting dogs
  • Damages your dog causes to your personal belongings and to people living in your home, such as your family
  • More than one dog per contract: If you have two dogs then you must get two separate contracts.

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Add-Ons

[/vc_column_text][vc_toggle title=“Dog Bite“]If your dog is bitten then this add-on increases your dog liability coverage by €500 for emergency medical care at the vet.  [/vc_toggle][vc_toggle title=“Rented Goods“]As the name suggests, this add-on covers rented goods that your dog damages up to €5,000. 

Examples include:

  • Game consoles
  • Mobile phones
  • Electronics
  • Upholstered furniture
  • Rental cars

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  • Best Performance Guarantee (if you find coverage from another provider that COYA doesn’t offer, COYA will still pay what the other provider would cover.)
  • Exemption from your premium payments during unemployment for up to 1 year.
  • Compensation for replacement value for items that are up to 1 year old. For example, if your dog scratches your friend’s leather couch, then COYA will refund the original value of the couch (up to €5,000) if it is not more than one year old.

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6. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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[vc_toggle title=“What should I pay attention to with dog liability insurance?“]You should pay attention to the sum insured and scope of benefits.

Each state in Germany has its own requirements for how much the sum insured needs to be for personal injury, property damage and financial loss. Therefore, make sure your dog insurance’s sum insured is enough for the state where you live. For example, in Berlin the sum insured must be at least one million euros, and the deductible cannot be more than 500 euros per year. In Schleswig-Holstein the insured sum must be at least 500,000 euros for personal injury and 250,000 euros for property damage. 

You should also make sure the scope of benefits includes property damage, broken items, financial loss and injuries.

COYA is a good option because it insures up to 30 million EUR for injuries and damages.[/vc_toggle][vc_toggle title=“Is my dog insured if he is not on a leash?“]Whether or not your dog is insured when it’s not on a leash depends on your insurance company. Most dog insurance companies, however, the answer is yes. They will cover damages even if your dog was not on a leash.[/vc_toggle][vc_toggle title=“Does dog liability insurance apply if family members or friends are watching the dog?“]

Family Members and Friends

Dog liability insurance in Germany is valid if you and your family members are watching the dog. Most plans are also valid if your friends are watching your dog. However, your insurance is not valid if a commercial dog keeper is watching over your dog.[/vc_toggle][vc_toggle title=“Can I include multiple dogs on my dog insurance plan?“]For most dog insurance companies in Germany, you cannot have multiple dogs on one contract. You must buy separate policies for each dog.[/vc_toggle][vc_toggle title=“Does personal liability insurance cover my dog?“]Many personal liability insurance companies cover small animals like hamsters and cats, but not dogs. For dogs, you have to buy dog liability insurance in Germany.[/vc_toggle][vc_toggle title=“What do I say if I don’t know my dog’s breed?“]

Dog Breed

Your dog insurance provider will ask for your dog’s breed. This helps your provider calculate your premium. Furthermore, dog insurance companies have different conditions for dogs classified as dangerous. Therefore, if you don’t know your dog’s breed then you should ask a veterinarian to determine the breed.[/vc_toggle][vc_toggle title=“Is my dog insured if he defends himself?“]

Defense

Dog liability insurance covers your dog if it is defending itself from an attack from another personal or animal. For example, if another dog attacks your dog at the park. However, if one or more dogs are involved in the situation, it can be hard to determine which dog was at fault for instigating the attack and causing damages. In Germany, the dog owner is responsible for all damages his/her dog causes. This is why it is important to have a really good dog liability insurance plan that covers your dog regardless of whether it caused the attack or was defending itself.   [/vc_toggle][vc_toggle title=“What are the most common types of damages dogs cause?“]

Most Common Damages

1. Injuries to other dogs (for example, if your dog bites another dog)
2. Property damage (for example, if your dog knocks over your neighbor’s flower pot)
3. Injuries to people (for example, if your dog bites a person)
4. Traffic accidents (for example, if your dog runs into the middle of the road and causes a fender-bender)
5. Electronics damage (for example, if your dog knocks over a glass of water onto your neighbor’s cellphone)
6. Financial loss (for example, if your dog barks outside a shop and causes the shop to lose customers)[/vc_toggle][vc_toggle title=“Is dog insurance valid abroad?“]Dog liability insurance is valid abroad. However, dog insurance companies differentiate between European and worldwide coverage. Insurance coverage for European countries is normally valid for an unlimited period of time. To the contrary, insurance coverage worldwide is usually limited to one to five years. COYA dog insurance is valid worldwide for five years. [/vc_toggle][vc_toggle title=“Am I insured if my dog destroys my own things?“]

Dog insurance does not cover damage to your own belongings and to those living with you in your home, such as your family. For example, if your dog chews on your kitchen table, your insurance will not cover the cost of replacing your table.

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Bad debt protection applies when you are injured by a third-party and the third-party cannot pay for the damages. In this case, your insurance policy would work like a mirror image. Your insurance company would provide services as if the person that caused the damages was the policyholder. However, the third-party is not entitled to any rights from the bad debt protection. For example, let’s say an uninsured dog bites you, and the dog owner cannot pay for your medical bills. In this situation, your insurance company would pay for the medical bills.

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Who Wrote This?

My name is Bastian and I am a certified, independent insurance broker in Germany. My wife is American and together we help English-speaking expats figure out insurance, banking, and other issues encountered when moving to/living in Germany.

I also own Germany’s biggest Youtube-Channel about insurance knowledge and was honored with the „Education Award of the German Insurance Industry“ in 2018 and became „Young Broker of the Year“ in 2017.[/vc_column_text]