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After you move to Germany one of the first things you will have to deal with is insurance in Germany. Germany is pretty serious about insurance. Some types of insurance in Germany are mandatory, some are highly recommended and some insurances you don’t really need.

Most Important Insurance In Germany

In this article I will explain the most common types of insurance in Germany that you must know about. I will also mark the most important types of insurance so you know which insurances you should really consider buying. For a quick overview you can also watch the video below.

Table of contents – Insurance in Germany

  1. Health Insurance (Krankenversicherung)
  2. Private Liability Insurance (private Haftpflichtversicherung)
  3. Home Contents Insurance (Hausratversicherung)
  4. Car Insurance (KFZ-Versicherung)
  5. Legal Insurance (Rechtsschutzversicherung)
  6. Life Insurance (Risikolebensversicherung)
  7. Home Owners Insurance (Wohngebäudeversicherung)
  8. Accident Insurance (Unfallversicherung)
  9. Bicycle Insurance (Fahrradversicherung)

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Health Insurance (Krankenversicherung)

Health insurance in Germany is the most important insurance. It is mandatory by law. Everybody living in Germany needs German health insurance. There are two types of health insurance in Germany:

  • Public health insurance
  • Private health insurance

Depending on your status, you can choose between the two types of health insurance. Most people in Germany have public health insurance. You can learn more about German health insurance and how to choose in this blog-article. Employees are required by law to choose public health insurance if their income is below 60.750€ per year (2019).

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Private Liability Insurance (private Haftpflichtversicherung)

Although private liability insurance is not mandatory in Germany, everybody will tell you to get it. It protects you from financial loss when you damage another person’s property or body. Paying for damages without private liability insurance could cost up to several thousand euros or more. And by German law you are liable for all damages you cause to third parties – unlimited! So it’s really important to get German private liability insurance. Luckily, it’s also pretty cheap. Make sure to check out the Nr.1 English Guide on how to get German private liability insurance.

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Home Contents Insurance (Hausratversicherung)

After you move in your first apartment (rental apartment or you bought it), you might wonder how your belongings in the apartment can be protected. Imagine a fire happens and all your things burn to the ground. Or a burglar breaks into your apartment and steals your laptop, TV and other valuable items. Unless you have German home contents insurance, you have to pay for the loss out-of-pocket. But German home contents insurance (houshold insurance), will cover the loss and reimburse you. Like private liability insurance, it is also not super expensive and definitely worth the money. The cost of this insurance mainly depends on the size of your apartment and the area it is located in. Our article, “German Home Contents Insurance,” has all the information you need about home contents insurance in Germany and which insurance company you should choose as a non-German-speaker.

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Car Insurance (KFZ-Versicherung)

If you live in Germany and have a car, you are required by law to have German car insurance. Foreign car insurance is not sufficient. In fact, you also need to have proof of German car insurance to register your car in Germany. There are three different types of car insurance in Germany you can choose from: liability car insurance, partial car insurance and comprehensive car insurance.

Liability Car Insurance:

This is the most basic type of car insurance available in Germany. The purpose of liability car insurance is to protect you from the financial costs of damages you are responsible for causing to other people or their cars.

You should know, however, that this form of car insurance does not protect you from the financial costs of any damages you cause to yourself or your car.

Partial Car Insurance:

Partial car insurance includes everything from liability car insurance, plus some additional coverage. It protects you from the financial costs of car theft and damages caused by random acts of nature. For example, with partial car insurance you would receive compensation for damages in the following situations:

  • Damages caused by fire or explosion
  • Broken glass (e.g. a broken windshield)
  • Car theft
  • Damages to your car’s wiring because of a short circuit
  • Marten (weasel) bites that damage coolant hoses and spark plug wires (While this sounds baffling, Martens caused more than 300 million euros in car damages between 2010 and 2014 in Germany. These animals sneak into cars’ engine bays and can cause a lot of problems for car owners in Germany!)
  • Damages caused by storms, hail, lightning or flooding

It is important to note that partial car insurance does not cover acts of vandalism.

Comprehensive Car Insurance: 

As the name suggests, comprehensive car insurance offers the most coverage out of the three forms of insurance available. It includes all of the protect you would receive from liability car insurance and partial car insurance, plus more. Comprehensive car insurance coverages damages you cause to your own car when you were the one responsible for the damages. It also covers acts of vandalism.

Comprehensive insurance is usually the most expensive type of car insurance. When you need to repair damages, however, you will pay less out-of-pocket if you have comprehensive car insurance.

You can find out more about German car insurance in this article, “CAR Insurance In GERMANY: What You Need To Know.”

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Another thing to consider is to get legal insurance in Germany. Legal insurance has two purposes: (1) to provide you advice and support from lawyers and (2) to reimburse you your lawyer and court costs.

Legal disputes are very costly in Germany, even if you win the dispute. In fact, lawyers on average cost between €150-500 per hour. German legal insurance does not only protect you financially from the cost of court and lawyer fees, but a good legal insurance provider also has lawyers available to give you legal advice.

Usually, legal disputes fall into three categories (private, professional & traffic). As a result, many legal insurance providers offer legal insurance policies that cover all three of these categories.

A good legal insurance plan includes coverage for your children and covers legal fees worldwide (how much is covered depends on the policy you purchase).

You can learn more about German legal insurance in this article, “LEGAL Insurance In Germany.”

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Life Insurance (Risikolebensversicherung)

As the name already says, life insurance in Germany insures your life. In the case of your death, e.g. by an accident, your loved ones get a specified amount of money from the insurance company. This amount depends on the amount you paid to insure. Especially for families with kids, this insurance is really important. It helps prevent financial problems that could occur after the death of a parent.

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Home Owners Insurance (Wohngebäudeversicherung)

Home owners insurance in Germany protects your house or apartment. Do not mix it up with home contents insurance. Home contents insurance covers everything IN your home. Home owners insurance protects the ACTUAL home itself. For example, if a storm takes off part of the roof of your house German home owners insurance would pay for it. In Germany almost everybody that owns a house/apartment has German home owners insurance. But you should know that if you are only renting an apartment or house you don’t need this insurance. Getting home owners insurance is always the job of the property owner.

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Accident Insurance (Unfallversicherung)

Accidents happen all the time. Damages you cause to another person are covered by German liability insurance. But what about the damages that happen to you in an accident? Accident insurance in Germany provides you money in case of a permanent disability after an accident. Depending on how serious the disability is, the more money you get. It also covers costs for cosmetic surgeries after accidents.

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Bicycle Insurance (Fahrradversicherung)

You should consider getting bicycle insurance if you use your bicycle as a regular means of transportation or if it is worth more than €150. Bicycle theft in Germany has become more and more prevalent. In fact, in 2014 in Berlin, 31,000 bicycles were reported stolen. Unfortunately, police only solved four percent of those crimes. Needless to say, if your bike gets stolen, you probably won’t see it again. That’s why bicycle insurance in Germany is so important. You can usually get bicycle insurance for less than €5 per month. Our article, “Bicycle Insurance in Germany,” has all the information you need!

Any Questions left – Check our FAQ

Or leave us a comment below. We are happy to help! :-)

(1) How does insurance work in Germany?

Insurance is important in Germany. Nowhere else in Europe has as many different types of insurance as Germany. Therefore, you need to have a close look into insurance in Germany. Some types of insurance are mandatory to get, such as German health insurance. On the other hand, some types of insurance are not mandatory but are highly recommended, such as German liability Insurance. Anyone that doesn’t speak German should look for insurance companies that provide an English website, English customer support and English contract information.

(2) What insurance do I need in Germany?

Above we talked about different types of insurance in Germany. The ones you really need besides the mandatory ones (health insurance and car insurance) are German private liability insurance, German home contents insurance and maybe German legal insurance.

(3) How much does health insurance in Germany Cost?

The cost varies depending on whether you buy public health insurance or private health insurance. Public health insurance is related to your income (to a certain extent). The minimum costs are at about 190€ per month. The maximum costs are around 850€ per month. Private health insurance is a fixed premium, which depends on your age, your health and the coverage you choose. Really good private health insurance starts at around 250€. But as mentioned it really depends on your age and especially the coverage you choose. Also: not everybody can get private health insurance. Only employees that earn above 60.250€ (2019) and self-employed people are eligible to apply for it.

(4) Is Public health care free in Germany?

No, public health care in Germany is not free. As mentioned above, the cost of health insurance in Germany depends on the type of health insurance you chose. Public health insurance cost 14.6% of your income as an employe. But half of it is covered by your employer. So you only have to pay 7.3% of your income towards German public health insurance.

(5) Is Private liability insurance required by law?

In Germany, private liability insurance is not required by law. The only type of liability insurance that is required by law in Germany is car insurance. However, 85% of people living in Germany have private liability insurance. You are legally responsible for any damages you cause other people, so private liability insurance is very important.

(6) how to make a claim for a liability damage?

You should report any liability damages to your insurance provider as soon as possible. The general procedure includes filling out different forms. If you don’t speak German, this could be very hard to do. Therefore, it’s very important to choose an insurance company that offers their services in English. A good insurance company for a foreigner living in Germany has English-speaking customer support, a website in English and forms/ contracts in English.

(7) Does private liability insurance have a Different name?

Yes. Actually, German private liability insurance is sometimes is called a few different names. You might also hear or read it as German personal liability insurance, German public liability insurance or German third party liability insurance.

(8) Does Home Contents Insurance Ever Offer Coverage Outside The Home?

It might come as a surprise, but sometimes home contents insurance also offers coverage outside the home. For example, if you’re on vacation and some of your belongings are stolen from your hotel room, your home content insurance provider might cover what was stolen. Another example is if you are walking at night and someone steals your wallet and cellphone from you. What exactly is covered, however, depends on the policy you buy.

(9) if my car breaks down, is that covered by car insurance?

Another type of insurance you can buy separately from liability, partial or comprehensive car insurance is breakdown car insurance. If somethings happens to your car (such as an accident or it breaks down) then breakdown insurance would cover the cost of a tow truck coming to tow your car. You should also check to see if the breakdown car insurance policy you buy covers the cost of a rental car if your car needs to be repaired.

(10) how can i get a better rate for car insurance?

A lesser-known fact about getting German car insurance is that you can usually apply with your current driving record from your home country for a better rate. First ask your earlier insurance company to give you a document that shows your previous driving record. Afterwards you should show this document to your new car insurance provider. Oftentimes you can get a better rate for car insurance if you can prove you had a good driving record in your home country!

(11) How much does german car insurance cost?

The cost of German car insurance is highly variable; it depends on many factors. Some factors include your age, how many years you’ve had a drivers license, where you usually park your car overnight and how many drivers you’re including on the policy.

(12) What is not covered by legal insurance?

German legal insurance does not cover the cost of fines or tickets. For instance, if you get a speeding ticket, your legal insurance is not responsible for paying your ticket. Your legal insurance is responsible for giving you advice from a lawyer and helping cover the cost of going to court.

(13) What types of bicycles does bicycle insurance cover?

Bicycle insurance covers a variety of different types of bicycles. For example, bicycle insurance usually insures road bicycles, mountain bicycles, e-bikes, pedelecs and carbon bicycles.

(14) Does bicycle insurance cover part theft?

A good insurance provider covers part theft. For example, if your bicycle seat is stolen, your insurance provider should cover the cost for a new seat.