German Insurance System

In Germany some types of insurance are mandatory: for example, health and vehicles insurance.The most important insurance for you to have in Germany is third-party private liability insurance. The essence of it is that the third party (insurance company) will be responsible for all losses you have caused in case of neglectful behaviour.

Casual carelessness involves a variety of acts: breaking a glass in a café, or provoking an accident when not taking traffic lights into account, or whatever else. If you have a pet, for example a dog or a horse, you have to insure them separately, so that in case they caused trouble you can receive a compensation from insurance company and pay out losses. Third-party private liability insurance ensures protection for people with different activities (like driving, sailing, etc.). However, it does not insure hunting, for which different insurance policies are needed.

The duration of third-party private liability insurance is usually either three or five years. It should be noted that you cannot cancel your contract before the end of term. So it would be better to use an annual insurance, which can be prolonged or cancelled at the end of the year and leaves you with more space for choice.

Another useful type of insurance is household insurance, which can compensate you for the loss or damage to your property. The term of property here includes nearly everything: household appliances, clothes, dishes, windows and so on and so forth. However, if there is someone else’s property located on the territory of your household, it has to be insured by its owner, not by you.

The insurance policies are paid to you if your possessions were damaged as a result of water/ fire accidents, burglary, and hooliganism. You should remember that you have to inform your insurance company if you are leaving your home for more than sixty days.

If you hire a flat or a house, you have to bear in mind that your household insurance will not compensate you for the damage of the flat or the house.

If you possess expensive things, you can use complex insurance policies, which encompasses various types of damage.

For cyclists in Germany insurance is almost mandatory, as the number of bicycle thefts is quite large. It is also useful to have such insurance if you have two or more bicycles. Some insurance policies may include bicycle insurance, but not all of them, sometimes you have to do it separately.

Self-employed people must insure their working equipment by themselves, while usually this is done by an employer.
As in the previous case the duration of the household insurance is either three or five years and you cannot cancel your contract before it ends. So, again, it’s better to use an annual insurance in order the have a possibility to quit if you want.

A very useful insurance for foreigners in Germany is legal assistance insurance. It frequently happens that foreigners face various situations (conflicts with employers, neighbors, road accidents, etc.), which are different from how they can be dealt with at their home countries. Legal assistance insurance compensates you for all court expenses. It should be noted that trials in Germany are expensive. All fees are to be paid beforehand. The amount of fees usually depends upon the disputed sum. For example, if it accounts for 10 000 euros, the fees can be up to even 9 000 euros. So, if you have the legal assistance insurance, the insurance company will pay out your expenses. Also, such insurance usually covers the loss of driving license, losses caused by conflicts with tax authorities, landlords, inheritance advices, etc. However, family issues are not included.

You may also use insurance for death and disablement. People usually try to avoid even thinking about it, but it’s obvious that life is too unexpected to be careless about it. The amount of money paid to your family in case of your accidental death or life-threatening injury exceeds your annual income by five to six times.

In case of injuries such as loss of a finger the compensation is equal to thirty per cent of your annual income, for the loss of a leg – fifty per cent, for total blindness – 100 per cent.

You can also use term life insurance, as it provides your family with compensation after your death. The compensation is paid for any cause of death. The insurance itself is not expensive. In order to get it you have to provide the insurance company with your medical history.

If you travel much, annual travel insurance will be quite useful. It provides you with complex insurance for each journey. You face no restrictions on where to travel, how and how many times. If your trip is supposed to take longer than forty-two days, you will have to inform your insurance company beforehand.

The annual travel insurance will pay you back in case you need to finish your journey earlier than you have planned. If your trip costs you more than 500 euros, the insurance company can compensate the refuse to go on a trip, but such service is not common and is negotiated separately.It would be wise to buy the annual travel insurance which provides compensations for hospital treatment and emergency costs.

Also, if you have lost your travel baggage (or it was stolen), the insurance company usually pays back the cost of your possessions.

Insurance companies offer a very wide range of services. For more information it is better to contact them directly.

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