Insurance in Germany: Which ones do I need in Germany?

Insurance calculationsOne thing about us Germans that you will learn quickly is that we don’t like to take risks. And what is better to minimize risks than to be insured against everything?

That’s right, there is probably not a single thing in Germany that you can’t insure or be insuured against. This is why it might be an overwhelming task for you to identify the most important insurances in Germany that you should have and the ones that are completely unnecessary.

This is why I thought it would be a good idea to help you out and put together a list of all important German insurances, what they are, how much they cost and which insurance companies you can trust.

Haftpflichtversicherung – Liability Insurance

Probably the single most important insurance in Germany to have. In case anything happens in your everyday-life (not including your worklife, which is another topic) this insurance makes sure that you don’t have to pay for the damage you have caused by accident.

So in case you are very clumsy or unlucky you better get this one sorted out as fast as possible.

If you are a dog owner you should definitely also sign up for a liability insurance for your dog/horse/any other bigger animal. While small pets such as e.g. a hamster are already covered by your normal liability insurance bigger animals need to be insured seperately.

If you are wondering how this insurance is called please grab your popcorn: Tierhalterhaftpflichtversicherung – Yes all in one word! You have to love the German language.

Krankenversicherung – Health Insurance

HealthcareAnother insurance that you really need to have when moving to Germany! But here you might have a choice between signing up for a private health insurance or going for the statutory health insurance.

In Germany there are 2 health systems co-existing. The private health care system offers you way better treatment and direct access to medical specialists. The downside is that you have to be either freelance/civil servant or earn at least 57.600€ a year before taxes in order to be able to join the private system.

Anybody else is automatically signed up for the statutory health insurance, which is also good in Germany, but has some downsides.

There is one exception, which is if you are freelance or unemployed without getting money from the German state: In this case it is not mandatory to have a health insurance which we would definitely not recommend.

If you ask us we would recommend to be privately insured if possible. You will get better and faster access to doctors and specialists, plus the monthly contribution for your private health insurance depends on how healthy you are and not on how much you earn (as with the statutory health insurance).

So if you are below 30 years and if you earn well enough we would recommend at least to consider signing up with a private health insurance company.

Kfz-Versicherung – Car Insurance

Kfz InsuranceIf you own a car in Germany you need to have a Kfz-Haftpflichtversicherung which covers all damage done by you operating a vehicle to another person/car/etc.

In Germany this Kfz-Versicherung is mandatory, which means there is no way around getting an insurance as soon as you own a car. Check out these Kfz-Versicherungs-companies that offer some good deals.

If you are looking for a trustworthy Car Insurance company we can definitely recommend you to have a look at DA Direkt, which has exceptionally high customer satisfaction ratings confirmed by the TÜV Saarland

Rechtschutzversicherung – Legal Expenses Insurance

Probably 80% of you won’t need this insurance, but if you are working on a freelance basis or if you have a higher risk of being dragged in front of a court then it is well worth getting a legal expenses insurance.

If you go to court and you win a case all your legal expenses (court, lawyer, etc.) will be paid by the party who lost against you. However until there is a verdict you might have to pay several thousand Euros in legal fees, which can ruin you financially.

Even more so if you are losing the court battle, then you are stuck with your bills and the bills of your opponent.

So better chose a good legal expenses insurance. If you agree on a self participation you can always bring down the monthly costs of this insurance.

(Risiko)-Lebensversicherung – Life Insurance

This one is a tricky one and I strongly recommend you to get some advice from someone with more experience in this field, as you really might need a very tailored Lebensversicherung for you.

One example that comes to mind is if you are married and just bought a new place to live with a huge mortgage. If you or your partner have an accident and die the other person probably won’t be able to pay off the monthly rates and therefore lose the house/flat.

In this and many similar cases there is no way around getting a (Risiko)-Lebensversicherung! We can recommend Hannoversche Leben as a good partner for a (Risiko)-Lebensversicherung.

Unfallversicherung – Accident Insurance

In case you have an accident and need medical treatment you better have a Unfallversicherung that covers things such as doctor’s bills or the long-term costs of any accident.

Again check here for some of the best insurance companies that offer an accident insurance.

Arbeitslosenversicherung – Unemployment Insurance

Similar to the health care insurance you can choose if you want to publicly insured, privately insured or not insured at all (again depending on your work-status).

If you are a permanent employee then there is no way around paying 3% of your monthly income (before taxes) towards the unemployment insurance.

However if you are freelance or for any other reason not within the public unemployment insurance scheme you are free to choose your own private unemployment insurance. I would highly recommend this in case you are not constantly booked out between clients and need to minimize the risk of not getting any money.

Other German Insurance

There are some insurances that are mandatory such as Sozialversicherung (Social Insurance) or Rentenversicherung ( Pension Insurance). You will be  signed up for these the moment you have a working contract (not including internships or Minijobs) and there is nothing that you have to or can do.

Furthermore, as already mentioned in the first paragraph, there is nothing you can’t insure in Germany, so please make sure to see if there are any other insurances you might need.

But in 99,9% of all cases the insurances above cover all things that can happen to you.