People who want to live and work in Germany need certain types of insurance. This article will give you information about what insurance is compulsory and what you can take out optionally.
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In Germany, health insurance is indispensable and is one of the kinds of insurance that are obligatory. Everyone who lives and works in Germany must have health insurance. Exceptions apply only to those who stay in Germany for less than three months.
All others must take out German health insurance. Germany has a dual health insurance system, offering statutory health insurance (also called the health insurance fund) and private health insurance. Every employee is insured automatically under the statutory health insurance. The amount of their contributions depends on their income. If their annual income is above the so-called contribution assessment ceiling (€58,050 for the year 2021), they can remain insured via the statutory health insurance on a voluntary basis or switch to private health insurance. However, they must have been insured via the statutory health insurance for at least one year before they become eligible for private insurance. Employers are responsible for registering their employees with the health insurance fund. The contributions for the insurance are then always deducted directly from the employee’s salary. Spouses and children (up to the age of 18) who live in Germany are also covered by the statutory health insurance via free family health insurance. To receive this coverage, an application must be submitted to the health insurance fund.
Berliner Sparkasse offers both comprehensive private health insurance and private supplementary health insurance through its insurance partner, if you want to take advantage of extended or improved health services. Information about the health protection offers can be found here (link to the flyer). You are also welcome to contact an advisor at Berliner Sparkasse.
Automobile insurance: Compulsory for vehicle drivers in Germany
Everyone who drives a vehicle in Germany must take out automobile insurance. The minimum requirement is automobile liability insurance. Without this, a driver cannot register their car.
However, automobile liability insurance only covers the damage you cause to others with your car. It applies, for example, if you injure other people in an accident or damage another vehicle, buildings or road signs in an accident.
If you also want insurance that covers damage to your own car, motorcycle or truck, even if the accident was your fault, then you can take out partial comprehensive insurance or full comprehensive insurance in addition to automobile liability insurance.
Personal liability insurance: Not compulsory but indispensable for a safe everyday life
Although personal liability insurance is not compulsory in Germany, it should definitely be taken out. In many other EU countries it is even required. It is usually very cheap, but is extremely valuable. It always kicks in when a mishap happens in everyday life, whether you accidentally damage a friend’s phone or even worse, someone gets hurt, for example because you didn’t shovel the snow in front of your house. To do without it would be considered negligent, especially because you might end up liable for hundreds of thousands of euros in the absence of this type of insurance cover.
By the way: In Germany, professional indemnity insurance is available too. It covers all possible liabilities in connection with your job. If you are employed, you are automatically covered by such insurance through your employment. If you are self-employed, you should also take out professional indemnity insurance.
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Household contents insurance: Protection for everything within your own four walls
Household contents insurance takes effect when things are damaged that are part of your household, like furniture, technical devices such as your TV or laptop and other things. In addition, some household contents insurance policies also cover bicycles in the event of theft or vandalism – it is worth taking a closer look at the insurance conditions in this regard. If you own your own home, you should definitely also take out residential building insurance.
Disagreement with the landlord or trouble over a parking ticket – every now and then in life, situations arise in which you can’t move forward without the help of a lawyer. If you don’t want to be stuck with a high lawyer’s bill or even other legal costs if worst comes to worst, it is worth taking out legal protection insurance. Depending on the policy, it covers different areas, such as personal legal protection, motorist legal protection or tenancy legal protection. Employment disputes insurance is also of interest to employees and is key among the insurance policies that are important in Germany.
Accident insurance: Covered in the event of private accidents
If you are employed in Germany, you are covered by your employer or social security provider in the event of an occupational accident and are entitled to financial compensation or a permanent pension.
However, most accidents happen during leisure time. Anyone who suffers an accident outside of work is burdened with costs that no insurance company will compensate, for example for temporary household help or modifications to the house or flat if one’s health is permanently impaired after an accident. Only personal accident insurance protects you from these costs.
Occupational disability insurance: Safeguarding your professional capacity to work
Occupational disability insurance is also recommended – especially if, for example, your spouse and children depend on you earning a regular income. Occupational disability insurance takes effect if you are no longer able to exercise your profession for a longer period of time for health reasons, for example due to mental illness, a nerve disorder, skeletal or musculoskeletal illness or cancer. In this case you receive a predetermined amount paid out as a monthly pension. Depending on how high you want your monthly pension to be, how old you are when you take out the insurance, whether you have pre-existing conditions and what job you do, the insurance premium will vary.
Berliner Sparkasse offers the most important insurances in one package.
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