What is Haftpflichtversicherung. Liability insurance in Germany

Last Updated on November 28, 2023

Liability insurance in Germany is highly recommended. This insurance is called private Haftpflichtversicherung (or Privathaftpflichtversicherung). Do not confuse it with Kfz-Haftpflichtversicherung – liability insurance for drivers. For drivers, this insurance is mandatory and covers the damage they may cause while driving.

Privataftpflichtversicherung is not obligatory by law, but by common sense. Most people in Germany have it, so this topic is for those who have recently arrived.

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What is Haftpflichtversicherung

Liability insurance in Germany is inexpensive, but it covers large amounts of possible damage that you or your family members, through carelessness, accidentally and unintentionally, can cause to other people (third parties) or their property.

You will say: this has never happened in my life. But remember about a certain “third person”, which is called the owner of the apartment. You (your child) accidentally broke a window or owner’s furniture, brought furniture in and smashed the door… All this damage can be paid by insurance, not from your wallet. For example we did not pay for the repair of the door with the broken lock that the neighbors knocked down to free my husband and child from the bathroom.

You didn’t notice old granny in the supermarket and broke her leg with your overloaded cart – your wallet will terribly dislike the amount that you have to invest in treatment. Or it is typically: you were too lazy to get up at 6 o’clock in the morning and did not clean the snow or wet leaves in front of the house, someone slipped and broke something – you pay for it.

Your child has lost the keys to the entrance to the 10 apartments house. 10 apartments, 4 keys each, each key costs about 70-80 euros… I know such a case.

Your wife, as a pedestrian, caused the accident – as a result, compensation for three beaten cars, treatment of drivers and passengers and compensation for their loss of earnings during this time… And God forbid one of them dies – you will pay without insurance for the rest of your life .

Privathaftpflichtversicherung gets rid of this nightmare for 40-60 euros per year.

What does the liability insurance in Germany pay for?

Policy conditions may differ slightly from each other. Cheaper policies do not include damages to you or loss of keys. The amount of coverage may also vary. Family insurances are slightly more expensive and include all family members.

Monthly payments are more expensive than annual ones.

You can compare policies on several portals that collect offers (google Privathaftpflichtversicherung Vergleich). Do not forget that the portals receive a commission, that is, they are not objective, so compare the data of the portals themselves. The conditions of liability insurance are quite transparent, so it does not require the help of a broker. But if you need to buy also other insurances, then it makes sense to contact a broker.

As the amount of coverage, 50 million is recommended in general and at least 10 million for each victim.

Participation (Selbstbeteiligung) reduces the payments for insurance (it makes sense to participate 150-200 euros). Then insurance company will pay for the damage more than 150-200 euros.

The policy includes (an asterisk indicates conditions that not all insurances have):

  • damage caused by you, except as noted below.
  • The insurance is also valid if you have been on a bicycle or engaged in amateur sports.
  • pets are taken into account, except for dogs and horses, babysitting (including children in other families).
  • damage caused by you as a tenant of the property or owner of a one- or two-family home
  • protecting you from unlawful claims. If insurance thinks that you are not obliged to reimburse anything, then it also protects you.
  • * damage caused to you by a person who is unable to pay for this damage (Forderungsausfall)
  • * damage caused unintentionally by one partner to another
  • * loss of keys – makes sense for those who live in an apartment building or have a master key from office (for example, you work at a school)
  • * damage from harming the digital data of a third party – as a result of deletion or infection with a virus. Including insurance for loss of work data in the home office
  • * damage from the use of the drone. Separately, non-motorized aerial vehicles (kites) may also be indicated.
  • damage caused by you abroad. As a rule, in the European Union – without restrictions, in other countries – with a stay of no more than a year. But do not forget to check what is written in your contract.
  • * damage caused by your young children under 7 years old (up to 10 years old in traffic). Children under the age of responsibility, of course, are not responsible. But parents often want to pay damages in order to maintain good relations with the victim (neighbor, etc.).
  • * Liability insurance assumes that the insurance covers only the cost of repairing the thing or its cost including depreciation (if not recoverable). Some insurances may include a new item purchase clause.
  • * If you help friends and unintentionally cause harm, this, as a rule, is not subject to compensation. But some insurances include this item as well (Gefälligkeitsdienste)

What liability insurance in Germany does not cover

  • damage caused before the conclusion of the contract and during the waiting period (usually 3 months from the conclusion of the contract). This condition may only apply to some items (for example, the lost keys)
  • damage that you yourself received through your own negligence
  • damage caused intentionally
  • damage that Kfz-Haftpflichtversicherung covers
  • damages from actions that are subject to judgment
  • fines and damages resulting from breach of contractual obligations
  • damage caused by dogs and horses (they have their own insurance – and it’s better to have it, I know a case when people had to pay)
  • damage caused by you as a self-employed person (you need separate insurances). Some policies may include part-time work up to certain amounts (ehrenamtlich or Kleingewerbe)

Part time work in Germany. What does freiberuflich, nebenberuflich, ehrenamtlich, gewerblich, Minijob mean

  • If you sign papers or pay money without the consent of the insurance, this may cost you loss of compensation.

The cancellation period for renewal of the contract (Kündigungsfrist) is usually 3 months before the end of the contract. You can also switch to another insurance after an insured event and with an increase in tariffs.

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How to change health insurance in Germany
Who can apply for German citizenship
What is Riester pension

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