Insurance coverage in Germany

Hello everyone,

Moving abroad requires adequate insurance coverage.

What type of insurance expatriates need the most in Germany: health, house or liability insurance? All of them? Do they come as a package?

Are there other insurance options to consider like critical illness, damage or property insurance?

Is it better to purchase insurance from an expat insurance specialist or from a local insurance provider?

And what about insurance costs?

Tell us about your experience in Germany.



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Insurance is recognized as an  official national sport in Germany. ...

but now more seriously

Germany have a set of
1) legal compulsary  insurance (pflicht-versicherung)

1a) Medical Aid =Krankenverischerung,
1b) Pension =Renten Versicherung,
1c) Jobless Insurance =Arbeitslosenversichering
1d) if you own an transport object like a like or motor cycle then Car 3rd Party insurance = KFZ Haftpflichtversicherung is legally compulsory. (ie Damages done unintentionally by a car owned by you, can also be liable for damage (if a friend borrows your car and causes an accident- then your car is liable and subsequently you). 

Also there are important

2) voluntary insurances of which
2a) Car insurance (Full or Partial)  (Don't confuse with 1d) 
2b) household insurance= Hausratversicherung
2c)  Life insurance = Lebensversicherung
2d) Personal 3rd Party (Damages done by your household against others = kids, cleaning maid, gardner, or you dropping a hammer unintentionally on someones elses head are important.

3) then there are insurances for everything imaginable under the sun

(ie there are many smallprint that are excluded in those aforementioned insurances like
3i) in medical aid "non-common" treatments like homopathy or non-essential teeth (those on the side) treatment are excluded = extra insurance
3ii) Somebody broke your car mirror but dropped it next to the car whilst running away- sorry no claim=vandalism (if he dropped it out of sight - you would've had a valid claim= theft).
3iii) household insurance generally insures you for floods when you live on a mountain but not floods when you live near a river, vice versa land slides are not explicitly covered if you live on a mountain. Your tree falls over into another garden below windspeed X?  your problem.
Contrary to logic you have to fail your duty of supervision to have a valid claim when your kid drives a bicycle into that M5 BMW. ie you need a lawyer as a friend in Germany to help to to say the right sequence of words to apply for an 3rd party personal insurance claim towards your own insurance, otherwise some small print will become effective.

3iv) life insurance does not pay out if you do a dangerous sport like competing in a triathlon/bungie jump/car racing.

So most large insurance companies will sell you combinational packages for 1 &/ 2 above and then mix in your "spices" for 3. It is intentionally wholly intransparent to compare stuff for 3, but the basics are quite comparable for 1) and 2).

Always remember- those nice sport arenas in Germany are primarily build by insurance companies from profits made... and profits are not made by paying all possible claims.

Here’s a few things in addition to what JohannesM mentioned.
If you own your own house you are going to want to insure the structure against fire, flood etc. If you buy an apartment in a multiple apartment house (Eigentumswohnung), something very common in Germany, ownership is similar to a condominium in the US. By law one is supposed to have a house management (Hausverwaltung) that should arrange such insurance. If you are renting, this should be covered by the renter. This does NOT cover the contents of your apartment or cellar! For that one needs a Hausratversicherung which generally cost about 100 Euros a year.

Auto liability insurance is required but many people get more comprehensive coverage that covers damages for things like broken windshields (Teilkaskoversicherung) or full accident coverage also to your own vehicle if you cause an accident (Vollkaskoversicherung). Prices vary widely on coverage and your level of self-payment towards any damage, cost of the vehicle, yearly mileage etc. There are websites where one can compare offers: and

Coverage for general liability (excluding auto) cost around 70 to 80 Euros a year for private coverage and around 180 Euros or more if it also covers business liabilities. As a self-employed performer, if someone trips over my unicycle while I am performing at a street festival, they can sue for damages. Since I do this professionally, I need the policy that includes business liability. Someone who is employed should not need this as it would be the responsibility of the employer.

Something many Germans have is a Rechtsschutzversicherung which covers legal fees for lawyers. This varies widely in price depending on what is included, again private and/or business conflicts, auto accident suits etc. I overtook the policy and cost of a policy my wife had when we married. It's from one of the biggest and most respected companies. It cost nearly 400 Euro a year and although it is supposed to be pretty comprehensive, it always seems that the insurance company deems any conflict as somehow not covered. Generally it helps if you bring a lawsuit rather than defend against one. And even if one has such a policy then a suit can run on for years cost a lot in additional uncovered court fees etc.  My personal experience has been that it’s been a big waste of money for me.

I would like to know about health insurance for myself 50 and my mother 73. Thank you.

kierstin :

I would like to know about health insurance for myself 50 and my mother 73. Thank you.

Without a job - as non EU - not allowed- means your are legally obliged . Details here … ne-arbeit/

Some private insurance are obliged to offer you for a max duration of 12 months. But that would have its price.

When employed - the employer covers 50% of your costs. So as un/non-employed expat you have to double up. Rough quotes from the website above range from 800 € - 1200€ per person without knowing/ having a doctor history it might be more expensive. Especially the medical insurance costs for a 73 year old is an eye opener.
I assumed both will be unemployed. If you have assets, the insurance may negotiate a lower rate, but will be the first bondholder...

So you can reckon somewhere around 2k€ per month in total (and upwards)

Have you considered taking insurance in the states and simply pay for an extended "holiday period"? If the medical costs gets too high - the hospitals can simply shift that private costs to the US Taxpayers.

Yikes.... I'll look in to that extended stay insurance. Thanks for taking the time to answer, I really appreciate it.

kierstin :

Yikes.... I'll look in to that extended stay insurance. Thanks for taking the time to answer, I really appreciate it.

Pleasure. Of course For locals that can be different -For pensioners that get 2k€ pension it can be as low as 146€/pm for medical aid. But that is because they had 45 years of pension savings contributions. In germany the "pensioners medical aid" if paid from your pension.

The bottom line is that similiar jobs pays similiar salaries(US is ca 30% higher, but..., of which a US salary part have to be used for additional paid leave and another part for future savings like additional pension and medical aid. Factoring those in - it is on par again. So you simply have more freedom of choice on how and if you want to save.

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