Daily Life

Insurances in Germany | Overview

In this post I give an overview of the different types of insurances in Germany. Although there are many available, I will focus mostly on the ones we have taken.

We did not have a whole lot of time to do research moving here as we were busy with things in Canada. One of the first things we discovered is that we were going to need a printer. For pretty much everything you do related to services, you receive letters in the mail. As a result, you need a printer to scan, print and send them back. I guess that’s one of the reasons Deutsche Post is still profitable while Canada Post is not. 😉

The second was that we were going to need a wide range of insurances for everything you can imagine. This goes from standard health insurance to insuring your pets against damages they might do to others. IMHO, this is related to German’s being risk averse by nature. So here’s an overview of the ones we ended up taking after arriving.

Health Insurance (Krankenversicherung)

Our family including dogs in a stroll through the woods
Walking in the forest near the house

This is your standard health insurance, which is compulsory in Germany if you’re living or working here. Here you can choose between public (gesetzliche krankenversicherung – GKV) and private insurance depending on your situation. But neither of these options is free, and you are automatically covered by the public health insurance if you work here and earn between €4,950 and €59,400 a year before tax, unless you are self-employed.

If you want to learn more about the options, this guide goes into the different options in more detail. We ended up opting for the public health insurance from Techniker Krankenkasse, which was recommended to us, and they offer some services in English.

TIP: consider using an expat health insurance if you’re only here temporarily or still searching for a job. They are much cheaper than private and public insurance. We had Mawista for 1 month, since we needed to have proof of insurance when applying for the visa.

Car Insurance (Kfz-Versicherung)

Arthur sitting in a toy car at the store
Arthur at Smyths Toys – he could not buy it because he did not have insurance… 🙂

Car insurance is mandatory before you pick-up the car at the dealership. And the insurance price reduces for every year of good driving. We ended up going with HUK24, but there are many options out there. I suggest using www.check24.de or www.verifox.de for comparisons (not only for insurances, but most things).

One tip is to bring a letter from your insurance stating your driving history. The letter might not be accepted, but luckily the one we got from Belair Direct was. This reduced our insurance premium by almost 40%.

Personal Liability Insurance (Haftpflichtversicherung)

Arthur sitting at the kids play are at IKEA
Arthur at IKEA – if he breaks something, we’re covered… 🙂

This insurance covers you in the event of accidental damage to a third party and/or their property. This is a very popular insurance to have in Germany (over 85% of people have it). This post explains this type of insurance in more detail, including some examples. The insurance covers not only the person that applied, but also other family members living in the same household. We selected HUK24 for this one as well.

House Content Insurance (Hausratversicherung)

Diana playing with boxes in the living room
Diana playing with boxes

This insurance covers the items you own in the house/apartment (like the furniture, TV or computers) in case of fire, theft or water damages. This post has more details about this insurance. For this one we also used HUK24.

This insurance does not cover the actual building (in case you own your house or apartment). You need a residential building insurance (Wohngebäudeversicherung) for that.

Dog Liability Insurance (Hundehaftpflichtversicherung)

Arthur, Dexter and Eddie in our living room in Canada
Arthur with Dexter and Eddie in Canada

Dog owners are legally responsible for all damages caused by their pets to other people or their property. This is law in Germany, and some German states are even making dog liability insurance compulsory. Initially we decided we didn’t need it, as our dogs are always on a leash and do a lot of their running in the backyard. But many of the pet sitters/kennels require one if you want to leave your pets there when you travel. We chose Bavariadirekt for this one and it costs us about 55 EUR/year for both dogs.

We decided not to get the animal health insurance (Tierkrankenversicherung), but that is also available.

Travel Insurance (Reiseversicherung)

Picture of a plane wing with the sunset in the background
Coming back from Egypt – Jan/2020

In Canada we had travel insurance coverage through our main credit card. But in Germany I have not yet found a credit card with similar benefits (like insurance and rewards). I think it’s because Germans always pay things in full, which means it’s not as profitable for banks/credit card companies.

At first, we decided not to have anything. But then we saw a promotion from Ergo while booking our trip to Egypt and went for it. In the end, it will cost us less than 50 EUR for 1 yearWe will see what we will do after the first year is done.

Apart from these, you can also find:

  • Legal Protection Insurance (Rechtsschutzversicherung)
  • Life Insurance (Risiko-Lebensversicherung)
  • Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance (Unfallversicherung)
  • Glass Insurance (Glasversicherung)
  • Bicycle Insurance (Fahrradversicherung)
  • Cellphone Insurance (Handyversicherung)
  • and probably many more that I still don’t know…

So there you go. If you’re planning on coming, make sure you’re covered. 🙂