Insurance Options in Germany

Insurances in Germany

Insurance Germany

The Most Important Insurances in Germany

When I arrived in Germany I was only worried about having the health insurance to meet the freelancer visa requirements, but, once I spoke with some friends and did some research I learned that Germany is extremely insurance happy. 

I conducted research to determine which insurance I needed to have for my own peace of mind and I am going to share what I learned in this article. Insurance is, of course, one of those things you don’t worry about having until something happens and you realize how helpful it really could have been in the situation, so it can seem not important or not a priority to obtain- please, leave this thinking in the past.  

Here in Germany I have seen/heard multiple horror stories of events happening that cost someone 5,000 EUR or more out of pocket to cover the costs, things that I truly have never considered or imagined before, so believe me, it is important. 


The first type of insurance I will discuss is called “Haftpflichtversicherung” and this is insurance for personal liability. I am talking about this one first because this is the second insurance you really really should have apart from health insurance. 

In the US, personal liability coverage is part of the homeowners/ renters insurance, but not here in Germany. This type of insurance covers you from all the little oddities of life that can happen to you on a daily basis; for example: you have a lovely balcony in your apartment where you place different planters, some perched precariously on the edges (you tied them down but things happen eh?) and one particularly blustery day, the wind blows one of these planters down and it lands on someone or on someone’s car, causing damage-without this insurance you would be liable for all the costs that result from this random, freak occurrence. 

Now I know this seems like such a random event that you are probably thinking, “Tres, come on! This isn’t going to happen-it’s so rare and random!” Let me assure you it isn’t as random or rare as you might think-in the year that I have lived in Berlin and walked down multiple sidewalks in many different neighborhoods I have actually witnessed this exact scenario happening on four (4!!!) different occasions.

I have seen planters/pots blown off balconies and window ledges, on one really cold winter morning as I walked past a building I heard the sound of breaking glass and couldn’t figure out where it was coming from until all of a sudden three feet in front of me and my dogs, shards of sharp window glass came crashing to the sidewalk! I was so shocked and scared I actually screamed out loud and jumped back a good foot or two- worse timing in this instance could have made a potentially dangerous situation for me and my dogs. Seconds after the glass hit the ground I heard “Scheiß!” from the now open window above me- the cold morning had caused the window glass to spontaneously shatter and fall out of the frame. Random huh?!

Did you accidentally drop your friends' phone or pour coffee over someone else's laptop?

Personal liability occurs in the event an accident, in or out of your home, that results in bodily injury or property damage that you are held legally responsible for. 

Moral of the story: random, freaky stuff happens all the time and this insurance is really cheap. GET IT NOW! I can recommend this company. You can get your new liability Insurance for only 3.60€/month! And everything is digital and in English.

If you need more details about private liability insurance, check out our article here.

The second type of insurance I will talk about is called, “Hausratversicherung” and this kind insures everything in your flat like your furniture, your carpet, your tv, etc from damages (fire, water and theft). 

This type of insurance also offers (some of them do) coverage for the windows in your flat for the costs from broken windows etc. 

For more details about the home contents insurance, visit this website. They offer German insurance coverage (Hausratversicherung) for all your personal assets in your home; even your bike could be insured here. Their insurance plans are affordable and flexible. It's 100% digital, in English and you can cancel anytime so you are fully in control! 

Don't confuse that insurance with the homeowners' insurance which is for landlords and people owning properties.

If the Hausratversicherung you have doesn’t offer broken window/glass coverage, then the third type of insurance will- this is called, “Glasversicherung” and is a good idea to have. This insurance company actually offers everything, from the Hausratversicherung and the Glasversicherung to the bike theft insurance.

Again, I never considered this a big issue or concern until experiencing some pretty intense windstorms here in Berlin that actually caused a lot of damage to buildings, trees and cars parked in the streets.  

Now, these are the insurances I researched for myself here in Berlin; there are more, like dental insurance (to top up your health insurance), car insurance (this car insurance is pretty good and cheap!), life insurance, accident insurance, legal insurance (I advise this one), and so on.

The only other insurance I looked into and purchased was insurance for my pets- the first type of insurance I got for my dogs is called, “Hundehaftpflicht.” 

This is liability insurance for your dogs- in case of any damage your dogs might cause (to other dogs, to people, or to the rental unit you are in), this insurance will cover you and it is immediately active upon paying for it.

This is truly a required insurance here for dog owners because if anything happens you are covered for the liability of it. It’s cheap- I paid 60€ for the year coverage for my two dogs (30€ per dog). I used this insurance

By German law, it is mandatory to have a dog liability insurance in Berlin, Hamburg, Niedersachsen, Sachsen-Anhalt and Schleswig-Holstein. In other states, it will depend on the dog breed.

The other pet insurance I looked into and purchased was pet health insurance. The reason I took out that insurance is because veterinary costs (Tierarzt Kosten) in Germany could be quite expensive. The price depends on the type of treatment and also on the species of your animal, but, for example, a cat or dog surgery would easily costs thousands of euros. So be prepared and take out a pet health insurance to avoid unexpected surprises! 

Insurance Germany

Your first priority when coming to Germany, however, should be health insurance.

When looking for health insurance, make sure the insurer is an independent insurance broker (in German: unabhängiger Versicherungsmakler) and not an employee from an insurance company. For my specific case, I spoke with a local insurance broker who directed me to plans that would be accepted for the freelance visa within my budget and I chose one; it was accepted for the freelance visa.

Tres C is an American who’s lived and worked all over the world and who has traveled extensively. She moved to Berlin in July 2017 with her dogs; she’s excited to share her hard-earned knowledge about relocating to Berlin through her writing on this blog.



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