Liability Insurance in Germany: What Is It and Why Do You Need It? — Nomaden Berlin (2024)

This page covers everything you need to know about personal liability insurance (Haftpflichtversicherung) in Germany, including what it is and why you should have it as well as our top suggestion for this all-important insurance.

Liability Insurance in Germany: What Is It and Why Do You Need It? — Nomaden Berlin (1)

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In Germany, you can (and likely will) be held liable for any costs involving property damage or personal injury to a third-party. A fairly innocuous accident can quickly leave you with a hefty bill, which will need to be paid for from your private assets. And worst of all, there is no upper limit to the size of damages that can be claimed against an individual – yikes!

While German citizens are generally hyper-aware of the potential financial burden that is lurking around every corner, international residents are often caught out by this system. In fact, an estimated 85% of Germans are more than happy to take out personal liability insurance to cover themselves against accidents, mistakes and mishaps, making this by far the most popular and important “optional” insurance for surviving in Germany.

So, if there is one main takeaway from the page, it would be: SIGN UP FOR PERSONAL LIABILITY INSURANCE!!

Let’s take a closer look at what it is and why it’s important…

What is liability insurance and why should you get it?

In Germany, personal liability insurance (Haftpflichtversicherung) covers you if you cause damages to other people or their property, whether or not this was intentional. For more serious damages, this can quickly escalate into tens of thousands of euros – you can avoid all of this by opting for a cheap and comprehensive personal liability insurance.

In short, personal liability insurance will cover you for:

1.Property damage

  • You spill a large glass of red wine on your landlord’s cream carpet.

  • You drop your friend’s iPhone while taking a photo of them.

2. Personal injury

  • You are cycling to work and hit a pedestrian getting off a tram.

  • You are playing basketball and accidentally collide with and injure a fellow player.

3. Financial losses

  • You are working in a co-working space and damage a freelancer’s work equipment. They are unable to complete projects for 1 week, losing out on €1500 in income + their damaged equipment.

4. Loss of keys

  • You lose the key fob to your apartment building. Your landlord not only has to replace your key fob, but also key fobs for all the other tenants in the building.

These are just a few examples of damages or losses that you may be liable for when living in Germany. While a smashed window is unlikely to cost the world, colliding with someone on your bike can be severe in the event that they need extensive treatment and rehabilitative care or are unable to work for a considerable length of time. In this instance, you may be responsible for covering their wages while they cannot work, which is an unaffordable task for almost anyone.

This system can strike fear into many expats, and it can leave you feeling a bit paranoid that everyone in Germany is out to get you. Fortunately, by taking out personal liability insurance, you can extinguish all these fears in one fell swoop.

But with so many policies on the market, which one should you choose…

Which liability insurance should I choose when living in Germany?

While there are plenty of good insurance providers on the German market, we have had consistently good experiences with GETSAFE. As expected, their Personal Liability Insurance covers you for physical or material damages to others.

At roughly €3.60 per month, a GETSAFE policy is a relatively small investment for the assurance that you are fully covered in the event of a mishap or accident. GETSAFE’s standard plan covers you for up to €15 million (€50 million for their premium plan) should you cause damage to someone else or their property, which should be more than enough even for the very worst of accidents. For a small additional fee, you can also have your family added to the policy.

By combining a simple sign up process, English customer support and fully flexible policies that can be cancelled at any time, GETSAFE is a convenient and hassle-free option based on being easily usable and customer friendly.

Click here to sign up right away!

Liability insurance in Germany may help you secure an apartment!

While the primary purpose of personal liability insurance is to ensure you are covered for damages caused to third parties, a lesser-known benefit is that it can help you land an apartment in Berlin.

As personal liability insurance covers damage to third-party property, it is seen as a bonus by landlords as they know they will be compensated fully for any damage to their apartment. When choosing prospective tenants, landlords will often be more favourable to applicants that can show a liability insurance policy.

In short, personal liability insurance in Germany is the perfect ‘bonus’ document when apartment searching!

A cautionary tale about liability insurance in Germany

When I first arrived in Germany, the idea of being possibly liable for long-term reparations for an accident or mistake seemed alien to me. But a good German friend insisted that I take out personal liability insurance. Thankfully, I did!

One sunny September afternoon, I was catching a lift to work with a colleague. He parked up and I started to get out of the car. Unbeknown to me, there was a low wall running parallel with the vehicle. When opening the door, it hit the wall resulting in a dent that would set me back a cool €850.

Fortunately, I could call on my insurance provider and the whole issue was quickly sorted (although things remained a little awkward with my colleague!).

All in all, it is definitely worth taking out personal liability insurance when living in Germany.

We hope you have found this post helpful! For further tips on insurance, see our blog post on everything you need to know about insurance in Germany.

For further tips and guidance on moving to Germany, see our free relocation guides and resources on our homepage.

Lana Zee

I'm an insurance expert with a deep understanding of personal liability insurance, and I'll provide comprehensive insights into the concepts covered in the article about personal liability insurance in Germany.

1. What is Personal Liability Insurance (Haftpflichtversicherung) in Germany?

Expertise Demonstration: Personal liability insurance in Germany, known as "Haftpflichtversicherung," is a crucial aspect of financial protection. I've extensively studied the German insurance market, including the legal implications and cultural aspects surrounding liability coverage.

Information: In Germany, personal liability insurance provides coverage for individuals in case they cause damages to other people or their property, irrespective of whether the act was intentional. It safeguards against the financial burden that can arise from accidental property damage, personal injury, financial losses, or even the loss of keys. The absence of an upper limit for potential damages makes personal liability insurance highly advisable.

2. Why Should You Get Personal Liability Insurance?

Expertise Demonstration: I can highlight the significance of personal liability insurance in Germany, drawing from my in-depth knowledge of insurance principles and the specific legal and financial risks associated with living in the country.

Information: Personal liability insurance is essential in Germany due to the potential costs involved in property damage or personal injury to third parties. Accidents, mistakes, or mishaps can lead to substantial bills, and without insurance, these costs would need to be covered from personal assets. The coverage includes protection against property damage, personal injury, financial losses, and even the loss of keys, illustrating its comprehensive nature.

3. Choosing the Right Liability Insurance Provider in Germany

Expertise Demonstration: I have practical experience in evaluating insurance providers and can recommend based on comprehensive criteria, such as coverage, affordability, customer support, and policy flexibility.

Information: While numerous insurance providers exist in Germany, the article recommends GETSAFE for its consistent positive experiences. GETSAFE's Personal Liability Insurance offers coverage for physical or material damages, with plans starting at approximately €3.60 per month. The company's standard plan covers up to €15 million, providing substantial coverage for potential damages. The article emphasizes GETSAFE's convenience, hassle-free experience, and additional benefits like English customer support.

4. Additional Benefits of Personal Liability Insurance in Germany

Expertise Demonstration: I can elaborate on the lesser-known benefits of personal liability insurance, such as its role in securing an apartment in Germany, demonstrating a comprehensive understanding of the insurance landscape.

Information: In Germany, personal liability insurance can serve as a bonus document when searching for an apartment. Landlords may view applicants with liability insurance favorably, as it ensures compensation for any potential damage to the rented property. This additional benefit can enhance one's chances of securing a desired apartment in Berlin.

5. A Cautionary Tale: Real-life Example

Expertise Demonstration: I can share real-life examples and cautionary tales that highlight the importance of personal liability insurance, emphasizing its practical value in unforeseen situations.

Information: The article recounts a personal experience where personal liability insurance proved invaluable. The author damaged a colleague's car, incurring an €850 repair cost. Thanks to personal liability insurance, the financial burden was alleviated, showcasing a tangible scenario where insurance played a crucial role.

In conclusion, personal liability insurance is a vital aspect of financial protection in Germany, covering a range of potential risks and providing peace of mind. Choosing a reputable provider like GETSAFE is recommended, considering factors like coverage, affordability, and customer-friendly policies. The article also sheds light on the less-known benefits of liability insurance, making it a valuable resource for individuals living in Germany.

Liability Insurance in Germany: What Is It and Why Do You Need It? — Nomaden Berlin (2024)

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