Unlike health insurance, Privathaftpflichtversicherung, or personal liability insurance, isn’t compulsory in Germany—but you should still have it.
We’re all human and accidents happen to the best of us. But some accidents are particularly damaging and costly, and personal liability insurance can truly save the day in these situations. A liability insurance plan covers the costs of damages in three broad categories:
- Property damage (Sachschäden)
- Physical injury or bodily harm to other people (Personenschäden)
- Loss of assets (Vermögensverluste)
So how can liability insurance help you? Here are four common cases:
1. You’re renting a place
Have you ever stood up from your desk chair a bit too exuberantly and scratched the wood flooring? Or left a window open during a rainstorm and returned to find water damage inside your room? Or dropped your prized cast-iron skillet and cracked a kitchen tile?
If you’re renting an apartment, your landlord can demand compensation for these kinds of damages. Having personal liability insurance can help you stay on good terms with your landlord—and ensure that you get your deposit when you move out.
It’s important to note that not all liability insurance policies cover Mietsachschäden (damages to rental property)—so if you’re a renter, make sure your policy includes this coverage.
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2. You’ve got pets
Pets are a part of the family, but pet ownership isn’t all cuddles and cute cat videos. Any animal lover knows that pets can be unpredictable—and sometimes even cause unexpected damages.
So what if your hamster escapes and destroys someone’s car? Or your cat decides to knock a glass of water all over your friend’s expensive new phone just for fun? With a liability insurance policy, you can breathe easier knowing these costs will be covered.
It is important to note that in most cases, damages by dogs (and some other animals) will not be covered. You’ll likely need a separate policy for your canine friends.
Need a plan that covers your pets? Check out your options, starting at €4 a month.
3. You’re forgetful
Are you one of those people who never knows where your keys are? In Germany, a misplaced keyring can amount to hundreds or even thousands of euros in damages—particularly if keys to an office or another business are involved.
Personal liability insurance can help you here too—just make sure your policy covers Schlüsselverlust (key loss).
4. You play sports
Where personal liability is concerned, team sports can be particularly tricky business. Injury is a risk most athletes knowingly take on, but the costs of injury can quickly move beyond the physical.
Let’s say you’re playing a friendly game of basketball. You make an amazing slam dunk, but collide with your teammate and break his arm during the landing. As long as your teammate has German health insurance, his medical costs should be covered…so where does liability insurance come in?
Though he’s been patched up by the doctor, your teammate is a guitarist by trade. He’s got to practice and play gigs to pay the bills. But a broken arm means he can’t play his instrument—so with his only income source cut off for the next several months, he asks you to pay his rent until he’s fully healed.
Sound stressful? It doesn’t have to be: the lost assets (Vermögensverluste) coverage in your policy will cover the costs of the lost income and keep a roof over your teammate’s head.
The bottom line? Choose peace of mind
It’s impossible to predict what the future may hold, but a personal liability insurance plan can help protect you against the unexpected.
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