Personal Liability Insurance Germany
Imagine you just moved to Germany. You’re starting a new chapter of your life and you couldn’t be more excited. Then BOOM, you accidentally damage someone else’s property. It’s going to cost over a €1,000 to fix. This accident could financially ruin you. What do you do? If you have private liability insurance in Germany, then your insurance provider would cover the damages up to the amount insured.
Private liability insurance in Germany covers damages that you cause to a third party or his/her property. “Third parties” are people who are not insured with you. Liability insurance protects you financially from accidents.
* It’s also important to note that private liability insurance and personal liability insurance in Germany are the same! The term private liability insurance can be used interchangeably with personal liability insurance. This guide uses both terms!
Table of Contents
What Is Personal Liability Insurance?
Personal liability insurance is one of the most important types of insurance in Germany. It protects you financially when you accidentally damage another person or his/her property. It also doesn’t cost a lot. There are a lot of different types of insurance in Germany that you don’t need. However, personal liability insurance is not one of them. This is a MUST HAVE if you’re living or working in Germany.
Who Needs Personal Liability Insurance In Germany
Most Germans have personal liability insurance. There is a good reason for this. In Germany, there is no limit to how much a person can claim against you for damages that you cause. In other words, you are legally responsible for any damages you inflict. You are also legally responsible for damages your children or pets cause. Therefore, personal liability insurance is one of the most important types of insurance to have in Germany. Everyone that lives in Germany should get personal liability insurance.
What To Consider BEFORE You Buy Private Liability Insurance
One of the most important things to consider is if your insurance provider has services in your language. If you don’t speak fluent German then you should choose a private liability insurance provider that offers services in English. Here are some examples of services that your private liability insurance provider in Germany should offer in English:
- Customer support in English: German is a complicated language! When you have questions, you need to make sure there is total understanding between you and your insurance provider. Therefore, you need to have an insurance provider that offers customer support in English.
- Worldwide coverage: Your insurance provider should offer coverage around the world. That way, if you travel somewhere then you still have protection.
- Contracts in English: It’s important for you to understand all of your rights. The details and fine print should be in English.
- Cancel any day: You should be able to cancel your contract whenever you want to cancel it. In other words, try to choose an insurance provider that does not have a fixed contract length.
- Online insurance: As an expat, you should choose a liability insurance provider that lets you to manage your insurance policy completely online. That is to say, it’s easier to use a digital insurance provider than a provider with loads of paperwork.
- Easy monthly payment: It should be easy to pay for your insurance each month. For example, with your credit card or SEPA-debit.
What’s Covered By Private Liability Insurance In Germany?
What your personal liability insurance covers depends on which company and policy you choose. Usually personal liability insurance companies cover the following:
- Personal and property damage to third parties
- Damages to borrowed and hired property (like your apartment)
- Protection against uninsured third parties
- Keys to a rental property
- For renters: Rented rooms (Rented property damage)
- Football, cycling, skiing and more sports
- Damages through internet use
What Isn’t Covered By Private Liability Insurance In Germany?
Most personal liability insurance companies in Germany do not cover the following:
- Any damages you cause to yourself (For example, you drop your mobile phone or laptop on the floor and break. There is no insurance cover in this case because no third party has been injured.)
- Damages related to your job, workplace, or volunteer work (In some cases, volunteer work can be included as an add-on.)
- Some high-risk hobbies or activities
- Damages by mentally unstable persons and young children (Young children can be included as an add-on.)
- Legal fines or penalties
- Accidents when driving (car insurance covers this)
- Damages to your home covered by homeowners insurance (it is covered if you rent an apartment and damage the owner’s property)
- Situations where family members accidentally injure each other or themselves
- Damage caused by your dog or horse: Unlike cats, dogs and horses are not covered by private liability insurance. In both cases you need a separate pet owner’s liability insurance.
Examples Of Liability Insurance Claims
You just got to Germany. You’re settling in to your new life. After your first day at work, you go to a bar for a drink with a coworker. You reach across the table and accidentally spill your beer onto your coworker’s phone. As a result, the phone breaks. Your coworker wants you to pay for a replacement phone. Private liability insurance in Germany would cover the cost of a replacement phone up to the amount insured.
You go to a coffee shop in Berlin with a friend. You’re both working on your laptops. You reach across the table, and accidentally spill your coffee onto your friend’s laptop. Her laptop is completely broken. It’s a new laptop and it will be really expensive to replace. But – if you have personal liability insurance in Germany then you don’t need to worry. In this situation, your personal liability insurance company would cover a new laptop up to the amount insured.
You’re playing a soccer game with some friends at a field in Berlin. During the game, you accidentally hit your opponent and she breaks her leg. She has a lot of doctors visits and x-rays. In fact, she might need surgery.What happens now? Private liability insurance in Germany would cover the cost of your teammate’s treatment up to the amount insured.
You accidentally delete important files on a friend’s USB stick. The recovery of the data is really expensive. In this case there is a financial loss, which is insured by personal liability insurance in Germany.
Which Private Liability Insurance In Germany Is Right For You?
Haftpflicht-Helden, COYA and Getsafe are the three most popular personal liability insurance companies in Germany for expats. However, COYA ranks higher amongst expats because its contract is available in English and it offers a no claim bonus. Below is an overview!
- Monthly Cost for Coverage
- Custom Policies To Fit Your Needs
- No Fixed Duration, Cancel Anytime
- English Speaking Customer Support
- No General Excess
- Website In English
- English Contract Information
- No Claim Bonus
Best Choice For Expats!
COYA is the best option for English-speakers in Germany. COYA offers great prices and really good coverage. In addition, COYA also has an English website, English customer support and English contract. This takes a lot of stress out of the insurance process.
COYA is the easiest way to get personal liability insurance!
You don’t have to worry about a German language barrier with COYA. In fact, COYA is the only personal liability insurance company in Germany right now with contract information in English. It’s really simple. And you get really good protection. For only €4.99/month you get coverage for 30 Million Euro!
Below are answers to frequently asked questions about COYA Private Liability Insurance:
Is Key Loss Insured?
Yes. COYA private liability insurance insures key loss. It includes private, professional, official and association keys and code cards.
COYA private liability insurance covers the costs for:
- the replacement of the keys,
- a necessary replacement of locks,
- temporary emergency measures (emergency locks),
- guarding the building during the time period that the locking systems cannot be replaced.
Is Damage Caused By Data Transmission And Internet Use Covered?
Data transmission and internet use:
COYA personal liability insurance covers damages that occur as a result of transmission and exchange of electronic data by internet use, email or means of a data carrier. For example, you plug a USB drive that contains a virus into your laptop.
- the deletion, suppression, unusability or change of data (data change) at third parties by computer viruses or other malware,
- the data change for other reasons as well as in the event of non-collection and incorrect storage of data with third parties and exclusively because of
- resulting personal injury and property damage, but not further data changes, as well
- the costs of restoring the changed data or recording or correctly storing data that has not been recorded or has been incorrectly recorded,
- the disruption of third party access to electronic data exchange.
What Add-Ons Does COYA Offer?
COYA’s “Top of the Topps” personal liability insurance in Germany includes coverage for:
- Damage caused by free help. These include “damage caused by courtesy” that occurs with volunteering your assistance such as moving or renovation help.
- Damage caused by people who are incapable of torture, such as children under seven years of age or adults who are classified as incapable of torture due to a mental, physical or mental illness.
- Compensation for new value for things that are a maximum of one year old up to an amount of €5,000.
- The non-culpable loss of keys, for instance in the event of robbery.
- Aid to victims of violence up to €50,000.
- Exemption from contributions for unemployment up to 1 year.
- The best performance guarantee: If you can show that another insurance company pays in a case that COYA has not yet covered, the other insurer’s benefits also apply to your contract with COYA.
What Is "Bad Debit Coverage"? Does COYA Cover It?
Bad Debit Coverage
If someone causes you physical or financial damage and cannot pay, your personal liability insurance in Germany will cover the costs. This is known as bad debit coverage. COYA private liability insurance includes bad debit coverage.
How Much Does COYA Private Liability Insurance Cost?
It depends on whether you choose the single-person plan or the family plan for private liability insurance in Germany.
- The single-personal plan starts at at €47.99 per year.
- Family private liability insurance for everyone living in your household is available from €64.99 per year.
How Can I Save On My Personal Liability Insurance?
The family plan for COYA personal liability insurance in Germany covers several people. Therefore, it is cheaper than several contracts with the single-person plan. If you live with other people in a household, for example with your partner, with children, a parent or flatmates, then a family plan is likely the cheaper (and better) option for you. In addition, if you pay the insurance premiums annually instead of monthly, then you will also save another 5% with COYA personal liability insurance.
Does My Personal Liability Insurance Include Coverage Abroad?
Yes, with COYA you have insurance coverage worldwide. It is important to note, however, that your place of residence must be in Germany. If you are outside the EU, then your insurance cover is a maximum of five years.
Does COYA Personal Liability Insurance In Germany Have A Deductible?
No – COYA does not offer a deductible.
Usually a deductible decreases your monthly insurance premiums. In return, in the event of damage, you have to pay a certain amount out of your own pocket. If you don’t have the money, however, it can get you in trouble. For this reason, COYA decided not to offer deductibles. Instead, COYA has reduced insurance premiums to a minimum.
How Much Should I Insure?
Amount to Insure
Stiftung Warentest (a German consumer organization and foundation that compares goods and services) recommends an insurance amount of at least 10 million euros. With COYA you can choose a maximum coverage of 30 million euros. This way, you are fully covered in the event of damage.
Does COYA Offer "Best Performance Guarantee"?
Yes – you can purchase an add-on called “Top of the Topps” from COYA. The “Top of the Topps” is additional coverage from COYA that includes best performance guarantee.
How does best performance guarantee work?
If you can show COYA that another insurance company pays in a case that COYA has not yet covered, then the benefits of the other insurer automatically apply to your contract with COYA. This ensures that you always have the best insurance protection.
When Can I Take Advantage Of COYA's “Unemployment Exemption”?
When can I take advantage of the “unemployment exemption”?
If you, as the policyholder, lose your job and register as unemployed at the employment office, then you can have your contract with the add-on “Top of the Topps” set to “premium-free” and stay insured at the last agreed coverage amount. Your exemption from the contribution ends if you start working again. If you remain unemployed, however, then your private liability insurance will stay valid for a maximum of one year free of contributions. After one year, your contract will expire automatically.
Does COYA Cover Drones?
COYA’s “Top of the Topps” add-on includes insurance coverage for drones. COYA covers damage caused by the permitted and private use of aircraft with engines or propellants (e.g. model aircraft, helicopters, multicopters, drones – up to 5 kg take-off weight) for sports or recreational purposes (even if used occasionally by third parties in your presence). It’s important to note that the remote-controlled aircraft must be in sight.
What Do I Need To Do If I Want To Change From A Single-Person Plan To A Couple’s Plan?
Switching to the couple or family plan is easy. Just let COYA know that you want the family rate now.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Does Liability Insurance In Germany Cost?
It’s not very expensive. That is to say, good liability insurance in Germany costs between €50-60/year. If your liability insurance costs more than €100 then you should consider switching to a cheaper insurance company. Anything over €100 is too much! Don’t pay more than necessary. You can get good coverage for under €100.
Do I Have To Get Liability Insurance By Law?
It depends. You do not legally need to get personal liability insurance in Germany. However, some liability insurances are required by law. For example, let’s say you own a car. In this case, must have car liability insurance. In some states in Germany, you also need to buy dog liability insurance if you have a dog.
It’s important to note that while you don’t have to buy personal liability insurance, you are still liable for any damages you cause. For this reason, personal liability insurance is really recommended. In fact, about 85% of people have personal liability insurance in Germany.
Does My Private Liability Insurance Also Cover If My Own Things are Damaged?
Damages to Your Personal Belongings
No. If a third party damages your property, then their private liability insurance is responsible for the damages. In addition, property damage, personal injury or financial loss that you cause yourself is not covered. Lastly, damages that a person included in your contract inflict onto you are not covered by private liability insurance.
Is Personal Liability Insurance The Same As Private Liability Insurance?
Different Names for Liability Insurance
Yes. Personal liability insurance and private liability insurance are the same. You’ll also hear it called public liability insurance or third party liability insurance. The correct term, however, is personal liability insurance in Germany (“deutsche private Haftpflichtversicherung”).
How Do I Report Damages To My Liability Insurance Company?
How to Make a Liability Insurance Claim
You should contact your insurance company as soon as the damage occurs. This is the first step. Then you will fill out forms to make the claim. Unless you chose a liability insurance company with services in English, these forms will be in German. That is why we recommend you buy liability insurance from a company, such as COYA, that provides services in English. Then it is easier to report damages.
What Insurance Is Required By Law In Germany?
Types of Insurance Required By Law
There are two types of insurance that you are required to have by law in Germany. The first is German health insurance and the second is car (vehicle) insurance. In fact, you need car insurance to register your car in Germany. When you go to the German “DMV” to get a license plate, you have to provide proof of German car insurance. If you don’t have car insurance then you can’t get a license plate. Home contents insurance and legal insurance in Germany are recommended but not required by law.
Costs Without Private Liability Insurance In Germany
- You accidentally break the screen on your friends new laptop. A replacement screen will probably cost you over 300€. If the whole laptop needs to be replaced you could owe 1500€.
- While at someones house for dinner you trip and break their glass coffee table. It was from a custom furniture store and will cost you 500€ to replace.
- You’re walking down the street texting and accidentally run into a cyclist. The cyclist falls off his bike and breaks his wrist. Regular hospital fees could cost you over 2000€. If the cyclist suffers permanent damage you could be stuck paying for the rest of your life!
What Are Courtesy Damages? Can I Insure Myself For This?
Courtesy damage is a damage you cause while helping another person. In other words, a courtesy damage is a damage that happens while you are volunteering (i.e. you’re not receiving financial compensation). Perhaps you offer to help to a friend, acquaintance, neighbor or stranger, or someone will ask for your help. If you cause damages while helping, this would be referred to as a courtesy damage.
Here are some examples:
- You are helping a friend move. You accidentally drop a valuable object like a flat screen TV.
- In the parking lot, someone asks you to help load his new sofa into his car. While helping, you accidentally damage the piece of furniture.
- When your neighbors go on vacation, you take care of their houseplants. While water the plants, you accidentally knock over a valuable item from the shelf.
Private liability insurance in Germany usually does not cover claims for courtesy damages. In some cases, private liability insurance companies might cover courtesy damages if you purchase it as an add-on. With COYA, you can purchase additional coverage to include courtesy damages.
What Is “Bad Debt Coverage”?
Bad Debt Coverage
If someone has harmed you but cannot pay for the damages, private liability insurance in Germany will usually step in to help cover the cost of the damages.
What Is The Best Performance Guarantee?
Best Performance Guarantee
The best performance guarantee is when your insurance company promises to act in the same way as the best insurance company in the German market. If you can show that another insurance company pays in a case that your insurance company has not yet covered, then the benefits of the other insurer automatically apply to your contract with your insurance company. This ensures that you always have the best insurance protection.
Is A Private Liability Insurance Comparison Worthwhile?
Private Liability Insurance Comparison
A private liability insurance comparison is definitely worthwhile. You should inform yourself before you choose a private liability insurance provider in Germany. It is important that you compare the insurance premiums and the services offered.
Who wrote this?
My name is Bastian and I am a certified, independent insurance broker in Germany. My wife is American and together we help English-speaking expats figure out insurance, banking, and other issues encountered when moving to/living in Germany.
I also own Germany’s biggest Youtube-Channel about insurance knowledge and was honored with the “Education Award of the German Insurance Industry” in 2018 and became “Young Broker of the Year” in 2017.