Home Contents Insurance in Germany
It is important to get German home contents insurance when you move to Germany. Imagine you’re walking home from work one evening, and suddenly you see that your street is full of firetrucks and police cars. A faulty outlet started a fire in your apartment building. Your mind is racing. Insurance covers the building, but what about all your clothing, your computer and TV, and all your furniture? To replace everything will probably cost thousands of euros. How do you recover from an incident like this?
You wouldn’t have to worry about the cost of replacing everything if you had home contents insurance; home contents insurance protects you from these types of situations.
* It’s almost important to note that home contents insurance in Germany and household insurance in Germany are the same! The term home contents insurance can be used interchangeably with household insurance. This guide uses both terms! The German translation is Hausratversicherung or Hausrat.
1. What Is Home Contents Insurance In Germany?
Home contents insurance in Germany (also known as household insurance in Germany) is one of the most important types of insurance in Germany. It insures your household belongings from damages due to vandalism, storm damage (e.g. wind, hail, lightning) water damage, and fire and smoke damage. Home contents insurance in Germany also covers robberies/theft. However, the specifics of what’s covered differs between insurance companies.
You’re not required by law in Germany to have home contents insurance, but it’s a good idea to get insured. In fact, you might not even be able to rent a furnished flat unless you have home contents insurance.
2. What Does Home Contents Insurance Cover?
Let’s image for a moment that your home has been turned upside down. Home contents insurance covers almost anything that falls out (such as furniture, clothes & home electronics).
Coverage usually includes:
- Jewelry and cash
- Home electronics (TV, coffee machine, refrigerator)
- Household pets
- Clothing and shoes
- Furniture and carpets
- Antennas or marquees that are part of your home/apartment
And they are covered from:
- Water damage
- Fire and smoke damage
- Storm damage (wind, hail, lightning)
Another lesser-known benefit of home contents insurance is coverage outside the home. For example, let’s say you take a weekend trip to Berlin and are staying in a hotel. When you come back to your hotel room later in the evening, you see that someone came into your room and stole your some of your stuff, including cash and jewelry. In this case, your German home contents insurance might cover this theft. Here’s another example: if you’re walking at night, and someone robs you of your cellphone and wedding ring, German home contents insurance would cover the cost of replacements.
3. What Does Home Contents Insurance Not Cover?
Some things German home contents insurance does not cover:
- Most damage to walls, ceiling, or flooring
- Damage caused by pets
- Items outside your residence
- Self-inflicted damage
- Anything covered by homeowners insurance
- Stolen bikes (they can be added to many home content policies though)
4. How Much Does German Home Contents Insurance Cost?
The cost of home contents insurance in Germany depends on the type of property you insure (e.g. apartment, condo, house). It also depends on how big your property is, where it’s located and how much protection you purchase. Nevertheless, it’s not very expensive when compared to how much financial protection you receive. In fact, you can get a basic plan for less than €50 per year.
5. Costs Without German Household Insurance
- A storm causes a tree branch to snap. The tree branch breaks through your window, and crashes into your bookcase. Consequently, the bookcase is damaged and numerous items fall off the shelves and break. Without German household insurance these damages will cost you around €500.
- A defect causes a leakage in your washing machine. The leakage soaks into your sofa and damages the wood. As a result, mold begins to grow in the sofa. Due to the mold, the entire sofa needs to be replaced and will cost you over €1000.
- You come back to your home with your family after being at a Christmas market and see that someone robbed your house. The thief took your new laptop, iPad, jewelry, and your cash. In total the thief robbed almost €2500 of your belongings!
6. BEST Insurance Company For Expats
- Monthly Cost for Coverage (starting)
- Custom Policies To Fit Your Needs
- No Fixed Duration, Cancel Any Day
- Website In English
- English Speaking Customer Support
- No General Excess
The best insurance for English-speaking expats in Germany is COYA.
COYA’s starting monthly cost for home contents insurance is only €1.79!
COYA also offers the following:
- Custom policies to fit your needs
- No fixed duration (you can cancel anytime)
- Website in English
- Customer support in English
- No general excess (no deductible)
Different people need different insurances. For English speakers in Germany, however, we think COYA is the way to go.
7. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Is Home Contents Insurance The Same As Home Owners Insurance?
No – home contents insurance in Germany and home owners insurance are not the same thing. Simply put, home contents insurance generally covers your belongings/things inside your home. In contrast, homeowners insurance covers damages to the home itself, such as damages to your ceiling. For example, imagine your kitchen catches on fire and your kitchen table and ceiling are ruined. Home contents insurance would cover your table and homeowners insurance would cover your ceiling.
Does Home Contents Insurance In Germany Cover Belongings Outside My Home?
Some home contents insurance companies in Germany cover belongings outside your home. Here’s an example that was also mentioned above: Let’s imagine you’re staying at a hotel in Berlin on holiday and a thief breaks into your room. He steals one of your personal belongings. In this case, home contents insurance would cover the cost of a replacement.
It depends on the insurance company and policy you choose. Always check to see what your insurance company covers!
What Is An Insured Sum?
An insured sum (also known as the amount insured) is the maximum amount of money your German home contents insurance company will cover for a claim. The cost of your insured sum depends on how big or small your house/flat is. Usually smaller homes have lower insured sums than bigger homes.
In some cases, you might have the option to change the amount of your insured sum. For instance, let’s say your house is small, but you have many expensive belongings. In this case, you might consider increasing your insured sum.
It’s important to note that the insured sum impacts the cost of your German home contents insurance plan. If you increase the insured sum, then your monthly premium will also increase.
What Costs Will My Insurance Company Cover In An Emergency?
German household insurance companies sometimes offer coverage for emergencies. Of course, it depends on your German household insurance company. Some companies charge extra for this coverage, while other companies include it for free. Below are examples of costs that your insurance company might cover in an emergency:
- Accommodation costs after a damage
- Electrician service
- Emergency heating
- Pipe cleaning service
* There is usually a limit on the amount that your insurance company will cover per year. Check with your insurance company to find out how much it will cover.
What Is An Add-On?
An add-on is extra coverage that you buy for more financial protection. It’s an addition to your policy. Sometimes add-ons are called extensions. Most home contents insurance companies offer add-ons. Here are some examples:
– Phishing (online-banking fraud)
– Broken glass
– Data recovery
– Bicycle theft
– Gross negligence
Is My Bicycle Covered With German Home Contents Insurance?
COYA’s basic plan covers belongings inside your home, including your bicycle, from basic risks (fire, water, storm and theft). However, if you want coverage for your bicycle in public spaces, then you need to upgrade your plan to include the bicycle protection add-on.
You can also buy comprehensive bicycle insurance. Our guide, “Bicycle Insurance in Germany,” has a lot of really helpful information.
What Add-Ons Does COYA Offer?
This add-on covers gross negligence within the covered events (fire, water damage, storms and burglary). If you have this add-on then COYA will reimburse you up to 100% of your insured sum if you initiated the incident. Without this add-on, COYA will only cover up to 10% of your insured sum in cases of gross negligence.
Here’s an example: You light a candle and then leave the room for a long time. You come back to see that something has caught on fire. Your insurance company could accuse you of gross negligence.
This add-on insures your bicycle in public spaces. You decide the insured sum amount, between €500 and €5,000. Then if something happens, COYA will reimburse you the value of your bicycle.
Do I Need To Tell My Household Insurance Company If I Will Be Away From Home For A Long Time?
From an insurance perspective, the longer you leave your home unoccupied, the more at risk it is. You should tell your German household insurance company if you’ll be away from your home/travel for longer than a month. This is what most insurance instruction manuals will say. If you don’t inform your insurance company then your home contents insurance policy could be invalidated.
Where Are My Belongings Covered?
Your German home contents insurance company should insure your belongings in the following places:
- In your main residence (apartment or house)
- Any rooms, garages, carports, balconies, terraces or studies adjacent to your building and only used by members of the building.
- Common rooms located on the property of your main residence (e.g. a laundry room, bicycle cellar, garage and customer lockers at banks).
Every home contents insurance company in Germany works a little differently. Therefore, it is important to check with your insurance company about where your belongings are insured.
Can I Upgrade My German Household Insurance Policy?
Yes – every German household insurance company offers different upgrades.
COYA has two upgrade plans available.
- Theft of bags up to € 1,000
- Phishing (online-banking fraud) up to € 1,000
- Data recovery up to € 1,000
- Valuables up to 100% of your coverage
- Best price-performance ratio on the market guaranteed
- Up to 100% coverage for your belongings outside your home
Keep The Sales Receipts
You should keep sales receipts – especially for the things that were expensive. With the receipt, you can prove how much the item cost. You can also use a photo to document what it looked like and where you usually kept it in your apartment. Do this every time you buy something new and keep the evidence in the event of a fire outside the home, for example by saving the documents online.
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.