Supplementary Insurances

Update 01.12.2019

What types of insurance do I need?

In addition to the five compulsory social insurance schemes (medical, long-term care, pension, accident and unemployment insurance), there are other types of insurance one can apply for in Germany. These are optional, even though the word "compulsory" ("Pflicht") may sometimes appear in their titles, e.g. in the "liability insurance" ("Haftpflichtversicherung"). Most of these optional insurances protect you against financial risks. Depending on the life situation you are in, some of them may be useful.

What types of additional insurance exist?

Private liability insurance

A liability insurance is optional and it is considered to be one of the most important voluntary insurances. A liability insurance covers the costs when you damage something that belongs to another person or do someone an injury. For example, they cover the damage if you scratch someone's car while riding your bike. Same applies if you cause an accident and the injured individuals demand you to pay their medical costs and compensate for the pain you have created them. This can be very expensive, and without a liability insurance, it may make your life really difficult. 

Besides, the liability insurance can provide you with legal protection, in case someone asks you to cover damage which, in fact, was not caused by you. Your small pets and children will be also included in the liability insurance. So if your child, for example, breaks  another kid's toy, your insurance can pay for it. Larger animals, e.g. big dogs and horses, require a separate insurance. To learn more check our chapter “Pets”.

You can decide about the amount of insurance you are buying. The German Consumers' Center ("Verbraucherzentrale") recommends a liability insurance as big as at least 5 million euros. After deciding about the insurance sum, the outlay of contributions will be determined. With a 5 million Euro liability insurance, you would have to pay about 50 to 80 euros per year. For more information, visit the Consumers' Center's website where you can find a video which explains liability insurance system. On the Consumers' Center website you can also seek personal counselling.

At Vergleichportal Check24, you can compare different liability insurance schemes and choose the one that fits your needs.

Household insurance

Household insurance covers the costs of any loss or damage that might happen in your home. If something is stolen from your home or destroyed in a fire, household insurance will pay for it. It covers almost everything you might have at home or in your garage, e.g. electrical appliances, work equipment, clothing and furniture. Household insurances often also cover you in vacation, e.g. when your luggage is stolen during your trip.

In the cases of damage, you must report to your insurance immediately, and if a crime results in the damage, then you should also inform the police. You must provide the insurance company with a list of all items that have been affected. You should not take care of the damage and eliminate it before the insurance company pays for it. If you have been very negligent and for example left the door open, then in any case of robbery that might subsequently happen, you would be personally responsible and will not receive any refunds from the insurance company.

At Vergleichportal Check24, you can compare different liability insurance schemes and choose the one that fits your needs.

Cellphone insurance

New cell phones are often sold along with a cell phone insurance. These insurances are often too expensive, which is why the Consumer Center does not recommend them. In some cases, such as burglary, household insurance cover the damage. If you are planning to buy a cell phone insurance, make sure you first check the website of the Customers' Centre for some tips on what you should look out for.

Motor Vehicle Insurance

If you own a car or motorbike and you want to drive, you must first apply for a permit, as Motor Vehicle Liability Insurance is compulsory. It covers the damages, e.g. in the accidents, which are caused by your vehicle. In the case of an accident, the costs can be very high; It is therefore recommended to buy an insurance that covers up to 100 million euros of damage. At Vergleichportal Check24, you can compare different liability insurance schemes and choose the one that fits your needs.

If you want to protect your car or motorcycle against damage, you can purchase a partially comprehensive insurance ("Teilkaskoversicherung") or a fully comprehensive insurance ("Vollkaskoversicherung"). Comprehensive insurance is not mandatory. A partially comprehensive insurance, for example, covers the car damages caused by fire or theft. A fully comprehensive insurance will also cover the damages for which you are responsible or the ones that are caused intentionally. This type of insurance is expensive and is not always worth it. In any case, as a vehicle owner, you do not need a separate Personal Accident Insurance ("Insassenunfallversicherung"), as such accidents are usually covered by your standard motor vehicle liability insurance.

You have to pay close attention to the terms and conditions of the insurance contract, particularly if you are applying for private insurance. Often suppliers lure the customers with reasonable prices and then limit their services. Some insurances are unnecessary or cost too much. If you do not understand the details of an insurance contract, you should definitely consult someone who does. Once you have signed the contract, you are obliged to pay the fees, often over an extended period of time. You can benefit from insurance counselling at the Consumers' Center.


When it comes to private insurances, always watch out for the details. It is never precisely clear beforehand that which cases are covered and to what extent. The answer to these questions depend on the contents of the contract you have signed with the insurance company.

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