Social Insurances

Which types of insurance are compulsory?

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Social insurance guarantees your social security and peace of mind. In Germany, there are five compulsory insurances: health insurance, long-term care insurance, pension insurance, accident insurance and unemployment insurance. After your initial registration with an insurance company, you will receive a Social Insurance Number which you keep for life. Some types of insurance, like the health insurance, are offered as a statutory service and also by private companies. The statutory insurances are administered by the state.

If you are employed in Germany, you and your employer share the costs of your insurances. If you work independently, you must register yourself with the insurance company of your choice and transfer the insurance fees monthly. The health and long-term care insurances are mandatory for all, even if you do not work. If you are registered as a job-seeker, the insurance costs would be covered by the Employment Agency ("Agentur für Arbeit") or Jobcenter.

Statutory and private insurances

Statutory health insurance

Private health insurance

Long-term Care insurance

Pension insurance

Unemployment insurance

Accident insurance

International Social Security

Insurance for Student

As a principle, you should be well informed before you apply for any insurance. The contracts specify the contribution rates that you must be able to pay on a monthly basis. Before you get into an insurance contract, you can contact a professional insurance adviser or the Consumer Centre ("Verbraucherzenterale"). For more information on your rights and obligations as a consumer, watch this multilingual video series published by the Consumers' Center (“Verbraucherzentrale”).  


When you find a job, your employer will introduce you to be included in the social insurance scheme. Afterwards, you will receive a social insurance card with a unique social security number which you keep for life.