Most important German insurances

Insurances MunichSome of you might have come for the first time to Munich as a tourist and did not really have to care for anything except a travel insurance maybe – but now being a resident here means you also have to get some things straight as most of your insurances which you probably have in your home country are just not valid here in Germany. In this section we want to give a quick overview about the different insurances which are essential to have and some which are just nice having.

Liability insurance (“Haftpflichtversicherung”)

Assuming that you are regularly employed and have your health insurance covered from your employer, the liability insurance is the most important insurance you will need. Imagine you are at a friend’s house drinking a little bit and on the way to the toilet you accidentally destroy the Ming vase standing on a cupboard beside the bathroom – without a liability insurance you would be ruined, with such an insurance the damage will be paid. This insurance costs ca. 50-70€ per year and is an absolute must have!

Another important type of this kind of insurance is the “KFZ Haftpflicht” – if you want to register a car in Germany you won’t even be able to register your car without it. Wonder what it needs to get your car properly registered, have a look at our “Administration” section.

Health insurance (“Krankenversicherung”)

Besides the liability insurance surely the most important insurance you will need! It depends on the working status which kind of health insurance – employed, unemployed or freelance – you are up to. If you are regularly employed and your annual income is not higher than ca. 55,000 € gros, you are obliged to sign up with one of the statutory health insurances, the “Gesetzliche Krankenversicherung”.

Most of you will be regularly employed. In this case you are legally obliged to choose one of the statutory health insurances. Your employer is paying half of the costs, the other half will be directly deducted from your gross income. The biggest statutory health insurances in Germany are the TK – Technische Krankenkasse, Barmer and AOK. We strongly recommend TK – Techniker Krankenkasse – which offers the best benefits in our opinion.

Private health insurance

If you should earn above the 55,000 €, then you can go with one of the private health insurances – they are of course more expensive but also offer more benefits than the regular health insurances. If you should become unemployed at one point, absolutely be sure to report this as fast as possible to the employment office, the German “Arbeitsamt”, as you will be insuranced by them for the time being unemployed.

If you are a freelancer you don’t need any insurance, at least you are not obliged to have one – a strong advice here: Get one!!! In case of illness, without a health insurance you would have to pay any costs for a visit to the doctor or hospital out of your own pocket so we strongly recommend signing up a private health insurance.

Compared to the statutory health insurances, this type of insurance offers more benefits but is also more expensive – in this case there is no employer who covers half of the costs. Besides the added benefits you will also experience a “special treatment” by doctors which means you will get an appointment much easier and faster; the easy explanation: A doctor just earns more money with patients who are privately insuranced than the ones who are with the statutory health insurances.

Global health insurance (“Auslandskrankenversicherung”)

For travels abroad or a visit in Munich as a tourist you might have signed for a global health insurance in your home country. This insurance is limited to a certain period though and is valid only during your travels abroad. As soon as you move to another country for living there as a resident, your global health insurance won’t cover costs anymore as this kind of insurance explicitly is valid only if you are on vacation or for a limited period abroad.

So if you are planning to go skiing in Austria for example, you will need a global health insurance from a German insurer. We absolutely also recommend this insurance as costs for a rescue in the mountains could sum up to a fortune if your insurance shouldn’t include this.

Additional useful insurances in Munich

The insurances mentioned above are absolutely inevitable if you don’t want to risk the loss of a huge amount of money in case of an emergency. The insurances in this section are useful but not as important as the ones above.

Legal costs insurance (“Rechtschutzversicherung”)

This insurance covers all the costs if you need to sue someone or if you are being sued – court costs and attorney fees can easily sum up to thousands of Euros if you lose a trial. Most legal costs insurances have a certain lead time before you can avail it, normally three months. Important: If you are already sued by someone, the insurance won’t cover your costs if you sign up for it afterwards.

Accident insurance (“Unfallversicherung”)

Very useful insurance which helps you in case that you are injured and can’t work anymore or not pick up the work which you did before. If you should be a family father nearly inevitable to have this one!

Private supplementary insurance (“Private Zusatzversicherung”)

If you want to enjoy the same benefits which people with a private health insurance do, a supplementary insurance is exactly what you are looking for. The main benefits such an insurance offers are a private room for only yourself if you have to stay in hospital or treatment by the head doctor and not by a newbie.

Now you should have a very good overview about both the most important insurances you need in Munich and some additional insurances which are not really crucial but can be very helpful and sometimes even save you thousands of Euros. After having this important part sorted out you can move on to find the best mobile phone contract in Munich or which internet provider you should sign up with.