Everyone who moves to Germany must have health insurance. Tourists should take out travel health insurance, while expats will be expected to enrol in the statutory insurance scheme.

Other than health insurance, many German citizens and expats alike take additional insurance policies once in Germany, either because they need it or out of caution.

This article will detail some of the most important types of insurance available in Germany to keep in mind before your move.

Schengen Travel Insurance for Germany

Travel health insurance for Germany is short-term, intended mostly for tourist visits. However, expats intending to move to Germany often purchase travel insurance policies as well.  You generally need travel insurance for the following reasons:

  • Because Schengen travel insurance is a requirement of the Germany visa application.
  • Because you want to be prepared for anything that may happen during your trip, even if you don’t need a visa.
  • Because you are moving to Germany and want to have health coverage for the first few days, while you sort out your long-term health insurance.

Health Insurance for Expats in Germany

As an expat in Germany, you have two health insurance options: public (statutory) health insurance and private health insurance. The type of insurance you can get depends on your income, your employment status, and even your profession.

In a nutshell, almost everyone who is resident in Germany can register with the public insurance scheme. However, to get obtain private health insurance, you must have a high salary, be self-employed or a freelancer, or be an international student over the age of 30.

Public (Statutory) Health Insurance in Germany

If your income is lower than €64,350 per year, then you have to register with the statutory health insurance scheme (Gesetzliche Krankenversicherung), like the vast majority of German residents.

This scheme is income-based – every month, you must contribute a percentage of your salary (between 14.6% to 15.6%) to fund it. If you are employed, then your employer can register you for health insurance. Employers in Germany also pay half of your health insurance contributions.

In turn, you will receive (practically) free medical care in all public hospitals and clinics in Germany.

Freelancers and self-employed individuals have to pay all their health insurance contributions themselves. As a result, they are allowed to opt-out of statutory insurance, even if they do not meet the income requirements.

Private Health Insurance in Germany

If you make more than €64,350 per year, then you are allowed to forgo statutory insurance and purchase a private insurance policy. This insurance type is best suited for high-income and young individuals.

The cost of private insurance depends on your age, the amount of coverage, and any pre-existing conditions. So, if you are young and healthy, it could be relatively inexpensive, but, the prices may be too high for someone who is older or has a chronic illness.

Health Insurance for International Students in Germany

The type of student health insurance you need in Germany depends on your age and student status:

Public (statutory) health insurance:If you are a BA or MA student under the age of 30, enrolled in a German higher education institution.Cost ranges from €103.94 – €111.75 per month depending on the health insurance provider.
Private health insurance:If you are over the age of 30.

If you are enrolled in a language and preparatory course.

If you are a PhD student.

Costs start from about €33 per month and increase based on how much coverage you want or need.

Health Insurance for Freelancers in Germany

The way health insurance for freelancers in Germany works is slightly different, as they have the chance to choose between public and private. Freelancers, just like everyone, have to pay between 14%-15% of their income towards statutory health insurance contributions. However, without an employer to share the load, it can be too expensive. This is why they are allowed to obtain private insurance, even if they do not meet the minimum income requirements.

If you are a freelancer at the beginning of your career, then a private insurance plan could prove more affordable, especially if you are single, young, and have no pre-existing conditions. However, if you intend on living in Germany permanently, then it is best to join the public insurance scheme as private insurance premiums increase with age.

Liability Insurance in Germany

Liability insurance (Haftpflichtversicherung) will cover any damage that you or a family member cause to another person or to someone’s property (their car, their phone, their house, etc). It is relatively inexpensive and you can find a policy for as little as €25 per year, but for a better policy, the costs revolve between €45-€60/year.

According to a 2019 study carried out by the German Insurance Association, 83% of German citizens have personal liability coverage, making it the second-most popular insurance in Germany (after health insurance).

But why do so many people purchase personal liability insurance? Well,  according to German law, if you injure someone or damage their property, it is entirely up to you to pay for the resulting costs. This could be anything from hospital bills to repairs for a broken cell phone. So, people want to be prepared and are taking a “better safe than sorry” approach.

Legal Insurance in Germany

Legal insurance in Germany (Rechtsschutzversicherung) covers your legal costs, such as a lawyer or court fees. For example, if you are in a legal dispute with your employer – e.g. you did not receive your salary or were laid off without a legal reason – it will cover your legal consultations or lawyer fees.

This is very convenient insurance to have since it makes sure that you do not have any obstacles towards fighting for your legal rights. It is generally not very expensive, and you can get a legal protection insurance policy for somewhere between €10-€40 per month. Nearly half of German citizens (46% according to the German Insurance Association) had legal insurance in 2018/19.

However, keep in mind that legal insurance does not cover pre-existing disputes and usually has a waiting period of about three months.

Disability Insurance in Germany

In Germany, disability insurance (Berufsunfähigkeitsversicherung) is not automatically included in all health insurance plans, so you may have to purchase it separately. Disability insurance covers all or part of your income in the event that you are not capable of working (temporarily or permanently) due to a disability.

Car Insurance in Germany

Everyone in Germany who has a car is obligated by law to have car insurance (Kfz-Versicherung) to cover costs resulting from accidents. There are two types of car insurance you can get:

  • Vollkasko, which is more comprehensive. It covers damages to your own car as well as the other person’s car after an accident, regardless of whose fault it is. This type of insurance is more expensive.
  • Teilkasko, which is more limited. It only covers damages you could cause to other people’s cars, but not your own. If you have teilkasko and someone damages your car, then the other person’s insurance is responsible for covering the costs. This type of insurance costs less.

Home Insurance in Germany

Home insurance in Germany (Hausratversicherung) covers the items/belongings inside your home in case of accidents, damage, theft or vandalism, etc. The items that are usually included in a home insurance policy include furniture, kitchen appliances, electronics, clothing, or jewellery.

This type of insurance is usually only necessary if all or most of the items in your household are expensive.

Germany Renter’s Liability Insurance

As an expat, you will likely rent an apartment or house for the duration of your time in Germany. In this case, you can purchase renter’s liability insurance (Persönliche Haftpflichtversicherung), which covers any damage repair costs.

This type of insurance is pretty affordable, and you can get a plan for about €50/month.

Pet Insurance in Germany

There are two types of pet insurance you can get in Germany:

  • Pet Liability Insurance (Tierhaftpflichtversicherung), which covers injuries or property damage caused by your pet to someone else.
  • Pet Health Insurance (Tierkrankenversicherung), which covers the medical bills if your pet is sick or injured.

Unemployment Insurance in Germany

Unemployment insurance is part of German Social Security. If you lose your job and cannot find employment elsewhere, then social security will cover about 60% of your salary. Your salary is calculated depending on your average earnings in the last year, up to €4,900/month.

Unemployment insurance also covers your health insurance contributions as well.

Remember that to be eligible for unemployment insurance, you must be actively looking for a job. If you left your job without a reason or you refuse employment which the German employment office finds for you,  you might not receive unemployment benefits until after 12 months.

Other Insurances: