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In general, Germany is a nation where most of its citizens are highly insured. For instance, some possess an insurance policy for travel calamities yet pay for credit cards which have travel insurance as part of the package. And then make an online flight booking with further insurance.

Almost all expats who relocate to work in the Ruhr Metropolis will require health insurance as a legal obligation. While vehicle insurance is compulsory, optional plans include property, glass, accident, liability, pets and so on.

Health Insurance

The health system in Germany, which stems from the Bismarck era, is being stretched more and more, thus straining the social system. That results in ever increasing insurance contributions, which are compulsory for Germans and expats alike.

The health insurance landscape is highly complex. Basically there are two to three routes available for expats.

At the time of writing, if an employee earns under € 64.350 per annum in 2021, they are obliged to take up insurance from one of many so-called sickness, or heath funds, Krankenkasse, available under the state system.The employer pays half of insurance costs. Each insurance company has individual policies and coverage.

Employees earning more than the threshold can choose to sign up to either the state scheme or take full private insurance or public plus private add ons. Again, numerous companies are available, the employer pays up to half of insurance costs and each offers individual policies and coverage. The risk of a rise in fees over the long haul can be higher.

Foreign insurance coverage seems to be accepted by the state under certain circumstances. This may be a solution for freelancers and those in employment who can accept their employers perhaps not reimbursing half of the cost.

Good examples are TK, Germany’s largest health care fund and Generali private insurance.

Home & Contents Insurance

Insurance companies tend to offer policies based on the size of the home in terms of square metres as well as location scaling, for instance city or village in the Ruhr. Then further options are available that affect costs. For instance, if the property has large windows, then an extra glass insurance option will be advised.

The price of insurance coverage depends on location and type of property. If the place being insured is a flat or apartment, then the floor that it is located on may have a bearing on the coverage. And if the building is being renovated, the company wishes to be informed of scaffolding due to the increased likelihood of a break in.

The choice of companies for house and contents insurance available to expats is vast, all earning hefty incomes. One serious example is HUK24.

Liability Insurance

Germany may not be quite have achieved the the level of the Americans but they love to keep the courts occupied, creating a backlog of litigation that can be astounding.

Hence, liability insurance offers more than a secure feeling and could be considered a must for expats in the Ruhr region. Neighbours love to sue over shrubs, trees and fruits infringing upon their property and personal lives. In cases of minor incidents, people can suddenly find themselves dragged in front of a judge. And parents are always liable for the actions of their children.

The cost of personal coverage is minimal compared to the risks. Examples include AXA and Arag.

Vehicle Insurance

Vehicle insurance is naturally compulsory in Germany. Compared to some countries such as the UK, coverage is taken out on a personal basis but in fact covers the vehicle regardless who drives. This can be unusual for many expats.

Policies vary widely in conditions and prices. Age of driver, safety history, estimated mileage that will be driven over the next few months, emissions, power and so on. Then there is the region in which the car or motorcycle is registered or parked and the corresponding accident and theft rates. Try DA Direkt.

By Vincent Green / Jun 29 2021

Bundesministerium für Gesundheit 

Rochusstrasse 1
53123 Bonn

+49 30 184 410

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