Unit-linked life insurance consists of term life insurance and a fund investment. What does that mean? The purpose of term life insurance is to protect the life of the policyholder: In the event of death, termination of the contract or at the contractually agreed end of the term, a certain sum or annuity is paid out to the policyholder or their dependents, depending on the insurance variant.

With traditional life insurance, on the other hand, your money is invested in fixed-interest products that are safe but only yield low returns. The profit is very often too small to protect your money from the increase in inflation over the years.

Unit-linked life insurance gets its name because the money you pay in for life insurance is invested in funds. The return you can achieve with the insurance depends on the stock markets and the price of the funds. This creates both the possibility of higher profits and a financial risk.

How does unit-linked life insurance work?

Unit-linked life insurance works in the same way as traditional life insurance. However, the tariff is linked to a fund investment. The money you pay in is therefore invested in funds. What this means for you: If you take out unit-linked life insurance, you should find out in advance about the fund selection offered to you depending on the insurer.

The following types of fund are usually offered as part of the insurance:

Whether you opt for high-risk or safer funds depends on you. It is advisable to seek detailed advice in this regard.
Once you have agreed the investment funds with the provider, the savings phase begins. This means that you pay an insurance premium on a monthly or annual basis. The amount you pay is variable: it depends on the tariff, the contractual agreements and your state of health when you take out the policy. You can also increase insurance benefits by making additional payments during the savings phase.

When choosing a plan, it is also important to consider whether and how your plan allows you to switch between funds over time. Look for a tariff with a switching option. After all, the potential returns of your tariff depend on the funds in which you have invested your money.

In the event of a switch, there are two options:

The best way to find out which option is best for your capital is to talk to an advisor. In any case, it is important for a unit-linked life insurance policy that you obtain detailed and continuous information about which funds your capital is invested in and what they are worth. Only then it is worth taking out the policy, as the value of your life insurance corresponds to the value of the investment funds.

Our advice: Most unit-linked life insurance policies lack a guaranteed interest rate, so market conditions determine your policy's value. Some tariffs offer maximum level guarantees, paying the highest market value reached. You can also opt for guaranteed funds, though this incurs higher costs.

The payout

If the insured event occurs or the agreed insurance period has expired, the sum insured is paid out. How this actually takes place varies depending on the tariff and contract. As a rule, however, the following two options are available:

As the unit-linked variant of life insurance is linked to the market value of the selected funds, it is important to keep an eye on this and the performance of the stock markets if you have opted for this type of retirement provision. The reason for this is that if the markets are not in a good phase at the end of the contract, you can use the extension option (if your plan provides for this). This allows you to extend the term of your contract and optimize your return.

Termination, surrender value, lending

If you are no longer satisfied with your unit-linked life insurance or need to access your invested capital, you can cancel the policy. However, you should carefully consider whether this option really makes sense for you and only use it if there is no other option. Early termination usually results in a financial loss for you. Due to the insurance costs, you will often receive less than the premiums you have paid for your policy when you cancel.

The money you get back on termination is the so-called surrender value of your insurance. This is related to the market value of the investment funds in which your money is invested. Early termination is therefore not advisable in the first few years after taking out insurance: In this case, the costs will certainly exceed the gains.

If you find yourself in financial difficulties, you can lend on your unit-linked life insurance. Some insurance companies as well as life insurance buyers offer mortgage lending. When you take out a loan against your life insurance policy, it is pledged as collateral for a loan. However, the costs of the loan are usually higher than the return on the insurance. For this reason, mortgaging is usually cost-ineffective.

Tax aspects

Tax aspects are an important criterion when choosing your retirement provision. What about unit-linked life insurance? Are the premiums paid in tax-deductible? Are the insurance benefits taxable after the payment-in phase?

As far as the tax deductibility of your insurance premiums is concerned, you must note the following. If your insurance contract was concluded before January 1, 2005, the monthly or annual insurance premiums are considered pension expenses. They are therefore tax-deductible. For contracts concluded after January 1, 2005, the tax advantage does not apply.

During the payout phase, you must bear in mind that profits from capital investments such as funds are generally taxable. However, even in this case, contracts that were concluded before January 1, 2005 enjoy some advantages. In this case, there is no tax liability if three conditions are met:

  1. The contract must have been in place for at least twelve years
  2. The insurance premiums have been paid in regularly for at least five years
  3. The death benefit amounts to at least 60 percent of the capital paid in

Unit-linked life insurance: advantages and disadvantages

If you are thinking about using unit-linked life insurance to secure your retirement provision and protect your loved ones from financial risks, you should be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of unit-linked life insurance.

Advantages

Disadvantages

When and for whom is unit-linked life insurance worthwhile?

Unit-linked life insurance is more worthwhile than traditional life insurance. However, this assumes that you can bear the costs. If you can no longer do so, you have the option of terminating the policy early. However, this entails losses: your invested capital is usually lost in the event of premature termination.

Unit-linked life insurance also makes sense because it combines retirement provision with fund investments and therefore generates more profits than traditional life insurance. However, this requires you to be familiar with the stock market and stay informed about the performance of your funds.

For these reasons, unit-linked life insurance is only worthwhile for those who want to invest money for the long term and are already familiar with the topic of investments. If this does not apply to you, unit-linked life insurance is not advisable. In this case, alternative forms of old-age provision are recommended.

Additional benefits of a term life insurance

Unit-linked life insurance is a pension product that consists of a savings investment in investment funds. At the end of the contract or in the event of death, the insurance benefit is paid out and the sum insured is paid out either as a lump sum or as an annuity.

Unlike traditional life insurance, unit-linked life insurance offers the possibility of higher returns and financial benefits. However, you will only benefit from this if you keep abreast of developments on the stock markets in order to monitor the status of your policy and your invested capital. This is necessary because otherwise there is a risk of financial losses.

Unit-linked life insurance is therefore only recommended for those who are prepared to take a certain amount of risk.

Exploring the world, making unforgettable memories - these are the things that travel dreams are made of. If you are planning an exciting trip abroad, you should definitely think about whether international health insurance makes sense for you. Because despite relaxation and idyll, unexpected illnesses or accidents can happen on vacation. That's why international health insurance should be as much a part of every suitcase as a toothbrush. We'll tell you everything you need to know about it below!

International health insurance: why it's important

Imagine you're enjoying your dream vacation, but suddenly you fall ill or even have an accident. Medical care abroad can lead to considerable costs. Although your statutory health insurance also covers medically necessary services in the EU, you are not covered for trips outside the EU. However, statutory health insurance does not offer comprehensive health protection in the EU either, as it only covers benefits that apply to those with statutory health insurance in the country you are visiting. This is where health insurance for abroad comes into play. It protects you against unexpected costs for medical treatment, hospital stays and medication incurred when traveling outside Germany. With such insurance cover, you don't have to worry about high bills and can concentrate fully on your recovery. Plus, traveling is more relaxed when you know you're covered in an emergency!

What benefits does international health insurance offer?

In principle, travel insurance covers all costs for medically necessary treatment abroad due to unexpected illnesses or accidents. The benefits may include

The benefits vary in detail from insurance policy to insurance policy. You should pay particular attention to cover in the event of a COVID-19 infection, as this is not offered by every insurer. Medication and treatments that are foreseeable before the trip are not covered by international health insurance. Preventive medical check-ups and vaccinations are also not covered by travel health insurance. You should also note that some insurance policies do not cover you if the Foreign Office has issued a travel warning for your vacation destination.

When does international health insurance make sense?

International health insurance is worthwhile as soon as you are planning a vacation abroad. Such insurance cover is particularly useful when traveling to countries where health costs are very high. This applies to the USA and Canada, for example. Adventure vacations also make travel insurance almost indispensable. If you are planning activities such as mountaineering, skiing or diving, there is a higher risk of injury. For longer stays abroad, you should look into international health insurance. This offers you full insurance cover abroad and also covers vaccinations and check-ups.

How much does international health insurance cost?

For a seven-day flight just for you, you can take out one-off insurance for as little as five euros. If you want to insure several trips within a year, you can book annual cover. This is available for as little as ten euros a year. Family cover for one year is available from as little as 20 euros, and you can take out single cover from ten euros. However, prices vary greatly depending on the provider and scope of services, but as you can see, the prices are quite low. In comparison, a one-day hospital stay in the USA can cost as little as 6,000 euros, while repatriation to Germany costs around 90,000 euros.

How do I find the right insurance for my trip?

Finding the right international health insurance may seem overwhelming at first, but by considering a few important factors, you can ensure that you find the right insurance for your trip. These include:

Finding the right insurance may take some time, but the certainty of being adequately protected during your trip is priceless.

Expert advice on insurance abroad

If you are unsure whether and which international health insurance is right for you, you can get advice from experts. Insurance brokers or independent insurance advisors can help you choose travel insurance. For such a consultation, it makes sense that you are already aware of your needs and your travel destination. This way, the search for the right insurance can be tailored to your individual circumstances.

Carefree travel thanks to suitable international health insurance

Exploring the world and creating new memories is undoubtedly incredibly exciting. But in the midst of these adventures, you should never lose sight of your health. The thought of unexpected illness or accidents may be uncomfortable, but with international health insurance tailored to your needs, you can put your worries to rest. From medical care in foreign countries to repatriation to Germany, health insurance for stays abroad offers you a way to go on vacation without worry. Whether you're going on a city break, embarking on an exciting adventure or simply relaxing on the beach, international health insurance should be on your travel list!

If you have to assert your rights in court or with the help of a lawyer, your legal protection insurance will cover the costs incurred. This means you can face legal disputes with your landlord, employer or authorities with greater peace of mind. Here we show you what costs legal protection insurance covers and whether it is worthwhile for you.  

What is legal expenses insurance?

Your legal expenses insurance covers the costs of legal proceedings in and out of court. This means that it covers your lawyer's fees if you are represented in court or out of court. It also covers the costs incurred in connection with legal proceedings and pays your costs if you lose in court.  

Please bear this in mind: Your insurance does not cover all legal costs incurred. In fact, costs will only be covered in the areas of law covered by your tariff. 

Why is legal protection insurance useful?

If there is a dispute in court, the costs are high. If you lose in court, for example in connection with an action for eviction due to personal use, you will incur court and lawyer's fees of around 4,000 euros (depending on the amount in dispute). If you lose the case, you will have to bear these costs yourself - every legal dispute therefore means a certain cost risk for you. Legal protection insurance helps you to exercise your rights with peace of mind. 

In the insured areas of law, the insurance covers the necessary legal costs as well as 

The costs incurred will be borne by the insurance company in full or up to an agreed maximum amount. If a maximum sum has been agreed, this is often between 3,000 and 6,000 euros per year or per claim. Most insurers also offer you the option of getting advice from legal experts over the phone. The hotlines are usually available around the clock.  

If you take out legal protection insurance, you are not only securing yourself competent legal advice. You also ensure that you can enforce your rights in court without having to worry about the financial risks of a lawsuit.  

What benefits does legal protection insurance provide?

Your legal expenses insurance covers costs relating to legal disputes in the areas of law covered by your insurance tariff. The most important areas for which you can take out insurance are Professional legal protection, private legal protection and traffic legal protection. 

Who needs legal expenses insurance?

Whether legal protection insurance is worthwhile for you depends on your individual situation. Therefore, ask yourself whether and in which areas of your life you could face legal trouble. Do you drive a car every day or are you threatened with legal disputes around your workplace? Then it may make sense to take out traffic or employment legal protection insurance. If, on the other hand, you don't own a car and have a secure job and a fair employer, insurance cover is less worthwhile.  

How sensible legal protection insurance is for you also depends on how likely you think it is that you will need a lawyer or have to go to court. The more likely this is, the more urgently you need legal protection insurance.  

It also makes sense for you to take out insurance if you want to protect yourself from the high costs of legal disputes regardless of these considerations. This way, you are sure to be able to enforce your rights against financially strong third parties if necessary.  

When does private legal expenses insurance not pay out?

Your legal expenses insurance covers the costs of contractually agreed disputes. Nevertheless, it is not an all-round carefree package in connection with the insured disputes. If the conflict that triggered the costs incurred already existed before the insurance contract was concluded, the insurer will not pay.  

You also have to wait around three months before you can claim insurance benefits. The waiting period is intended to protect the insurer from you only taking out the insurance once costs and legal disputes have become apparent. Only in connection with traffic accidents will your legal expenses insurance cover you without a waiting period.  

Please note that there are cases in which legal expenses insurance does not pay. These are

The cases in which insurance cover is excluded can vary from insurer to insurer. So take a close look at the insurance conditions and consider which offer suits you best. My team and I will be happy to help you compare different legal protection offers. 

What does legal protection insurance cost?

The cost of your legal protection insurance depends on which insurance package you choose. You can get traffic legal protection insurance for around 70 euros per year. If you opt for legal protection insurance that covers several areas (professional, private, traffic and criminal legal protection), the insurance will cost at least 200 euros per year. The rule is: the more legal areas the insurance covers, the more expensive it is.  

Finding the right tariff - what you should bear in mind

Once you have decided to take out legal expenses insurance, it is important to compare the tariffs of several providers. There is no such thing as a tariff that suits all policyholders. When making your choice, pay attention to the tariff details that are important to you personally. However, don't opt for the first provider that meets your tariff requirements - pay attention to the following points:  

Are there alternatives to legal expenses insurance?

If you decide not to take out legal expenses insurance, you are not without protection in connection with many legal disputes. Although the alternatives do not offer the comprehensive protection of legal expenses insurance, they are a real relief in an emergency:  

On the safe side with legal expenses insurance

If legal disputes arise, they can be costly - with lawyer, court and expert costs. Legal expenses insurance offers reliable protection against high costs. In selected areas of law, it covers all costs incurred in and out of court. Whether legal protection insurance is worthwhile for you depends on your personal circumstances. If you are a professional and actively participate in road traffic and public life, you should consider taking out insurance.  

For many people, a secure financial foundation in retirement is an important factor in planning for the future. Especially in times of economic uncertainty, the need for comprehensive retirement provision is becoming increasingly clear. One way of providing for a well-earned retirement is the company pension. This concept plays a key role in the German pension system and offers you additional retirement provision for later years.

Company pension overview

The company pension, also known as the occupational pension scheme, is an option for additional retirement provision offered by employers to their employees. It is used to top up the statutory pension and thus secure the standard of living you are used to in retirement. The company pension is organized by your employer. It is subsidized by the state, which means you can benefit from tax advantages. The company pension is a generic term for various pension models. The options for a company pension are

The most commonly used form is direct insurance. The company pension offers advantages for both you as an employee and your employer. You benefit from an additional source of income in retirement, which helps you to maintain your standard of living. Your employer can use the company pension as a benefit to strengthen employee loyalty and attract new employees.

How the company pension for employees works in Germany

Setting up a company pension is easy for you:

Why a company pension makes sense

A company pension offers you various advantages:

Differences to private pension provision

Occupational and private pension plans have a few differences. Probably the biggest difference is that you have to organize your private pension yourself, while your employer takes care of your occupational pension. In addition, you do not benefit from an employer subsidy with a private pension, but pay the contributions yourself. One advantage of private pension provision is that you do not have to pay contributions to the statutory health insurance fund later on.

Tax aspects of the company pension

With a company pension, you benefit from a state subsidy. Here are the most important aspects you need to know about company pension contributions:

Bear in mind, however, that deferred compensation reduces your entitlement to a statutory pension. This is because the calculation of your pension entitlement is based on your gross income that remains after the deduction of contributions to the company pension scheme. As the deferred compensation reduces your gross income, you pay lower contributions to the statutory pension insurance, which in turn reduces your statutory pension.

Company pension for the self-employed and freelancers

The company pension scheme primarily applies to employees. However, if you are self-employed or work as a freelancer for a company on a permanent basis, you can also benefit from a company pension or continue an existing contract. However, you must observe certain requirements. That's why you should definitely seek advice from an expert.

Company pension as an important component of retirement provision

At a time of increasing economic uncertainty, the need for comprehensive retirement provision is becoming ever more important. The company pension is proving to be an important option in the German pension system that can offer you financial security in retirement. It enables you to maintain your accustomed standard of living in old age and protect you from financial bottlenecks. The company pension is therefore a sensible supplement to the statutory pension. To avoid a pension gap in old age, you should consider occupational pension provision as early as possible. Talk to your employer and get advice from experts to find the best way for you to provide for your well-earned retirement. That way, you can look to the future with peace of mind.

as a dog owner, you can rely on your furry companion: He is faithful at your side and goes with you through thick and thin. But don't forget: no matter how well-behaved and friendly your dog is, it can always get frightened and run away, causing a traffic accident or injuring a fellow dog while playing.

For you as a dog owner, this can be expensive. Opt for dog liability insurance to be protected from high costs. Find out now what dog liability insurance is, when it covers you and in which federal states it is mandatory.

What is dog liability insurance?

Section 833 of the German Civil Code stipulates that pet owners must pay for all damage caused by their pet. For you, this means: If your dog gets loose and causes a traffic accident or injures a person while playing in a storm, you have to pay for all damages. If, for example, several cars are damaged in an accident or a person is injured, you may be faced with high claims for damages.

Your dog owner liability insurance protects you from such claims for damages by third parties and compensates them for you. It also fends off unjustified claims that third parties make against you.

Taking out dog owner liability insurance primarily protects your assets. In addition, it guarantees that third parties who suffer damage from your pet will be compensated for it. For the latter reason in particular, dog liability insurance is a legal requirement in many German states.

Who needs liability insurance for the dog and where is it mandatory?

Damage caused by dogs can be expensive for the owner. Accordingly, liability insurance for dogs makes sense for anyone who keeps a dog as a pet. In addition, insurance for dog owners is even required by law in the following federal states:

There is no compulsory insurance at all in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

What damages does dog liability insurance cover?

Injuries to animals and people and minor personal injuries account for over 65 percent of all damages.

Liability insurance for your dog covers these damages. Most insurers provide the following benefits:

If the claims of third parties against you as the dog owner are unjustified, the insurer will defend you against them. In case of emergency, the dog liability insurance even covers court and lawyer fees.

What does dog liability insurance cost?

You can take out liability insurance for your dog with many insurers for as little as 2.50 euros per month. However, it is not possible to say in general what the insurance will cost you in a specific case. After all, the exact costs depend on:

Which dogs can be insured?

With many insurers, you have the option of taking out dog liability insurance for all breeds of dog. However, there are insurers that do not offer coverage for dogs that are considered dangerous. These can be the following breeds, for example:

Have you ever thought about a possible occupational disability? No longer being able to practice your profession sounds unlikely - but it's an underestimated risk: According to the German Insurance Association (GDV), one in four people in Germany can no longer practice their profession before retirement due to physical or mental ailments. If an occupational disability occurs, the state benefits are not enough to secure your standard of living and avoid financial problems. In this article, I explain how occupational disability insurance protects you and whether you need it.

What is occupational disability insurance?

Your occupational disability insurance (also known as BU, BUV or BU insurance) pays you a monthly pension if you can no longer pursue your current profession for health reasons. In this context, occupational disability is defined as being unable to work in your last profession for at least six months. Lifelong occupational disability is not required in order to receive insurance benefits.

For the insurance to pay benefits, the occupational disability must not only last at least six months. It must also meet the so-called 50 percent rule. This means that the insurance company only pays the agreed occupational disability pension if you have lost at least 50 percent of your ability to work and can no longer perform at least half of your previous occupational activities.

When does the occupational disability insurance pay out?

Mental health problems, a slipped disc or a cancer diagnosis - there are many illnesses that prevent you from doing your job. If you have to forego all or part of your income due to this stroke of fate, things can get dicey financially.

If you have taken out occupational disability insurance, you need not worry about your financial future: Your occupational disability insurance will pay out regardless of the reason for your incapacity. You will receive your cash pension for as long as your occupational disability lasts. If you are permanently unable to work in your profession, you will receive benefits up to a contractually agreed age limit.

Occupational disability can affect anyone. This becomes particularly clear when you consider that illnesses are usually the reason for occupational disability. Accidents, on the other hand, trigger occupational disability far less frequently. The most common reasons for receiving an occupational disability pension are these:

For whom is an insurance against occupational disability useful?

Occupational disability insurance makes sense for you if you are financially dependent on your income. This is the case for the vast majority of working people - a private occupational disability insurance is therefore one of the most sensible insurances. I recommend it to all my clients.

No matter if you are self-employed, employed, an apprentice, a beginner or very experienced in your job - if you don't have a substantial fortune to fall back on, an occupational disability insurance is a sensible investment for you. This becomes clear when you consider the following:

If you start your career at the age of 25 and earn a gross income of 3,000 euros, you will earn 1,512,000 euros by the time you retire. Your labor is therefore your most valuable asset. If it fails due to an illness or accident, only very few people have the financial reserves to compensate for this loss. In comparison: Your car is worth 60,000 euros - your comprehensive insurance covers all damages. This means that your car is often better protected than your labor, which is many times more valuable.

For whom is an occupational disability insurance not worthwhile?

If you are a civil servant, you are entitled to a pension in the event of occupational disability. Only if your entitlement to a pension is less than your cost of living, you should think about a disability insurance (a BU for civil servants). If you are a civil servant on probation or revocation, a disability insurance also makes sense. After all, you are not yet entitled to a pension.

What does occupational disability insurance cost?

It is not possible to say in general what your occupational disability insurance will cost. After all, the premiums depend on several factors. The following points influence the amount of the premium:

Your age when you take out the insurance policy

Occupational disability insurance: When and for what amount?

If you take out occupational disability insurance at an early stage (for example, in your 20s during your studies), you will benefit from lower premiums. The amount of the occupational disability pension you agree upon depends on your current costs. The pension should be sufficient to provide you with an adequate standard of living if you lose your income from work.

What are the alternatives to occupational disability insurance?

Are you thinking about saving the monthly costs for an occupational disability insurance? You are not alone with this thought. However, there are hardly any real alternatives to occupational disability insurance. The following options come into question:

The statutory pension for reduced earning capacity as an alternative to occupational disability insurance

Provided you have paid into the statutory pension insurance for at least 36 months in the last five years, you will receive a state pension in the event of occupational disability. However, please keep in mind: In 2021, this statutory pension for reduced earning capacity averaged only 877 euros per month. For the vast majority of people, this amount is not enough to cover their running costs.

It is also important to know that you will only receive a reduced earning capacity pension if you are unable to work at least three hours a day in any profession. If you currently work as a department manager, for example, you will not be eligible for a reduced earning capacity pension if your health problems mean that you could work in another job with lower pay. The statutory pension for reduced earning capacity is therefore only an alternative to occupational disability in a few cases.

Save money and build up assets

You've already toyed with the idea of saving the premium for an occupational disability insurance policy and putting it aside yourself in the event of an occupational disability. The idea seems tempting, but it only works if you become disabled towards the end of your working life. If you can no longer work at a younger age, your savings will not be enough to compensate for the loss of your income.

Also, keep in mind that the financial damage caused by the loss of your earned income is immense. Even if you can cover your living expenses from savings, there is often not enough money left over to build up reserves for bad times or old age.

Here is an example:

If you become incapacitated at the age of 53, you still have 14 years until retirement. To bridge the time and have 2,000 euros available each month, you need 336,000 euros in savings. At the same time, you no longer pay into the pension fund due to your occupational disability. This reduces your future pension payments. You also have to compensate for this loss with savings.

What to consider when taking out an insurance policy

Before you take out an occupational disability insurance policy, remember to compare the offers of different providers. Pay attention to the following important points:

Set the occupational disability pension high enough

Set the amount of your disability pension so that you can cover all your running costs. The running costs include your expenses for housing, the maintenance of your family, food and insurance. I recommend that you choose an annuity that is equal to 80 percent of your net income.

Rely on a reliable insurer

In the event of occupational disability, it is important to have a reliable insurer who will pay you an occupational disability pension quickly and reliably. You can find help in selecting a suitable provider from your insurance broker or here.

Legal protection and daily sickness benefits as a supplement

There are two types of insurance that make sense to take out in addition to occupational disability insurance: legal protection insurance and daily sickness benefits.

Subsequent insurance options and dynamic benefits

If your occupational disability lasts longer, your pension must still be sufficient to live on in 20 years or more. I recommend choosing a tariff where the pension amount can be adjusted at a later date. That way, you can ensure that your disability pension will be sufficient if your circumstances change and the cost of living increases over time.

Some occupational disability tariffs provide for the insurer to refuse to pay the pension if you are able to work in a profession other than your current one - this procedure is called "abstract referral". It does not matter whether you actually find such a job. For you as the insured, the abstract referral represents a risk. Make sure that your tariff does not contain such a clause so that you are not left without a job and money in the event of occupational disability.

No abstract referral

If your occupational disability lasts longer, your pension must still be sufficient to live on in 20 or more years. I recommend choosing a tariff where the pension amount can be adjusted at a later date. That way, you can be sure that your disability pension will be sufficient if your circumstances change and the cost of living increases over time.

The German healthcare system is considered one of the best in the world: as a citizen in Germany, you enjoy excellent medical care as well as financial coverage in case of sick leave and nursing care. Executives and professionals from foreign companies working in Germany benefit from expatriate health insurance in Germany. Everything you need to know about the topic is presented here.

Health insurance for expats - when does it make sense?

A longer stay abroad has become part of everyday life for many people today - whether for a work & travel year, as a temporary employee in Germany or even as a visiting scientist. If you are a foreigner working in Germany for a longer period of time, it is important that you have reliable insurance coverage. This is the only way to ensure that you will get the medical treatment you need in case of an emergency - without having to pay expensive costs out of your own pocket.

Both for foreign expats who come to Germany for a longer period of time and for German expats abroad, there are special tariffs offered by the insurance companies. The scope of benefits can be individually adjusted for many tariffs.

The German Health Insurance System: The Most Important Information

The costs for medical treatment, a stay in hospital or even for medication are paid by the health insurance companies in Germany. If you move permanently to Germany, you can either take out health insurance through your employer or choose your own insurance. You can choose between public and private health insurance. If something happens to you as an expat in Germany, you will receive medical care in any case. This happens in case of emergency even if you do not have insurance status. You can still pay for the treatment afterwards - but this will be out of your own pocket if you do not have health insurance for expats. For this reason, the law requires that foreigners who live and work permanently in Germany have health insurance. The insurance also saves you from high medical bills.

For expats with a temporary stay of two or three years, on the other hand, a temporary expat insurance is the right thing, which works like a long-term health insurance.

Who is subject to social insurance in Germany

If you take up a job in Germany, you are usually also subject to compulsory social insurance. This means that you, as an employee, pay contributions from your gross salary to pension, nursing care and accident insurance as well as to unemployment and health insurance. As a rule, all domestic and foreign employees are subject to social insurance and must pay the corresponding contributions.

However, there are exceptions: Foreign employees are not covered by German social security law if they are

Expatriates who do not have their permanent residence in Germany, but who stay here for several years, can take out special health insurance for expatriates. This is usually valid for up to five years.

What benefits must health insurance for expats include?

If you have a temporary residence permit in Germany, you must present proof of valid health insurance both when entering the country and when extending your visa. The following criteria are decisive:

Statutory Health Insurance for Expats in Germany

Almost 90 percent of citizens in Germany have statutory health insurance. Both people from other EU countries and non-EU citizens from third countries can take out statutory health insurance in Germany at any time. Trainees, skilled workers or even trainees who are employed by companies as expats in Germany and earn no more than 62,550 euros per year are covered by the public health system. Spouses, cohabitants and children up to and including the age of 25 can in some cases be covered by family insurance, provided their income is less than 450 euros per month.

If you would like to take out statutory health insurance as an expat in Germany, there are almost 100 health insurance companies available to you. The statutory health insurance offers you all medically necessary benefits in case of illness. This includes both outpatient treatment by statutory health insurance physicians as well as hospital stays and treatment by a dentist.

If you are sick for more than six weeks, the health insurance fund will step in after the sixth week and take over your salary payment: You will then still receive 70 percent of your previous salary. Within 36 months, you can claim this payment for a maximum of 78 weeks.

If you would like to take out statutory health insurance, simply contact the health insurance company of your choice. They will then issue you with a health insurance card, which you can use to be treated by a panel doctor of your choice.

Private health insurance for expats in Germany

If you would like to take out private health insurance as an expat in Germany, you can choose from over 40 private health insurance companies. These offer you different ranges of benefits, which is why we recommend a detailed comparison in advance.

If you have private health insurance, you will enjoy higher quality and more comprehensive medical care. This is particularly advantageous for you as an expat in Germany: For example, you can request a doctor who speaks English, Spanish or another language in which you can communicate better.

Another advantage is that you can claim up to 80 percent of the insurance costs as a privately insured person against tax.

However, not every expat in Germany is eligible for private insurance: If your annual salary is less than 62,550 euros, you can only take out statutory insurance.

As an expat in Germany, you can become a member of a PKV under the following conditions:

Especially as a young expat with no special medical history and a good income, you will benefit from switching to a private health insurance. You are usually insured for at least 18 months and can change the policy with a notice period of two months before the end of the first 18 months or in case of a premium increase.

The PKV for expats in detail

The calculation of the contribution amount in the statutory health insurance is always based on your income. With private health insurance, this is different: Here, your medical history, your age and other factors play a role in the premium calculation.

If you want to take out private health insurance as an expat in Germany, you first pay a doctor's bill out of your own pocket and then submit the bill to the health insurance company. After a few weeks, the amount will be reimbursed. This means that you have to pay in advance, but in contrast to the statutory health insurance, you will be reimbursed 100 percent of the costs.

If you have to assert your rights in court or with the help of a lawyer, your legal protection insurance will cover the costs incurred. This way you can face legal disputes with your landlord, employer or authorities more calmly. Here we show you which costs are covered by legal protection insurance and whether the insurance is worthwhile for you.

 What is legal protection insurance?

Your legal expenses insurance covers the costs of legal proceedings in and out of court. This means that it covers your legal fees if you are represented in court or out of court. It also pays for costs incurred around a court case and covers your costs if you lose in court.  

Keep in mind: Your insurance does not cover all legal costs. Rather, costs are only covered in the legal areas covered by your tariff. 

Why is legal protection insurance useful?

If there is a dispute in court, high costs will be incurred. If you lose in court, for example, in connection with an eviction action due to owner-occupancy, you will incur court and attorney fees of around 4,000 euros (depending on the amount in dispute). If you lose the case, you have to bear these costs yourself - every legal dispute therefore involves a certain cost risk for you. Legal protection insurance helps you to exercise your rights with peace of mind. 

In the insured areas of law, the insurance covers not only the necessary legal fees, but also 

The costs incurred will be paid by the insurance company in full or up to an agreed maximum amount. If a maximum sum is agreed upon, it is often between 3,000 and 6,000 euros per year or per claim. In addition, most insurers offer you the option of receiving advice from legal experts by telephone. The hotlines are usually available around the clock.  

If you take out legal protection insurance, you are not only assured of competent legal advice. You also have the opportunity to enforce your rights in court without having to fear the financial risks of a lawsuit.

What benefits does legal protection insurance provide?

Your legal protection insurance covers costs related to legal disputes in the legal areas covered by your insurance tariff. The most important areas for which you can take out insurance are: Professional legal protection, private legal protection and traffic legal protection. 

Who needs legal expenses insurance?

Whether legal protection insurance is worthwhile for you depends on your individual situation. Therefore, ask yourself whether and in which areas of your life you could face legal trouble. Do you drive your car every day or are you threatened by legal disputes around your workplace? Then it may make sense to take out traffic or employment legal protection. If, on the other hand, you don't own a car and have a secure job and a fair employer, insurance coverage is less worthwhile.  

How useful legal protection insurance is for you also depends on how likely you think it is that you will need a lawyer or have to go to court. The more likely this is, the more urgently you need legal protection insurance.  

When does private legal protection insurance not pay?

Your legal protection insurance reimburses the costs of contractually agreed disputes. Nevertheless, it is not an all-round carefree package in connection with the insured disputes. If the conflict that triggered the costs already existed before the insurance contract was concluded, the insurer will not pay.  

In addition, you have to wait about three months before you can claim insurance benefits. The waiting period is intended to protect the insurer against you taking out insurance only after costs and legal disputes have been announced. Only in connection with traffic accidents, your legal protection insurance is available to you without a waiting period.  

Please note that there are cases in which legal protection insurances generally do not pay. These are: 

What does legal protection insurance cost?

What your legal protection insurance costs depends on which insurance package you choose. You can get a traffic legal protection tariff for around 70 euros per year. If you opt for a legal protection insurance that covers several areas (professional, private, traffic and criminal legal protection), the insurance will cost at least 200 euros per year. The following applies: The more legal areas the insurance covers, the more expensive it is.  

Finding the right tariff - what you should bear in mind

If you have decided to take out legal protection insurance, it is important to compare the rates of several providers. The one tariff that suits all insured persons does not exist. When making your choice, pay attention to the rate details that are important to you personally. But don't choose the first provider that meets your rate requirements - pay attention to the following points as well:  

Are there alternatives to legal protection insurance?

If you decide not to take out legal protection insurance, you are not without protection in connection with many legal disputes. Although the alternatives do not offer the comprehensive protection of a legal protection insurance - they are a real relief in case of emergency:  

The cost of private health insurance (PHI) depends mainly on the desired benefits and the age of the insured person when the contract is concluded. However, there are price differences between different insurance providers. We will now show you what private health insurance costs you should expect and what you should look out for in your private health insurance.

What does private health insurance cost: How are private health insurance premiums calculated?

How much you have to pay for your private health insurance does not depend on your income - unlike in the case of statutory health insurance. Rather, the insurer determines your private health insurance premium primarily based on the following points:

This means that although you cannot influence your age and state of health at the time of signing the contract, you still have a say in determining your PKV costs. After all, the range of benefits included in your private health insurance - unlike in statutory health insurance - is not prescribed by law.

You decide for yourself which benefits you would like to receive from your private health insurance. The more comprehensive your chosen tariff, the higher your private health insurance costs and the lower the cost risk in the event of illness.

The assessment of the private health insurance costs in detail

The cost of private health insurance varies from person to person. The following will give you an idea of how the insurer calculates the premium based on individual factors:

As part of the health check, you must provide information about allergies, lifestyle habits, previous illnesses and other health problems. The questions help the insurer to estimate your expected actual health costs

Although it is not possible to say in general how much insured persons pay for their private health insurance, a rough guideline can be used:

Salaried employees: For a high-performance PKV tariff, a 35-year-old employee pays about 500 to 700 euros. However, the employer pays half of the costs of private health and long-term care insurance. Note, however, that he only has to make a monthly contribution of a maximum of 403.99 euros.

Self-employed: Self-employed persons must finance their PKV contribution completely out of their own pocket. They have to expect (at an entry age of 35) costs of 460 to 640 euros per month.

Both groups can claim their own contribution paid as a tax deduction.

Different PKV costs for different occupational groups

What you have to pay for your private health insurance depends, among other things, on whether you are employed, self-employed or a civil servant. For different occupational groups, different regulations apply around the PKV, which can affect the costs of private health insurance for you:

This means: If your private health insurance costs 500 euros per month, your employer will pay a subsidy of 250 euros per month.

How private health insurance costs develop in old age

In younger years, private health insurance is often cheaper for high earners than statutory health insurance. However, you shouldn't just spend the contributions you save. There is a simple reason for this: the premium costs for your private health insurance increase over the years. If you have a lower income in retirement, you must be able to continue to finance your private health insurance costs.

However, your private health insurer also helps you to finance your premium costs in old age: It sets aside a portion of the premiums you pay as so-called age reserves. The money saved is later used to cushion and moderate premium increases.

For you, this means that if you enter private health insurance at a young age, you have plenty of time to build up age reserves. The younger you are when you take out the contract, the greater the premium relief in old age.

This is how you can reduce the costs of private health insurance

If you can no longer afford the costs of your private health insurance, you have the option of reducing them. On the one hand, you have the option of changing your private health insurance tariff and opting for a similar, but cheaper tariff from your provider.

If the costs of the PKV cannot be reduced by a tariff change, a change into the legal health insurance or (if you do not fulfill the conditions for the change) into the basis or standard tariff can be a way out. The basic tariff can only be a way out if you receive unemployment benefit I.

Whether in private or professional everyday life - even minor carelessness and oversights can have serious consequences. If you forget to turn off your stove or cross a street in your mind and overlook a cyclist, serious damage can occur. You have to pay for these. In such cases, your liability insurance relieves you of the burden of existentially threatening claims for damages and bears the costs of third-party liability claims. Find out now what other benefits your liability insurance provides, for which areas you can take out insurance and when it is mandatory.

What is liability insurance?

Liability insurance is damage insurance for which an individual insurance contract is concluded between the policyholder and an insurance provider.

The purpose of liability insurance is to defend against unjustified claims for damages by third parties against the insured or to assume justified claims for damages against the insured.

When does liability insurance pay out?

Your liability insurance compensates for damage you cause to third parties. It protects you financially against claims for damages from other people or companies and pays for them if they are justified. In principle, liability insurance covers the following types of damage:

Note, however, that there is no liability insurance that will financially compensate all types of damages you cause to third parties. Rather, there are different types of liability insurance for specific areas of life and different purposes. The insurances only pay if a damage occurs in connection with the agreed insurance purpose.

What types of liability insurance are there?

Many different types of damage can occur at work as well as in everyday life. Accordingly, there are different types of liability insurance that cover different types of damage. What all insurances have in common is that they only pay for damages that you unintentionally cause to others within their area of responsibility.

Overall, the different types of liability insurance can be divided according to their area of responsibility. On the other hand, a distinction can be made between voluntary liability insurance and compulsory liability insurance:

Liability insurance for risks in the private sphere

Compulsory liability insurance

These insurances must be taken out by everyone who exercises a corresponding profession or drives a motor vehicle

When does the insurance not pay?

When you take out a liability insurance policy, your insurance contract specifies in which cases insurance coverage is available and for which types of damage the insurance will pay. Depending on the type of liability insurance, the insured types of damage can be quite different.

However, what all liability insurance policies have in common is that they do not cover damage that is

Liability insurance comparison: Who needs liability insurance?

Most liability insurance policies are taken out voluntarily to protect you against certain financial risks. Mandatory liability insurance is only required in a few areas of life that are classified by law as particularly risky.

But remember: If you cause damage to another person, you are liable for the financial consequences with all your assets. Private liability insurance in particular, which covers all damage caused in private everyday life, is therefore important for everyone. The insurance protection gives you security and can save you from financial ruin under certain circumstances. The same applies to special pet owner liability insurance if you have a dog. After all, even the most agreeable four-legged companion can cause great damage if it injures a third party while playing or breaks loose in traffic.

If you run a business or are self-employed or freelance, a business or professional liability insurance makes sense for you. Like all other liability insurance policies, you take out this insurance in your own interest. However, liability insurance also serves a social purpose and guarantees appropriate compensation to people and companies who are harmed through no fault of their own. It does not matter whether you yourself are solvent or not.

Canceling liability insurance

You usually take out liability insurance for one or more years. However, the Insurance Contract Act (VVG) limits the minimum contract term to a maximum of three years. After the minimum contract period, the contract is automatically renewed. However, you can cancel it with a notice period of usually three months before the expiration date.

If there is an increase in premiums, you have an extraordinary right of termination. In this case, the notice period is one month from receipt of the premium increase.

Regardless of the contractually agreed minimum term, the insurance contract can be terminated by either party after a settled or rejected claim. The notice period is then - depending on the agreement - usually four weeks.

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