But many expats have failed miserably with a vital ingredient for true integration: private liability insurance. While not compulsory, it’s widely seen as essential protection against the risk of harming another person or their material things; almost nine in ten Germans have it.
In partnership with Coya Insurance, The Local presents five pathetic excuses (we were being kind when we said ‘reasons’ in the headline) that explain why so many expats in Germany don’t have private liability insurance.
1. Too boring to bother with
Private liability insurance doesn’t even exist in many countries. You never gave it any thought at home and feel entitled to glaze over on the – oddly regular – occasions when your German friends animatedly start talking insurance. If you did listen up, you’d probably learn that Germans would consider it crazy to hang out with someone not covered.
Dropped and smashed someone’s phone while taking a photo? Set a friend or colleague’s laptop on fire (or perhaps just spilled coffee all over it)? You’d be better off blaming a mystery doppelgänger than claiming not to know about private liability insurance
Or better still, finding out about coverage with Coya before you get hit where it hurts (your wallet, not your privates … although you never know. Life is risky!).
2. You want nothing serious (with the German you’re dating …)
We admit it: it’s a great plan if you secretly want to get dumped. Germans really are obsessed with insurance. Your new love interest may well bid you ‘auf Wiedersehen’ on learning of your naive or reckless attitude to the risk your existence poses to others.
But imagine your short-lived sweetheart’s schadenfreude on learning you’ve later been landed with a major bill. Involvement in an accident where someone is badly hurt could leave you bearing financial costs running into hundreds of thousands of euros – or more.
Coya can cover you for up to €30 million of damage – not bad for something that costs under €100 per year.
3. Bureaucracy gives you the blues
Poor you. You filled in all those government immigration forms so neatly. You also took great care with your banking application. And health insurance plan. And tax return. And … you really deserve a break from bureaucracy!
With Coya, you can get a personal offer in a couple of minutes after answering a couple of quick questions. Find out everything you need to know on its website or by addressing any questions to its team via calls, SMS or Facebook – with WhatsApp services coming soon.
A policy will also defend you against potential litigation related to an accident – dealing with that alone would be the real bureaucratic nightmare.
4. Diabolical Deutsch!
Private liability insurance sounds obscure. Haftpflichtversicherung – its German name – sounds like a headache-inducing nightmare. If that’s just the name, who could face going through a whole contract?
Even if you speak respectable German, complicated insurance and legal terminology might prove difficult to grasp. German companies also love hiding the ‘gut zu wissen’ (good to know) section at the end. You will read all 600 or so pages, right?
At Coya, the commitment to English doesn’t end with its website and customer communications – you can get your entire policy in English too. Gut zu wissen, nein?
5. A flight of fancy …
Perhaps you’re a contract worker spending a couple of years abroad or a student? Why bother taking on extra responsibilities when you don’t plan to stay in Germany long-term?
Like it or not, it’s fanciful to think the rules don’t apply to you because your move is temporary. You will be held responsible by your neighbour if your child smashes their window with a football or you spill red wine over their carpet at a party.
Sometimes problems spiral out of control. What if your nice neighbour then faints and suffers a nasty bang to their head when they find out you were a devil-may-care outsider posing as a responsible adult?
Need a quick recap? Those five excuses in full:
- You didn't really know what private liability insurance is (until now thanks to us)
- Settling down and being responsible is scary (time to grow up)
- You don't want to face even more bureaucracy (Coya's got your back!)
- You find German contracts too difficult to understand (ditto)
- You have no plans to stay in Germany in the long-term (sadly irrelevant)
Integrate fully! Become a real insurance bore …
Congratulations! Now, you’ve got your head around private liability insurance, you’re on the cusp of becoming socially acceptable to Germans.
To appear truly intelligent and interesting, read up on home contents insurance too. Fascinate your friends by explaining how the clauses cover everything from a leaky washing machine flooding your apartment to getting mugged on holiday!
Even your pet dog or cat will be covered, along with all your home items, against fire, water damage, storms and burglary or theft.
Last but not least, who doesn't love a good tale about the importance of protecting your keys? With Coya, both home contents and private liability insurance will cover you for lost keys.