Loss of basic abilities insurance

What is it?

Loss of basic abilities insurance, commonly known as “Grundfähigkeitenversicherung”, is a specialized insurance policy aimed to financially protect individuals who lose the ability to perform basic daily tasks. Unlike disability insurance, which focuses on one’s inability to work, this insurance kicks in when you can no longer carry out essential activities like walking, seeing, or hearing.

The insurance landscape in Germany has recognized the importance of offering different options to cover your workforce and while the loss of basic ability insurance is not as widely known as life or health insurance, the concept has been gaining traction as it offers a unique protective layer for your well-being and the financial stability of your future.

What are the main differences between loss of basic abilities and disability insurance?

Purpose of coverage:

  • Loss of basic abilities insurance: Covers the inability to perform basic daily life activities such as walking, hearing, or seeing.
  • Disability insurance: Focuses on the inability to continue one’s professional work to a significant extent, usually defined as losing at least 50% of your work capabilities.

Benefit triggers:

  • Loss of basic abilities insurance: Benefits are usually triggered when the insured can no longer perform a specific number of predefined basic tasks.
  • Disability insurance: Benefits are triggered when the insured is unable to perform their occupation due to illness, injury, or disability.

Level of coverage:

  • Loss of basic abilities insurance: Typically offers a monthly allowance and the coverage can be quite straightforward.
  • Disability Insurance: Benefits can be more comprehensive, but ultimately making sure that you have income if you cannot work anymore.

Flexibility & specificity:

  • Loss of basic abilities insurance: Less flexible in terms of the tasks that trigger the benefit; however, it’s easier to define what constitutes a “loss of ability.”
  • Disability insurance: More flexible but may require substantial medical documentation to prove disability in relation to one’s job.

What are the benefits?

While state-provided safety nets do exist, they often fall short of covering the extensive care or assistance one might need when basic abilities are compromised. Loss of basic abilities insurance fills in these gaps. Benefits often include lump-sum payments or monthly allowances to help manage your lifestyle and any required modifications to your home.


Typical coverage: This policy provides financial assistance if you are unable to perform a predetermined number of basic daily activities, from personal hygiene to mobility. It can act as a supplementary policy to other forms of health or life insurance you may already have.

What’s not covered: The policy will typically have a waiting period and specific criteria to assess the loss of abilities. Routine inconveniences or temporary ailments are generally not covered.

Premiums: The cost can vary based on the level of coverage and the policyholder’s age, but it’s generally more affordable than disability insurance.

Who is it for?

Loss of basic abilities insurance is for anyone who wants an extra layer of financial protection in case life takes an unexpected turn. While it is often considered by older adults or those in high-risk occupations, it can be a good choice for anyone. Premiums are usually more affordable for younger individuals and can offer peace of mind for years to come.

Factors like age, health conditions, and occupational hazards can influence the type of coverage you may need and the premiums you will pay. As always, it’s advisable to compare multiple options to tailor the coverage to your specific needs.

Did you know?

~ 25%

Statistically, one in four people will be unable to work at least once during their working life due to a disability. [1]