What is it?
Building insurance, also known as “Gebäudeversicherung” in German, is a crucial policy for any building owner. Originating from the concept of safeguarding one’s property from unpredictable events like fire, storms, or water damage, it evolved into a comprehensive protection plan that often goes beyond these basic needs.
In Germany, there are different types of building insurance policies to choose from, but they commonly cover, at a minimum, risks such as fire, water damages, hail & storm, and other natural disasters. The specifics can vary widely between insurance providers.
Navigating the intricate landscape of building insurance can be overwhelming, considering there are many providers and options. Making an informed decision is vital for your financial well-being and peace of mind.
What are the benefits?
It’s important to understand the scope of your building insurance as it’s not regulated by the government, unlike some other types of insurance. Benefits can range from basic fire and water damage coverage to more elaborate plans that cover accidental damage or even loss of rental income.
- Fire protection: Covers damages due to fires, explosions, or lightning strikes.
- Water damages: covers damages caused by e.g. a water pipe breaking.
- Natural disasters: Provides financial protection against natural calamities like floods, earthquakes, and storms.
- Theft and vandalism: Some policies offer protection against burglary or intentional property damage.
Additionally, the more premium you go, the more benefits different policies offer, including things such as emergency repairs, reimbursement of hotel costs in case the building is uninhabitable and much more.
Who is it for?
Building insurance is essential for any building owner in Germany—whether you own a single-family home, an apartment building, or commercial real estate. Factors like the building’s age, location, and construction material can influence the cost and type of insurance suitable for you.
Landlords, particularly, should consider additional liability and loss-of-rent coverage, while homeowners might look into policies that cover personal property within the building.
To make a long story short: if you own a building / house, you should have building insurance.
Claims for damage to residential buildings in 2017