What insurances do I need as an expat in Germany?

Individuals & families

What insurances you need naturally depends on your individual situation: how long you are planning to stay in Germany, whether you are a freelancer or employed, whether you have kids, etc.

However, there are insurances that are strongly recommended for almost every situation and others that can be bundled together to form insurance packages for different circumstances.

Based on our experience of working with expats for more than 25 years and the current insurance market, we compiled our recommendations into three coverage levels for private insurance needs: basic, advanced and full.

Those recommendations should still be viewed as guidelines and may need to be adjusted according to your individual needs. Nevertheless, they can give you a good idea about what we consider expats should and should not have, based on our experience.

Ultimately, the decision what insurances and coverage to get is of course up to you. The following pages will help you to make that decision an informed one.

‍Basic coverage

Basic coverage means covering the most important and the mandatory risks. These are the absolute must-have insurances that everyone in Germany should have, regardless of his or her personal situation or whether they are expats or not.

Those insurances are:

  • Health care: mandatory and absolutely essential.
  • Nursing care: mandatory (except with aLC) and similarly essential.
  • Private liability: covers damages that result from you damaging somebody else’s property, body and resulting financial losses.
  • Household contents: covers all the things in your home against risks such as theft, fire and water damages.
  • Other liabilities: You are liable with your entire private assets, therefore liability risks should always be covered. That includes things such as car liability, pet liability, property owner liability, etc. Naturally, only necessary if you have any of those liabilities.
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Advanced coverage

Next to most critical and mandatory risks, advanced coverage focuses on the more medium to long-term oriented aspects of your life. Especially financial security, as well as extended health care coverage play a major role.

  • Ability to work: What happens if you are suddenly not able to work anymore? There are various options to ensure financial security should you be unfit to work for a longer period of time, ranging from small and cheap to extensive and more costly.
  • Retirement planning: It is most people’s dream: financial security when you retire. There are a few subsidises way that can help enormously and when it comes to retirement planning: the earlier you start, the easier it is to make your financial dreams come true.
  • Private legal expenses: Getting involved in a legal dispute is more likely than ever and the costs are often high. Make sure that getting your right is not dependent on your wallet.
  • Enhancing health care: Whether in the public or private health insurance, you have many options to enhance your health insurance to suit your needs, e.g. through extra dental coverage, private hospital rooms, alternative medicine coverage, etc.
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‍Full coverage

Full coverage will give you peace of mind in most areas of your plannable life. The highest disability coverage, extensive retirement planning, comprehensive health care as well as coverage of your belongings and full legal expenses.

It also means securing the dreams that you have already fulfilled, be it your own house or something else entirely. It means finding the insurances that fit your needs.

  • Ability to work: Making sure that a loss of your ability to work does not lead to heavy financial burdens.
  • Retirement planning: Add plannable financial security to your retirement funds by supplementing your subsidised plan(s) with private plan(s).
  • Extended legal expenses: Extending the coverage regarding employment / property / traffic law.
  • Financial security in case of ill health: There exists a simple truth for most people: if you cannot work, you do not get money. There are many options to financial security in case of accidents, short to medium term illnesses, longer hospital stays, etc.
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