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Insurance for single people: What’s compulsory, what’s optional and what’s nice to have

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Thinking about insurance for single people? Find out what’s on offer and what you should settle for

Insurance for single people in Germany is a bit tricky. As a single person, you usually need less insurance coverage than families, for example. Since you do not have to cover any relatives, you should mainly protect yourself against risks that threaten your existence. In particular, private liability insurance is a must for everyone.

A quick overview of insurance for single people

  • Private liability insurance and health insurance are a must.
  • If you go on vacation outside of Germany, you also need health insurance for travel abroad.
  • Occupational disability insurance is also very useful, as is homeowner insurance for property owners.

This is how you do it

  • Check your insurance regularly as soon as something changes in your life – for example when you move in with someone or get married.
  • Before taking out insurance, always consider whether you can pay the costs out of your own pocket in the event of an insured event. Then you don’t need insurance.

1. The following insurance for single people are compulsory

With some insurances you have no choice, they are required by law. These include health insurance, car insurance Liability and for many, retirement insurance.

Health insurance

Every German citizen must have either statutory or private health insurance. This is prescribed by the state. For most people, statutory health insurance makes more sense. With private health insurance, contributions often rise sharply in old age. Therefore, you should only take out private insurance if you are absolutely certain that you will be able to pay for it in the long term. Those who do not have health insurance will only be treated in an emergency.

TIP: There are clear differences between health insurance companies when it comes to service, additional benefits and contributions. So shop around

For car owners: motor vehicle liability insurance

Every vehicle must have at least liability insurance. Full and partially comprehensive insurance, on the other hand, are optional. You should be particularly careful when buying a used car: if you do not take care of car insurance in good time, you will have to pay a fine.

TIP: Every fall, compare whether your car insurance is still the cheapest.

For employees: Statutory pension insurance

For most people, statutory pension insurance is the most important component of their retirement provision. For employees, the contribution to the pension insurance is automatically deducted from the wages each month. Some self-employed such as craftsmen and midwives are also compulsorily insured in the statutory pension insurance, all other self-employed can pay contributions voluntarily. Often, however, the statutory pension is not enough and additional private pension provision makes sense.

3. The following insurance for single people are really important

In addition to compulsory insurance, there are some contracts that you should absolutely have because they protect against major financial risks. The good thing: important insurance policies don’t always have to be expensive. A sensible private liability insurance is available for singles from 5 euros a month, and travel health insurance for less than 10 euros a year.

Personal liability insurance

The personal liability is one of the major insurance companies. It can protect you from costs that threaten your existence, for example if a person is harmed through your fault. Personal liability insurance is therefore a must for everyone. However, not everyone needs a contract of his own: young people, for example, are often still on the family rate assured the parents.

TIP: Private liability insurance is essential – it takes care of any damage you cause. In the event of major damage, it can save you from financial ruin.

For property owners: homeowners’ insurance

If you own a property, you should take out residential building insurance for your house or apartment. This insures damage caused by storm, hail, fire or lightning strike. If necessary, the contract can be expanded to include natural hazard insurance.

As soon as you leave Germany: Health insurance abroad

A travel health insurance abroad is very useful, even when traveling within the European Union. She pays for treatments and medically necessary repatriation transports. Statutory health insurance only partially or not at all covers such costs abroad – depending on the country of travel. As a privately insured person, you should also check whether you need health insurance for travel abroad. If you go abroad for more than eight weeks, you need a special contract.

TIP: If you travel abroad, you can get the necessary health insurance coverage for less than 10 euros a year.

Disability insurance and alternatives

Almost everyone needs occupational disability insurance – regardless of whether they are roofers or clerks. Because not only broken bones can make you unable to work, but also mental illness.

The low statutory disability pension is often not enough. Especially if you are young or self-employed, you should therefore cover yourself – the earlier you start, the better. If you cannot get a contract for health reasons or if the protection is too expensive for you, there are alternatives to occupational disability insurance.

TIP: The state disability pension is not sufficient; occupational disability insurance makes sense for almost everyone.

For dog owners: dog liability insurance

In some federal states it is already required by law: dog liability. A contract makes sense for all dog owners. The insurance covers damage caused by your dog. The four-legged friend is not insured in the private liability insurance.

For self-employed and high earners: daily sickness allowance

The daily sickness allowance compensates for the loss of income due to illness. If you do not receive sick pay from the statutory health insurance, you need a daily sick pay. This applies to privately insured persons and the self-employed. Insurance can also be useful if your earnings are above the assessment ceiling. Then the sick pay is significantly lower than your net salary, and you should check whether the sick pay is enough to cover your running costs.

3. The following insurance for single people are optional

Some contracts belong more to the category of “optional insurance”. This means that they are not absolutely necessary, but in some cases, they can be a good addition to your insurance cover. However, you should only concern yourself with such offers if you already have all the really important insurance and there is still enough money in the household budget for additional protection.

Supplementary care insurance

Maintenance is expensive. The benefits from statutory long-term care insurance are usually not sufficient to cover the high costs of care and medical care. A private supplementary long-term care insurance can close this gap, but it often costs a lot. Such a contract only makes sense if you can afford the high contributions over the long term.

Household insurance

If water damage destroys the home, household insurance will replace clothes, furniture and valuables. It is particularly suitable if you have an expensive facility, or in the event that you cannot replace the most important inventory from your savings.

TIP: You should have this insurance if you cannot replace your facility at your own expense after a fire or burglary.

For car owners: fully comprehensive / partially comprehensive insurance

The automobile liability insurance pays for damage you inflict other in traffic. You can insure damage to your own car with fully comprehensive and partially comprehensive insurance. You should take out fully comprehensive insurance for new cars; partial comprehensive insurance is sufficient for high-quality older cars. You do not need either of the two types of insurance with old rust structures.

For the self-employed: basic pension coverage

If you are self-employed, everything revolves around business in the first few years. But at the latest when your company is running smoothly, you should think about your retirement provision. You can register for either the legal Ren-ten-ver-si-che-rung duty insure or in a classic -pension Rürup save up. A combination of voluntary statutory pension insurance and unit-linked Rürup pension insurance is also an option.

For employees: company pension scheme (direct insurance)

If you are employed and assume that you will remain loyal to your employer for the next few years, you should address the topic of company pension schemes. Your boss is obliged to find you a private pension insurance. In the context of company pension schemes, one also speaks of direct insurance.

The advantage: You do not pay any social security contributions or taxes on your direct insurance contributions. It’s worth it if your boss takes over parts of your contribution. A 15 percent subsidy is mandatory for employers from 2019 – but try to negotiate more.

TIP: Save with the help of your boss and pay part of your wages free of social security and tax.

Employed high earners: Riester

If you are employed and want to top up your statutory pension through private provision, a Riester contract is an option. The state supports your savings plans with allowances and tax advantages. Families with several children or individual high-income earners particularly benefit from the support.

You can think about a classic Riester pension insurance. However, the Riester fund savings plan offers more prospects for returns. If you earn on average, you should rely on this Riester variant.

TIP: Of all the Riester variants, a fund savings plan offers the best chance of a high stock return.

Dental insurance

Statutory health insurance only pays fixed amounts for the cost of dentures. Often there is therefore an own contribution of a few hundred or even thousands of euros. Nevertheless, additional dental insurance only pays off if you frequently need expensive dentures. Good contracts tend to be expensive, and the insurance company does not pay for treatments that the dentist advised before the contract was signed.

TIP: Good supplementary dental insurance is quite expensive and is only worthwhile with frequent, costly treatments.

Do you want to protect yourself against the cost of litigation, you’ll find a legal protection-ver-si-che-rung complete? However, this only pays for disputes in areas of life specified in the contract. Members of tenants’ associations are already insured cheaply against rent disputes, union members against proceedings in labor law. And private liability insurance helps if someone makes an unjustified claim for damages against you.

TIP: You can get good legal protection for less than 300 euros a year.

Supplementary hospital insurance

Those who value treatment by specialists can take out additional hospital insurance. She pays additional fees for specialists and additional costs for other private services in the hospital, such as accommodation in a single or double room.

TIP: With this insurance you get paid for expensive treatments by specialists and you have a free choice of hospital.

Accident insurance

An accident insurance covers especially serious accidents that have a disability. However, only 2 percent of severe disabilities are caused by an accident, and illness is much more common. Therefore, private accident insurance offers very limited protection and can only be considered as an emergency solution if occupational disability or disability insurance is not possible.


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Michelle Halterman
USA, China, South Africa and now Munich - Michelle has come a long way in the world. She is an outdoor person and loves to be in nature with friends and on her mountain bike. Or she meets up with friends for pasta, vino, cappaccino & Co.
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