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Why is it smart to have household contents insurance in Germany to protect your belongings?

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In Germany, household contents insurance is important. Find out if you need it and where you can get a coverage that is expat-friendly.

The household contents insurance in Germany covers all household effects from furniture to clothing and electrical appliances. She pays for damage caused by:

  • Fire
  • Lightning, explosion, or implosion
  • Burglary
  • Storm (from wind force 8) and hail
  • Tap water
  • Overload

The insurance cover can be expanded to include additional contractual elements, such as bicycle theft.

What does the household contents insurance cover?

household contents insurance

All movable property that is housed in the apartment and the associated ancillary rooms is insured, for example:

  • Furniture
  • Books
  • Dress
  • Children’s toys
  • Carpets and lamps
  • Dishes
  • Computers and other electrical appliances
  • Fridge
  • And even the food for the pets

The household contents insurance pays:

The replacement prices – For stolen or irreparable inventory. That doesn’t have to be the purchase price. In the event of a claim, the insured receives so much money that he can purchase a new item of equal value at today’s prices.

The repair costs – For damaged inventory.

An impairment – For damaged but still unrestricted usable objects.

Objects in the basement or garage are also insured, such as lawn mower or tool. As part of a damage – in case of an apartment fire – for a certain period of time, the household contents insurance also covers the costs of hotel accommodation, tidying up or transport and storage of property if the apartment has to be vacated.

In addition to these standards, many insurers offer other contract elements – with or without a surcharge. For example, they pay a certain amount for the theft of garden furniture ( it helpy if you tried to secure the garten tool for example in secure boxes like the one you can get here).

Questions and answers about household contents insurance

What happens when you move: does the household contents insurance policy move with you?

Yes, it’s easy to move

• The insurance cover applies to both the old and the new apartment for a certain period of time. As soon as you live completely in the new apartment, the contract should be updated
• The contents insurance is inactive during the transport.

What if two people move in together?

When moving into a shared apartment, you should check which of the two has the older household contents insurance – and then adapt it to the new apartment. The newer policy can usually be canceled without any problems.

TWhat is a couple separates: What happens to the the household content sinsurance policy?

Household contents insurance always relates to the policyholder and his insured furnishings. If a couple separates, the decisive question is where the policyholder will live with his belongings in the future.

An example: if the insured person moves out with part of his furniture, the former partner in the old apartment needs a separate policy.

How are cash, jewelry and valuables covered in hosehold contents insurance?

household contents insurance

Valuables can also be part of the household effects. These include, for example:

  • Certificates, savings books, securities
  • Jewelry, precious stones, pearls, stamps, coins, medals and all things made of gold or platinum
  • Furs, hand-knotted carpets, tapestries and art objects
  • Antiques that are over 100 years old, with the exception of furniture

But cash and sums of money that are loaded onto cards or other data carriers are also valuables.

The sum insured for valuables is limited

Valuables are insured up to a certain amount in the content’s insurance. One speaks here of compensation limits. Usually there is a maximum limit of around 20 percent of the total sum insured.

Depending on which valuables are involved, the compensation limit can be different.

The maximum limit for cash is often 1,000 to 2,000 euros. Another option: a percentage of the sum insured is specified in the insurance contract – for example one percent. So, you only get reimbursed at most the amount that was set by the maximum compensation limit.

If the money is kept in a safe that is structurally connected to the house, the limits are usually higher.

How high the compensation limits for valuables depend on the insurer and the chosen insurance tariff. Anyone who has expensive valuables at home can also insure them by agreeing a sufficiently high sum insured with their home contents insurer.

Conclusion: Larger sums of cash or cards with higher amounts of money loaded should not be kept at home.

Tip: adjust the sum insured

Since the value and scope of household items change over time, expensive purchases and valuables such as jewelry should also be included in the sum insured. From time to time, insured persons should check whether the compensation in the contract is still sufficient for the valuables.

What should you do if there is damage?

household contents insurance

In the event of damage, the insured must prove which individual items were stolen or destroyed. To do this, it makes sense to make copies of personal papers, keep sales receipts or take photos of the home furnishings. These documents can be presented to the household contents insurer after damage.

If the worst comes to the worst, you will receive a damage report from the insurer in which all losses must be listed in detail – including the specific values ​​of the damaged, destroyed or stolen items in euros and cents. Receipts and photos help with this.

Before spending money or hiring craftsmen, the insured should always ask the household contents insurance company whether it will also cover the costs. In the event of a break-in, you will not receive a damage report from the household contents insurance, but a list of stolen goods. In addition, a report to the police is required so that the case can be dealt with.

External insurance: protection also outside

Household contents insurance includes an “external insurance” component, which means that it does not only cover your own four walls: luggage is also insured to a certain extent when you travel, for example in the event of robbery or theft from your hotel room.

Not unlimited: Depending on the insurance, this external insurance can be valid for a certain period of time. There are no time restrictions, however, if for example the child studies or learns away from home and temporarily lives in a shared apartment. There, too, the child’s property is “externally insured” as long as it has not established a household of its own.

As a rule, compensation for external insurance is limited to a percentage of the sum insured in the household contents insurance policy determined by the insurer.

Good to know: what is under insurance?

If the sum insured is lower than the values ​​actually available in the household, it is referred to as under insurance. Then in the event of damage, deductions from the compensation must be expected.

In order to avoid under insurance, the sum insured for an average household can be determined using a flat rate system: for example, an insurance sum of 650 euros per m² of living space can be set. An 80 m² apartment would therefore be insured for 52,000 euros.


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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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