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Liability Insurance in Germany

Private liability insurance is the most important insurance for private consumers. It covers personal injury, property damage and monetary loss caused by the policyholder. Especially personal injury of others can result in claims for damages in the millions and, without insurance, can threaten your livelihood. A good personal liability insurance cover protects you reliably in such cases. Even as an expat in Germany, you should not do without this insurance cover under any circumstances.
At a glance...
  • According to the law, you are liable unlimitedly for damage you cause to other people or their property.
  • Liability insurance covers claims for compensation for personal damage, property damage, and monetary loss. Damage caused by gross negligence is also covered by the policy.
  • The sum insured under liability insurance should be at least €10 million. However, policies with a maximum sum insured of €50 million are better.
  • You can purchase high-performance private liability insurance for as little as €5 per month.
  • Waiting periods are not provided for in this insurance.
  • Some areas of liability are not covered by personal liability insurance but require separate insurance policies. These include for example, damage caused by your dog or using your own motor vehicle, as well as damage that falls within the scope of professional liability.
  • The insurance providers Feather and Getsafe offer the best liability insurance for expats in Germany.

Feather Liability Insurance
€50 million insured
Worldwide coverage
Key loss coverage
Everything in English
Monthly from
Getsafe Liability Insurance
€20 million insured (€50 million in the Premium plan)
Worldwide coverage
Key loss coverage
Everything in English
Monthly from

What is liability insurance?

Private liability insurance covers all the risks of everyday life. It offers comprehensive insurance coverage for damage caused by you or another person insured under your liability policy.

Covered are property damage, personal damage and monetary loss:

Loss categories in liability insurance

Personal Liability Insurance in Germany
Foto: Liudmila Chernetska / iStock

Property damage is caused by damage to or destruction of property. The extent of these damages in liability insurance is often underestimated. It is not only small, everyday damage such as a red wine stain on a carpet or expensive clothing. For example, negligently caused damage to buildings or vehicles can result in exceedingly high compensation claims.

Personal damage is given if the damaging event leads to injuries, health impairments, or the death of people. Compensation for personal damages can be particularly expensive. For example, a person is seriously injured due to negligent behavior. In addition, it later transpires that he can no longer conduct his profession due to the injury and must retire. In such a case, claims for compensation include not only medical costs, but also compensation for pain and suffering, pension payments, loss of earnings and benefits from statutory pension insurance or private disability insurance.

Monetary losses are not property damages or personal damages. Insurers differentiate here between genuine and non-genuine financial losses. Genuine monetary loss is not related to personal or property damages. It occurs, for example, if a person misses a flight to a business meeting due to the insured person’s fault — thus, a lucrative contract is not concluded.

Every liability insurance in Germany covers non-genuine financial losses up to the policy’s cover amount. However, some providers cover genuine financial losses only to a limited extent.

Who can be insured with personal liability insurance?

Liability insurance can be taken out for singles and families.

The insurance cover only extends to the policyholder in a single tariff. In family tariffs, family members, unmarried partners, and all other people living together in the same household can be insured. Depending on the insurer and tariff, joint liability insurance is sometimes also possible if the insured persons do not live in the same household. All policyholders should be listed by name in the insurance contract.

Unmarried adult children who no longer live at home and absolve their first education after school are always covered by their parents’ liability policy.

Liability insurance also covers people who are employed by the policyholder on a private basis, for example, as domestic staff, gardeners, or au pairs. If they cause damage to third parties in the course of their work, private liability insurance also covers this.

Private liability insurance Germany abroad

If you have taken out a private liability policy, you are covered against claims for damages not only in Germany but also abroad. Personal liability insurance offers worldwide coverage. In Europe, it is unlimited, but outside Europe there are often limits between 1 up to 5 years.

Before a longer stay abroad, you should clarify with your company what you need to do in the event of a claim.

Passive legal protection

Private liability insurance provides you with passive legal protection in the event of a claim. The insurer checks whether the injured party’s claims are justified and defends against unjustified claims.

The following rules therefore apply to the settlement of claims:

  • In the event of property damages, the repair costs are reimbursed. In addition, the insurance pays a surcharge for the reduction in value of the item.
  • In the event of total loss, the insurance will reimburse the current value of the insured item. This is the replacement value of the item, considering wear and tear and age.
  • In contrast, private liability insurance provides comprehensive compensation for personal damages. It reimburses hospital costs and medical costs, other costs for alleviating suffering and restoring the ability to work, compensation for pain and suffering, loss of earnings including permanent pension payments and other costs. Other costs are, for example, expenses for medical aids and appliances or nursing staff.

What does liability insurance cover?

Personal liability insurance cover refers to all third-party damage that may occur in everyday life. However, separate liability insurances must be taken out for damages in a professional context, damages because of driving your own motor vehicle on the road and some other insurance events.

Compensation through private liability insurance

In principle, private liability insurance in Germany only reimburses damages if they were not caused intentionally. Gross negligence, on the other hand, does not justify an exclusion of benefits in the case of a good tariff. German personal liability insurance covers:

  • Damages related to breach of the duty to supervise minors
  • Damages caused by the breach of traffic safety obligations (e.g., snow clearing and gritting)
  • Damages caused by pedestrians and cyclists (also with electric bicycles or scooters, if no driving license is required for their use)
  • Damages during events and private sporting activities
  • Damage caused by own borrowed surfboards, rowing, paddle or sailing boats
  • Damages related to owner-occupied property (condominiums, rental apartments, vacation apartments and vacation homes)
  • Damages related to communal property/shared areas in residential complexes
  • Damages in a hotel room
  • Lost keys or key cards of a rented apartment or in a professional context
  • Damages caused by the building owner during conversion measures with a construction sum of at least €20,000
  • Damages resulting from the provision, transmission, and exchange of electronic data (e.g., damage caused by computer viruses)
  • Water damages caused by common household substances such as varnishes, paints, or heating oil up to 50 kilograms.

Private liability insurance — criteria for selection of the policy

The following aspects are important when choosing a liability insurance policy:

Sum insured

You will receive benefits from your insurance provider up to the agreed sum insured. The sum insured should be at least 10 million euros and cover all three areas of the insurance at this level.

It is better to take out a policy with a sum insured of 50 million euros. The difference in cost compared to insurance policies with a lower sum insured is so small that it can be ignored. With a sum insured of this amount, you are comprehensively covered. If, on the other hand, you choose a policy with a sum insured that is too low, there is a financial risk because the law provides for unlimited liability.

Best performance guarantee

Some insurance companies offer the best performance guarantee for liability insurance. The company provides then the same benefits as the best liability insurer in Germany.

This guarantee is important if you have caused a claim, and your provider argues that this area of insurance is not covered or that the sum insured is not sufficient to settle the claim in full. If you can prove that another insurance company will pay for this damage, this also applies to your policy with the best benefit guarantee. Thus, you are covered at the highest liability insurance level available in Germany.

Insurance against loss of receivables

Good liability insurance in Germany also covers your damage claims if there is no third-party liability insurance and the individual who caused the damage is unable to pay compensation with private assets. In such cases, your insurance company covers the damage.

This clause is particularly critical because private liability insurance is not compulsory, and around 15% of all households in Germany have not taken out such insurance.

Some liability insurers only cover losses from €2,500, if there is no third-party liability insurance or require that you have a legally binding judgment against the person responsible for the damage. For other providers, proof that you have tried to obtain compensation is sufficient.

Insurance for damage caused by courtesy

Your liability insurance should also pay out in the event of damage caused by a courtesy — for example, if you help friends move house and cause damage in the process.

Children before culpability

If you have younger children, your liability insurance in Germany should also cover if they have caused damage. Under German law, children up to their 7th birthday are not responsible for damage. In the case of damage caused in moving traffic, children are not even liable until the age of 10.

Emerging risks

New risks should be covered by your private liability insurance for a certain period free of charge — even if a separate liability insurance policy is required for this risk.

What does liability insurance not cover?

Some losses are not covered by private liability insurance in Germany:

  • Self-injuries of the policyholder
  • Damage caused intentionally
  • Damage to items owned by the policyholder
  • Fines and penalties
  • Damage in connection with criminal offenses
  • Damage caused by breach of contractual obligations
  • Damage caused by dogs and horses
  • Glass damage in your rental property or owner-occupied apartment (glass damage to third-party owned or rental property, on the other hand, is insured under personal liability)
  • Any damage covered by motor vehicle liability or professional liability.

How much does liability insurance cost?

The cost of liability insurance in Germany depends on the tariff, the sum insured, the number and, in some cases, the age of the policyholders.

You can get a good single rate from around €5 per month. Family tariffs are slightly pricier but are always the more favorable solution for insuring several people compared to individual policies.

You can take out liability insurance in Germany with or without a deductible. However, due to the low rates, it makes little sense to pay an excess with this insurance.

According to a study by Stiftung Warentest, the cost of liability insurance in Germany varies between less than €70 and over €140 per year, depending on the provider and tariff. Based on the premium amount, no statement can be made about the quality of German liability insurance — in the test, some low-cost tariffs also scored excellently.

Best liability insurance in Germany

You can take out liability insurance in Germany with established insurance companies or digital insurance providers. An insurance comparison will give you an overview of the benefits and costs of the various tariffs in advance.

We present the liability policies from online providers Feather and Getsafe, which are also ideal for expats in Germany. The insurance application and all insurance claims are processed completely online on the providers’ websites. Particularly convenient: all content on the websites is available in English and German. The prerequisite for taking out both tariffs is a German residence.


Feather Liability Insurance
€50 million insured
Worldwide coverage
Key loss coverage
Everything in English
Monthly from


Getsafe Liability Insurance
€20 million insured (€50 million in the Premium plan)
Worldwide coverage
Key loss coverage
Everything in English
Monthly from

Conclusion – is liability insurance worth it?

Personal liability insurance in Germany is absolutely worthwhile and one of the most important insurance. It provides you with comprehensive cover against claims for damages, which in the worst case could without this insurance cover lead to personal bankruptcy.

A tariff with a maximum sum insured of 50 million euros is ideal.

Frequently asked questions

The law does not stipulate any obligation to take out liability insurance in Germany. However, for motorists is liability insurance mandatory.

You jeopardize the protection provided by your liability insurance if you accept claims from the injured party or pay compensation without the written consent of your insurance company.

You must notify your insurance company immediately of any damage that has occurred.

As a rule, liability insurance policies are subject to notice periods of 3 months. You should submit the notice of termination to your insurer in writing; notices of termination by e-mail are also generally accepted.

The insurance company also has a regular right of termination. Most contracts are concluded for one year and are automatically renewed if neither you nor the insurance company exercise their right of termination. After a claim, the insurer has a special right of termination.

After a claim and in the event of premium increases, you have the right of special termination. The insurer can also assert a special right of termination after a claim.

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