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Tips on Health and Household Insurance Before Arrival

A) Fast Track your Health Insurance

  1. It is essential to give health cover top priority. Failure to get reconised health insurance set up in a timely way can result in fines being levied.
  2. For permanent foreign residents in Germany, health insurance in compliance with German government regulations is mandatory. An exception may be made if you are delegated by your employer to work in Germany for a period defined in your work contract usually not exceeding three to five years.
  3. Health insurance complying with German regulations has to include:
    • Mandatory nursing insurance (Pflegeflichtversicherung)
    • A company representation in Germany
    • An assurance that insurance cannot be cancelled because of health issues once the patient is insured.
    • Reserves of at least 10% have to be levied to stabilize premiums on retirement. 

  4. As an employee earning a fixed salary above 60,750€ in 2019 you can opt for health insurance in the public or private system.

B) Checklist: 3 Steps you need to take to get private health insurance.

  1. To set up private medical care you will need to answer detailed health questions. Start collecting information about your medical history going back as much as 10 years.

    Do this before you come to Germany.

    Necessary information to collect includes:
    • What were you treated for?
    • When?
    • Where?
    • By whom?

  2. Medical records are easier to obtain before you move to Germany.
    • Important: If medical documentation is not in German you may be obliged to provide a translation.
    • If you are currently having medical or dental treatment, try to get this completed if possible before you try to take out private health cover in Germany.

  3. Obtain confirmation from your current health insurance company showing details of your cover with them.

    You may feel that it is unfair that complying with German regulations requires that you relinquish your current health insurance - especially if you are extremely satisfied with the medical cover provided.

    But it is the law. Better to take it into account and start planning for it now than to start your new life in Germany with a very unpleasant surprise.

C) Household Contents Insurance

This covers your property against risks that include damage from fire, storm, hail, break-ins as well as damage caused by leaking mains water and, in some policies, flooding or avalanches etc.

One way to assess the value to be insured is based on an estimated value per square meter, which is commonly 650 Euros. The insurance company agrees that for evaluations made on this basis they will not make a deduction for under-insurance in the event of a claim.

However, assuming that your new apartment is 150 square meters this would result in an insurance sum of 97,500€. If you are just setting up home you may feel this could be much too high.

If you are shipping your furniture you will be asked to value your property and this together with items you buy once you arrive could, at least initially, be a more realistic sum to insure. Keep your eye on developments though as your property accumulates!

If you have to make a claim because of, for example a fire, it will be helpful if you can supply receipts at least for the more valuable items. So this is something else to bring with you when you come to Germany.

Contributed by Graham Waters
Internet: www.waters-allianz.de