In Germany there are numerous insurance models which secure different damages and emergency situations.
As an employee of the university you are automatically registered in the statutory social security scheme which includes several insurances. In addition to this package the registration for a liability insurance is strongly recommended.
If you are financed by a research grant or scholarship in most cases you have to take care of your insurances independently. Next to the obligatory health insurance which you have to contract, it is strongly recommended to get a liability insurance. Please note that with certain scholarship providers the insurance coverage is part of the scholarship package. This must be stated in the award letter for the scholarship.
Health insurance and liability insurance are the two most important forms of insurance, and you should register for both for your stay in Germany.
Organisations such as the DAAD also provide insurance packages specifically for researchers who come from abroad. These usually include health, personal liability and accident insurance.
German social security scheme
The German social security scheme is the most important institution of social protection in the Bundersrepublik. Its main task is to safeguard all employees in case of needs in the area of social and health issues. Besides the actual cash benefits, such as pensions or sick pay, the duties of the German social security scheme are also in the field of prevention and rehabilitation.
The contribution is linked to the level of income (percentage tax on salary) and is automatically deducted from the salary. The employer arranges the notification to the competent authorities and administers the payments of contributions.
The German social security scheme consists of five pillars:
- Unemployment insurance
- Statutory health insurance
- Care insurance
- German pension insurance
- Statutory accident insurance
This institution of social security is based on solidarity, that is, that all policyholders bear the insured risks together. Regardless of how much each individual has paid, there is always comprehensive coverage in the areas insured.
In Germany every person is liable with all their assets for damages he or she inflicted on another person. Here, immense sums can arise if, for example, a person needs lifelong care after an accident which you have caused. Additionally, your salary can be garnished, in the worst case until the damage is fully reimbursed.
Therefore, the registration for a personal liability insurance is strongly recommended.
Accident insurance jumps in if you suffer lasting physical damage after an accident. The statutory accident insurance also includes an insurance against occupational diseases. The accident insurance shall bear the costs for outpatient and inpatient treatment, rehabilitation measures, as well as the pension and benefits for the injured person.
As an employee you are compulsorily insured under the German social security scheme. A statutory work accident insurance is also part of the package. You are by your employer, the TU Damstadt, registered with the responsible provider of insurance and the costs are borne by the employer as well. The statutory accident insurance covers the cost of accidents, which you may suffer on the way to or from work or while carrying out your work. It applies only to accidents at work, in order to cover accidents in the private sector you need to be insured separately.
For scholarship recipients:
As a scholarship recipient you are generally exempt from the social security contributions and only have to register for health insurance. Thus, you must independently seek insurance protection in the case of accidents. Except for when the scholarship that you are receiving includes an insurance package which contains accident insurance. If you are registered as a PhD student at the TU Darmstadt you are doubly insured for accidents. Once under the statutory accident insurance and once under a recreational accident insurance. More information can be found on the site of the student union.
Important: Accidents must be reported immediately to the responsible authority (employer, private insurance provider or student union). Please note the deadlines!
More insurance policies
The health and liability insurance, as already mentioned, are the main insurance policies. Also, an accident insurance can be quite useful.
Moreover, in Germany you have the option to opt for various other insurance policies. Here you should carefully consider whether such insurance is really useful in your case. You should also clarify how insurance (e.g. life assurance) can be taken abroad if you do not want to stay in Germany permanently.
Vehicle insurance (Kraftfahrzeug-Versicherung):
If you purchase a car or motorcycle in Germany, you must – as the owner of the vehicle – register for insurance. Without insurance you cannot register the vehicle and it may not be used on public roads.
Household contents insurance (Hausratversicherung):
Household contents insurance covers the damage to your household goods (furniture, other furnishing items, clothing as well as sport and leisure equipment (e.g. bicycle)) when the damage is caused by fire, supply water damage, burglary or something similar.
Household items include things that you bring with you from home such as a laptop. If such items are stolen during a trip the insurance can also cover them.
Travel health insurance (Auslandsreisekrankenversicherung):
If you frequently travel, the registration for an international travel health insurance is recommended. This covers expenses for medical treatment abroad, as your German health insurance usually will not cover the costs (except possibly in other European countries). Especially hospital stays can result in very large sums.
These insurance policies cost about 10,- € per year and are therefore a very sensible investment.
Disability insurance (Berufsunfähigkeitsversicherung):
With disability insurance, you will be cared for in the event that you can no longer carry out your profession due to a disease. This insurance policy assures that the social decline that can arise due to the elimination of the qualified activity, can be averted or mitigated. Individuals, who as a result of illness, can no longer work or work only to a much lesser extent in their previous profession, will be assured a material balance to a certain extent.
Life assurance (Lebensversicherung):
In the category of life assurance there are many different insurance models. Classically the death benefit is insured, that is, at the time of your death your partner will receive a predetermined amount of money.
This website is for information purposes only and the statements are not legally binding. Please contact the authorities to clarify which regulations apply in your case.