Crocodilian Blog
The Temporary Rental Blog from Berlin

Liability Insurance in Germany - important if you rent a Flat

Christine Kandler Von Christine Kandler
Apartment under water

Liability insurance in Germany - must-have if you rent a furnished or any apartment

Liability insurance is the type of insurance that everyone should definitely have, without a question. Picture this: you’re walking through an intersection while the light is red, and an approaching car stops suddenly to avoid hitting you. As a consequence, it hits a street lamp. And then it gets even worse: the driver is injured. It’s possible that they sustain permanent injuries, and become incapable of working ever again. The damages of this type of accident can run into the millions. Luckily, liability insurance covers incidents like these and the damages you could cause.
Better yet, the cost of this kind of insurance is extremely affordable for everyone. For only 50 euros a year you can purchase liability insurance as a single person.

Liability insurance also applies if you cause damage to a furnished apartment. It happens a lot easier than you may think: say, you decide to vacuum the flat and hit the TV while doing so. It falls to the ground and breaks. Or you leave a roof window open, the rain gets in and water spots ruin the flooring. A bad scenario would be water damage, for which you, the tenant would be responsible. And what would be the worst-case scenario? Your downstairs neighbours’ the apartment is now damaged or affected as well.

But beware: not all damages are always insured. A distinction is made between damage to the stationary fixtures- everything that is permanently installed such as the sink, the flooring, etc. – and movable items – TV, sofa, all the furniture and equipment that can be pushed back and forth.
Therefore, it is important to check your own insurance before moving into a furnished apartment and if necessary, switch to another policy. A policy that insures damages to the movable items only costs a few euros more.
Incidentally, if you rent your own apartment after moving out of the furnished apartment, your liability insurance covers damage to this apartment as well. You don’t need to purchase new insurance for this.

Damages must always be reported to Landlord and Insurance as soon as possible

Liability insurance is always a good thing to have. Nevertheless, you should always handle your furnished flat’s furniture carefully to avoid damage. Since you are the one renting the apartment, you are responsible should anything be damaged during your stay. This is another reason insurance is extremely beneficial – it offers peace of mind. The landlord will keep an amount of your deposit until everything has been taken care of through insurance and the damage is fixed.

Sometimes the assessment of damages differs between landlords and tenants. What one person says is damage, the other describes it as wear. What happens if the landlord claims you’ve damaged something, and you have to settle the damages that you did not cause?
Again, liability insurance will help you in this scenario as well. It refuses unjustified claims from the landlord.
We always recommend a detailed handover protocol, which states which damage or signs of wear already existed when moving in.

Incidentally, a condition for obtaining liability insurance is a residence in Germany. You must already be registered in Germany. (Completed your Anmeldung) As well, some insurance companies may require you to have a German bank account, but others do not.
In addition, you can opt to get insurance at any time, even if you already lived in a rented apartment for some time.

Advantages of Liability Insurance for Temporary Housing

Damages are insured not only for furnished apartments, but also damages caused in unfurnished apartments. This is important if you move to your own apartment after moving out. You then do not need to obtain a new insurance policy.

  • or lost keys or damage resulting from the loss of keys is also insured.
  • It is cheap (from about 50 euros for a single person, from about 110 euros for a family)
  • It is valid worldwide (if you have settled in Germany but decide to go on a holiday abroad or rent an apartment or a furnished apartment elsewhere)
  • You can complete your application for insurance online

Liability insurance: what you should also note:

  • Liability insurance is valid for at least one year and must be canceled if you plan to leave Germany.
  • Some insurance policies can also be terminated before the end of a year if the policyholder previously deregisters at the Bürgeramt and leaves Germany. In this case, a copy of the insurance’s opt-out certificate must be sent.
  • The insurance documents and the information regarding it both online and offline, are only available in German.
  • Before you go ahead and purchase an insurance policy, find out how much you will be insured for, and the amount of a possible deductible.
    Glass damage is not covered by any liability insurance.

An overview of many insurance providers can be found on Check 24

Here are some examples of liability insurance, which includes cover for rented furnished apartments and key loss:

Example Table from Hanse Merkur and the Different Liability Coverage

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