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Is legal insurance worth the money?

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Posted

Is Legal Insurance worth it?

I keep hearing all these horror stories about how Germans sue each other at the drop of a hat, but I'm beginning to wonder if its really true, or just horror stories to get you to buy insurance. I spend about 300€ a year and I'm begining to question the value of it. the few times I've had to use a lawyer the costs were quite reasonable.

thanks

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Posted

It true, and the insurance is definitely worth the 100-150 EUR a year..

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Posted

Can anyone recommend a good company for Legal insurance?

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Posted

ASeb i use Advo Card and have found they bend over backwards to help you.Only needed it twice in 18 years though.They also helped me to find specialist lawyers in and around your area

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Posted

I went with the http://www.huk24.de/ I selected them as HUK has been highly recommended to me for both health and private liability. Had the health for a few years and have no major complaints other than the documentation seems to be only available in German. Would recommend HUK to anyone with either a good grasp of German or with mates willing to translate.

FYI for future readers: Here is a very good, albeit slightly dated, explanation on the most important types of insurance for expats

here's a post that helped convince me on legal insurance:

I think Rechtschutzversicherung (Legal insurance) is critical for foreigners. It's not cheap, but it save tons of hassle when you get into a battle with almost anyone - the store who delivered faulty furniture, your neighbour who plays the drums all night, your landlord who says you can't install satellite TV, your employer who wants to fire you, or the guy who says you ran into his car... Many foreigners are simply too naieve to appreciate the risks and uncertainties of foreign law and assume they will never get into this type of situation until the letter from another lawyer arrives. Germany are almost as bad as the US for litigation...

Until recently (because they tightened up my policy) I even use to use my insurance to fight parking tickets, and I always use it to contest speeding charges.

Some years ago I ran over a pedestrian in my car (!)... the pedestrian was actually crossing against a red pedestrian crossing light. He picked himself up, brushed himself down, said he was ok, aplogised for not looking, and walked away. Although we were unsure at the time we did think to get a few witness addresses, just in case, and thought no more of it. A week later we got a letter from his lawyer claiming thousands in compensation for pain, injury, medical costs and psychological shock. A loooooooong legal case ensued, during which we ended up counter-claiming for damage to our car. He ended up losing his case, and we won 80% of the costs of car damage. Although we won we still had to pay legal costs, which were refunded by the insurance company and were over DM12,000 (€6,000)... that covered years of premiums, now and in the future...

Worth every penny...

YL6

Moral of the story: listen to your uncle YL6, he's the smartest expat man on the internet you know. ;)

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Posted

Like all insurance: It is not worth it until you need it. ;)

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Posted

darmstadt haftpflicht. google it. never used it but as others say, it's no use until you need it...

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Posted

I pay NI in the UK and income tax here in an arrangement available for EU auslanders. I therefore do not have health, pension or unemployment insurance here and instead have a UK medical card to access health services. I had never thought of having legal insurance as well. what would people recommend and where should I get it?

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Posted

Lord, you could spend all the money you make on insurance in this country. It's ridiculous - health insurance, home insurance, legal insurance, car insurance, life insurance, etc etc etc. It's insane.

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Posted

Hello

I got rechtschutzversichering on March 11th, with a latency period is three months i.e. until june 11th. In the meantime, this week to be precise, I got a letter from an Immobilien-Verwaltungsgesellschaft telling me that my neighbour had complained about the noise (electronic drumkit, I play it outside the ruhezeit but she just doesn't like it). At the end of the letter it said "unterlassungsanspruch einklagbar ist", which I suppose is their way of threatening me with court action. Now my question is the following: if I wait until june 11th and reply with my own arguments and run the risk escalating things will I be covered by my rechtschutzversichering? I had no real problems with her prior to March 11th and it wasn't anticipated at the time I signed up.

Thanks for your help.

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Posted

Just right back tell'em them your going out of town or something and the you don't have time to read deeply into and respond to their letter.

Tell them you will do so when you get back (After 11 June).. Then stick your lawyer on them. Or just don't reply, then on 11 June or so

contact your lawyer, using the I was out of town and didn't see the letter until now excuse..

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Posted

HI,

I don't think I will try and mess around with my legal insurance provider, the letter is dated and it would be too easy to prove I wasn't out of town anyway. I've had a friend (incidently a law student) draft them a response. Her claim is that since it is not a "real" drumkit it shouldn't fall under the previous Gerichtsurteile which all protect my right to play within limits. I will of course be disputing that, if they are not willing to compromise I will go out and buy a real snare drum, and a bass drum, then a crash cymbal... etc.

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Posted

Hello

I got rechtschutzversichering on March 11th, with a latency period is three months i.e. until june 11th. In the meantime, this week to be precise, I got a letter from an Immobilien-Verwaltungsgesellschaft telling me that my neighbour had complained about the noise (electronic drumkit, I play it outside the ruhezeit but she just doesn't like it). At the end of the letter it said "unterlassungsanspruch einklagbar ist", which I suppose is their way of threatening me with court action. Now my question is the following: if I wait until june 11th and reply with my own arguments and run the risk escalating things will I be covered by my rechtschutzversichering? I had no real problems with her prior to March 11th and it wasn't anticipated at the time I signed up.

Thanks for your help.

If the letter wasn't sent registered, then I am sure you didn't receive it. ;)

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Posted

Even if it was sent registered, if it wasn't a window envelope (so that the address was part of the actual letter) then the envelope was empty when you opened it, they must have forgotten to put the letter inside.

This defence was successfully used by the lawyer of my wife's ex during the divorce proceedings over twenty years ago (when, admittedly, window envelopes for private letters were pretty well unknown).

To come back to the original question, Germany must be second only to the US for the speed with which people go to court, especially in neighbourhood disputes. This is partly a result of the fact that the legal costs are related to the value of the dispute and are often (particularly in neighbourhood disputes) relatively cheap.

In many cases, simply being able to say that you have legal insurance (which many Germans don't expect where foreigners are concerned) will prevent things escalating.

The basic insurance is relatively cheap, but if you are either a tenant (possibly better served by joining the local "Mietverein") or particularly, a landlord, then it's well worth the money, despite the higher cost.

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Posted

To come back to the original question, Germany must be second only to the US for the speed with which people go to court, especially in neighbourhood disputes. This is partly a result of the fact that the legal costs are related to the value of the dispute and are often (particularly in neighbourhood disputes) relatively cheap.

Out of interest how much would a dispute concerning petty nuisance cost (as the defendant)? Should this discussion be moved to Legal?

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