Legal insurance - Germany

Info, experiences, costs, etc.

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I was adviced by a German colleague that is very important here in Germany to have this insurance. How many of you have it, and have you used it yet? Price?
I have "Privat- Berufs- und Verkehrs-Rechtschutz für Nichtselbständige and
Rechtschutz für Eigentümer.

Had it since 1997. Havnt needed to call on it yet but you never know these days and ages when you need it...

Essential? Not sure about that.
Thanks HEM, how about the price?
Depends on your Selbstbeteilgung etc. Our cover is for a family of 4 with a house.
We are with the HUK-Coburg for just under Eur 260 / year.

You may well find less-costly offerings esp from Direct Insurance Companies...
I don't think it is "very important" per se. Depends on your circumstances. Most people don't have it, as far as I can tell.
I pay about 80 a quartet with no selbstbeteiligung with deurag.
Okay is that chinese? selbstbeteiligung-deurag...can you elaborate on that please?
We have it and it's a good thing because we have needed it twice. Once when we had problems with our new house (it wasn't new, just us owning it was new). The second time is when some dumbass customer of the metzgerei across the street threatened my boyfriend with a knife, my boyfriend is pressing charges and now the guy is making up some stupid shit that my boyfriend threatened him - now we need a lawyer.

Everyone in Germany threatens to sue. Better to be safe than sorry.
I would suggest this insurance is a necessity for dumb foreigners, especially those new to the place. It's all too easy to get caught out because of ignorance, because of a bad purchase, a vehicle accident a neighbour dispute, or a battle with your landlord and this is the insurance that saves you. I have a very, very comprehensive legal insurance which is worth its weight in gold, having helped me get out of, or minimise financial damage from things as simple as parking fines, via complex insurance claims to software counterfeiting. It's something you need from the outset, because once you have a problem to solve you can't buy it retrospectively.
At a minimum you need personal public liability insurance (covers accidental injury to other people & property) especially if you have kids or pets.
You should either have rent insurance or join a Mietverein - which can be cheaper - to protect in case of disputes with your landlord (quite common, unfortunately).
Holiday & accident insurance is usually cheaper if bought annually, rather than ad hoc - especially if you like to go on short breaks (make sure it covers sports injuries such as skiing, and check the 'alcohol-related' conditions). Include the whole family.
And you should consider employment dispute insurance, if you feel your company or job is less than secure (in the current economy few jobs are really safe) and note that this often doesn't become valid for the first three months, so it's not a good idea to wait until "something happens"

I leave it to someone else to provide the German translations. I have all these and it costs about 500 euro a year for a small family. The peace of mind is worth it.
Okay is that chinese? selbstbeteiligung-deurag...can you elaborate on that please?
selbstbeteiligung is insurance cost sharing or co-insurance while Deurag is the company I'm insured with. Can't really comment on their service as I haven't used them yet but they received good test results in the media.
If I may add a little professional wisdom here: of the insurances named above, the most important one is the private liabilty insurance, also sometimes called third party liability insurance. It is rather inexpensive and can protect you from loosing everything you own and will earn from a simple stupid mistake or a moment of neglegence.
For my ExPat clients I do also recommend legal liability insurance for several reasons: a) as mentioned above, Germans like to go to court for the most stupidest things imaginable. Such an insurance does not only cover your costs if that happens to you, it quite often even prevents someone from making further trouble if you tell the person that you will certainly see him/her at court because you do have such an insurance. Some of my clients who had trouble with landlords trying to take advantage of them being foreigners told me that once they mentioned their insurance the other side was much for ready to budge and cave in. secondly, being in a foreign country makes you much more vulnerable to stumble into some legal problems you did not even know would exist than at home. c) better safe than sorry...

Some of the recommendations above are quite good and solid. If you want to have the professional advice you should seek it from an independent broker, there are a number of them advertising on TT...
Hi, my current employer is one such German - threatening (and carrying out their threats) to take employees to court. So my question is, what kind of Rechtsschutz is it called in German if I want it to cover legal costs (lawyer fees etc.)? If I take up such insurance today, will it cover if I'm sued the next day??

P.S. I read on DEURAG "Privat-, Berufs- und Verkehrs-Rechtsschutz". Is it one insurance that covers all legal fees?
A "Rechtsschutzversicherung" with coverage for "Privat", "Beruf" and "Verkehr" would indeed cover you for legal disputes with an employer (from the coverage area "Beruf"). However: with any good insurance provider I know of there is at least a waiting period for 6 month, often more, before you can use this insurance for such a case. And that means that the dispute must have arisen not before that time is over and not, that you wait a couple of month before you bring an old dispute to court...

It always beats me that people do not understand the basic system an insurance works: you cover potential future risks and not a certain, current risk. Why should any insurance pay for a current case when you have just paid in a small fraction of the costs with your insurance premium? That is not how it works... Demanding that the insurance covers ongoing disputes (i.e. from tomorrow on) is like asking for a fire-insurance for your house when the roof is already bright in flames.

Therefore, if you think that in general legal costs is a risk you want to cover, get yourself such an insurance (DEURAG would not exactly be my recommendation, though) and keep on living in with the good feeling to be covered if something ever comes up. But don't start to think about getting yourself an insurance when the problem is already at hand... then it is too late.

Btw: as an employee you have a lot of rights to be protected in disputes with your employer even without such an insurance, you might want to contact a union responsible for your line of work for help/information.

Btw: as an employee you have a lot of rights to be protected in disputes with your employer even without such an insurance, you might want to contact a union responsible for your line of work for help/information.

I would bet most ex-pats, i.e. most readers of this, are not members of any union, nor would they know where to go?

I'm not in dispute with my employer (of 9 years), but I would like some _independent_ advice on my rights/situation in the case of future events that may transpire. For example, say my employer told me I had to go work in their Frankfurt/Berlin/... office, or else lose my job? (I currently work from home, but my contract say I work in Munich, but our Munich office was closed last year so my employer just told me to work from home. Then my wife got a job in NRW, so we moved, with the full knowledge of my employer). Can I just say "no thanks"?

I don't know who/where is best to ask.

I asked, and paid for, legal advice on the question above last year. Advice was that "we can't advise you until we see the letter you employer might send you explaining their plans, if that scenario pans out". Maybe I was just unlucky, and I should just find a better lawyer? Or maybe there is some place else to go ...

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