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About zwiebel

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  • Location Berlin
  • Nationality USA
  1. Resistance to Insurance Culture in Germany

    Are you saying that I get into an accident with someone walking on the street and they cannot work again, I would need two types of insurance? Both the accident AND legal insurace?
  2. Resistance to Insurance Culture in Germany

    Can anyone recommend good insurance for both accidents (what is it called)? And legal? And you mentioned that legal takes care of complaints about other companies. Is that how complaints are handled? Here, people just sue instead of going to, say, a business complaints office? Or an agency that deals with, for instance, medical ethics?   Thanks again! I am learning so much from all of you.
  3. Resistance to Insurance Culture in Germany

    I have house legal insurance (renters) not possessions. I am not bothered by theft etc.  I am installing the kitchen so it is all mine.  I am not so concerned about home insurance at this point. I will give it a think but am not really bothered about loss of possessions.  I am a nomad with very little. Books + kitchen.
  4. Resistance to Insurance Culture in Germany

    thanks! Yes, I have the insurance for my flat and health.   Is there one company who can just do a package? This is a massive pain in the ass! Like reductions for bundles. This is like Cable TV packages.
  5. Resistance to Insurance Culture in Germany

    Thanks for this answer!!!!   I have legal insurance for my flat. Will I need legal insurance for other things as well? I don't have a car yet and when/if I do get one I would buy car insurance. But do we need legal insurance for walking about? Thanks for you most lovely answer!
  6. Resistance to Insurance Culture in Germany

    I understand all the possible scenarios, I am just someone who has lived until this moment without worrying about such things and never been made to pay for damages because "shit happens" (ie. tea spilled, glass breakage, etc). The cycle path issue I took to mean a corner crossing incident. I cannot tell you how many times I was almost hit by cyclists in Berlin both at intersection and off the cycle path (ie. often there are no cycle paths & they take over the sidewalks). Hence I wondered if there is any expectation that they follow rules. Often accidents are not really "accidents" but results of recklessness...and I wonder if this model of insurance does not encourage litigation and foment a culture of distrust.  I mean, you are welcome to come to my house and break my couch on purpose. I wouldn't even want to waste the time or energy to go after you.  Life is too short for all this :)
  7. Resistance to Insurance Culture in Germany

    Yes, I read this before--this is where I started to freak out.  I mean the bicycle scene described here is out of order. A cyclist has a duty to not speed on sidewalks, and on crosswalks has to cede the right of way. I just don't like that this type of insurance has the possibility to lead to all sorts of abuses.  Are people not reasonable to just accept money for damage?  Also, I accept responsibility for things in my house. If I have you over for dinner and have served you red wine and you stain my "imported, linen napkin made by blind nuns from X mountaintop", that's on me that I served wine with an expensive napkin--not on you that you are human and spilled it.  Do you see where I am coming from?  Does German law not hold people responsible for bad choices?
  8. Resistance to Insurance Culture in Germany

    Yes, of course I would pay for broken windows. It is just the stories I have heard go way beyond this.  Like way beyond the pale. That is why I wondered if any groups have formed around this. In the end, insurance companies are getting rich over what are issues that can be settled between people. But there is this other end I have heard of that is troubling--people asking that two milk droplets on their couch be reimbursed to the tune of €300 when the question I would ask is, "Why serve people milk on a couch you prise so dearly?" etc.  
  9. OK, I am getting concerned by the stories I am hearing about the reasons for why people are buying this insurance in case their child does what are considered, in most countries, anodyne issues.  I am worried about this because ethically I have serious misgivings with anyone who would have, for instance, a party for children, and then hold the parents who are not present are, by some miracle of physics, responsible for whatever their four-year-old might or might not do. It would seem to me that everyone must be persecuted for human accidents.   I would like to know if there is a social movement pushing back against this? Are there parents who show up to such a party with a waiver for all to sign?  The stories I have heard are nothing short of, for lack of better word, insane.  Accidents are being treated as fault and I worry about the punitive impacts on society and on children, and on all our social relations.   Are any of you opting out? For instance, using counter-measures?  Other models?
  10. Refusing to pay TV license fees (Rundfunkbeitrag)

    People don't pay $240 a month in the US for cable.  Here are fees for NYC  More like $20ish a month People who immigrate, everyone, do not have to shut up about their views.  I embrace Germans in my country to critique the hell out of it--and they do, especially our president.  I welcome differing views regardless where people come from.  Different from taxes we pay being used to fix roads and schools--ultimately these services suit even those of us without children (ie. who take care of us when we are older, doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, etc.) or cars (ie. roads still are used by the buses we take, the bicycles we ride).  With this specific media fee it is aimed at, from all I can tell, one specific media with the assumption that people even partake in media. I think this is a luxury tax of sorts and ought to be instituted as one.  
  11. Refusing to pay TV license fees (Rundfunkbeitrag)

    I don't get any benefits of this "service".  At all. To the contrary, I am asked regularly by German English-language media to write for no fee whatsoever. So I think whatever this forced fee/tax is doing, it isn't helping writers or independent journalism.
  12. Refusing to pay TV license fees (Rundfunkbeitrag)

    I find it outrageous that print media--which tends to be better quality in terms of actual journalism--is suffering, is not subsidized, and yet those of us without TVs or radios cannot throw our money their way. I would MUCH rather through my money at a progressive print magazine or newspaper who can actually pay its writers than any TV media which I will simply never watch--not online, not ever.   My view on this is that this tax is also used to confirm the permanency of German language. I think a large number of Germans and German residents would rather invest that money in Netflix or another media source rather than local/national media that they don't watch. The pervasiveness of English language media would also pose a threat, so I think there is some nationalism at pay and as others point out, nepotism towards economic ends.  Personally, I think the way this is administered is not economical and should revert to a model that those who buy cable packages for television pay for this, those who have just internet pay a lower rate since we can't access much compared to the TV packages, and leave those without either alone.   That or, this tax is spread evenly to print media, especially independent journalism. 
  13. Refusing to pay TV license fees (Rundfunkbeitrag)

    I am loving this thread now. Very funny and educational I will play devil's advocate here: who has time for television?  I have never owned one because I just don't have the time to watch and have made a conscious decision not to raise my children with television.  When we were in a short-term sublet, the only thing we liked to watch were the shows on Arte. Hence my question above if it is possible to give our entire fee to Arte, for instance, or to a print media journal that is independent.  What I object to with this fee is that we pay but we can't have voice in where the funding goes.