Legal insurance

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Hi, I would like to know what is the best legal insurance I can get and whether it is useful, some of my German friends have some legal insurance, maybe it's time for me to get one. But I don't know the basics nor which is best, and I would better have one in which I can speak in English. I saw some posts, but mostly from 5 or 6 years ago. Thanks!

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10 hours ago, theGuyinKarlsruhe said:

Hi, I would like to know what is the best legal insurance I can get and whether it is useful, some of my German friends have some legal insurance, maybe it's time for me to get one. But I don't know the basics nor which is best, and I would better have one in which I can speak in English. I saw some posts, but mostly from 5 or 6 years ago. Thanks!

 

There is no "the best" legal insurance – you need to set up a frame of your (!) needs and the insurances conditions and then start to compare. Support from an insurance broker might be useful.

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There are a couple of areas which you can cover:

- private disputes (with neighbours for instance)

- labour disputes (with employers)

- tennant/landlord disputes

- trafic participation ( disputes not from accidents, tickets from police etc)

 

Trafic coverage can be obtained well by itself with ADAC, tennant coverage with the Mieterschutzverein.

All others require extra legal coverage and the difference is, as always in insurance, in the small-print/terms&conditions. Therefore - unless you fancy reading hundreds of pages of small print in comparison - get independent advice from a broker (not an agent!!!) or consultant. He/she can find the right insurance for you.

 

But before you do: check that the more important insurances in your life are properly set up...legal insruance is only nice to have.

1. health insurance

2. 3rd party liability insurance (which already contains some legal coverage in case you are sued over damages/injuries you caused to third parties)

3. income protection (against long-term illness, occupational disability and, if you have family/dependents, also your untimely death).

 

A number of insurance brokers who are specialized in catering to Expats are advertising on Toytown, take your pick. It does not cost you more if you take their advice and sign up thru them but gives you peace of mind, saves you stress and hassle...

 

Cheerio

 

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Thanks a lot Starshollow!

 

Quite comprehensible first guide for beginners! Regarding the important  insurance you mention, I work and I have health insurance, and I'm quite happy with my Krankenkasse, The third, I have the mandatory contributions for long term illness and unemployment, have to think if I would like to expand it (and don't know if it is possible). The second, that is the basic I need, I don't have 3rd party liability insurance, that is what most of my friends told me I should have and I didn't know how to say it in English, so I though that was "legal insurance". 

 

The others you mentioned first, regarding landlord, I am a member of the Miteverain so I don't need it. Maybe labour disputes would be useful, I don't know. Traffic, I don't have a car so won't need it. And private disputes, I don't know whether I need this. 

 

I contacted an insurance broker I will see. Is this something I can talk with my bank, I have a very good relationship with the manager of my branch, do banks in Germany provide some sort of let's say third party liability?

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taking an insurance from a bank/advised by bank manager is about the worst idea you can have...sorry!

 

Banks are acting as insurance agents at best, i.e. they can only sell (and mind you, they do nothing but selling as they are usually not qualified to offer real insurance advice) this particular insurance no matter what. In contrast to an insurance agent, they are most often not even properly trained to advise you on this and cannot support and assist you later when you have claims..which at least an insurance agent could do.

 

Your best bet is to go to an insurance broker, who is independent of any insurance company and can search and find for you the best on the market to fit your needs and wishes.

Several of them are advertising here on Toytown. Take your pick

 

Cheerio

 

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John G. and Starshollow are independent insurance brokers you really need to talk to. Lots of good references here.

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I have ARAG and every time I have needed it my request isn't covered.

 

Waste of money IMHO.  You can deduct some from your tax.

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25 minutes ago, More tea, Vicar? said:

You can deduct some from your tax.

Normally not.

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19 minutes ago, jeba said:

Normally not.

 

My policy documentation each year comes with the exact deductible on the back.  Its plain old ARAG Rechtsschutz.

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IIRC ( and I´m pretty sure I do) the tax return form you use to apply for deductions from your taxable income explicitely states that legal cost insurance is not deductible. Did you try it anyway and had it accepted?

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Would private dispute insurance cover the following?:

 

We are houseowners and the owner of the house next door wants to completely tear down their house and build an apartment builiding of 6 flats with a Tiefgarage. That will make their building quite a bit bigger than it is now - but how big it can be is strictly regulated where we are (it can be max 300QM Wohnfläche (no I don't understand why 6 apartments either).

 

Their old tennants spoke rather negatively of them - never repaired anything, money-grabbing etc. To us they have been nice - probably becuase of what they are planning!

 

We share a garage/shed combo (part concrete, part wood - with a dividing internal wall) as well as one standalone wall. They have made it clear they will be tearing everything down on their side.

 

There are a couple of massive trees in close proximity to our house and also to the border - which would potentially be in near proximity to their new building. Despite tree protection laws it would be easy to damage the roots - we like the trees - and we don't want them to die (causing us costs) or damage our or another's property (causing us more costs). They have already commented we have let a maple start to grow near the border (it's about a finger thick and maybe 2 meters high), and we should get rid of it before we can't. We probably would have anyway - trees start growing all over! But it gives an idea of their perspective.

 

Our street is very narrow with cars on both sides - and they have also been joking about how terrible it will be to live in the street over the build.

 

We have nothing official in writing yet, but want to get covered before an insurance copmpany can claim prior knowledge (for all we know they will change their minds - but they did kick out the 15 year old tennants who were complaining about the state of repair and replace them with short term tennants). They bought out at least one of the tennants.

 

Couldn't find anything in the household insurances that would cover the myriad of issues that might arise, and while I imagine it will come under personal dispute - whether because of the trees, garage, damage to property, noise, failing to seal the old garage if somehow it is possible to saw it in half(!) - it could come under all manner of other things. We cannot assume they will take out insurance for the build either. Neither can we openly ask the insurance company which policy they would recommend...

 

We basically don't want to spend a penny on things we would not have had to repair anyway. It's an old house so we don't know unfortunately what the agreement was with the original owners regarding the shared garage (It's clearly newer than the house), and whether we can expect uninterupted enjpoyment of it forever and ever, or even whether we are a party to that agreement.

 

Legal advice is unfortunately going to be unavoidable, whether now or in a couple opf year's time.

 

Thanks.

 

 

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definitely wait for one of the pros to weigh in but my decidedly unprofessional take:

 

insurance - even legal insurance, as far as I know - will not cover you for noise, hassle, an ugly view, or any of the other upheaval during the building phase provided the work is performed within legal limits.  There is construction going on next door to my place and already on a couple of occasions, I've tried to exit the garage in the morning to find a big old construction delivery truck completely blocking the exit.  I simply have to wait for them to move it before I can head off to work.  Them's the breaks.  Yes I can file a complaint but that doesn't help me day-of, and honestly the guys are doing the best they can.  It sucks for everyone.

 

You might be able to petition the city to block the building altogether, but I don't imagine any insurance would cover that, and you'd have to get other neighbors onboard.

 

The builders/neighbor would be legally responsible to compensate you for any damage to your property.  Period.  But you have to be able to show it's your property that was damaged, and it sounds like you are not even sure what the status of the garage is (who it belongs to)?

 

but hey:  does anyone know if there is an equivalent of the mieterverien for owners?  Renters have the mieterverein, landlords have an equivalent verein...what about owners - especially apartment owners - who have questions or problems with eg their Hausverwaltung or neighbors?  is there a verein for this?

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26 minutes ago, lisa13 said:

but hey:  does anyone know if there is an equivalent of the mieterverien for owners?  Renters have the mieterverein, landlords have an equivalent verein...what about owners - especially apartment owners - who have questions or problems with eg their Hausverwaltung or neighbors?  is there a verein for this?

Yes there is, Haus- und Grundsitzer Verein.

 

The thing with legal insurance is, like other types, you have to look at what you want and which policies offer that.

 

People looking for it need to go to companies that offer legal insurance and chat with them. It is like asking what the best car insurance is - based on price, cover, extras? 

They also need to understand that if their expectation is to pay 250 a year and have something like a lawyer on retainer for everything, they are going to be disappointed.

 

For example, I have not seen any polices that cover you if you commit a crime or are caught downloading copyrighted material (not saying they do not exist, but I have not seen any).

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Thanks everyone :)

 

We have membership to a local eigenheimerverein. That gives us a magazine, 10% off at Hagebau, and (very) basic legal advice. For around €40 a year, I think you can imagine the extent of the advice. We will start there, but will check out Haus & Grund - thanks for the tip!

 

The noise and disruption we will have to put up with - no question. Others are having work done (including us!), and it's just one of those hassles you have to deal with. It should be limited to 40 hours per week legally, but we know from other major builds that that's not really followed. With our own works we have always been of the opinion that it's better to suffer more over a shorter time than less over a longer time. Even with very young children, our neighbours will more likely complain about this than us!

 

But its a bit different having to park somewhere else due to a truck being in the way, and the garage falling down because the dividing wall is damaged by their workers! Our part definitely belongs to us - its just I assume there must have been agreements at the time of the build as to what would happen in the event of only party wanting to upgrade etc. Or perhaps the build is so clever that it is easier to divide than it looks!

 

It's all a bit spectulative - but I'm just aware that trying to insure something after the event - or pehaps even once the risk is known - is not going to happen, or if so much more expensively.

 

Hopefull we can discuss everything amicably over a cup of PG!

 

 

 

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