3rd party liability once again - Yes, you need it

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It has been often written about here on Toytown...but apparently it cannot be repeated often enough: if you live here in Germany, you need a 3rd party liability insurance. PERIOD !

In Germany you will be held liable if you cause - regardless if by a simple moment of thoughtlessness, negligence or accident - damage or injury to third parties. You can cover yourself against this with a simple insurance that'll cost you not more than 60-80 EUR per year. Yes: per year.   Coverage 10-50 Million EUR for damages or injuries you caused.

 

I just had an inquiry from someone (not a client sofar ) whose washing machine leaked water (probably while out of the apartment himself) and caused damage to the living room underneath.

The landlord, whose room it was, had the entire wooden floor removed in the living room due to the water-damage and replaced because of that.

Apparently, he (the landlord)  gave this damage as claim to his own building insurance  because the wooden floor is usually considered to be part of the building and not content (like a rug would be). Hence he will claim first from his own insurance coverage.
So far so good, one might think.

But: of course, the insurance company is going to hold liable the person who caused the damage. Now the insurance company is demanding a lot of money from the poor guy whose washing machine leaked. And while he thinks that the costs charged to him for replacing the wooden floor are over the top, he would have to hire an extra lawyer (with the risk of losing extra money for nothing) in order to dispute some of the claims...his general liability is without doubt anyway.

 

Biiig Siiigh: all this could have been avoided with a simple 3rd party liability (but a really good one which includes negligence into the coverage, because if you let your dishwasher or washing machine run while out of the house, this is considered to be negligent in German law and some insurance won't pay consequently).

 

The 3rd party liability insurance, which costs only maybe 60-80 EUR for a single person PER YEAR (!!!!) would

1) have in general paid for the damage

2) would have taken legal steps on behalf of the insured client if damage claims are too high or extravagant without him having to pay for an extra lawyer

3) and if you set your insurance up thru a broker (which does not cost you more, btw) you'll not only have the right insurance coverage (see the negligence issue above) but also someone who processes all the claims paperwork on your behalf with the insurance company for you.

 

You can read more about 3rd party liability insurance here on our website: 3rd party liability insurance - why you need it !

Please also check out the links back there  to Toytown where some classic cases of other Expats are reported who suffered badly from lack of such an insurance.

 

While the damage to the property in the case above may cost a few thousand EUR if the guy is unlucky, it is nothing compared to causing injury to one or more people by accident or negligence like the person who caused a Tramway to make an emergency stop because of crossing in front of it. Here we can easily reach tens of thousands of EUR in damage claims for injuries suffered. 

 

So, do yourself a favour - get a good (!) 3rd party liability if you don't have one yet. And if you have one, have an expert (insurance broker or insurance consultant) double-check it for you to make sure you have the right one. Both @john g. an I have reported about this here often. Not out of fun. Not even as a marketing pitch because we'll get only around 15-20 % of the yearly premium as a commission from the insurance company...which means we might break even with the costs incured on our side for advising the client, setting up the insurance and so on after a few years. So there is no real monitary incentive for us to promote this. BUT: as a broker we are ethically and legally bound to advise our clients in their best interest. Which is why we do this (...and of course we hope that eventually you like our advice and instance and allow us to set up many more insurances like health insurance, pension plans etc for you, where we finally are able to earn some good money, too, for our efforts :-) )

 

Cheerio

 

 

Cheerio

I am a professional independent insurance broker, financial adviser, and authorised advertiser. Contact me.
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Thanks for the input @Starshollowwhat are the keywords to look for in German for negligence in such cases? I have 3rd party liability insurance, but I am not sure how good it is. 

 

In the case you reported, is it necessary to have something about "house liability" ? or simple negligence be enough?

 

Thanks

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The German expression would be "Fahrlässigkeit" or "Grobe Fahrlässigkeit"

But as with most insurances, the devil is in the details, i.e. the terms and conditions. Unless you are fluent in German insurance lingo, I would not recommend trying to figure this out yourself. If you have obtained your insurance thru a broker or insurance agent, ask them to clarify your coverage for you. If you have gotten yours online, then of course you have little choice there  (taking these insurances out online is actually never a good idea:  You have virtually no savings by doing that (unless you chose a purely online-insurance-provider), no assistance in case of claims and will not know if what you got is really good in case of claims or not. )

 

The case above is covered in general by a 3rd party liability insurance, if gross negligence/Grobe Fahrlässigkeit is not excluded from coverage (which sometimes is the case). Whether you cause damage as a tennant to the building or the belongings of other tennants or to anyone outthere on the street is irrelevant: you are covered for the costs of the damages involved.

 

Cheerio

 

I am a professional independent insurance broker, financial adviser, and authorised advertiser. Contact me.
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Top thread, Starshollow! The people out there always need a prod, a poke, a kick in the backside, a reminder and another kick in the backside. One little moment of not being extra careful...zack, lawyers, guilt, expensive, broke for ever.

It´s not worth it.

I´d never heard of it when I arrived in Germany in 1989  (more or less). Ok, I wasn´t in insurance back then anyway.

Germans don´t play games.

I remember a client of ours, a young Canadian..first time was to run into a BMW owner´s car on his bike.The old German car driver called the cops, called his mechanic and the bill was high..they paid.

 

He was on the same bike, and I think the same street in Berlin, a few months later..and he wasn´t fully paying attention and he ran over the classical old lady! Yep, ran her over.

She ended up in hospital. We put in a claim.

A while later..maybe three months later, I got a phone call from our client´s liability insurance (the same insurance ) and they´d done a deal with the old lady´s husband´s liability insurance..50/50.

She hadn´t watched out, either...had seen her husband the other side of the road and " Schatzi "..and zack..run over.

It took months for her to recover in hospital and I´ve no idea how high the hospital bill was but, just imagine...if YOU had to pay even half of a three month stay in hospital for someone, ops included...jeez.

 

(by the way, light ending..same client..still a lovely young man )..a few months later, he skyped and told me his bike had been stolen..was it  covered by his Haftpflicht? I laughed, swore a bit  and said NO.:lol:

 

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48 minutes ago, john g. said:

... told me his bike had been stolen..was it  covered by his Haftpflicht?

Thsu he (not alone) had not understood what Haftpflicht meant...

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Of course not, HEM. and la lucha continua...:lol:

It´s the way it is. It´s about personal responsibility and how people deal with it.

Germany does it really organised...not friendly but organised...:lol:. Foreigners beware...just don´t be naive....

 

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if having his bike stolen meant he was unable to perform anymore damage, somebody did him a favour :-)   come to think of it: has the insurance company perhaps taken his bicycle to avoid further claims??? :-)

 

Cheerio

 

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On 1/12/2017, 12:16:37, Starshollow said:

It has been often written about here on Toytown...but apparently it cannot be repeated often enough: if you live here in Germany, you need a 3rd party liability insurance. PERIOD !

In Germany you will be held liable if you cause - regardless if by a simple moment of thoughtlessness, negligence or accident - damage or injury to third parties. You can cover yourself against this with a simple insurance that'll cost you not more than 60-80 EUR per year. Yes: per year.   Coverage 10-50 Million EUR for damages or injuries you caused.

 

I just had an inquiry from someone (not a client sofar ) whose washing machine leaked water (probably while out of the apartment himself) and caused damage to the living room underneath.

The landlord, whose room it was, had the entire wooden floor removed in the living room due to the water-damage and replaced because of that.

Apparently, he (the landlord)  gave this damage as claim to his own building insurance  because the wooden floor is usually considered to be part of the building and not content (like a rug would be). Hence he will claim first from his own insurance coverage.
So far so good, one might think.

But: of course, the insurance company is going to hold liable the person who caused the damage. Now the insurance company is demanding a lot of money from the poor guy whose washing machine leaked. And while he thinks that the costs charged to him for replacing the wooden floor are over the top, he would have to hire an extra lawyer (with the risk of losing extra money for nothing) in order to dispute some of the claims...his general liability is without doubt anyway.

 

Biiig Siiigh: all this could have been avoided with a simple 3rd party liability (but a really good one which includes negligence into the coverage, because if you let your dishwasher or washing machine run while out of the house, this is considered to be negligent in German law and some insurance won't pay consequently).

 

The 3rd party liability insurance, which costs only maybe 60-80 EUR for a single person PER YEAR (!!!!) would

1) have in general paid for the damage

2) would have taken legal steps on behalf of the insured client if damage claims are too high or extravagant without him having to pay for an extra lawyer

3) and if you set your insurance up thru a broker (which does not cost you more, btw) you'll not only have the right insurance coverage (see the negligence issue above) but also someone who processes all the claims paperwork on your behalf with the insurance company for you.

 

You can read more about 3rd party liability insurance here on our website: 3rd party liability insurance - why you need it !

Please also check out the links back there  to Toytown where some classic cases of other Expats are reported who suffered badly from lack of such an insurance.

 

While the damage to the property in the case above may cost a few thousand EUR if the guy is unlucky, it is nothing compared to causing injury to one or more people by accident or negligence like the person who caused a Tramway to make an emergency stop because of crossing in front of it. Here we can easily reach tens of thousands of EUR in damage claims for injuries suffered. 

 

So, do yourself a favour - get a good (!) 3rd party liability if you don't have one yet. And if you have one, have an expert (insurance broker or insurance consultant) double-check it for you to make sure you have the right one. Both @john g. an I have reported about this here often. Not out of fun. Not even as a marketing pitch because we'll get only around 15-20 % of the yearly premium as a commission from the insurance company...which means we might break even with the costs incured on our side for advising the client, setting up the insurance and so on after a few years. So there is no real monitary incentive for us to promote this. BUT: as a broker we are ethically and legally bound to advise our clients in their best interest. Which is why we do this (...and of course we hope that eventually you like our advice and instance and allow us to set up many more insurances like health insurance, pension plans etc for you, where we finally are able to earn some good money, too, for our efforts :-) )

 

Cheerio

 

 

Cheerio

I am a professional independent insurance broker, financial adviser, and authorised advertiser. Contact me.

Just spotted this and bravo! I probably spotted it back then, too! But I cannot repeat enough how important this is. AND: people: please don´t think it´s only for tenants with possible hassle with a landlady/landlord. This is worldwide hassle. 24 hours a day and out in the streets, in the supermarkets, on the S-Bahn. 

I couldn´t have put it better than Starshollow.

Different in Greece: run away, close the door..it wasn´t me. Personal experience and bags of it after more than 4 years here.

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Just to get this straight - is third party insurance what the Germans call Haftpflichtversicherung?

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1 hour ago, Metall said:

Just to get this straight - is third party insurance what the Germans call Haftpflichtversicherung?

 

Since you speak German you should know that, but the key word (which most folks leave out) missing in 'third party insurance' is 'liability'!

 

Third party liability risk is what Haftpflichtversicherung is intended to provide insurance cover for.

 

2B

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So what is third party insurance then? No need for snark - just because I speak German doesn't mean I know every insurance specialty term.

John, could you perhaps explain?

 

@john g.

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Hi Metall! Third party insurance is just an abbreviated form of " third party liability insurance" (Private Haftpflichtversicherung ), which protects you worldwide if you accidentally damage someone else´s property or health (but not if committing a crime ).

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Essential if you ride a bike or roller scooter etc (in case you injure someone or damage a car etc on private business, not professional). 

 

Reviewing my insurance today, I noticed things that are perhaps less obvious and easy to forget it may include.   Loss of keys for instance, which can be a big bill here in some blocks, and is something I'm paranoid about.

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Very true about the bike issue, swimmer. Many stories about that in my professional life with insurance brokerage. Funniest: a guy got drunk at his friend´s house and fell onto his friend´s toilet seat in the bathroom and broke it. The insurance paid for a new toilet seat!:D

 

PS: for employees, really important for many to have a decent lost keys coverage for their office/building. THAT can be expensive if all goes wrong.

Also important: cover for " helping people " eg you help carry someone´s TV as a favour and you drop it.

And worst case scenario: having cover for Forderungsausfall ie someone damages you or your property and is not insured! Then yours would take care of it (albeit it would take time and could require a court confirming someone is bankrupt etc ).

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17 hours ago, 2B_orNot2B said:

 

Since you speak German you should know that, but the key word (which most folks leave out) missing in 'third party insurance' is 'liability'!

 

Third party liability risk is what Haftpflichtversicherung is intended to provide insurance cover for.

 

2B

Most English speakers around the world don´t know the term in English, either, 2B!:D

I´m currently " in a clinch " with a well-educated English native speaker young lady who is not yet convinced she needs this insurance. She had never heard of it and is getting mixed reactions from German colleagues at work....

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22 hours ago, john g. said:

Different in Greece: run away, close the door..it wasn´t me. Personal experience and bags of it after more than 4 years here.

 

Is it the same if you kill somebody? You just run away and say that you are not liable for it?

Obviously "your young lady" also has Greek ancesters.

 

Just checkt my Haftpflichtversicherung 8 million per person and  100000€ property damage. Seems a little low.

Luckily my third party car insurance covers 100million.

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31 minutes ago, john g. said:

I'm currently " in a clinch " with a well-educated English native speaker young lady who is not yet convinced she needs this insurance. She had never heard of it and is getting mixed reactions from German colleagues at work...

I normally don't give sales advice, but you must use real-life examples when you deal with young people. For example, you go out with some girlfriends on binge drinking and then you go to your friends' place and puke all over her carpet and you scratch her parquet with your high heels from Jimmy Choo, because you're so wasted. Insurance sold :).

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Dunno about killing people, Answer! But no Greek I know has any personal  liability insurance or knows/cares what it is.

My Nicole slipped over a neighbour´s soap suds thrown out onto the pathway by an elderly woman. Nicole fell on her back and screamed in pain.. The elderly woman closed her door as did our other Greek neighbours. And didn´t care. " Rich foreigner should look after her own shit "...that is the mentality.

 

I rent an office next door to an old woman whose son died a couple of days ago. In my office kitchen, there´s a pipe leading out into the open next door to the old woman´s favela erm house. It´s an Entlüfter...

During the outside wake for the dead guy,a really loud woman I had never seen in my life  shouted at me outside the office to come outside  " What is that? "

Me: " dunno ".

Nicole in Greek: " why are you shouting? "

Me in Greek: " dunno what you are talking about "

Another Greek in German: " Wasser "

 

My Greek landlady in Greek " dunno ".

 

What was it all about? A guy has died and some arsehole has come from Athens thinking about their inheritance and how to get the most out of it from a foreigner.

I am not surprised xenophobia is a Greek word. I am not surprised they had a military dictatorship here.

It all calmed down  in the end..some ignorant old Greek shouts at you , shout back. 

Village life here...

You won´t get mugged but you deal with such lack of diplomacy! Probably all born in Yorkshire!!:P

 

 

 

 

 

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