The academic calendar year in many universities began in October 2013 with approximately 400 000 first-year students joining universities in Germany. This is usually an exciting start up phase for many freshers that includes discovering new towns, orientation week and lots of house warming parties to attend. This new life comes up with many unknown challenges and students are advised to check which kind of insurance cover they need so as to avoid unpleasant surprises. Below is a list of some important insurance policies that a student may need:
In case you missed it, you could listen to the Insurance expert’s advice on the correct insurance policies and providers here.
Statutory Health Insurance Cover
A fresher who goes directly from school tot he university and is not older than 25 years and was previously insured in the statutory health of the parents will remain insured under their parents health cover. To continue under this family health cover, the fresher cannot earn more than 450€ per month and student loans (Bafög) are not considered as income so they will not affect the health insurance cover. However, this health cover has the disadvantage that it only provides basic care and an extra services supplementary insurance cover may be required.
Health Insurance for Students
For students who do not meet the requirements of the family health insurance, for example because they earn more than 450 euros, they can take the so-called statutory health cover for students(Krankenversicherung der Studenten (KVdS). This is much cheaper than a private comprehensive health insurance with monthly contributions of 80€. The conditions for this cover are that the student must not have been previously privately insured and should have studied a maximum in 14 Semesters and not be older than 29 years. This policy only covers the basic care.
Voluntary Public Health Insurance
This type of health cover is for students who are older than 30 years. They are have usually studied more than 14 semesters and do alot of oddjobs. For this policy one has to pay a monthly contribtion of 16.95% of their income and not less than 152.27€. This is cheaper as compare dto other voluntary health insurance schemes although it is significantly above the rate of student health insurance . Students are therefore advised to reduce their monthly working hours as much as possible so as to stay in the KVdS.
Private Health Insurance (PHI)
This private student health insurance is relevant for students whose parents are already privately insured. Unlike the statutory variants students are freely select services and contribution rates, which remain independent even after graduation. This health cover costs between 100-140€ per month. Student previously insured under the statutory health insurance would like to join PHI should do so no later than three months after they have started their studies and have gotten a release letter from the statutory haelth cover. The rule of thumb for PHI is that contract signed only once and a change back to the statutory health cover is only possible in exceptional cases.
Returning to the Statutory
As a rule, a student graduates and in the first year as an employee, their income is below the annual income limit for private health cover thus forcing them to return to the statutory health cover. If they later want to rejoin the private health insurance a new risk assessment is required – with correspondingly high premiums. These former students can in fact preserve their “old” risk rating in private health insurance , by applying for a so-called ” defined benefit insurance ” on one condition that they shall be fully covered by the private health insurance and pay correspondingly higher premiums.
Health insurance when abroad (Auslands-Krankenversicherung)
Whether one is travelling during the semester or during the semester break a travel health insurance is essential and without it it can be very expensive if something happens when travelling abroad. Some travel insurance covers offers on the spot treatment, rescue and repatriation back home. The good news is the premiums for this covers are foreign extremely low: for 10€per annum with some insurers covering rescue and repatriation costs. With most travel insurance policies coverage in the family package ends when a child reaches 17 or 20 years. Students and parents should therefore examine existing contracts and update as appropriate .
And for longer stays?
The travel insurance described above is enough when a atudents spends some weeks abroad. However, if the students has to spend more time abroad for example a semester, he should look for long term travel insurance. There are special rates for students
That start at 30€. In addition, some providers offer complete packages for overseas travel, including public liability, luggage and accident insurance.
Public Liability Insurance (Haftpflichtversicherung)
For persons in employment it is indispensable , but students they can – once – save: the liability insurance. As long as a student or student are still single , have begun their studies right after school , military , civil or community service or waiting for the trial court, they are still protected by the parents. By the way, regardless of whether they still live with their parents or have been in their own home. A quick check whether the insurance cover from Hotel Mama still applies , but is recommended.
The situation is different when the marriage ring was on her finger , an initial study has been completed or the student was in between working. When one of these scenarios , he or she can establish its own liability insurance needs . The annual cost from 64 euros , the range goes up to 180 Euros . Money well spent , because in the real damage occurred could quickly gather hundreds of thousands . For example , if you cause an accident and another person inflicts permanent damage. Experts speak in view of the then in room sums standing of an existential risk. That is why consumer advocates maintain liability insurance indispensable.
Owning a car means that one always has costs of fuel repairs and insurance. All motorists including students drivers must have a mandatory public liability insurancethat costs upto 800€ per annum. Comprehensive insurance does not fully cover all damages that happen to you car. As a student one should compare tarriffs by comparing diffrent offers from different companies. However, there is a savings potential for drivers of older models beacause these are worth so little that the expensive car insurance is barely worth it. However, a public liability insuranceis also mandatory forold models. Further savings are:
– Direct insurance: By getting the insurance policy directly from the insurer(No brokerage commission.)
– The parents insure their childs student car as their second car
– Driving license at 17: Since parents always accompany the novice drivers during the first year risk of accidents decreases and so does the price of the premiums.
– Authorized workshop: Anyone who commits himself in the insurance contract to only repair their damaged cars defined workshop can have their premium costs reduced by 20%.
– Students who have a few years of driving experience with their parents cars and can attest to being as accident-free and can get lower premiums.
Household Content Insurance (Hausratversicherung)
The insurance is one of the first expendable policies for most students. This insurance is to protect your property from damage whether by fire, broken water pipe or theft. It is often not worth it for students especially when the value of the property is low. Here it is important to weigh the costs and benefits. Unless one is completely moved out from home an extension of the parental household insurance to their own place to live is possible and one can benefit without burdening your wallet.
Disability Insurance (Berufsunfähigkeitsversicherung)
Even if it is difficult students have to confront the question of what happens if an accident or illness abruptly terminates their studies and all career their plans. While workers get at least a small pension for incapacity, students cannot make claims. Students are there fore advised to take up a disability insuranc at about 35€ per month.
Due to their good young customers are rewarded by the insurer with permanently lower premiums because the average risk of being incapacitated is lower at the beginning of their careers due to lack of pre-existing health conditions .
With regard to the insurance benefits there are some things to consider like the “disability ” clause. In this contract, the insurer only pays if the student can no longer do any work and not only in the target occupation . So you should make sure that the contract will make payments if you cannot work in your desired career.
The second similar clause is the so-called “abstract reference”. It allows the insurance company to force its customers into a completely different profession, rather than to pay his pension. Contracts that contain this clause should be discouraged.
Also, caution should be exercised in “starter packages”, which lure students with extremely low premium rates, which are in contrast to normal BU later rise significantly. Students should therefore meticulously examine how high the premiums rise over time becoming expensive.
The situation is different when there are contract combinations. Some insurers offer the disability insurance package together with life insurance. This increases the premiums but the family of the deceased will benefit upon death. It is however not recommended to combine Disability Insurance with capital life insurance (Kapital-Lebensversicherung (KLV) and oldage pension products. Firstly the premiums rate increase tremendously and on the other hand the termination of the KLV often also terminates the Disability Insurance.
However, what necessarily should be in contract work , is a ” Nachversicherungsgarantie ” . This allows the students to increase insured benefit later in professional life without new medical examination. Thi is because contracts for students usually predict a maximum pension of 1,000€ this clause is absolutely indispensable due to the fact that for workers 1000€ is usually not sufficient to pay for ones standard of living.
How long the contract should run?
It is not necessary that the Disability Insurance contractshould run until retirement at 67 years. Anyone who has an alternative to bridge the time until retirement financially such as through a savings account can also choose shorter terms and thus save considerably. Because with the increasing age chances of becoming incapacitated increase and the insurance company will be willing to pay before this happens should anyone opt out earlier.