What is a private liability insurance?



Ger­man house­holds with a PHV [1]

It can go very quick­ly: you dri­ve your bike through a red light, a car has to swer­ve and dri­ves against a wall. The car is com­ple­te­ly des­troy­ed and the wall is also dama­ged. Now you not only have to pay the fine for the red light, but the dri­ver and the homeow­ner can demand com­pen­sa­ti­on from you.

In Ger­ma­ny ever­yo­ne is liable for the damages cau­sed to others, regard­less of whe­ther it is a deli­be­ra­te act or not. You are liable with your ent­i­re pri­va­te assets until the dama­ge has been com­pen­sa­ted.

It’s not just about pro­per­ty dama­ge, like acci­dent­al­ly kno­cking over your neighbour’s new TV. You are also liable for finan­ci­al los­ses (e.g. if the dama­ged per­son loses busi­ness becau­se of you) and per­so­nal inju­ry (e.g. if the inju­red per­son requi­res medi­cal atten­ti­on).

From the­se and other situa­ti­ons, pri­va­te lia­bi­li­ty insuran­ce (also cal­led third-par­ty lia­bi­li­ty insuran­ce or PHV) were crea­ted. They cover the dama­ged you are liable for and more.

What are the benefits of a private liability insurance?

A PHV insu­res per­so­nal inju­ry, damages to pro­per­ty as well as finan­ci­al damages that you and your fami­ly are liable for under Ger­man law. As the name sug­gests, only your pri­va­te life (and vaca­ti­on) are cove­r­ed.

In par­ti­cu­lar, the insu­rer has three main duties:

  • To check whe­ther you are liable for the dama­ge.
  • To defend you against unju­s­ti­fied claims.
  • To pay for jus­ti­fied claims.

Espe­ci­al­ly important for PHVs is the coverage or insuran­ce sum. This is the amount of money the insu­rer ulti­mate­ly pays. If the dama­ge is hig­her than the coverage, you have to pay the rest.

PHVs app­ly both in Ger­ma­ny and in con­trac­tual­ly sti­pu­la­ted for­eign coun­tries.



Total pre­mi­ums paid for PHV in 2017  [2]

Who should get a private liability insurance?


35 € — 80 € per year

Average pri­ce of a good PHV [3]

The uni­ver­sal recom­men­da­ti­ons are unusual­ly clear here: ever­yo­ne.

This is main­ly due to the legal situa­ti­on descri­bed above, you have to pay for all damages you and your fami­ly is liable for and have to do so with your ent­i­re pri­va­te assets.

Addi­tio­nal­ly, PHVs are an estab­lished insuran­ce pro­duct with gre­at com­pe­ti­ti­ve pres­su­re, so pri­ces are low and bene­fits stan­dar­di­zed. Simp­le but good plans usual­ly start at around 50€ / year.

It is par­ti­cu­lar­ly important that the insuran­ce sum is suf­fi­ci­ent­ly high and new bene­fits updated regu­lar­ly. Addi­tio­nal­ly, a “bad debt” con­di­ti­on (e.g. if someo­ne has cau­sed damages to you, but the per­son has no assets) should be inclu­ded in a good and modern PHV. 

Questions? We have answers.

Pri­va­te lia­bi­li­ty insuran­ce as part of your basic coverage.

We will get back to you wit­hin 24 hours — wit­hout any com­mit­ment from you and in your pre­fer­red way.