Why shouldn't we take out insurance?

Questions and answers about insurance in the Corona period

Travel insurance: do travel cancellation or foreign health insurance help with Corona?

  • When does travel cancellation insurance apply?
    Travel cancellation or travel interruption insurance only protects you if you cannot or have to break off a trip due to illness or other cases mentioned in the contract. A travel warning from the Federal Foreign Office is not included. If you have to cancel a trip due to short-time working (or if you lose your job), this is also covered by some travel insurances. We explain in detail in a separate article which rights holidaymakers have from package tours and individual trips in times of the corona pandemic.
  • When does the international travel health insurance apply?
    A travel health insurance abroad covers the treatment costs for medically necessary treatment abroad as well as the costs for a medically necessary patient repatriation.
    An illness with the coronavirus on vacation is insured, provided that illnesses from a pandemic are not excluded in the agreed insurance conditions.
    If the return journey has to take place at a later point in time due to a quarantine measure ordered on vacation, the insurance cover is extended, provided this is regulated accordingly in the insurance conditions. In this case, please contact your insurer and clarify whether and for how long the insurance cover will be extended abroad.
    You should also note that insurance cover may not apply if you start a trip despite a travel warning from the Federal Foreign Office.
    If you were already abroad at the time of the global travel warning issued (March 17, 2020), this can be insured. The same applies here: Always check your individual insurance conditions.
    We have summarized more about insurance coverage abroad for you in a separate text.
  • I had to cancel my trip. Will I get the premium of my travel insurance reimbursed?
    If trips do not even take place due to the corona pandemic, some travel insurance policies are no longer required. You can be reimbursed any premiums paid previously, provided that the insurance cover is only valid for the canceled trip. This applies to travel health insurance and luggage insurance, for example.
    Also the premium for Travel cancellation and travel interruption insurance gives it back. However, some insurers currently only reimburse the premium for travel cancellation insurance proportionally or not at all. In our opinion, however, due to the omission of the risk, the entire premium should also be reimbursed for travel cancellation insurance, even if insurance cover initially existed. Good insurers handle it that way.
    So contact your travel insurer or travel agent and claim back the premiums paid.
    However, please note: With Annual travel insurance a refund is not possible. However, you should check whether you still need the insurance cover and cancel it in good time if necessary or adjust it if necessary due to a changed travel budget.

Private full health insurance: What can I do if I have payment problems?

  1. Compulsory insurance limit and short-time work
    If you are affected by short-time work and as a result your income falls below the mandatory insurance limit of currently 62,550 euros, the question arises whether this triggers compulsory insurance in the statutory health insurance. If short-time work is a temporary measure (no longer than 3 months), according to the Association of Private Health Insurance (PKV), this has no effect on your exemption from insurance. Also consider any effects on your employer's private health insurance subsidy.
  2. Bonus hours
    Many privately insured people can currently no longer pay their monthly premiums. As a short-term immediate measure, there is the possibility of temporarily deferring the premiums and paying them later at a later date.
  3. Switch to a cheaper tariff or to statutory health insurance
    It is also possible to switch to a different, possibly cheaper tariff with the same insurance coverage with the same insurer at any time. You can also check whether switching to statutory health insurance is an option, as private health insurance is becoming more and more expensive over the years.
  4. Switch to the basic tariff or the standard tariff
    If a tariff change does not offer sufficient financial savings and a return to statutory health insurance is not possible, you can consider changing to special, industry-standard private health insurance tariffs such as the basic tariff and the standard tariff. In this separate article, we will show you in detail how to find cheaper tariffs and what to consider when switching.
  5. Automatic change to emergency tariff
    If you get into arrears in premiums, from a certain point onwards there is automatic insurance in the emergency tariff. Unless there is a deferral agreement. The regular contract is then suspended for the duration of the premium arrears and the reimbursement of expenses is very limited. The premium to be paid for the emergency tariff is greatly reduced.
    Danger: As long as you are insured in the emergency tariff, the aging reserves that have already been set up will be used up in part, as up to 25 percent of the so-called "emergency tariff premium" is created by withdrawing from the aging reserve.
    You can find out more about the emergency tariff here.

Payment protection insurance: What can I do if I have payment problems?

  • Check claims from residual debt insurance
    When taking out a loan, banks usually provide residual debt insurance as an additional product. It is intended to protect borrowers in the event that they are unable to pay loan installments - for example due to job loss, prolonged illness or death.
    However, the bank does not check of its own accord whether the insured event has occurred. If you have problems with the monthly installment payments due to the Corona crisis, check whether a concluded residual debt insurance intervenes and has to take over the loan installments.
    Please note: Residual debt insurance has many exclusions, restrictions, waiting times and so-called waiting periods, so that even with insured incapacity for work, unemployment (short-time work) no instant performance he follows. Therefore, check your insurance contract carefully to see whether you are entitled to the payment of the loan installments. If you are not sure whether you have residual debt insurance, ask the bank and have your answer confirmed in writing.
  • Additional costs if the loan installments are deferred?
    If you have applied for a deferral of the installments in your existing loan agreement due to the recently enacted law to mitigate the consequences of the pandemic, please check whether additional costs for the residual debt insurance resulted from an extension of the loan agreement. Have the credit institution confirm that the extension of the credit agreement did not result in any additional insurance costs.

Motor vehicle insurance: Reduce the premium by adjusting the annual mileage

If you have previously driven to work in your own vehicle on a daily or very frequent basis and you now work more in the home office, the annual mileage may also have been significantly reduced.

If the annual mileage stated in the insurance contract is significantly higher than the actual mileage, you should inform the insurer immediately. This allows the current contribution to be reduced somewhat, because the annual mileage affects the amount of the contribution. The notification should be made in text form to facilitate proof, i.e. by e-mail, fax or letter (registered mail).

Whether the insurer reduces the premium retrospectively or only from the time of notification differs from insurer to insurer.
For this reason, it is generally advisable to estimate the estimated annual mileage more sparingly. Late registration of a higher mileage is possible at any time.

Which insurance cover applies in the home office?

Many people work from home during the Corona crisis. The statutory accident insurance, which protects employees in the event of an accident in the company or on the way to work, also applies when working from home.

However, some special features apply here: What counts as an accident at work in one's own home differs from an accident at work in the company. In order for the insurance cover to take effect, accidents in the home office must involve an activity for the employer. While the way to the coffee machine in the company is insured, this is not the case when working in the home office. Because this activity also has a private connection. Statutory accident insurance would, for example, take effect if you were to get a work folder from a shelf and injure yourself in the process.

In addition, it is more difficult to provide evidence of an accident at work in the home office, as there is often no other person present who can confirm that the accident occurred while working for the employer. Therefore, in the event of an accident at work in your home office, you should immediately tell a doctor or neighbor who has been called to explain how the accident came about. This will make it easier for you to prove the accident at work to the statutory accident insurer later. The accident should also be reported directly to the employer.

We explain here whether and when it makes sense to have private accident insurance.