sensible insurance and unnecessary expenses

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From: Mechthild Henneke

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For example, how useful is travel medical insurance? The experts offer an overview. © Christoph Hardt/Imago

Different safeguards make sense from one phase of life to another. What insurance is necessary for children, young people and families.

Health insurance is compulsory, but all other insurance is an individual decision. The needs change in the different phases of life: some protection becomes superfluous, another is added.

We asked the experts what insurance makes sense for children, adults and the elderly.

Taking out insurance: what makes sense for babies and children?

Babies, toddlers, children: Private accident insurance makes sense to protect children, advises Bianca Boss, spokeswoman for the Association of Insureds. She points to child disability insurance that offers even more comprehensive protection, for example a lifetime pension in the event of accident-related illness or disability. Insurance expert and guidebook author for Stiftung Warentest, Thomas Hammer, considers child accident insurance optional. “It only makes sense if I want to be sure,” he says. No one intentionally puts your child in harm’s way, but unexpected harm can happen, too.

Children are insured through their parents. “This applies until the end of school or university education, up to the age of 25 at the latest,” says Elke Weidenbach, head of insurance at the North Rhine-Westphalia consumer advice center. She points out that children of parents with private insurance can usually decide at the beginning of their studies whether they want to continue to have private insurance or switch to compulsory health insurance. “When they start an apprenticeship, young people are usually insured with compulsory health insurance,” says Weidenbach.

What insurance should young adults buy?

Young adults: After the end of the training period, the question arises whether children should have their own liability insurance. “While the children are in education, they are also covered by their parents’ private liability insurance,” says Weidenbach. She must ask the insurer for confirmation of insurance coverage. “Once they pass the test, children are no longer insured under their parents’ contract,” she emphasizes. So they need their own protection.

The same applies to household effects: if the children still live with their parents, their household effects are also insured. For household goods in student housing there is so-called external insurance protection. “Up to ten percent of the insured sum, with a limit of 10,000 euros, children are insured through their parents’ household goods contract,” says Weidenbach. In this case, you should also consult the insurer in case of doubt.

What insurance makes sense in what phase of life?
What insurance makes sense in what phase of life? © Moritz Wienert

Young Adult Insurance: Travel Insurance Can Help

A common theme for young people is travel. “They quickly lead to Austria, Holland or Belgium,” says Weidenbach. A foreign travel health insurance covers at least part of the costs of treatment and also return transportation. “In the EU, compulsory health insurance reimburses the fee that would have been due in Germany. If higher costs are charged, travel medical insurance will cover them,” says Hammer.

Whether the child is doing volunteer service, a year abroad, or several months abroad, it is important to ensure that the insurance covers the entire period. “Most travel health insurance policies are only valid for trips of up to six weeks. For longer trips, you would have to choose insurance for these special stays,” says Hammer.

Insurance: What should be contracted after the wedding

After the wedding: Anyone who enters into the bond of marriage must “make a payment” and test all insurance policies, says Weidenbach. “Both spouses may bring responsibility with them. Then you have to ask yourself what insurance policies can be combined and if you can save money by changing the rate or provider”.

After the wedding, household insurance also makes sense if the possessions reach a certain value. “If I moved from the orange crate facility to the furniture store, I might think about home insurance,” she says. She insures against theft, fire and water damage in rented apartments. Homeowners still need building insurance, if possible with additional elemental damage protection from flooding.

Legal protection: experts do not consider insurance to be absolutely necessary

legal protection: Experts do not consider legal protection insurance to be absolutely necessary. “If you need it, it’s good to step in and reduce cost risk,” says Hammer. But if he looks at the relatively high contributions, he must consider whether it might not make more sense to set aside money and use it for litigation. If no legal case occurs, the money is still available.

Weidenbach makes an exception with the legal protection of trafficking, especially for young people. “They travel a lot, often on bicycles as well,” she says. Traffic legal protection can be important here to assert yourself in court. But beware: nodules are not usually a reason for controversy.

What types of insurance make sense for families?

Tooth: Additional dental insurance is also optional for experts. “If the timing is right, it can be worth it,” says Hammer. But if you enter when your teeth are already damaged, you have to put up with waiting times and it may happen that the health insurance does not pay because the damage already existed. His conclusion: “You can also set aside money and use it later for implants.”

Too expensive, not enough benefits: Consumer advocates warn that consumers can safely do without some types of insurance. An overview of what insurance is superfluous.

Family: Personal liability insurance and disability insurance are the most important types of insurance for adults. Experts agree on that. The Federation of Insureds also mentions term life insurance if you have to protect other people. For personal liability insurance, Hammer advises a sum of five million euros for property damage and personal injury. The amount of coverage is high with all insurance companies these days. Cost factors are additional safeguards, for example for the oil tank. Hammer recommends that adults check the rate once children no longer live in the home. “Four people are more expensive than two,” she says.

Pet insurance: That’s what the experts recommend

Pets: In the Corona period, many people bought a pet. Small pets up to cats are included in private liability insurance, but dogs are not. For dogs or horses, on the other hand, there is the responsibility of the owner of the animal. If the dog bites someone or the horse kicks, he jumps.

Death Benefit Insurance: Experts advise against. “Behind this are expensive, inflexible and unprofitable capital life insurance policies,” says Boss. To a certain extent, the insurance is only worth it if you die shortly after taking out the insurance. “It’s better to put the money aside like this,” agrees Hammer. (Mechthild Henneke)

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