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Personal liability: 10 things to watch out for

Personal liability is one of the most important private insurances in Germany - over half of all Germans have one. Here we explain what to look out for. Because: Not all personal liability insurance is the same.

1. Amount of coverage

The amount of coverage (also: sum insured) determines up to whichMaximum amountyour personal liability insurance covers damage. These sums are customary in the market between five million and 60 million euros. The Stiftung Warentest recommends coverage of at least ten million euros - We offer protection up to 30 million euros. If the damage is really worth millions (no matter how unlikely it may be), it is better to be insured a little too high than too low. For example, if the damage is eleven million euros and you have insurance coverage of up to ten million euros, you would have to pay off the remaining one million euros for a lifetime - and very few are lucky enough to have won the lottery.

However, it should also be said: What applies in one direction also applies in the other: You can overdo it with the amount of coverage. Some insurers repeatedly outbid each other with the amounts insured and promise protection of up to 75 million euros or even 100 million euros - there has never been a loss of this magnitude in private liability, and the likelihood that it will ever exist tends to be low Zero. After all, more is not necessarily better. In the end, of course, everyone should decide for themselves which amount of coverage seems sufficient.

2. Is the loss of keys sufficiently insured?

We don't need to explain to anyone how annoying and annoying it is to lose a key to a rented apartment or office. In addition to all the annoyance about the loss, there are the subsequent costs: Sometimes "only" a key has to be copied, in other cases the lock has to be exchanged or even an entire locking system in the house. This could get expensive. You should have good personal liability insurance so that you don't have to be left with the costs yourself - because the costs incurred have to be borne by the person who caused the damage. This takes namely i. d. Usually the costs that can arise from the loss of a key - with the restriction that it must be a key to someone else's property. Unlike tenants and employees, homeowners cannot claim liability insurance if they lose their keys. The following applies: The Loss of keys given to you (e.g. to the rented apartment, the office, the clubhouse or the apartment of friends who are on vacation) and follow-up costs such as replacing the locking system are covered by private liability up to a certain amount. Some insurers reimburse the damage up to the full sum insured (for example Coya up to 30 million euros), others set a limit, e.g. B. up to 10,000 euros. If the locking system in the office building has to be replaced, this can quickly become many times more expensive. When taking out personal liability insurance, make sure that the cost coverage in the event of loss of keys is high enough for your needs.

3. Coverage for rental property damage & damage to loaned items

The scope of services of a good personal liability insurance also includes Damage to borrowed items("I borrowed your PlayStation last week - I was like your boss ..."). So if you accidentally damage things borrowed or rented from a company (everyone borrows things from time to time), you can report this to your liability insurance. Of course, the following also applies here: Damage caused willfully is not insured under private liability.

By the way: Also Rental property damage are regulated by personal liability. More and more landlords are therefore also requiring private liability insurance for a tenancy. If, for example, a heavy object falls out of your hand and leaves a flaw in the parquet floor or you accidentally damage the sink in the bathroom, you can report this damage to your insurance company. However, normal signs of wear and tear are not insured.

4. Courtesy damages

Classic: You help a friend move and you slip a box with dishes or the 4K TV out of your hand in the stairwell. Ouch! Your friend will forgive you, after all, it can happen and you didn't do it on purpose (we hope at least), but of course he's not happy. According to the case law, your friend is not entitled to compensation, because after all, helping friends move is a favor, but you don't want to let him as a friend sit at the expense of the costs.

For precisely such cases, many private liability insurers offer the Coverage for damage caused by favors to: If you wish, your private liability insurance will replace the damage, and this mishap does not stand in the way of your friendship forever.

When taking out insurance, check whether and to what extent such courtesy damages are covered and pay attention to the tariff - because this service is not covered in every tariff. At Coya you can book courtesy damages via an add-on.

5. Personal liability - for you alone or for your family?

Before taking out personal liability insurance, you should have thought about who should be insured under the contract: only yourself or also your partner and maybe even the children?

If you want to take out insurance for yourself, you can choose the so-called "Single tariff“(Also: individual insurance). Don't worry, you can of course also complete it if you are not single. The term “single” does not refer to your relationship status here, but stands for a “single” contract - so only one person is insured: the policyholder.

If you want to insure more than just yourself, for example your partner (also applies to non-married couples) and / or child (single parents can also only insure their children), you should ensure that a Family tariff can be chosen. About it are then all family members insured (e.g. also grandma and grandpa). So if you have children or want to co-insure your partner, choose the appropriate tariff when you take out insurance.

6. Persons incapable of tort

Children up to the age of seven (under ten years of age in road traffic) are considered incapable of tort in Germany (Section 828 BGB). Means: If a child of the appropriate age causes damage - for example when playing with the ball - they cannot be held responsible for the resulting costs, and the parents are not obliged to compensate for the damage, provided that they are under their duty of supervision have not hurt. This in turn means: the parents' personal liability insurance does not have to pay for it either.

Such damage often happens to friends, acquaintances or neighbors (example: the child shot a hole in the neighbour's window while playing ball) - and you rarely want to let them sit at the expense of the money. In just such cases, liability insurance often offers the option of Damage through the clause of children / persons incapable of tort to be taken over if this is requested by the policyholder.

Incidentally, this also applies to people who have outgrown childhood, for example people with dementia or mentally handicapped people. The same applies to them: if they cause damage, they are not obliged to pay compensation; However, damage caused by you can be covered on request via the corresponding clause in personal liability insurance. At Coya, children and people who are incapable of tort can be insured via an add-on.

7. Bad debt coverage

Personal liability insurance is always about damage that you have unintentionally caused to others. But what if? someone has harmed you and cannot pay for the damagebecause he / she does not have any private liability insurance and demonstrably does not have any private financial means to compensate for the damage? For such a case there is one Bad debt coverage in your liability insurance contract important: With this default coverage, your insurance will cover the damage you have suffered. In insurance language, this means: The bad debt coverage means that the The benefits of your personal liability insurance applied to you as a mirror image - The person who caused the damage would, so to speak, be insured for this one damage case with your contract, so that the damage is covered by the insurance. In our personal liability insurance, this even applies to damage that someone has caused you intentionally.

8. The amount of the deductible

With some personal liability insurances, a certain amount must be paid in the event of a claim self paid - then there is talk of a deductible or a deductible. Depending on the insurance, this can range from 150 euros to 500 euros. Means: Damages, the costs of which are within this deductible, you have to pay yourself; the insurance only covers costs that are higher. Sometimes these deductibles are hidden - in principle, there is no deductible, but exceptions are hidden in the contract, for example for bad debt coverage and there then even up to several thousand euros. In Coya personal liability insurance there is no excess (also no hidden ones), so you don't have to pay any part yourself in the event of damage.

9. "Mallorca coverage", "vehicle deductible" & Co.

No, unfortunately no personal liability insurance will take over your Mallorca vacation. With the so-called "Mallorca coverage" (got its nickname from the many German tourists to the Balearic Island who rent vehicles there) you are protected from high costs for damage to a rental car in other EU countries (not only in Mallorca, of course) Exceed the motor vehicle liability insurance coverage applicable in the respective holiday country. She is i. d. It usually appears in motor vehicle insurance, but also in personal liability insurance.

Sounds complicated, but it's all the more important: If you cause a traffic accident with several injured people while on vacation with a rental car Damage exceeds the sum insured under the liability insurance of the rental car provider, your private liability insurance steps in for you and takes over the portion that is not covered by the insurance of the rental car provider.

Another coverage by the personal liability insurance, which is based on borrowed or rented vehicles relates: Anyone who rents a rental car or uses car sharing offers sees themselves in the event of damage i. d. R. with Deductibles faced (usually these are between 200 and 500 euros). Good private liability insurers, such as Coya, will cover this excess for you in the event of a claim. The same applies to incorrect fueling of such rental and loan vehicles: If you accidentally fill up the wrong fuel, private liability insurance will cover the resulting damage.

10. Notice Period

Last, but not least: Inflexible contracts with long notice periods three or even twelve months are still enough, even in the insurance world. Although the majority of providers with toggle contracts that are difficult to get out of, there are also more and more insurers offering their customers contemporary contracts without long notice periods. With Coya, for example, you have the right daily and without giving reasons cancel your private liability insurance the following day; other new insurers are at least offering contracts that can be canceled on a monthly basis.


As with any insurance you want to take out, there are a few important points to consider and consider. Be it the scope of protection, the total amount insured or coverage for special situations. It is important that the insurance fits your needs and covers the risks that are important for your life. If you have any questions about individual points, please contact us at any time.

By the way: Did you already know that private liability insurance is there to protect you in many cases, even when you are on vacation? For example, if you cause an accident on the ski slope and people are harmed in the process, your personal liability insurance covers the resulting costs. Even if you rent your equipment for the holiday at the ski and snowboard rental shop and accidentally damage it in the meantime, your personal liability insurance will help you with the resulting costs.

You can find out more about Coya personal liability insurance in the blog here.

By the way, in this article we reveal what you should pay attention to when it comes to dog owner liability.

Featured image: Canva | Images used in the text: Unsplash