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For either long-term renting or Wohnen auf Zeit (shorter term, furnished rentals) in Germany, is a Haftpflichtversicherung (liability insurance) normally required? For example, I looked through the Youniq furnished apartments for a Zweitwohnung (secondary residence), which are mostly but not only rented out to students, and they require not only what I would expect (Arbeitsvertrag (work contract), Einkommensbescheide der letzten drei Monate (evidence of income last three months), Ausweiskopie (copy of ID)), but also a Bestätigung über Haftpflichtversicherung (confirmation of liability insurance). Although not a problem per se to obtain, it does add yet another layer of complication of newly settling in Germany, which may be hard enough as it is. Is this a usual requirement, or is this something particular?

  • I'd certainly recommend it. My Swiss landlord did not require it. (Comment because Switzerland != Germany.) I can see why a landlord who rents to students might want it (younger = more careless and less able to pay any liabilities from savings). I have asked my son if his landlord in Frankfurt required it. – Martin Bonner supports Monica Nov 2 '18 at 11:05
  • @MartinBonner Sure, and it costs very little, the caveat may be... that I probably can't get a German Haftpflichtversicherung before living in Germany… – gerrit Nov 2 '18 at 11:07
  • ?? Why not? I'm pretty sure an insurance broker in your target town would be happy to take your money. (The insurance may only pay out if you live in Germany when you claim, but [shrug].) – Martin Bonner supports Monica Nov 2 '18 at 11:11
  • @MartinBonner I don't know, the first website I checked started with asking for a German PLZ, but I admit that I haven't tried it in detail. – gerrit Nov 2 '18 at 11:13
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    @gerrit: insurance "comparison" websites start with collecting all your data. They are useless. They tell you they are comparing different insurance companies' bargains, but in reality they are just insurance brokers who want to sell you what is most profitable to them. You have to dig out some common insurance companies' websites yourself and check for yourself. I checked some, their only questions for liabilty insurance are whether you are single or want family insurance and if you are employed in public service. Then they tell you the price. – Janka Nov 3 '18 at 2:46
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I now have an additional datapoint from my son who rents a flat in Germany. His landlord did not demand to see the confirmation, but they did "require" that he had the insurance.

I think we can therefore conclude that this is not an unusual requirement.

Haftpflichtversicherung is quite cheap, so I would just buy it. You probably can't just fill in a form on a website (which is going to be set up for the "normal" case), but I suspect a phone call to an insurance broker will be successful. You might have to give a correspondence address in Germany, but you can probably use your new employer for that.

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    It's the only insurance everyone needs. It's dead-cheap, can cost less than 5€/month and covers everything and everyone you might break. The only thing not covered is damaging things on purpose. – Janka Nov 3 '18 at 2:22
  • @Janka 'Covers everything and everyone you might break' is a common misconception, but very wrong. Most 3rd party liability insurances have a lot of caveats in their fine print and they can always reject a claim due to culpable negligence. – jarnbjo Nov 3 '18 at 10:42
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    This gdv.de/resource/blob/5916/86eb136c4d7e20ca22c592b9e761a346/… is the common practice as recommended by the German organisation of insurance companies. Check your police if it has very different fine print and don't buy it if it has. And sure, insurance companies don't want to pay. If that's a problem to you, you cannot buy insurance. – Janka Nov 3 '18 at 18:08

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