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I am living in a rent apartment in Germany, my contract is about to expire and I also wish to move to another one. I haven't got any kind of insurance yet for this apartment. I have heard of tenants being given a huge settlement bill by the land-lord siting as the cost of repairing the apartment after they move out. Therefore I would like to know

  1. if it makes sense to purchase a house insurance at this time when I am about to leave the apartment and am about to start my notice period
  2. What will be covered in the insurance (eg. if the landlord sites any damage will the insurance company cover it?)

. The apartment is in good condition and since I moved it no damage is done. However since I didn't know much about the rules and regulations at the time of moving in , I did a rookie mistake of not ensuring that there was a proof of where there were cracks in the floor tiles, or how some heating equipment was not installed correctly.

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Your landlord can only bill you for damages you've done to her property. Normal wear is covered by the rent. (This has been confirmed by the highest German court just lately IIRC.)

There isn't an insurance which will cover for not being careful when moving in – as this had to cover the past instead of the future – it makes no sense for an insurance company to offer such a thing.

If you wanted to be safe against liabilities, you need a liability policy – Haftpflichtversicherung in German –. They are as cheap as 50 Euro per year for a single person and cover everything you might do wrong accidentally. Including damages you did to your landlord's property. But you have to tell them immediately, not just when the landlords bills you.

The insurance agent may also want to sell a Hausratversicherung to you. Don't confuse it with the house insurance you thought of. Hausrat is all the moveable inventory that you own. For example your washing machine, your TV, but also clothes etc. This policy can be expensive and given the low prices of stuff today, it's most likely not worth it. It typically doesn't cover damages to the property of your landlord.

Another insurance which does not apply is the Gebäudeversicherung. You don't own the building. But the insurance agent will certainly not try to sell that to you.

The insurance agent may try to sell a Rechtsschutzversicherung to you, as you worry about having to go to court. Don't buy it. It's expensive and pretty useless for almost all people. Going to court is reasonably cheap in Germany.

  • Please change police->policy. Stupid software doesn't allow me to do it because only two characters change. – gnasher729 May 26 at 22:20
  • Thanks for the suggestion. – Janka May 26 at 22:27
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    As a comment, most ex-pats in Germany should probably have Haftpflichtversicherung. The expectation in general is that you will have it, so people are much more likely to sue (compared to, say, the UK) for actual damage - on the assumption that it will just be the insurance company that pays. When they find out that you don't, it will be too late. – Martin Bonner supports Monica May 27 at 12:25

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