In the field of insurances, there are two important themes: Health Insurance and civil liabilty insurance.
In Germany, everyone is required to have health insurance. In order to apply to a German university, you need to prove that you are insured. Requirements, tariffs and compensations can however vary.
This being the case, you must choose a health insurance plan. Please inform yourselves ahead of time!
As there are some things to consider when finding a health insurance, here is a short overview:
In Germany there are two types of health insurance: public and private insurance. Below the age of 30 and before completing 14 semesters of study, public insurance is obligatory.
More information on German health insurance and a (German) list of all public health insurances can be found here:
Proof of insurance must be attached to your university application.
Private insurance can only be granted in exceptional cases! Please note: If you have private insurance, you can no longer switch to public insurance during your studies!
If so, you can have your insurance verified with public health insurance in Germany. Please inform yourself in your home country on which documents you will require.
Furthermore, it may be that your insurance does not cover all costs, due to varying prices of treatment and services. Please find out exactly which services are fully covered. An additional insurance may be necessary.
Please note: Since the end of 2017, there are some new regulations:
There are now cases, in which you, being a EU or EEA student, have to be insured by a German Health Insurance:
- beginning of a student (sideline) job,
- beginning a paid internship,
- transfer of domicile to Germany.
Please get more detailed information at the Health Insurance Company in your country, especially which services of the health insurance are covered, and which NOT.
Perhaps your private home country health insurance may even be recognized as a replacement insurance in Germany.
Some students cannot take out public insurance if they fall into certain categories. For these groups, the Student Unions in Germany, the Union Versicherungsdienst and Hanse Merkur have worked out an offer that covers the following conditions:
You are a foreign citizen, temporarily residing in Germany and belong to the following groups:
- Participants of university preparative language courses
Owners of a note of authorization allowing enrollment in a university or preparative language course in Germany. (If you own this document, you will receive insurance protection for four weeks upon arrival. Enrollment must take place within this time.)
Graduates who have successfully completed their studies in Germany and are currently looking for work. Please note: The insurance only covers [up to 12 months] following graduation, even though graduates are legally allowed to search for work in Germany for 18 months! (Condition: You have been insured with the SKV Optimal or Basis tariff for a year. An extension is only possible with the SKV Optimal tariff.)
Stay-at-home spouses or children below the age of 18 belonging to insurance carriers.
In these cases the Union Versicherungsdienst and Hanse Merkur offer insurance at great conditions.
Insurance cancels automatically upon reaching the age of 46.
The maximum duration of insurance is five years.
More information can be found in this flyer or directly on the insurance home page:
Here you can find a little dictionary about many aspects of health insurance, sickness and doctor's visits in English (and German):
On the website of our parent organization, the German Student Union, you can find more informational pages on health insurance:
The following websites are commercial or private websites. For counseling there are no fees.
Please note our declaration concerning this matter at the bottom of the page.
http://www.germanyhis.com/ (German and English)
http://www.hiffs.de (German and English)
www.versicherungsmakler-muenchen.info (German and English)
www.transparent-beraten.de/versicherungen-in-deutschland/insurances-in-germany/ (German, English, Spanish and Italian).
Comparison portals can help you with which insurance to choose (both links in German):
A civil liability insurance is an optional insurance. You are not required to have it, but it is recommended. Civil liability insurance covers the cost of all damages caused by accident. As it is available at down to €45 a year, this insurance can be save you a lot of money.
Case example: You accidentally trip and knock down a vase, causing it to break. If you have civil liability insurance, the insurance covers the cost for repairing or replacing the vase. If you are not, you will have to pay for it yourself.
This may be bearable when it’s just a vase, but if you accidentally break a fellow student’s €2000 bike beyond repair, for example, you will likely be glad to have civil liability insurance.
More information (in German) can be found here: www.1averbraucherportal.de/versicherung/private-haftpflichtversicherung
Here is another page of the university of Mannheim with interesting facts about this insurance: www.uni-mannheim.de/welcomecenter/english/guidebook/insurance/liability_insurance/index.html.
* The Studentenwerk assumes no liability for the quality and the completeness of these recommendations. The accompanying links lead to information free of charge which the Studentenwerk thinks useful for the subject. The Studentenwerk would like to point out, however, that the operating agencies of the corresponding pages are commercial or private organisations. The Studentenwerk cannot enunciate a recommendation regarding services liable for costs which may be offered by a operating agency in addition to mere information. - Over and above this the disclaimer in the Impressum applies to all pages linked to within.