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Home insurance - important points to protect your building.

If you only keep a few valuables in your apartment and are rather sparingly furnished, you do not necessarily need household insurance. And if you are sure that you can replace your household effects in the event of a burglary, you don't necessarily need them either.

But if you want to be on the safe side and also own valuable household items, you should consider such a policy.

After all, it can be very expensive if, for example, all household items are to be purchased again after fire damage. And even those who have enough money on the high edge or live very frugally benefit from home contents insurance.

Although it does not save the insured person the time it takes to get their household items back, it does at least save them from sacrificing their savings.

The most important facts about home insurance at a glance.

  • It covers the costs incurred due to vandalism damage in the household and replaces the replacement value. It also pays if the home furnishings are destroyed by fire.
  • The costs depend on the size of the house/apartment and where you live. If very high quality items belong to the household items, the sum insured can also be increased.
  • Bicycles can also be insured upon request. Then the insurance cover also applies outside of the storage rooms belonging to the apartment.
  • In some regions, it can also make sense to add elementary damage to the insurance cover. This covers, for example, flood damage to the home furnishings.

Compare home insurance.

The tariffs for home contents insurance vary greatly depending on the provider - which is also due to the fact that the scope of services of the policies can vary significantly. It, therefore, makes sense to first carry out an offer comparison before concluding the contract as soon as the key data for the scope of insurance have been determined

What is insured with the contents insurance?

The household contents insurance insures the property of the insurance customer in his apartment and the associated rooms (cellar, garage, extensions, terraces). This includes household appliances, furniture, decorative items such as carpets, entertainment electronics, and clothing, but also valuables such as jewelry.

The kitchen equipment is also insured - provided it can be expanded again. In each case, the new value is replaced. Therefore, there is also talk of the replacement value. The insurance also covers the costs for the disposal of damaged household items.

Even bicycles by members of the household are usually insured - but the insurance only comes on for replacement if they have been stolen from an apartment belonging to closed storage rooms (basement, garage) and were also connected there. If bicycles are also to be insured against theft outside the insured premises, a surcharge must be paid for this. This insurance module is also known as the bicycle clause; alternatively, separate bicycle insurance is an option.

Good to know: Depending on the provider, the insurance coverage sometimes also includes household items that are stolen from the car or from the hotel room of the insured while on vacation. This component of insurance coverage is also known as external insurance.

Attention! The external insurance is usually limited to a maximum amount and only applies to household effects that are outside the insured home for a maximum of three months. A special case exists when children belonging to the household move out and move into a room in a shared apartment, for example, due to an education away from home. However, if you set up your own household, it must be insured separately.

The insurance cover applies in the following cases.

Burglary / robbery.

Whether a break-in while on vacation or a robbery: the insurance covers the consequences so that stolen household items such as an expensive television can be replaced. The scope of insurance also applies to damage caused by vandalism - for example to furniture.

In the event of damage from fire, tap water or storms.

If, for example, furniture is damaged by leaking tap water, the insurance will pay for the replacement of the furniture. The renewal of floor coverings that can no longer be used due to such damage is also included in the scope of insurance.

What should you pay attention to when choosing home insurance?

The insurance premium alone should not be the decisive criterion when choosing home insurance. The following modules are particularly useful and should be observed:

Gross negligence.

A candle burns in the living room, is it forgotten when going to bed and there is fire damage? Then the insurance usually does not start at all or only to a limited extent, not one, as gross negligence. However, if the insurance includes the "waiver of the objection of gross negligence" , the damage will be compensated.

The extent of fire damage.

Usually, damage caused by overvoltage and damage caused by smoke and soot formation, scorching or scorching is not covered. However, additional insurance cover for such fire damage can optionally be selected. Since overvoltage damage can cause expensive damage to high-quality computers or hi-fi systems, this module makes sense if such devices are available in the household.

The following modules may also be considered, but are not important for everyone.

Scope of insurance for valuables.

If you keep expensive jewelry at home or own valuable antiques, for example, you should check to what extent these valuables are also insured. As a rule, there is a limit of up to 20 percent of the sum insured. However, this can optionally be increased for an additional charge.

Water damage insurance.

This module is not a must but can be an option for owners of aquariums or waterbeds, as damage caused by leaking water is not considered to be tap water damage. The insurance covers damage that has occurred in the insured's home, but not for consequential damage in neighboring apartments. The personal liability insurance of the causer pays for the regulation of such damage.

How much should the insurance cover be?

Insurance coverage is based on the sum insured, which is also known as the sum insured. The damage will be compensated up to this amount. It usually arises from the fact that a certain amount - usually 600 to 850 euros - is set per square meter of living space. Multiplied by the size of the apartment, this gives the sum insured. This can be between 52,000 and 68,000 euros for an 80 square meter apartment.

To prevent underinsurance, either the sum insured can be selected according to the insurer's formula or the value of the contents is precisely determined and communicated to the insurer in the form of a tabular overview. In the event of damage, this valuation serves as evidence that there was no underinsurance.

In order to be able to provide proof of the replacement value in the event of damage, it makes sense to keep at least the invoices for expensive purchases. If a lot of expensive furniture or other high-quality household items are added during the contract period, the sum insured should be checked and increased if necessary. This is another way of avoiding underinsurance.

Important to know: If you move, the insurer must be informed, otherwise the insurance cover does not apply to the new apartment. Both apartments are insured for a transitional period - usually two months. Whether the insurance cover is cheaper or more expensive depends on the new place of residence and the size of the apartment. If this leads to a higher premium, there is a special right of termination of one month after the premium increase becomes known.

How do you change home insurance?

If the home contents insurance is to be changed, it is advisable to first take stock: Is the previous sum insured still sufficient or have expensive purchases been made in the meantime? Accordingly, various offers should be obtained using a comparison portal.

Before taking out the new policy, it should be checked when the insurance can be changed at the earliest. Cancellation is usually possible at the end of the insurance year. How long the ordinary notice period depends on why the notice is being given. If it is simply a matter of changing the provider, a notice period of three months applies to the end of the contract.

The insurer must be notified of the termination in writing - either by post or by email. For this purpose, comparison portals and some providers offer a switching service using a cancellation form that can be easily filled out. Sometimes the provider sends the cancellation directly to the previous insurer, sometimes the form can be used to print out the cancellation and send it to the previous insurer yourself.

What is an extended home contents insurance?

In general, household contents insurance is so-called linked insurance because it takes effect when there are different risks. We are talking about an extended household contents insurance if the scope of insurance is supplemented by certain components - for example, natural hazard insurance, bicycle clause, or glass breakage insurance.

What role does glass breakage insurance play?

Damage caused by the broken glass is usually not automatically covered by the household contents insurance. If the scope of insurance is to be expanded to include glass breakage insurance, the providers charge an extra charge.

Glass insurance is not always necessary, but it can be useful for anyone who owns an elaborately polished wall mirror. Even if the apartment has a winter garden or there are large windows, this insurance cover can be worth considering. Important to know: The glass breakage insurance does not cover damage caused, for example, by neighboring children playing football. The parents' liability insurance would be responsible for this.

Who is bicycle insurance for?

If bicycles are to be insured against theft outside of the storage rooms belonging to the apartment, there are two options:

  • Extension of household contents insurance to include the bicycle clause.

For an additional charge, household contents insurance can be extended to include theft protection for bicycles. This is usually based on a certain percentage of the sum insured - usually one to three percent.

  • Separate.

bicycle insurance For very high-quality bicycles, it can sometimes be worth considering taking out separate bicycle insurance. This insurance coverage is usually more expensive, but it is also more extensive and, for example, also replaces damage that has occurred in an accident. It must be noted, however, that it only applies to one bicycle, whereas the bicycle clause applies to all bicycles that belong to the household.

Who needs natural hazard insurance?

The contents insurance usually does not cover damage caused by natural hazards. If you want to ensure your inventory against damage from floods, earthquakes, and floods, you must also take out natural hazard insurance.

Whether this makes sense depends on where you live, as the probability of damage from natural forces varies from region to region. However, the higher the risk of natural hazards, the more expensive the insurance cover is. In many cases, the insurance conditions also provide for a deductible.

Does a household contents insurance apply in the event of burglary or theft?

If an apartment is broken into and theft and vandalism occur, the insurer will reimburse the damage at replacement value. The situation is different in the case of theft outside the home: If, for example, a handbag and cash are stolen in the restaurant, the insurance will not cover the damage. If, on the other hand, it was stolen under threat of violence, it is considered robbery - and in this case, the insurer pays.

Is it possible to deduct home insurance from tax?

Since household contents insurance is property insurance and it does not serve to cover health and assets, it is usually not tax-deductible. An exception applies, however, if there is a tax-approved study in the household: In this case, the costs can be claimed proportionally.

An example: The insurance covers an apartment with 100 square meters of living space and a study of 10 square meters. Then a tenth of the insurance premium can be claimed on the tax return as business expenses (self-employed), business expenses (employees), or special expenses (for vocational training) depending on the use of the room.