Many German landlords require tenants to have Hausratversicherung—known in English as household insurance, contents insurance, or renters’ insurance. But what does it cover? And do you really need it? We answer some commonly asked questions.
Imagine this: King Kong goes on a rampage through your city. With his monster-gorilla strength, he rips the roof off of your home and turns it upside down. All of your belongings fall to the ground.
This is certainly a predicament. But you know what? You won’t have to go in the red to replace all of that stuff—everything that fell out of your home is covered by your household insurance policy.
Generally speaking, household insurance covers everything in your house that’s not part of the structure. This includes:
- Furniture, rugs, carpets, and decorations;
- Electrical appliances;
- Curtains and blinds;
- Cash and valuables like jewelry (in limited amounts).
When can I ask for compensation?
Most household insurance policies cover a wide variety of incidents (known as “insured events”) that result in damage to or loss of property. Coverage under the Feather household policy includes:
- Damage by fire and lightning; electrical surges; explosions; civil unrest; and strikes;
- Loss of or damage to property caused by burglary and attempted burglary and robbery;
- Damage caused by tapwater and leaks (e.g. if a pipe bursts and damages your stereo system, you’ll be reimbursed);
- Damage caused by acts of nature, including storms and hail.
In many cases, you can also be compensated for costs related to insured events, including:
- Hotel stays, if the damage renders your home unusable;
- The cost of changing locks (e.g. following a burglary);
- Transport or travel costs (e.g. if you need to return from a trip in order to handle your affairs following an insured event).
Are my belongings insured even when they’re not in my home?
For the most part, your policy covers property inside the insured location on your contract. But in some cases, it may also cover theft of belongings that are temporarily outside the home (e.g. if your gym bag or purse is stolen at your office or fitness studio).
What isn’t covered?
In most cases, damage to the property structure itself is not covered. For example, let’s say you accidentally leave your window open and rainwater seeps in and damages your TV. Your household insurance will cover the cost of the TV—but it won’t pay for the water-damaged floorboards. (If you’re a renter, then you’ll likely need personal liability insurance for that!) Your household insurance also won’t cover your car or other motor vehicles.
Why do I need household insurance?
Sure, it’s unlikely you’ll get a visit from King Kong anytime soon—but you never know. And the same can be said for the events that household insurance normally covers.
We hope you’ll never suffer losses in natural disasters, fires, or supersonic booms. (Yep, also an insured event!) But if you do, a good household insurance policy ensures you’ll be compensated so you can get your stuff—and your life—back as soon as possible.