Liability insurance also pays within the family?
You visit your daughter and sit comfortably on the couch. Krsch! That was the expensive designer glasses. Now it should be Liability insurance stand up for the damage! This is how you would think. But is that so? We explain whether and when liability insurance also pays damage within the family.
Liability claims can happen faster than you think. This means the damage that they cause to others or to the property of others. The insurer divides liability claims into personal injury, property damage and financial loss. Most of the damage amounts are in the smaller three-digit range. However, if people are injured, surgery and treatment costs can quickly lead to higher sums that cannot be settled with a single payment.
Typical cases of damage that could fall within the area of liability insurance:
- Your daughter moves out of her parents’ apartment and you help with the move. When you carry the TV, it slips out of your hand and falls on the stairs so unhappily that it stops working afterwards.
- You ride a bike on the bike path and overtake a cyclist. In doing so, you overlook a parked car that you scratch and sweep the mirror while the driver watches in amazement. What if the driver is your sister who lives with you in the household?
- You go on a bike ride with the whole family. Because of your rapid overtaking on the country road, your spouse falls off the bike so unhappily that he has to be operated on. Your private liability insurance pays the operating costs here?
Who is covered by liability insurance
In general, liability insurance is there to protect the policyholder from high claims for damages from third parties. So she would pay if a third party had legitimate financial claims on me for causing damage.
If you are looking for liability insurance for your entire family, we recommend a family tariff. So you only need one insurance contract for both spouse and all children. This also applies if the spouses do not live permanently in a common household. Family tariffs have slightly higher contributions because they offer all-round protection. For singles there are of course cheaper tariffs with good benefits. Therefore, you should also be careful here when choosing a tariff.
When are children included in the liability insurance??
Children are generally covered by family liability insurance until the end of their studies or initial training. As soon as you are married, start a second apprenticeship or study, you need your own liability contract. It does not matter how many children you have. You don’t need an extra contract here. However, they should pay attention to whether damage caused by children who are incapacitated, i.e. children under the age of 7, are also covered. As a parent, you are not responsible for damage caused by an infant. However, there are tariffs that would pay in this case too.
When does liability insurance pay within the family?
Liability insurance pays for all damage caused by the entire family to third parties. However, this only applies if the damage was not caused intentionally. What that means? If you e.g. out of anger at someone intentionally damaging their property and demanding compensation from you, liability insurance generally does not cover this. It is also irrelevant here whether it is a family member or a stranger. But what about insurance coverage among each other? Liability insurance also pays here?
Here is what you need to know about family liability:
- The insurance claim generally excludes liability within a community of insured persons. That is, the damage that the policyholders of an insurance contract would cause among themselves.
- In the event of damage within the community of insured persons under a contract, liability insurance does not pay because the party causing the damage would also be the victim.
- Claims that could arise from one another within the domestic community are excluded from the insurance cover according to the AHB (General Insurance Conditions for Liability Insurance) of the General Association of the German Insurance Industry.
- Children who are no longer registered at their parents ‘place of residence but still have their own room in their parents’ house would no longer belong to this domestic community. Liability insurance for the damage caused by the parents to the children would have to step in here.
Attention: However, there are certainly insurance tariffs for liability insurance that also pay for the damage of insured persons among themselves. However, this only applies to personal injury and property damage, not financial loss.
Who belongs to the domestic community?
These are all persons insured in the contract who work together in one household, i.e. live in an apartment. According to the GDV’s AHB:
- Life partner in the sense of the life partnership law
- Parents and children
- Grandparents and grandchildren
- Foster parents and children
Our recommendation for liability insurance within the family
In terms of mutual liability within the family, it is generally important to belong to a household. Most liability insurance would not pay here. However, there are tariffs that could possibly cause property damage and personal injury within the insurance community. If damage has happened within the family and you are not sure whether it covers liability insurance, you should definitely clarify this with your broker or contact your insurance company directly.
There may also be controversial questions when a family B. lives with the grandparents and parents-in-law in an apartment building. However, it is a fallacy that one cannot be held liable for damage within this family of an apartment building. According to § 823 BGB there is no disclaimer for damage within the family. In general, you need your own liability insurance as soon as you run your own household, stop studying and are no longer in training. This is the only way you can be sure that you are not out in the cold with third-party claims for damages.
Katja Nauck was Social Media Manager at Friendsurance until November 2016 and was responsible for the content on the Friendsurance blog. She already gained experience as a blog editor and social media manager for various startups and publishers.
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