Let’s be honest: There are many more interesting topics than contents insurance. Insurance in general is one of those things you keep putting off until you have to talk about it.
But in addition to personal liability insurance (a.k.a ‘Privathaftpflichtversicherung’), contents insurance (a.k.a ‘Hausratversicherung’) is one of the most important insurances everyone – not only expats – should have in Germany. It’s one of the basics. Suppose something happened to your beloved laptop or that flat screen you’ve been saving up for — these would fall under contents insurance, and you’re protected against damage in any unfortunate scenarios.
In the following article we’ll cover these topics:
- What is contents insurance?
- Do I need contents insurance?
- Which items are insured?
- When does contents insurance cover me?
- Additional protection to play it safe
- What is not insured
- How to get contents insurance
- Get insured and make an impact
When you move into a new apartment, you start out by buying some cheap and essential items, but eventually you buy things that are a bit nicer. These items (a.k.a inventory) are probably worth a lot more than you think! Contents insurance also known as ‘home contents insurance’ or ‘household contents insurance’ protects all of your possessions from damage or loss.
So if your washing machine floods your house and ruins your furniture and carpets while you’re out at a Gerhard Richter exhibition, this insurance will cover that damage. Not only does it protect you from any damage, but contents insurance also protects you from stolen items in the case of robbery or theft. In addition, some insurers offer add-ons that will keep you safe in case your expensive smartphone gets stolen while you’re hanging out at your favourite café.
In plain English:
It covers all the things that are normally kept in your home and that belong to you. However, the Lemonade contents insurance also protects you if you are travelling somewhere else in the world (for a maximum period of 3 months).
In contrast to car insurance, which is compulsory for all owners of motor vehicles, home contents insurance and personal liability insurance are voluntary insurance policies. Nevertheless, some rental contracts claim to require proof that you have contents insurance. If such a clause is included in the rental agreement, it is legally ineffective according to the German Renters’ Association. In other words: Your landlord can’t actually demand you have it.
That said, this particular insurance is useful and worthwhile! It provides a welcome safety net in case of an emergency.
What matters for contents insurance is not the value of a single item, but the overall value of all your belongings.
Imagine turning your apartment upside down and looking at all the objects (furniture, carpets, clothes, electronic devices, bicycles, musical instruments, and so on) that fall out of it. Now imagine that you have to replace all these things because your apartment has been destroyed by fire or water. This would not only cause a great deal of stress, but could cost tens of thousands of euros. But hopefully it will never come to that!
It is already frustrating enough if your locked bicycle is stolen from the subway station, or if someone breaks into your home and steals your laptop… You don’t need any more aggravation, and home contents insurance is here to help.
What items are insured?
Contents insurance covers things that are normally kept in your home and belong to you from damage or loss. In the event of damage, it pays for the repair or replacement value of your item.
Importantly, Lemonade will not reimburse you for less just because your damaged item is used. The replacement value of your items is the decisive factor here for many possessions, including:
- Jewelry (watches, engagement rings, necklaces, etc.)
- Designer items (such as handbags)
- Furnishings (furniture, carpets, etc.)
- Musical Instruments
- Electronic devices (TV, laptops, phones etc.)
Tip: The Lemonade standard policy automatically includes items up to a value of 5,000 euros each. If you own a super-light carbon mountain bike or a high-end SLR camera that costs more than that, you can easily add extra coverage for them to your policy. This way you always stay flexible and only pay to cover things you actually own.
What do you need for such extra coverage? Just a photo of each high-priced item, and an invoice or appraisal for it.
If you don’t have that documentation on hand right now, don’t worry! After getting a Lemonade policy you have a temporary protection for two weeks for these items. So you have a bit of time to get your records in order and submit them to us.
It not only protects you in the event of damage, but also covers you in the event of a major accident:
Burst pipes & leaking appliances
For example, a contents insurance policy will cover the costs of your carpet if it is damaged by your overflowing washing machine
Burglary & vandalism
It also pays for stolen and damaged items during a burglary.
In addition, some contents insurance policies also pay for temporary living costs if your own home becomes unlivable for various reasons. Suppose an electrical outlet starts a fire and you have to leave your home temporarily, relocating to a hotel. The insurance can help you cover those additional costs! Some insurance providers even pay for extra, related costs, such as food and parking fees.
With Lemonade the following causes of damage are insured:
- Fire & smoke
- Burglary, robbery & vandalism
- Windstorm & hail
- Water damage caused by burst pipes or a leaking appliance
You can also find more information in our Policy 2.0, a radically simplified, modernized, and digitized insurance policy for the 21st century. This means that you can read it and actually understand it — without any hidden exclusions or legalese!
With Lemonade, coverage can be adapted to your individual needs. If you would like to insure your beloved bicycle or laptop against theft, you can activate the anti-theft package (from 2 euros/month). Whether you are sitting in your favorite café or on holiday at the North Sea, with this package your things are insured against theft—everywhere and anywhere.
With the add-on Extreme Weather Package, you’ll get even more coverage. You can use it to insure your belongings against damage or loss due to lightning (including overvoltage due to lightning), flooding, weather-related backwater, earthquakes, subsidence, landslides, snow pressure, avalanches, and volcanic eruptions.
It can be frustrating if you don’t know exactly what is and is not covered by your policy, especially if you expect something to be covered and you find out that it isn’t. To spare you these annoyances, here is a list of all the things that are not covered by your policy:
- Cash, pets, firearms
- Items that you use mainly for your profession
- Objects that you have entrusted to others or that do not belong to you
- Items that you own illegally
- Items that are usually covered by other insurance policies, such as motor vehicles, pets, boats, hunting or professional insurance. Therefore, damage to your car, work equipment such as your laptop or professional camera equipment are not covered.
- Damage that you have intentionally caused
- Damage caused by war, terrorism, civil unrest, or nuclear energy
The good news is that you don’t need much to get German contents insurance—just your address and a solid estimate of how much coverage you will need.
A rule of thumb to make your calculations:
Again, imagine turning your flat upside down and looking at all the objects that fall out – i.e. all objects that are movable and are not connected to the apartment itself. Now, you would just estimate the total value of all of these items. This total value is your overall coverage.
If your lifestyle changes—or you get a lot more stuff—and you want to adjust your policy to fit your new needs, don’t worry! With Lemonade’s Live Policy you can update your coverage directly in the app—wherever you are, with just a few clicks.
Insured with Lemonade in just a few seconds
In many cases, buying insurance can be a headache and filing a claim can require lots of effort and pages of paperwork. This is exactly why we at Lemonade have made insurance simple, fast, and straightforward.
With the help of Maya, our charming artificial-intelligence bot, you can do everything quickly and easily right from your couch. Just answer a few questions and get a quote in less than two minutes. You can also edit your quote and customize your coverage to fit your individual needs before you purchase a policy.
Who is covered?
You can also add your children or your significant other to the policy. (You don’t have to be married, as long as you live together.) Just click on the option that applies to you when you create your quote. However, any roommates you live with will have to get their own insurance, and they won’t be covered by your plan.
Lemonade is an insurance company unlike any you’ve seen before, designed for the 21st century. Our business model is based on making a social impact. We believe in generating good karma by balancing profit and purpose. One way we do this is through our Giveback program, in which we donate a portion of profits to causes our users choose.
Lemonade Inc. is a Public Benefit Corporation and certified B-Corp. Last year, our community helped fund things like water systems in Africa, meal deliveries to thousands of people in need, and the construction of homes for families in Central America. We take a fixed percentage of the premiums paid, then use the rest of the money to pay claims — and after that, we donate the remaining balance to charities.
When a claim is made, there is never a conflict of interest, because we don’t make a profit by rejecting a claim. That means that Lemonade’s users are able to protect their own belongings while doing good for others.