Home Contents Insurance
Last updated: 08 April 2020 / by Sam Williams
No-one wants to spend their money on insurance, but if the worst happens, you’ll be happy you did. An accident, theft or mishap could leave you with thousands of euros or damage or loss, a consequence that does not even bear thinking about!
Home contents insurance provides peace of mind for your personal belongings, protecting you from potential loss. But what exactly is home content insurance and how does it work? Here is what you need to know.
What is Home Contents Insurance?
Home contents insurance is a type of cover that protects everything that’s inside your home rather than the building itself. It doesn’t cover anything that’s fixed, such as floors or walls, just the internal contents.
If you could imagine your home being turned upside down and shaken; everything that fell out is what home content covers!
It’s sometimes also known as household insurance in Germany, but don’t mix it up with homeowner’s insurance; that’s something completely different.
Home contents insurance covers your belongings against damage from storm damage, fire and water. It also protects against burglary or theft. If your items are stolen or they’re damaged in one of these ways, you can make a claim.
In Germany, insurance is taken very seriously, and everyone likes to protect themselves as much as possible. Home contents insurance isn’t mandatory, but it’s an excellent idea to have. In fact, you may even struggle to rent a furnished flat if you don’t have it.
If there was a fire and your furniture, electronics and clothes were all burnt, where would you find the thousands of pounds to replace them?
For most people, the cost would be unbearable, which is why home contents insurance is so important.
What is Covered?
Whether it’s a washing machine that leaks and destroys your kitchen or a candle that you forget to blow out, any damage to the personal contents of your home is covered by your insurance. This includes all of the following:
- Cash, valuables and jewelry
- Home appliances
- Clothing and shoes
- Marquees or antenna which is fixed to your property
As an added benefit, with Coya, your cover isn’t limited to inside your home. If an insured event occurs while your belongings are temporarily outside your property, you’ll still be covered.
If you look around your home and add up the value of all of the above items, it’s easy to see how it would be incredibly expensive to replace everything if it were lost. Whether it’s a house fire that destroys everything or a leak that ruins your electronics, home contents insurance is an invaluable type of protection for your possessions.
Coya is one of the prefered home contents insurers for expats in Germany, providing an English-speaking service and affordable cover. Their home contents insurance can also be extended to include:
- Bike cover. This is an add-on that includes protection for bikes when they are in a public space. Coya also offers a dedicated bike theft insurance, sold separately.
- Broken glass. This could include windows, glass furniture, terrariums and aquariums, and glass-ceramic cookers. Cover extends to the delivery and installation, where appropriate, such as with windows.
This extra protection is in addition to the standard home contents insurance and must be specially selected when the cover is taken out.
There are three levels of cover with Coya so you can select the one which best suits your needs. Upgrades include extra protection against phishing, theft of bags, trick theft in your home, and theft in the workplace. The full terms and conditions include an easy comparison table so you can see which type of cover is included and any limits which apply.
What Types of Hazard are Covered?
Home contents insurance will cover a range of different hazards, including:
- Storm and hail
- Water damage
- Burglary and theft
This applies to your possessions, whether they are inside your home or temporarily with you outside.
This means that should any of your belongings become damaged or are stolen; you will be covered under your home contents insurance.
As part of its extended cover, Coya also provides the option to upgrade to include gross negligence. This means that if the loss were your fault, a claim could still be paid. This doesn’t include deliberate actions to cause damage, but accidental loss that could have been preventable if you had acted differently. An example of this would be causing a flood due to leaving a bath running, or lighting a candle and then leaving it unattended.
What Isn’t Covered?
Like any type of insurance, some things are excluded or not covered. For home contents insurance, the following aren’t covered:
- Items which are permanently fixed in position, such as floors and walls
- Items which are not protected by a locked, secure door, such as belongings on a balcony
- Items which are temporarily in another confined space, such as a locker or a hotel (cover can be extended with a booster)
- Motor vehicles and trailers
- Watercraft and aircraft
Standard exclusions on home contents insurance include:
- Damage which was caused intentionally
- Nuclear energy
- Storm surges, avalanche, volcanic eruption, groundwater, backwater, flooding, ground subsidence, earthquake, snow pressure or landslide
- Dry and wet rot
If you choose to take out the additional glass cover with Coya, the following are excluded:
- Solar panels
- Electronic device displays, such as laptops, TVs and mobile phones
- Items which were damaged prior to the claim being made
How Much Can I Claim For?
Unlike some other types of insurance, home contents insurance covers the replacement value rather than the value of the item at the time you experienced the loss.
For example, if your laptop was rather old and out of date, its current value may be very little, making a claim virtually worthless. Home contents insurance pays what it would cost to replace the laptop, which means you can buy a new one. This type of cover is much more useful as it values the item in a way that enables the loss to be replaced.
There will be an overall maximum claim limit on your policy; this is known as the sum insured. You can choose the sum insured when you take out the policy. The greater the sum insured, the higher the premium but beware setting it too low, or else you may not have enough coverage.
Coya provides a rough guide to the level of sum insured you might need based on your property. However, everyone will have slightly different needs, and if you have lots of expensive items, you may need to increase the suggested amount.
There may also be restrictions or limitations on how much you can claim for any single item. This cap is often dependent on the type of cover you have chosen.
For example, jewelry kept outside a safe deposit box is subject to maximum claim value of €10,000, €20,000 or €40,000, depending on whether you have Basic, Plus or Premium cover.
Does Home Contents Insurance Only Cover the Cost of Replacement Items?
If you’ve suffered a loss, you may incur many expenses in addition to replacing the actual items. Although you may need to replace your belongings, there may be other more urgent costs that will need to be paid.
Following are all also included:
- Hotel, storage and transport costs
- Costs for changing the lock
- Repair costs for damage to the building (restrictions apply)
- Clearing, movement and protections costs
- Damage averting and damage reduction costs
- Costs for the ascertainment of loss
- Costs for the excess consumption of electricity, gas and water
- Costs for data recovery
- Phone costs after a burglary
- Moving costs following damage
- Cancellation or return from a holiday trip
- Costs to replace driving licenses, identity documents and credit cards
- Veterinary expenses
- Additional costs due to price increases
- Additional costs for energetic modernization of household expenses
- Security measures
- Additional costs due to technological progress
- Costs for psychological help
The terms and conditions contain a fuller description of each of these elements of protection, plus any restrictions which apply.
Choosing Coya for your Home Contents Insurance
Coya provides a range of insurance products for the German market, including dog liability, private liability plus bike and e-bike theft.
Affordable and easy-to-use, they are a proper provider for ex-pats moving to Germany as they offer the complete service in English. This includes a website, policy terms, an app and customer service, all in the English language.
You could complete the whole procedure with just a few clicks and claims are made similarly. For home contents insurance, they offer multiple levels of cover with additional upgrades, allowing you to customize the policy to your own individual needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are homeowners insurance and home contents insurance the same thing?
No. Homeowner’s insurance covers the structural building while home contents insurance covers what’s inside it. If you own your property, you will need both types of insurance.
What is a sum insured?
The sum insured refers to the total amount you can claim for any single event. Most home contents insurance claims will be small, with losses only affecting a few items but in the event of a large and devastating event, you may need to claim for widespread losses. This is when the total sum insured is more likely to be relevant as your total claim value can not exceed the sum insured.
Do any other limits apply?
If there are any individual limits on the value of an item, they will be specified clearly in the terms and conditions. Limits typically apply for items such as cash, jewelry and valuables, and there may be a cap on costs that can be claimed, such as hotel expenses. The full list of restrictions is available in the policy terms. The limits are higher for Plus and Premium plans. In some cases, the limit is entirely removed on Premium plans.
Is my bike covered?
Your bike will be covered against basic risks while inside your home, but to extend the cover to public spaces, you will need to include the bike add-on.
Are my items only covered while in the home?
Your items are insured while they’re in the home and temporarily located outside the home. The Coya policy defines temporary as any period of less than three months.
This period can be extended to 6 or 12 months by upgrading the cover to Plus or Premium. Bikes are an exception as the add-on must be specified for them to be insured outside the home.
Protect your Belongings Today
Home contents insurance is a vital part of setting up home in Germany, protecting your items against mishaps or theft. No matter whether you live in a small apartment or a large house, home contents insurance is essential to protect your belongings.
Getting home contents insurance in Germany doesn’t have to be difficult.
Coya offers comprehensive cover at affordable prices, with 100% online entirely and in English.