Occupational disability insurance

Have you thought about protecting yourself against the financial risks of occupational disability? Research shows that every fourth person will become occupationally incapacitated in the course of his or her working life, which is testament to the fact that no one is immune from serious injury, being struck by a debilitating illness or being involved in an unexpected accident.

This is why it is incredibly important to seriously consider incorporating some form of occupational disability insurance, otherwise known in Germany as Berufsunfähigkeitsversicherung (BU), into your health insurance coverage in the unfortunate event you are no longer able to work.

Occupational disability insurance

What occupational disability insurance options are available?

Luckily, you can obtain basic coverage without breaking the bank, and the peace of mind you get in return far outweighs the increase in your contribution. Here are some of the most common options available:

Full Protection = BU

First Choice: Comprehensive coverage (= Berufsunfähigkeitsversicherung)

This is the all-around worry-free solution, in German short “BU-Rente”. Whatever the reason, accident or illness or loss of physical strength, the pension is paid up to the agreed final age if you have been unable to work for 6 months at a time or are not expected to return to work for longer than 6 months. If necessary, an immediate one-time payout is also due and in some products a reintegration aid is provided for, if one should find back to work after some time via rehabilitation programs. This further coverage is expensive, but a very good fallback.

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Mirja Lundehn - Co-Founder of KLforExpats Mirja Lundehn – Independent insurance broker

Co-founder of KLforExpats and licensed insurance expert

Intelligent alternatives or modifications

1. Accident insurance (Unfallversicherung)

Did you know that every year, approximately 9 million accidents occur in Germany? This type of coverage is ideal if you can not afford full comprehensive insurance, but allows you to insure yourself against injury or illness caused by a sudden accident. Contributions start from as little as €20-30 a month and can be paid out both as a lump sum or as an ongoing pension.

2. Dread Disease Coverage (Schwere-Krankheiten-Vorsorge)

This type of coverage pays a lump sum to anyone who has experienced a serious health issue or disease such as cancer, a heart attack or stroke. The lump sum is intended to help with both the loss of income, as well with expensive medication or treatment.

3. Basic Ability Protection (Grundfähigkeitsversicherung)

This type of coverage focuses on your basic abilities which, if lost or impaired, create personal hardship regardless of whether you are still able to work or not. This includes things like your ability to see, hear, sit, walk and think (in the event that your memory or focus is impacted, for instance). Often, this kind of coverage is tailored to the work you do.

4. Multi-risk insurance

Multi-risk insurance allows you to take elements from each of the above options and create a bespoke option that suits both your specific health and labor needs.