Protect against occupational disability

In this case, employees must make private provision. But there are a few things to consider when taking out appropriate insurance

Incapacitated? Insurance companies can take care of those affected - but the offer is huge

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No longer working, no longer practicing your profession, no longer earning any more money - the horror of all employees. Insurance can protect against financial disaster. But the offer is huge. What you should pay attention to when choosing and applying.

How do I get an overview?

"It's actually not easy," says Katharina Lawrence. She is an insurance expert at the Hessen consumer center in Frankfurt am Main. In principle, private disability insurance should offer pension payments if the insured person becomes unable to work. But every tariff defines "incapacitated" differently, explains Lawrence.

She advises comparing the offer with the current, non-binding recommendations of the Association of the German Insurance Industry. The tariff should at least correspond to them. In addition, the consumer advice centers provide information, including in a personal consultation. Another clue: the regular ratings from Stiftung Warentest.

Who needs the additional insurance?

Inability to work is not covered by the statutory pension. If the job can no longer be practiced due to an accident or illness, most employees and self-employed are at risk of financial ruin. Only a few can compensate for the loss of earned income with their own reserves.

In addition to personal liability insurance, experts therefore consider the so-called BU to be the most important private insurance. If possible, it should be completed at a young, healthy age. "Experience has shown that it becomes difficult to find affordable protection at the age of 50+," says Lawrence.

For whom is coverage essential?

Especially for professionals with creative or physically challenging activities. However, according to consumer advocate Lawrence, many of these professions are only insured at very high prices or in individual cases not at all. These include, for example, actors or roofers.

What should you pay attention to when submitting an application?

One of the biggest mistakes is not answering the health questions carefully enough. "Take your time," advises Lawrence. Every insurance company asks differently. "For one, you have to state all outpatient treatments over the past ten years, the other wants to know all illnesses. That includes those that have not been treated by a doctor, such as back pain."

In the event of an insured event at the latest, the insurer will check the information. If the customer has demonstrably provided incomplete information through gross negligence, there is a risk that the insurer will not have to pay. The rewards are lost. Only after ten years can the provider no longer refer to incorrect answers in the order.

What if the provider does not pay in the event of occupational disability?

"Make it clear to yourself that you may have to prove with the help of experts that you are incapable of working in terms of the specific conditions," says expert Lawrence. Especially when it comes to mental illness, insurance companies would at some point give up to fight for their claims, so their experience. "And the psyche is now one of the main reasons for all damage."

How high are the costs?

"For a young office worker, a policy can quickly cost a net wage a year," says Lawrence. Therefore always remember: You have to get the insurance on
can afford the entire contract period. In principle, the following applies: the riskier the job, the more expensive the insurance cover. Physically active people pay more than those who sit in the office. The prices can only be compared to someone who has several equivalent offers for his individual

How much should you insure yourself?

"The BU pension shouldn't be the only thing you should be able to make a living," recommends Lawrence. It is also important, for example, that the health insurance is covered - and possibly other ongoing protection costs such as term life insurance for the family. "There you are then with pensions from a minimum of 1500, better 1800 euros."

It also makes sense to choose the duration of the contract until you retire. Anyone who can no longer work in their early 50s has a lot of time to bridge until they retire. According to the German Pension Insurance, the amount of the average disability pension was recently under 800 euros per month.

Can the insurance be terminated early?

Basically yes. "But only customers who cancel around the middle of the term receive a tiny surrender value," says Lawrence. Anyone who quits at the end of the day does not receive any money. "Make it clear to yourself: after that you may not be able to sign a new contract," advises the expert.

Do you always get your money back?

If the BU is linked to a pension or capital life insurance, it is paid out according to the regular process. "As a consumer advice center, we usually do not recommend such types of insurance, as the benefits from such contracts have to be paid for," said Lawrence. This leads to significantly higher contributions.

Extra protection

These insurances can also be useful:

Private long-term care insurance

The risk of becoming a nursing case later is not small. The statutory long-term care insurance often does not cover everything. But only those who are already fundamentally covered should also invest in a daily care allowance, care cost or care pension insurance. The rates increase depending on the entry age.

Supplementary hospital insurance

Depending on the tariff, it covers special services such as single rooms, free choice of hospital or treatment by the head physician. Anyone who values ​​freedom of choice and peace in the event of a hospital stay - and can afford it - should invest here.

Foreign health insurance

Anyone who travels regularly should get one. Because the statutory health insurances do not pay for repatriation in the event of illness or accident.

Make sure that payment is made "in the medically sensible case", not in the "medically necessary". In the case of the latter, transport is only paid for if the insured cannot be adequately cared for at the holiday destination. In most European countries this is not the case. “Medically sensible”, on the other hand, means that the prospect of a cure at home is better because patients do not need an interpreter, for example. It is best to always seek independent advice