Damage caused by children in private liability insurance

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Our private liability insurance protects you from financial claims in case you are responsible for causing damage. But how does it work in the case of damage caused by infants - whether your own, adopted children or grandchildren? Which of your insurance benefits can you rely on?

In everyday life, things sometimes happen very quickly. One moment of inattention and you have already caused an accident. The consequences are frequently impossible to overlook and can threaten your economic existence. If you have children, the danger is even greater. Children often do not understand the consequences and the scope of their actions and are more likely to cause damage than adults. In such cases, parents could be held liable for the damage caused by their children.

Therefore, family liability insurance that protects you and your family from financial claims for such damages is not only sensible, but virtually secures your existence.

Is my child covered by my private liability insurance?

If you have chosen private liability insurance on our family tariff, any children who live with you in the household are automatically covered.

At least one of the conditions must be fulfilled for co-insurance:

  • Your child is underage and unmarried
  • He or she is in school or vocational training. This includes, for example, commercial training or studies.
  • He or she does voluntary service during or after training, for example a voluntary year.

If your child has a recognised care level (at least care level 2), he or she is also insured on the family tariff for an unlimited period of time. This means that your child is also insured under private family liability insurance, even after reaching legal age or after moving to an assisted living facility. You can find detailed information on this in the general terms and conditions.

Private liability insurance for families not only covers your biological children but also children who live with you in your household or are registered with the authorities at the same address as you.

The insurance speaks here of the so-called extended group of persons, who are included on your private liability insurance. These can be:

  • Your married children
  • Your grandchildren
  • Your siblings who are still minors

Illegitimate children also belong to the extended circle of people. They are therefore also protected by family liability insurance from the financial consequences of damage they have caused. The same conditions apply to illegitimate children as to your legitimate children.

Minors / Children over 18

According to § 2 of the German Civil Code (BGB), legal age comes into effect at the age of 18.
Thus, a minor is a person who is not yet 18 years old. Minors are especially protected by law and have limited rights and obligations.

Is my child insured to the same extent as I am?

The sums insured for damages caused by your child are the same as the sums you are insured for. For personal injury, property damage and financial losses, the insured sum is 30 million euros each. This means that you and your offspring are well protected against financial claims in the event of damage.

What do I have to consider when co-insuring my children during their education?

Your child enjoys the same insurance protection by being included in your family liability insurance:

  • while being in school
  • during waiting periods between school and higher education
  • during a voluntary year before starting an apprenticeship or higher education
  • during the completion of various stages of training.

If your child marries during these periods or is employed in an activity subject to compulsory insurance, co-insurance ends at the time of marriage or the start of employment. However, the supplementary insurance period of 6 months also applies here.

Is my disabled child also included in my private liability insurance?

Of course your disabled child, be it a mental or physical disability, is included in your private family liability insurance. You will find an overview of all persons who are included in your family liability insurance in our general terms and conditions.

If your disabled child causes damage, your insurance will protect you and your child from the financial consequences of compensation. Your unmarried disabled children are covered by family liability insurance as long as their need for care is acknowledged and they live in your household.

If, for example, your disabled child moves to an institution for the disabled after reaching legal age, he or she is still covered by family liability insurance. In this case, however, your child must be recognised as being at least care level 2.

My 5-year-old child has caused damage. Do I have to pay for it?

Younger children are often the cause of damage without being aware of the consequences. In rough play, dishes break or carelessness in traffic causes an accident.
The legislator excludes liability for children up to the age of 7 years due to incapacity for tort. 
This means that even if your children have caused the damage and you have fulfilled your duty of supervision, neither your child nor you are liable for the damage caused.
The legislator speaks of the incapacity for tort in children here .

Incapacity for tort in children § 828 BGB

Article 828 regulates the incapacity of children to commit torts.

  • Children who have not reached the age of 7 are incapable of tort. 
  • In road traffic, children who have not reached the age of 10 are incapable of tort.

Coya's private liability insurance has explicitly included liability insurance for children who are incapable of tort.
That means: If your 5-year-old child, who is incapable of tort, injures grandma, your personal liability insurance in Germany will settle the damage on your explicit request - even if you are not legally obliged to do so.
There is, however, one problematic basic requirement so that parents are not liable for their children according to the law - there must be no violation of the duty of supervision.
Therefore, the following applies: whenever the child has caused damage to property or persons, the parents are liable in the event of a breach of the duty of supervision.
According to various court rulings, the legislator is of the opinion that a violation of the duty of supervision is present if the persons supervising could have expected or even known that their child would cause damage.

Violation of the duty of supervision

In the event of a breach of the duty of supervision with underage children, the supervisor is usually liable for any damage caused by the child.
However, the legislator has not set any concrete guidelines as to when a supervisor violates the duty of supervision. 
The following applies here: Smaller damages are often covered by private liability insurance without a major examination. In the event of a high claim for damages, whether the duty of supervision has been violated will be thoroughly checked.

From what age do my children have to insure themselves?

The co-insurance of your children ends when none of the requirements for inclusion in your German family liability insurance are met.

  • Your child is moving out because he or she is getting married. At this point the co-insurance ends.
  • Your child is already of age and has just finished his or her education. Now he or she has 6 months to take care of his or her own liability insurance. In these 6 months after graduating, the child is still covered by your family personal liability insurance.
  • However, if your child moves out because he or she is going to study in another city, he or she is still covered by your family liability insurance against the financial consequences of claims for damages.

Additional insurance

After termination of co-insurance in private family liability insurance, children are insured for another 6 months. During this time, the children can insure themselves. If they decide not to take out insurance with Coya, the insurance cover is cancelled retroactively.

Is private single liability insurance sufficient if I am a single parent?

No, even if you are a single parent, your child is only covered if you have private family liability insurance. The single plan only covers you as an individual. 

I have children - when do I have to change from the single tariff to the family tariff?

As private liability insurance under the Single Plan only covers you, you should switch to private family liability insurance after your baby is born. However, there’s no hurry here. It’s perfectly sufficient to switch to family liability insurance as soon as your baby starts to crawl. A toddler can pull down a tablecloth in a flash and all of grandma’s good Sunday dishes are broken.

My child's friends regularly stay overnight with us. Does my private liability insurance also help in case of damage?

Most parents know that overnight visits by other children for a night or a weekend are commonplace. Or an exchange student lives in your household for six months. Or maybe you have taken an underage au pair into your family for a certain period of time to support you in raising your children. Even in case of damage claims to minors who are only temporarily staying at your home, your private family liability insurance offers you financial security against justified claims.

What happens if my adult child is unemployed after completing his or her education?

If your child is not taken on by the training company after completing his or her vocational training, he or she will be unemployed for a transitional period. During this time, your child will remain insured on your private family liability insurance policy for a maximum of 12 months.

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