Personal injury in private liability insurance

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For most people, it’s probably the worst thing imaginable - through one's own fault, another person is injured, possibly even killed. Nobody likes to think about these things. But in everyday life, accidents and misfortunes happen quickly. One careless move and the damage is done. Small mistakes can have far-reaching consequences.

Privathaftpflichtversicherung (private liability insurance in English) protects you from the financial consequences in case of damage. It regulates the damage for you so that you are not liable with your private assets.

We have summarised the most important questions and answers on the subject of "personal injury" for you here.

What is personal injury?

If the physical integrity of a person is impaired, this is personal injury. Personal injury includes injuring another person, impairing his health or causing his death. Consequential damage resulting from personal injury, such as financial losses, is also included. It is not always necessary for another person to be involved. An occupational illness, for example, is also considered to be personal injury. 

In the context of private liability insurance, the damages that you (or a person co-insured on your contract) accidentally inflict on a third party are decisive. For example, a person could be injured or killed by your hand. In this case, you are liable with all of your present and future assets according to § 823 BGB:

"Anyone who wilfully or negligently injures the life, body, health, freedom, property or any other right of another person unlawfully, is obliged to compensate the other person for the resulting damage."

Does my liability insurance cover personal injury?

Yes, your single private liability insurance covers personal injury that you cause to other people accidentally, unwittingly or through gross negligence. If you have a partner or family, family liability insurance is useful. With it, you can protect yourself and your loved ones against the financial consequences that can arise due to personal injury from as little as €64.99 per year.

In Germany, your private liability insurance covers three areas:

  • It checks the cause of the damage and whether the claims for damages against you or your co-insured family members are justified.
  • If the claims are justified, it will settle the damages.
  • Your private liability insurance defends you against unjustified claims. In this case, it assumes the function of passive legal expenses insurance.

What are the sums insured for personal injury?

The highest possible cover from Coya is 30 million euros. This ensures comprehensive cover in the event of damage.

What is the recommended coverage for personal injury?

We recommend cover of at least 30 million euros. Especially in the case of personal injury, you and your family may have to pay high costs. The higher the sum insured, the better you are covered in case of an emergency. If the costs exceed the sum insured, you will have to pay the difference out of your own pocket, despite having a German private liability insurance.

What kind of damage is personal injury?

Many accidents are caused by carelessness, misfortune and negligence in everyday life.

Personal injury (liability examples) includes:

  • You are busy with your smartphone and run across the street without paying attention to the traffic. You don’t see a motorbike coming. The driver avoids you but collides with another vehicle. On impact, he is seriously injured and has been paraplegic ever since.
  • Since you are late, you run a red light. A car avoids you but crashes into a cyclist who is killed in the collision.
  • In order to earn a little money on the side, your 16-year-old daughter works as a babysitter. She falls asleep with the baby in her arms. The child falls and lands on his head on the parquet floor.
  • On a narrow cycle path, you try to overtake another cyclist. You accidentally knock him down. He falls and suffers a serious head injury.
  • Your son is riding his skateboard. He can't stop in time and bumps into an older man. The man breaks his arm in the fall.

Which claims does my liability insurance cover in case of personal injury?

Your personal liability insurance will cover:

  • the rescue costs of the injured person.
  • medical treatment or medical expenses. These include hospital costs, rehabilitation costs, orthopaedic aids and nursing staff.
  • the loss of earnings.
  • compensation for pain and suffering.
  • funeral expenses.
  • pension payments if the injured party is no longer able to pursue his or her profession. 

Which claims are not covered by my liability insurance in the event of personal injury?

Personal injuries suffered by yourself or one of your co-insured persons are not covered. Private liability insurance only pays for personal injuries that you have caused to third parties, not the co-insured persons. 

However, the insurance cover is reinstated in the event of personal injury or third-party claims (e.g. legal recourse claims from insurers or employers). 

Thus, couples are best covered by family liability insurance. This means that if, for example, one of them accidentally drops a knife while cooking and it hits his or her partner in the process, the personal injuries are also covered. The treatment costs required by the health insurance company and the compensation for pain and suffering claimed by the partner are covered by Coya, for example. In other words, it makes sense to choose a family liability insurance from the outset as a couple in order to benefit from complete protection.

What benefits are included in case of personal injury?

In the case of personal injury, your third party liability insurance will cover claims for rescue and medical treatment of the injured person. It also covers claims for loss of earnings, compensation for pain and suffering and any pension payments. If the injured party dies, your liability insurance will cover the funeral costs.

Does my liability insurance also cover personal injury abroad?

Yes, you are also covered abroad by your private liability insurance. However, your residence must be in Germany. Outside the EU, the insurance cover is limited to five years.

Does my liability insurance also pay in case of personal injury if I cause it myself?

In the case of personal injury, you are the cause and the injured party in one person. In this case, your private liability insurance does not apply. 

Your private liability insurance only covers the settlement of claims if you cause damage to so-called third parties. Personal injuries are not insured.

Does my liability insurance pay in the case of personal injury caused intentionally?

Your liability insurance does not cover claims for damages caused deliberately.

Intent.

Intent is present if you were aware of the consequences of an action and you either accepted them or even deliberately caused them. In other words, it depends on your knowledge and intent. Your private liability insurance does not cover intent. 

What other forms of damage are covered by my liability insurance besides personal injury?

In addition to personal injury, your private liability insurance covers damage to property and financial losses. Property damage occurs when you accidentally or negligently damage or destroy another person's property. A financial loss is when someone suffers a loss of assets caused by you.

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