Reporting private liability damages


Damage can happen in a single careless moment. At first, you're probably in shock. Adrenaline is rushing through your body. Your head is a chaos of guilt and self-recrimination. But it's no use: time cannot be turned back. If you have private liability insurance, then you did everything right. We are here for you! In this article, you will learn how to report any damage you have caused to COYA. Don't worry, we don't have any annoying paperwork! 

How do I report liability damage?

If you have caused property damage, personal injury or financial loss, then you are probably in shock at first. Your heart is racing, your hands are shaking. It can be that you are wandering around disoriented, and for minutes, you simply do not know what to do.

Don't go crazy! Fortunately, you have thought about taking out a private liability insurance to cover you in these cases. It is going to pay off now.

Remember, we've got you. We're here for you! Report the damage immediately. Uncomplicated and stress-free, this works via our customer account. If you would like to talk to us directly, call us on +49 30 388 49400 or send us an e-mail to

We will get back to you as soon as possible and take care of everything else.

From when is it a case for my liability insurance?

Whenever you have caused damage, it is best to report the incident immediately. Don't wait until the injured party claims damages against you. Your private liability insurance will examine the case and settle property damage, personal injury and financial losses.

Here are a few examples:

  • Property damage: Maybe you ran into a car in the parking lot of a supermarket with your shopping cart full. Or you accidentally dropped the mobile phone of a friend or sat down on someone else's glasses in the canteen. All these are typical property damages.
  • Personal injury: Traffic accidents are often the cause of personal injury. It is possible that your grossly negligent behaviour has led to a traffic accident in which someone was injured. For example, crossing the road when the traffic light is red is considered gross negligence. You know that you have to wait for the green light, but you still go.
  • Property damage: If you are at fault for another person having suffered financial loss, this is also a case for your personal liability insurance. You may have parked your car in front of someone who missed an important business meeting for this reason.

If something similar happens to you, report the case to your private insurance!

How do I act correctly in the event of a claim?

Try to stay as calm as possible! You have liability insurance that protects you from claims for damages by third parties. This means you are not liable with your private assets for the damage caused. Most of the damages that happen in everyday life are property damages.

So, behave correctly:

  1. Take pictures. Document the damage. Ideally, take several photos from different angles.
  2. Get the address and telephone number of the injured party and give them your details. You need his details to be able to make a claim later.
  3. Note how the damage was caused. What exactly happened? What have you done? It's best to proceed chronologically. Jot down the info; it will help to serve as a reminder later when you write the damage report.
  4. Ask the injured party to keep the damaged item. It may have to be sent to COYA. This is often the case with smaller things. Or an expert will come by to inspect the damage on site.
  5. Do not forget to contact us as soon as possible. The sooner you inform us, the sooner we can help you. This in turn also helps the injured party, who will probably want to have the damage compensated as soon as possible.

What should I pay particular attention to in the event of damage?

You should record the damage as carefully as possible in pictures and words. Stick to the truth.

Even if you are firmly convinced that everything is your fault, do not admit guilt to the injured party! Let us examine the case first. It may turn out in the end that you are not liable at all. We'll look into it. We will reject unjustified claims from you. If necessary, we'll take it to court. Don't worry: we will also pay for the trial, your legal counsel and possibly needed experts.

Never pay money to the injured party, even if you feel guilty and would like to undo the damage immediately. Leave the settlement of the claim to us! It is possible that the current value of the object is much lower than you (and the injured party) think.  In the worst case, you would pay far too much - and never see the money again.

Do not wait for the injured party to claim damages. Report the damage immediately!

How do I document my liability claim correctly?

Your smartphone is perfectly adequate for photographing the damage. Take pictures from different angles. Make sure your pictures are sharp and clearly visible.

In your notes, include the date, time, place and contact details of the injured party. It is best to describe the damage as soon as possible. This prevents you from forgetting anything important. It makes sense to proceed chronologically. Then you can use your notes later when you report the damage to your private liability insurance company.

What should I not do when reporting a claim?

You should not wait long with your claim but contact us immediately. You should also provide truthful information, leave nothing out, but also don’t make up any additional details.

Which data should I have ready in any case when reporting a claim?

For your claim, you need your data, the data of the injured party and your keywords for the claim. You should have all this ready. Your notes will ensure that you do not forget anything important when you file your claim.

You need the following information:

  • Your first name and surname
  • Your complete address
  • Phone number and e-mail address
  • Insurance number
  • A short, as precise as possible description of the type of damage and the cause of the damage
  • Date of damage
  • Listing of the damaged / destroyed objects
  • Photos or videos
  • Additional witness statements are ideal

What is the best way to contact my insurance company / How can I report my liability claim?

You have several possibilities to contact COYA: The quickest and easiest way is to use the app. You probably have your smartphone with you at all times and everywhere anyway. You have probably also used it for taking pictures. It is therefore very easy to send us all relevant information.

You can also call us or send us an e-mail if you prefer personal contact or if you have specific questions. Our office is open Monday to Friday between 8.00 and 18.00 hours.

What should I do if the injured party applies for a court order for payment or files a lawsuit against me?

Under no circumstances should you act in haste. Contact us immediately and forward all correspondence. We will take care of it!

When should I report the liability claim? Is there a deadline by when I should have reported the liability claim?

As soon as possible. Remember: the sooner we know, the sooner we can help you! You should not wait longer than three days before reporting the damage.

Is there a template that I can use as a guideline for the damage report?

You can use our customer account as a guide when reporting a claim. The menu guides you through the individual items.

If you want to send us a damage report by e-mail, you can use this template as an example:

Your address:

  • Name
  • Street
  • Postcode City
  • Phone number
  • E-mail
  • Notification of claim (number of your policy)


I caused damage to property on XX.XX.20XX at [first and last name, address of the injured party and his telephone number].

The damage occurred as follows:

[Here you describe in chronological order as precisely as possible what happened.]

The following damage has occurred:

[At this point you describe the damage.]

I have attached the photos I took of the damaged item. I have also enclosed a copy of the invoice.

Can you please contact XX [the injured party] as soon as possible?

Thank you and best regards,



Which costs are usually covered?

Assuming you have actually caused damage to property and are liable for it, your liability insurance either reimburses the repair costs to the injured party, or if the item can no longer be repaired, the current value.

In the event of personal injury caused by you, your private liability insurance in Germany will cover the following:

  • the salvage costs
  • medical expenses, hospitalisation and treatment costs
  • the loss of earnings
  • the payment of compensation for pain and suffering
  • funeral expenses
  • pension payments in the event that the injured party is no longer able to carry out his profession

Which costs are not usually covered?

In general, your German liability insurance only regulates the damages that you have caused to so-called "third parties." Third parties are strangers who are not insured in a contract with you.

Damages caused by you within the scope of the free neighbourhood help are only insured with COYA if your liability insurance additionally includes the topping "Top of the Topps." This additional module also covers so-called "courtesy damages."

An example: Your neighbours breed oriental shorthair cats as a hobby. As they have to travel over the weekend because of a family emergency, they ask you to provide their cats with food every day, to clean the litter boxes, and to play with them. This task is free of charge. However, you forget to close the window when airing the litter tray. The mother cat tries to get out through the bottom window and injures herself so badly that further breeding is no longer possible.

Without the "Top of the Topps" topping, COYA would not be able to defend against possible claims for damages, as the short-term cat care was a friendly service. These are usually not covered by private liability insurance.

Also not insured are damages that you cause to yourself or to a co-insured person.

Here is another example: Let's assume that your own mobile phone, which you always carry in the back pocket of your jeans, falls into the toilet. In this case, this damage is not covered by your private liability insurance (household insurance would be responsible).

The same applies if you have taken out persona liability insurance at the family rate and protect yourself, your partner and your adopted son with a joint policy. If you accidentally ruin your son's new drone during a test flight, you will have to pay for the damage yourself.

If you (or a co-insured person) cause damage intentionally, the private liability insurance does not cover the settlement. However, simple and gross negligence are included in the insurance coverage.

Are my legal fees covered by the liability insurance?

If our examination shows that you are not liable for the damage caused, your personal liability insurance will ward off claims for damages from you. If legal proceedings are instituted as a result of this, it will bear the costs for the trial, for your legal counsel and any necessary experts. Your private liability insurance acts as passive legal protection insurance.

An independent legal protection insurance does not replace this, however.

What is a pre-contractual duty of disclosure?

When the insurance company talks about pre-contractual disclosure obligations, it means your answers to questions you were asked before the contract was concluded. These questions must of course be answered truthfully.  

As a policyholder you have certain obligations towards the insurer. These are also called "obligations." This includes that you give honest and detailed information when you apply for insurance. For example, you have to point out special risk circumstances, even if this may result in no contract being concluded.

Up to what amount does my liability insurance pay?

That depends on the amount of coverage you have agreed to. Let's assume your coverage is 5 million euros. COYA will pay damages up to this amount for you. If the damage caused by you is higher, you will have to pay for the remaining costs out of your own pocket.

If you want to be sure that you are well covered in case of damage, it is best to choose a higher coverage. COYA offers a maximum coverage of 30 million euros. This means you are fully covered.

Do I first have to pay for any damage I cause myself?

Absolutely not! Please do not make any payments to the injured party. Leave the claims settlement to us. We'll first check whether the claims against you are justified. If so, we'll take care of settling the claim. In the event of damage to property, we will refund the current value of the damaged item, not the replacement value. The reason for this is that the injured party has in all probability already owned and used the object for some time. This reduces the value of the object. So, the cost of this may be much less than you expect. If you immediately pay money to the victim out of guilt or shock, you may not get it back if you are not liable or have paid too much.

Does my liability insurance cover damages caused by gross negligence?

This varies from insurer to insurer. Very cheap policies often only cover simple negligence. With COYA, you don't have to worry about that, because both simple and gross negligence are covered by our insurance.