While November has been surprisingly mild so far, the end of the month will see sub-zero temperatures in southern Germany. In the rest of Germany too, temperatures around zero can be expected in the coming days, says the German Weather Service. The cold season is approaching – and brings its own dangers for homeowners. In order to get your home ownership safely through the winter, you should check whether you are adequately insured. The most important winter policies for homeowners at a glance.
# 1 private liability insurance
Snow and slippery roads can cause pedestrians to fall. If such an accident happens on private property or on the sidewalk directly in front of the front door, the owner of the house is obliged to pay for the damage. As long as he lives in the property himself, however, he does not have to worry too much: In this case, private liability insurance, a standard that is available for a small monthly premium, helps the claimant.
# 2 Home and landowner liability
“The so-called home and landowner’s liability insurance is particularly important when the owners don’t live in their property themselves, but rent it out,” says Thomas Lange, insurance specialist at finance broker Dr. Small. In this case, the private liability insurance does not step in in the event of damage. Instead, a home and landowner liability applies – if it has been concluded. Policyholders should make sure that the amount insured is high enough. If, in addition to the fine for missing clearing or scattering, there are also claims for pain and suffering or compensation in the event of a slippery road accident, large sums of money can quickly accumulate. The experts at Dr. Small guess at a coverage of 5 to 10 million euros.
# 3 Home and home insurance
Advent, Advent, a little light is burning. First one, then two, then three, then four – and in the worst case scenario, the whole house will go up in flames. In the event of fire damage, the household contents insurance pays the replacement value of the furniture and also compensates for any damage caused by fire fighting. In the event of damage to the house, on the other hand, the residential building insurance applies. This policy often also covers clean-up work and temporary hotel stays if a house is temporarily no longer habitable.
# 4 Natural hazard insurance
Damage caused by heavy rain, snow masses, avalanches or floods are not covered by the residential building insurance. If you want to be on the safe side here, you have to take out insurance against natural hazards. “Whether such a policy is worthwhile depends entirely on the location of the property,” says Dr. Klein expert Lange. In mountainous regions with a high risk of avalanches, a natural hazard policy can pay off – especially since extreme weather events are becoming increasingly common due to climate change. “However, if my property is in the middle of the city, where neither rivers nor mountains can be found far and wide, insurance against extended natural hazards is usually not necessary,” says Lange.
… and you should pay attention to this despite being insured:
Even those who have all-round insurance for their property should not turn off common sense and minimize risks. In winter, for example, homeowners shouldn’t switch off their heating when they go on vacation, but rather make sure that the water in them can continue to circulate, advises Lange. “If the heating is switched off for a long period of time, it can freeze up. In this case, the home insurance does not cover the frost damage, ”he says.
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