If you’ve been reading this blog, you may know that Bill and I had a slight mishap with our landlord’s awning. Luckily, we purchased personal liability insurance last year, so we were able to submit a claim. Our landlords weren’t happy with the settlement, so they contested it. Our trusty insurance broker told me about their complaint and advised that the amount they were offered for their awning was in accordance with German law.
We haven’t heard anything else about the awning recently, but all of this fussing over an old awning got me to thinking. I’m not one to enjoy screwing with legal matters. Having lived in Germany for several years, I know many Germans apparently enjoy going to court over the most “piss ant” issues. And judging by our landlady’s reaction to our accident with the awning, I started thinking it might be a good idea to invest in German legal insurance.I sent our trusty broker a message and he sent me the information about the legal insurance he sells. He sent me a flyer.
This sounded good to me… About 300 euros annually for additional peace of mind.
After a couple of weeks of nagging from yours truly, Bill finally got the policy. Yes, it seems like we have a lot of insurance policies, especially when compared to what we have when we’re in the States. At this writing, we have renter’s insurance (both German and American), personal liability insurance, pet liability insurance, and now, legal insurance, to add to all of the regular stuff like car and health insurance.
I am determined not to be screwed with when it’s time to move out of this house. This insurance will not protect us if the landlady decides to take us to court over her awning, but it will provide security if another issue arises. I kind of doubt she will want to go to court over the awning anyway. We have an email where she admitted the awning was old and didn’t know how long it was going to last.
We are also joining the Mietverein (renter’s union) for our area. This is a club that, for a small annual fee, provides legal counsel in case of problems with the landlord. I’ve actually been wanting to do this for a long time, since I have heard it’s a wise investment. Now we’re doing it because I told Bill I’d consider that a Christmas present. I like having peace of mind. From what I understand, the Mietverein is run for different counties in Germany. If you live in Germany and are interested, click this link to find the club that serves your area.
Earlier today, I read an interesting thread on Toytown Germany about legal insurance in Germany. I used to hang out on Toytown Germany a lot the first time we lived here. It was always useful in the days before the multiple Facebook groups we have now. I actually liked it even more than our local groups because the people in it weren’t necessarily military folks living here under the umbrella of the Status of Forces Agreement. Sometimes the discussions there would get interesting in terms of the culture. For instance, it was on Toytown Germany that I first learned that most German men sit when they pee at home (at least if they’re married).
I hope we won’t have to use the new insurance, but I think it’s better to be safe than sorry. We have a clue that our landlady is not going to be laid back, so having some extra protection makes me feel a little bit better about continuing to rent her house. The last thing I want to deal with is a bunch of legal bullshit.
I am truly sorry the awning broke; but honestly, it was an act of God. We told her it was starting to fail and she sent her husband to fix it. The repair didn’t stand up to a stiff breeze. If it hadn’t happened to us this year, it probably would have happened next year… or perhaps to future tenants.
As for whether or not other Americans should consider taking out extra insurance, I can’t say. Personally, I like having the coverage. It’s psychologically beneficial. Other people’s mileages may vary.