Building insurance: Is there a duty for the important protection?

Building insurance: Is there a duty for the important protection?

Storms, floods and heavy rainfall repeatedly cause high damage to houses. It is not uncommon for homeowners to run into serious financial problems. Nevertheless, there is no obligation for building insurance in Germany. This offers insured an indispensable protection, such as a house fire. Very good rates are not expensive, as a new test shows.
 
 
Gebäudeversicherung: Keine Pflicht zur Absicherung
Is a building insurance obligatory?
  • In Germany, the conclusion of a building insurance is not mandatory.
  • However, at least one federal state wants to link its financial support after flood to the insurance protection.
  • Before people decide to take homeowner insurance, they should first get an overview of many different offers.

In Germany, homeowners have no obligation to take out building insurance. Although the discussion about compulsory insurance, especially after severe flood damage, keeps cropping up, the government has not been able to agree on a mandatory hedge. However, Bavaria, for example, plans to link the payment of emergency aid to flood victims from July 2019 onwards . If the damage had been insurable, the federal state would no longer financially support victims.

Regardless of political debates around a duty for building insurance, every homeowner should deal with insurance coverage. If, for example, the home is damaged by a fire, the residents will incur high costs for the renovation or even the new building . Without financial security in the form of homeowners insurance, owners quickly reach their limits.

Secure important services of building insurance

A classic homeowners insurance pays for damage to your own home by fire, hail, storm from wind force 8, lightning, overvoltage and tap water . So homeowners are insured even if flooding, heavy rain and flood, they need additional insurance against damage. In addition, they should be careful to ensure that damage caused by gross negligence is covered and that the insurer pays, among other things, for demolition and cleaning costs, as well as hotel costs, if residents of a damaged house can no longer live there temporarily.

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Building insurance in the test: Many providers offer inexpensive top protection

According to a building insurance test by Focus-Money (04/2018), there are some insurers who offer very good value for money. To this end, the magazine commissioned 35 tariffs from 22 providers from the rating agency Franke & Bornberg with regard to the scope of services and the amount of the contribution. All rated homeowners’ insurance includes protection against natural hazards and must provide a minimum level of coverage. This includes, for example, that additional costs are covered by regulatory requirements and graffiti shops.

Cost of home insurance depends on many factors

The evaluation of the services contributed to 70 percent in the overall result of the investigation. The price for building insurance was 30 percent. For this, the testers calculated the annual fee for five different locations: Hannover, Munich, Berlin, Cologne and Hamburg.

Overall, two insurers achieve an outstanding result:

  • “Residential Premium” by HDI
  • “Optimal” from WGV

With the offers the costs vary depending upon place of residence between 238 euro and 360 euro per year. Another 14 tariffs are rated very good, including

  • “Premium WFL” from media insurance,
  • “Casa optimum” by degenia,
  • “Premium” by Waldenburger,
  • “Best Selection” by Janitos and
  • “Comfort Vario” by Helvetia.

Tip: Depending on the location, design and age of your home, the contribution for your building insurance may vary. Therefore, the top offers can not always be transferred to your own situation. Meanwhile, there are different tariff calculator on the Internet, which help to conveniently compare the costs and benefits of many different providers for the home. The test winners can represent a good orientation.

Here you will find tips and more information on household insurance.
 

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The Eurogroup unlocks 8,500 million of the rescue for Greece

The Eurogroup unlocks 8,500 million of the rescue for Greece

  • This closes the second revision of the Greek rescue, stagnating for 8 months.
  • Greece will be able to meet the 7,400 million disbursement it faces in July.

The ministers of Economy and Finance of the Eurozone, the Eurogroup, reached an agreement on Thursday that gives the green light to the disbursement for Greece of a new tranche of aid of 8,500 million euros of its rescue, Efe told European sources.

Athens, its European creditors – European Commission, European Central Bank and European Stability Mechanism – and the International Monetary Fund put in place during the meeting held in Luxembourg the blockade to close the second review of the Greek rescue, stagnating for about eight months.

This amount will allow the country to meet the disbursement of 7,400 million euros that faces in July, an amount of which 5,600 million will go to debt maturities and the rest for late payments.

"I am pleased to announce that we have reached an agreement on all the key elements: conditionality, debt strategy for the future and the participation of the IMF," said the president of the Eurogroup, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, at a press conference at the end of the meeting.

Relief measures

 Relief measures

The also acting Dutch finance minister explained that the institutions have validated the implementation of the measures required of Athens and have specified more the medium-term debt relief measures that they agreed to grant to Greece at the end of their rescue program, such as asked the IMF.

"As a result of the agreement, I will propose to the executive board of the IMF that it approve in principle a new prudential agreement to support Greece," said the managing director of this institution, Christine Lagarde, who participated in the meeting.

The agreement could make 2,000 million dollars available to the country , said Lagarde, who added that he will begin the process for the Fund to approve this agreement in the next 24 hours and hopes to complete the process before July 27.

However, this agreement in principle assumes that the Fund conditions its participation to give even more clarity on debt relief measures so that the institution knows exactly what will be the amount of relief of the cargo granted to Greece at the end of the year. of the program and can evaluate the sustainability of long-term debt, up to 2060.

"There has been clear progress but the IMF believes that more needs to be done and that partners clearly need more time to complete the process of identifying debt measures, " Lagarde said , adding that he expects this identification process to conclude "soon" .

Extend maturities

 Extend maturities

For the moment, the Eurogroup ensures that it is willing to extend the average maturities of the loans to Greece, as well as to extend the extension of interest payments for up to 15 years, as well as to implement a program that links the rhythm of the return of loans to the country's growth.

If there is more growth, then the repayments of the loans can be made quickly. "If there is more growth, then the repayments of the loans can be made quickly, if it is slower, more extensions could be implemented for the interests," said Dijsselbloem.

The Dutchman said, however, that it will not be until the end of the bailout when this program is implemented and the need to restructure the Greek debt is gauged.

Lagarde admitted that "nobody thinks this is the best solution," but stressed that the agreement "has avoided a financial crisis."

The Commissioner of Economic Affairs, Pierre Moscovici, considered that the agreement "is more than deserved", and highlighted the "unprecedented effort" of the Greek Government to meet the conditions.

As for the next steps, Greece will receive a first payment of 7.7 billion euros in July, once those countries that need to validate the agreement in their national parliaments have received the nod, and a second of 800 million euros after the summer.

This should allow him to fulfill his obligations in the coming months, according to the institutions.

More information about:

  • Eurogroup
  • Rescue

New laws as of April 1, 2016: Loans, phone calls and plastic bags

New laws as of April 1, 2016: Loans, phone calls and plastic bags

 

Friday, 01.04.16, written by Kathrin Staats

As of April 1, several new laws come into force. When shopping consumers will probably have to dig deeper in the future, as plastic bags should not be free of charge. Cheaper but the phone calls and surfing in other European countries. For builders to wave higher loans and disputes with companies should help a free arbitration.

 

In the future, travelers will pay less for telephone calls and surfing abroad

Change to April 1, 2016: Free plastic bags are soon history

For plastic bags in the supermarket, customers have been paying money for years. Now more shops are to abolish the free plastic bag . For consumers, the purchase will then in the future a bit more expensive, since many retailers demand from April 1, 2016 money for their plastic bags . How many customers have to pay more at the checkout, decide the dealers themselves.

This initiative comes from the trade association (HDE) with the intention to reduce the consumption of disposable bags . Although many dealers participate in the agreement of the HDE and the Federal Ministry for the Environment, this is voluntary. The reason for the measure is an EU directive. According to them, the Member States should reduce the consumption of plastic bags to 90 bags per inhabitant by 2019 .

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New regulation in April 2016: Phone calls and surfing will be cheaper

A new EU regulation will finally limit the roaming charges of telephone service providers . For travelers, surfing and phoning in other European countries from 30 April 2016 cheaper . As soon as the border is crossed, phone providers charge a maximum of five cents for surfing per megabyte or for calls. For SMS, only two cents more are due. It should not be forgotten that additional costs are incurred through VAT.

New laws as of April 1, 2016: More money for builders

As of April 1, 2016, builders can obtain even higher loans from the state-owned KfW Bank for the construction of energy-efficient real estate. So far, KfW has been promoting energy-saving new buildings with up to 50,000 euros. In the future, builders can receive twice as much credit for their project . However, in the same breath , the bank tightened funding conditions .

From 1 April 2016: mediation instead of legal proceedings

Consumers should have it easier in the future if they get into a dispute with a company . Often disputes end up in court for example because of faulty products, long waiting times or poor service. From 1 April 2016, consumers will be able to resolve these issues out of court. Independent consumer arbitration bodies will then mediate between customers and companies for free . However, the latter are not obliged to participate in the conciliation procedure, but decide themselves.

Change in April 2016: Transition period for apartments expires

In Berlin, since 2014, the short-term rental of apartments in normal residential buildings is only allowed with a permit. Due to the ban on misappropriation of property law, more living space is to be vacated again for permanent leases . So far, a so-called permit-free transitional period applies to providers of apartments . But it will expire at the end of April . According to this, providers may only rent apartments as holiday apartments if they receive a special permit from the responsible office. But “in 95 percent of the cases, we will reject a dispensation,” says Stephan von Dassel (Green), City Council for citizen services in Mitte, opposite Tagesspiegel Online. For landlords, this means that in future they will only be able to offer their apartments as normal for rent and not as a holiday apartment.

New law as of April 1, 2016: No more e-cigarettes for teens

E-cigarettes and e-shishas may no longer be sold to minors . Already at the beginning of the year, the Bundestag dealt with the distribution of these products to young people. But since the e-cigarette contains no tobacco, it was previously sold to minors. Although adolescents do not consume tobacco, nicotine-containing fluids are vaporized and inhaled in the e-cigarette . Because of the possible health damage selling to children and adolescents is now prohibited.

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