Life Insurance in Germany [Protect Your Loved Ones]

Photo of author

Researched & written

by Jen Palacios


If you live in Germany and have dependents who rely on your income, then you should consider getting life insurance.

Having term life insurance in Germany protects your family’s financial future in the event of your premature death.

There are several types of life insurance policies in Germany. You should be careful before you choose one because some might end up hurting you and your loved ones financially. 

If you’re short on time, here is an overview of the best term life insurance providers in Germany for foreigners:

  • Feather – Expat insurance provider, fully in English and digital, online sign-up, max. 400.000 euros cover.
  • Getsurance – German only, fully digital provider with max. 250.000 euros cover.
  • Allianz – German only, with possible add-ons, max. cover up to 10 million euros.
English Website & Supportpro checkx iconx icon
Online Sign-uppro checkpro checkpro check
Maximum Coverage Amount€400.000€250.000€10.000.000
Add-ons Availablex iconpro checkpro check
100% Digitalpro checkpro checkx icon
Cross-contract Possiblex iconx iconpro check

In this guide, we will provide a comprehensive overview of life insurance in Germany. We will cover the different types of policies available, the benefits of each, how to choose the right policy for your needs and compare some insurance providers in Germany.

By the end of this guide, you will be well-equipped to make an informed decision about your own coverage needs. 

Let’s get started!

Overview of life insurance in Germany

Life insurance in Germany can be divided into the following two categories:

Term life insurance

Term life insurance (Risikolebensversicherung) is set for a period of time. Usually between 5 – 30 years. You pay for it monthly; if you die during that time, your family receives a one-time payment. If your policy expires, and you have not passed away, you don’t get any money.

Permanent life insurance

Permanent life insurance (Ka­pi­tal­le­bens­ver­si­che­rung) is a policy that is valid for your whole life. You also pay for it monthly. And just like with term life insurance, your family gets a one-time payment if you pass away. In some cases, permanent life insurance has a savings account tied to it. Be careful with this, though. We go into more detail below.

Why you should not get permanent life insurance in Germany

Although permanent life insurance might sound like a good deal, you should know the details of how this insurance works.

Usually, a permanent life insurance policy has two components:

  1. The amount of money your loved ones will get in the case of your death
  2. A separate savings plan

Having both things combined within the same insurance is not ideal.

Let’s talk about the savings plan. On paper, it might look all great. However, this is a financial trap most people fall into.

If you pass away, your family will not get the amount in your savings account. They will only get the death benefit amount agreed in your contract.

You can access the money in your savings account in two ways:

  1. You cancel your life insurance contract (which also means the death benefit is gone) or,
  2. You ask your insurance company for the money in your savings account because you want to invest it elsewhere or you need it. If you do this, the insurance company gives you the money as a loan. This means you need to pay interest rates on the money you saved up! That’s not very smart.

On top of everything else, the savings plan you get offered has a very low annual return. In Germany, according to a regulation of the Federal Republic of Germany, the guaranteed interest rate you get is 0,25%. 

Depending on the insurance company, you might get some bonuses. According to Statista, the current interest rate for a life insurance plan with savings is 2,15%. That’s not much. Especially if you compare it to the average of the past 30 years of 7-10% you get from investing in an index fund like the MSCI World. Which you could do with an ETF that you manage through an online broker.

Read Our Related Guide

Best Online Brokers in Germany

So, instead of falling into this potential financial trap, you should consider getting term life insurance.

Term life insurance is a lot cheaper than permanent life insurance, and you can take the difference and invest it into something that will give you a higher annual return and allow you more flexibility.

Term life insurance in Germany

Term life insurance in Germany is a policy you get for a certain amount of time. This can be between 5 and 30 years. If you pass away during this time, your family gets a one-time payment from your insurance company.

The monthly payment of a term life insurance policy is based on your age, health, and lifestyle. The price is usually more affordable than permanent life insurance.

Term life insurance is great because you can choose to have coverage until your children are grown and financially independent (usually at the age of 25) or until you pay the mortgage of your family home. It has no financial traps like the ones we discussed for permanent life insurance.

6 factors to consider when choosing a term life insurance policy in Germany

Financial resources, like this article and this YouTube video, mention that you should not use life insurance as a means to invest your money.

Instead, you should get life insurance that covers a specific period of time in your life. If you decide on getting term life insurance in Germany, here are some factors you should consider before purchasing a policy:

1. Who Should Get Term Life Insurance?

If you are the breadwinner in your family, have a mortgage, other debts, or small children, then term life insurance is a good option to consider.

You should also consider getting a smaller life insurance policy for your spouse, even if they are not the main income provider. In case of their death, you would still suffer a financial loss. For example, you will have higher expenses for child care if you want to continue working full-time, or you will earn less if you reduce your working hours to take care of your kids.

If you are debt free, don’t have loved ones financially dependent on you, and have savings, then term life insurance might not be necessary for you.

2. Coverage Amount

You’ll want to choose a coverage amount that will adequately provide for your family’s financial needs in the event of your death. 

The rule of thumb is:

  • If you have children who are not financially independent, you should insure 4 – 5 times your gross annual salary.
  • If you only want to protect your partner, then you should consider getting a lower amount of 3 times your gross annual salary.
  • If you have a mortgage or any other debts, you should add the pending amount on top.

For example, María earns a gross annual salary of 65.000 euros, has no children, and has an outstanding mortgage with her husband of 200.000 euros. She should consider getting a policy of 395.000 euros. This number consists of 195.000 euros (three times her gross annual salary) plus the outstanding debt of 200.000 euros.

3. Length Of Life Insurance Policy In Germany

The length of a term life insurance policy depends on your specific needs and circumstances. Generally, the policy term can range from 5 to 30 years, with 10, 15, 20, and 30 years being the most common.

When choosing the length of your term life insurance policy, consider factors such as your age, the age of your dependents, your income, your debts, and your financial goals.

For example, if you have young children and want to ensure they are financially protected until they are adults, you may want to consider a policy term that covers that period, such as a 20 or 30-year term.

On the other hand, if you have no dependents and are only looking to cover a specific debt or financial obligation, such as a mortgage or business loan, a shorter-term policy may be more appropriate.

Ultimately, the length of your term life insurance policy should align with your specific needs and goals.

4. Premiums of Term Life Insurance in Germany

The price of your term life insurance in Germany will depend on the amount you want covered and for how many years.

Other factors could increase your policy price. These could include:

  • Age
  • Doing extreme sports
  • Smoking tobacco or cannabis
  • Having health issues
  • Being overweight
  • Having a physically demanding job

For example, a term life Insurance policy in Germany for a healthy, non-smoker 36-year-old with an office job can cost between 21 to 30 euros a month. This policy would cover 250.000 euros and would run for 20 years.

When you sign-up for life insurance in Germany, it is important that you answer the insurer’s questionnaire truthfully. If you lie in any of the answers regarding your health, lifestyle, or hobbies, that could be a reason for the insurance company not to pay your family in the case of your death.

Depending on your health situation, some insurance providers might ask that you do a medical examination to determine whether they can insure you or not.

Being a smoker can increase your insurance premium. Sometimes smokers pay double the amount than non-smokers. If you were not a smoker when you signed the policy and pick up smoking, you must report it to your insurance company.

5. Extra Policy Features

In Germany, term life insurance policies can come with additional features. Before you add any extra features to your policy, you should evaluate if you actually need them. 

The basic policy will already include protection for your family in the case of your death. Adding more features to your policy will increase your monthly premium.

Some extra features you might be able to purchase are:

  • Post-insurance guarantee: it allows you to increase the insured sum without a new health check. This can be used in case of a new baby being born, a wedding, or a purchase of a property.
  • Extension option: it allows you to extend the term of the contract without a new health check.
  • Early payout: if you get diagnosed with a critical disease that will cause your death within months, this add-on will allow you to collect the money before your death.
  • Contribution exceptions: if you get injured and are no longer able to work, you don’t need to pay the monthly premium anymore, and the protection remains the same in the case of your death. If you would like to receive a disability pension, you should look into income protection insurance.

6. Paying Taxes On life insurance Payout In Germany

Income tax

One of the main advantages of term life insurance in Germany is that the amount that is paid out is free of income tax, regardless of the amount.

Inheritance tax – watch out

Inheritance tax in Germany is a bit tricky. Depending on your family status, you have a lower or higher amount that is exempt from inheritance tax.

The inheritance tax is calculated on all the assets a hier receives. This includes a payout from the life insurance and any other assets in Germany, including properties.

For example, if you’re married and your spouse is the beneficiary, your spouse will not need to pay any inheritance tax on the amount they get, as long as the payout plus the value of any other assets your spouse inherits is less than 500.000 euros.

If you’re not married and your partner is the beneficiary, you should watch out for inheritance tax. If the amount your partner gets is above 20.000 euros, they will need to pay inheritance tax. 

Here is an overview of how much is tax-exempt according to your relationship with the person giving you the inheritance:

RelationshipTax Exempt Amount
Spouse / Registered Partner€500.000
Parent / Grandparent€100.000
Unmarried Partner€20.000

A strategy to not pay inheritance tax is to get a cross-contract (Überkreuz-Vertrag). In a cross-contract, each person gets their own contract but appoints the partner as the insured person. In other words, you will get the money from your own life insurance in Germany in case your partner dies.

For example, María and Shaun are not married, and they each get a cross-contract. Shaun takes out a term life insurance contract and puts María as the insured person. Should María die, Shaun will receive money from his own insurance contract. Because the money is from his insurance policy and is paid to himself, inheritance tax is not applicable.

How to find the right life insurance provider in Germany?

When scouting for life insurance providers in Germany, you should choose a reputable insurance provider with a strong financial rating. Look for providers that have a good reputation for customer service.

We have found three options that could suit your needs:

1. Feather 

Feather insurance is disrupting the insurance market in Germany. They provide simple, transparent, and 100% English insurance services for internationals living in Germany.

Feather Benefits:

✅  Maximum insured amount: 400.000 euros
✅  100% Digital 
✅  100% in English
✅  Online sign-up

Feather Drawbacks:

⛔️ Does not offer any additional add-ons.
⛔️ Cross-contract not available 

You can easily book your insurance online or book a consultation with one of their insurance advisors. With our special Feather code: SIMPLE15, you even get a 15 euros bonus. It will be deposited into your account once your policy has been active for 3 months.

2. Getsurance

Getsurance is the modern and digital brand from Nürnberger Versicherung, a strong and renowned insurance company in Germany.

Getsurance Benefits:

✅ Maximum insured amount: 250.000 euros
✅ 100% Digital
✅ Online sign-up
✅ Offers some add-ons like: contribution exceptions and early payout

Getsurance Drawbacks:

⛔️ Only available in German
⛔️ Cross-contract not available

3. Allianz

Allianz is a worldwide renowned insurance company with an extensive portfolio of insurance. Life insurance is one of them.

Allianz Benefits:

✅ Maximum insured amount: 10.000.000 euros
✅ Online-signup
✅ Offers tons of add-ons like: contributions exceptions, early payout, post-insurance guarantee, extension options, and more.
✅ Cross-contract available

Allianz Drawbacks:

⛔️ Not 100% Digital
⛔️ Only available in German


Term life insurance in Germany is an important consideration for anyone living in Germany who has financial dependents. It provides financial protection for your loved ones in the event of an unexpected tragedy. When looking for a policy, it is important to consider your individual needs and financial situation.

When considering a life insurance policy, it is important to review the terms and conditions carefully. Be sure to read the fine print and understand the coverage, premiums, and any exclusions or limitations. It is also important to consider the financial stability and reputation of the insurance provider.

By carefully considering your options and choosing an insurance that meets your individual needs, you can rest assured that your loved ones will not suffer from financial worries.

If English and simplicity are an absolute must, then consider Feather. If you need an insured amount of up to 250.00 euros, consider Getsurance. And if you want the full package, then consider Allianz.

Disclaimer: Neither myself, as the author of this article, nor Simple Germany as a business are qualified to provide insurance and financial advice under German law. We cannot provide specialist insurance services beyond any of the general tips contained herein. For insurance advice, we strongly recommend you consult a licensed insurance advisor. 

This article contains affiliate links. When you click on the links to the products we mention in this article and purchase them, we will receive a small commission. It will not make any difference to you in price; however, it allows us to keep Simple Germany alive and striving.

Photo of author

About the Author

Jen Palacios is a researcher and writer at Simple Germany specializing in aiding international skilled workers to navigate the complexities of German life.

Jen brings a unique immigrant perspective to her writing. Beyond her professional pursuits, Jen is an avid learner with interests ranging from woodworking to web development.

She is committed to writing guides and producing YouTube videos for Simple Germany that provide practical guidance for internationals aiming to settle into life in Germany more smoothly.