Travel Insurance To Germany
Germany is famous for its masterfully built vehicles, world class beer and the infamous Octoberfest. You can find yourself a little lost in this densely populated country, with 81-million people surrounding you, but you could very easily escape to one of the majestic forests or woodlands that make up one-third of this beautiful country. The beautiful German castle Neuschwanstein is the inspiration for Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle.
Travelling to Germany is not a quick flight for Australians, Frankfurt being the primary landing point, with an estimated flight time of at least 23-hours, depending on your stopovers and where you are flying from. You can go “direct” take 47-hours flight time with certain airlines - again, depending on where you are flying from in Australia and how many stopovers are involved. The hours or long-haul is worth it though, with Germany being an amazing holiday destination for Australians. And you don’t need a visa for Germany, for any stay less than 90 days - which is a bonus.
If you do choose Germany as your next holiday destination, we would strongly suggest you invest in travel insurance for your trip.
1. What am I covered for in Germany?
Medical costs: Doctors and hospitals in Germany are of an incredibly high standard, which means that they are costly. German hospitals will expect proof of insurance or guarantee that you can afford the treatment before undertaking anything. With the right travel insurance in place, you will be covered for any doctor visits, hospitalisation or medical emergencies, including evacuation from Germany - if this has been stipulated in your cover.
Cancellation cover: If for some reason you have to cancel your German trip, or if your trip needs to be cut short, you should be covered for any prepaid expenses, such as flights or hotel accommodation - up to a certain amount.
Lost or stolen luggage or travel documents: You are covered for any expenses incurred due to the loss or theft of your luggage and travel documents.
Delayed or cancelled flights: Should your flight be delayed or cancelled, resulting in extra expenses for your account, your insurance should reimburse you.
Theft of cash or belongings: You should be covered for theft of cash or personal belongings from your body. This also applies to theft from within a motor vehicle or your hotel room, as long as the correct precautionary measures have been taken to keep them safe, i.e. in a locked car or hotel room.
Rental car excess: You are legally allowed to drive in Germany up to 185-days using a valid Australian license, together with an official translation into German ¹. Should you be in an accident while driving in Germany, your travel insurance should cover the excess costs involved.
24/7 emergency assistance: This option is available with most travel insurers - but not all - so check with your insurer before your trip if this is something they offer.
2. What am I not covered for in Germany?
Unattended belongings: Negligence with regards to your personal belongings, resulting in the loss or theft of these items, will not be covered.
Threat of terrorist attacks or natural disasters: Your insurer may not cover you for any emergency evacuations required due to threat of terrorist attacks or natural disasters, should there be advance warning to these events. The Smartraveller website currently views Germany as ‘safe’, however, we would advise you sign up for updates and alerts for any new developments in this area.
Adventure activities: You may want to try some adventure sports, like skiing or scuba diving - if visiting German buildings like the Cologne Cathedral or Reichstag Building doesn’t quite tickle your fancy. While the former may bring more of a thrill, your travel insurance might not cover you for these adventure activities. Check with them before leaving Australia - you might need to add these as extra cover to your insurance.
Pre-existing medical conditions: Some insurers do not offer cover for pre-existing medical conditions that you are already receiving treatment for. Certain medical conditions might be covered, if stipulated beforehand - but you should check this with your insurer.
3. How do I select the right travel insurance for my trip to Germany?
Before comparing quotes for travel insurance, you need to establish what you intend on covering on your trip to Germany. Travel insurance can cover very basic elements while you are in Germany, or it could be more comprehensive - it all depends on your needs and budget.
There are a few things to consider before looking at travel insurance costs.
Am I travelling alone or with other people? The answer to this question could potentially change the cost of your travel insurance cover. Combining travel insurance for two or more people, could reduce the price of your insurance, as opposed to single travel insurance. You can also speak to your insurer about travel insurance for groups of 10 or more people, and what discounts they can offer.
Will I be taking expensive items with me? Where possible, reduce the need for travelling with expensive jewellery or electrical items. This is not always possible, particularly if you are travelling for business purposes, and need to take along a camera or laptop. Most insurers will charge more for the cover of expensive equipment, and you will need to declare these items before your Certificate of Insurance is issued.
What activities will I be participating in? Where possible, have a trip itinerary planned before purchasing travel insurance, so you know what will require cover. High-risk activities, such as skiing, bungee jumping, or hiking, may be seen as added extras to your insurance.
Is this a single or multi-trip visit? Are you going on a once-off trip or holiday to Germany, or will you be visiting this country and others, multiple times in a year? Most insurers offer a multi-trip travel insurance option, which allows you to book your insurance once-off for all your trips, saving you money at the end of the day. If you plan on backpacking through Germany, speak to your insurer about travel insurance for backpackers.
Have you got any pre-existing medical conditions? Any medical conditions that you are currently receiving treatment for, will need to be declared to your insurer. Some insurers will cover you for these conditions while traveling, while other insurers won’t offer cover at all, or will ask you to add this on as an added extra.
Will I be crossing the border into other schengen countries? For Australians traveling to any of the schengen countries, your passport should be sufficient for crossing the border into other countries from Germany - but you can check with the German Embassy and Consulate in Australia for the most up-to-date information. Your travel insurance should cover you in whatever country you will travelling to - or through - but you should check this with the insurer beforehand.
Knowing the answer to these questions above, will give you and your travel insurer, a better idea of what cover you need for your trip to Germany.
We have made the details available for you, should you choose to compare travel insurance costs through one of our four insurers, QBE, CHI, SureSave, and Aussietravelcover.
4. Who to contact in an emergency
You should always travel with as much information as you can, for emergency services in Germany, together with contact details for friends and family back home, should someone need to contact them on your behalf.
Where possible, make contact with friends or family first, or your travel insurance provider or airline. Most insurers offer a 24-hour emergency assistance number - ensure you have this on you at all times.
If you need to contact any emergency helplines in Germany, you can call the German police on 110 - for firefighters and medical assistance, dial 112.
5. Travel tips for Germany
Always carry cash: As first-world as this country may be, they are still a little behind times when it comes to plastic money, and the ability to just swipe-and-go. A lot of stores only accept cash, so carry as much as is safe to do so when venturing out. Remember that most insurers do cover for the theft of cash from your person - but check with your insurer beforehand. Another point to note, is that most public bathrooms are not free - you will need to pay for this luxury, so always keep coins on you.
Be punctual: Germans are known for being on time, always. Which means that any public transport you choose to take will not wait for you to drag yourself out of bed - it will leave without you. You don’t want to risk missing a pre-booked trip to the Museum (and throw your money away), because you didn’t comb your hair in time.
Travel in numbers: Just like travel insurance is cheaper by the dozen, public transport is also cheaper in Germany, when you travel in a group. You can receive group discounts for train rides, for a number of days, with unlimited trips - saving you hugely on transport costs.
Learn the language: The vast majority of Germans are either fluent in English, or speak it pretty well, so you should be okay with communication in Germany. However, there are Germans that don’t speak English so well, if at all - brushing up on some common words and phrases is highly advisable.
Beware of bikes: Bicycles are huge in Germany, whether you are on one yourself, or simply walking the streets, you are bound to encounter cyclists at every turn. You need to take caution when riding a bike or walking in a bike lane, it can be quite scary and unsafe. Check with your insurer for whether you are covered for injury when riding a bike, or not.
Pack a variety of clothes: The weather in Germany can often be unpredictable. Even during the warmer months, gusts of wind and rain can be expected, making it rather chilly at times. And if you plan on travelling up a mountain, you are going to want to dress warmly. Always pack a variety of clothing that can be layered up for colder days, or worn thinly on the warmer days. You can also keep an eye on extreme weather conditions in Germany by signing up to alerts and updates for your area, through the Smartraveller website.
Contact details to assist you on your trip to Germany:
Australian Embassy, Berlin
Federal Republic of Germany
Telephone: +49 30 880088 0
Facsimile: +49 30 880088 238
Australian Consulate-General, Frankfurt
Main Tower-28th floor
Neue Mainzer Str. 52/58
Federal Republic of Germany
Telephone: +49 69 90558 0
Facsimile: +49 69 90558 119
24-hour Australian Consular Emergency Helpline
1300 555 135
+61 2 6261 3305
+61 421 269 080
Universal European Emergency Number (24/7)
Medical Emergencies (24/7)
1 “Driver’s License”, German Missions in Australia, accessed 29 August, 2018. https://australien.diplo.de/au-en/service/09-otherconsularservices/drivers-licence/2076016
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