Liability claims

While visiting friends, you accidentally knock over and damage an expensive crystal vase, or someone falls and injures themselves due to a momentary lack of attention on your part: A mishap can happen quickly – and can sometimes be extremely expensive. Find out here about how to deal with liability claims as well as what’s important in terms of claims handling. 

Procedure and indemnification for liability claims

  • What information and documentation is important for claims handling?
    • Who or what has been injured/damaged? Persons, animals, third-party property?
    • What happened? How did the injury/damage occur (origin of loss)?
    • Photos of the injury/damage
    • Contact details for person(s) affected (name, address, telephone number, email address)

    If the required information and documentation is not yet complete when making your insurance claim, you can send them to us later

  • What loss/damage or injury is insured under liability cover?

    “Statutory liability” is insured by definition, meaning that if you injure someone or damage their property you are liable to them by law. Your liability for the financial consequences extends to your entire private assets. That includes not only cash, shares, etc., but also real estate, jewelry, and antiques, for example. 

    The following are specifically insured:

    • Bodily injury
    • Property damage
    • Animal damage

    In other words, loss or damage that is caused by you or a family member/child or your dog/cat to third-party property, or if people are injured. In most cases, this means loss/damage or injury that can arise as a result of normal everyday situations or circumstances. Examples:

  • What costs are you liable for, as the person who caused the property damage? (present value)

    Instructions for the repair of damaged items must always be given by the owner. 

    However, you are only liable for the present value of the damaged item, meaning the actual financial value of the item immediately prior to the damage.

    This is why the age of the item or date of the most recent renovation/refurbishment of the relevant part of the building is crucial. From then on, the financial value decreases year by year. An age-related deduction – or amortization – is taken into account for each year, giving the present value.

    For example, the present value must be taken as the basis in the following cases:

    • Damage caused to wood flooring due to walking with high heels
    • Children drawing on the living room wall of a property belonging to friends

    Further information on the present value, including a sample calculation (“wall paint”) can be found on the Damage caused by tenant page.

  • What happens if a person is injured and you are at fault?

    If a person consequently requires medical treatment/therapy, you may be held liable for the costs incurred. This can be expensive, and may be unaffordable in the absence of liability insurance – particularly in the case of lengthy treatment plans. 

    The treatment costs (physician, hospital, therapy, etc.), including possible loss of earnings/daily benefits, will be paid by the relevant accident insurer in the first instance. However, these costs (and even pension payments) may then be claimed back from you. In addition, the injured person may submit claims against you directly: For example, costs that are not covered or not fully covered under accident insurance.

  • What do you do if claims are made against you and you receive corresponding documentation?

    Please get in touch with us immediately. Do not respond, and send all documents to us for review and further processing. 

    Important: Leave all negotiations to AXA, do not issue any instructions, and do not accept any claims sent to you directly without consulting us.

  • What does AXA pay for? What benefits are insured?

    AXA

    As a matter of principle, benefits are only paid out if a loss has occurred suddenly and accidentally. 

    Examples of possible indemnification:

    • Present value of a damaged item/part of a building (wood flooring, painted walls, etc.) at a friend's home
    • Cost of restoring an antique that has been damaged at an acquaintance's home
    • Treatment costs, including loss of earnings, for a person you have injured

    We will conduct all negotiations on your behalf and defend you against any unjustified or excessive claims. 

    Exclusions – the costs you incur

    For example, the following are not covered by the insurance: 

    • Losses or damage caused by anyone in your household: For example, your son drops your smartphone on a stone floor.  
    • Damage to rented or leased items: You cause a short circuit when watering a plant placed next to a rented TV set.  
    • Financial losses which you cause to your relatives: They buy shares on your advice, but the price collapses and they lose all their money. 

    Supplementary insurance

    You'll find specific information about your insurance cover at any time in the General Insurance Conditions (GIC) – the easiest way to do this is in the customer portal

Typical claims

  • 1

    While a mother is welcoming her guest at the door, her young son is playing outside – and scratches the paintwork of the guest’s classic car with a stone.

  • 2

    When visiting friends, a glass of red wine is accidentally spilled over the fabric sofa.

  • 3

    At the playground, a child is bitten in the arm by an off-leash dog while its owner is chatting to an acquaintance.

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