LAW + INSURANCE

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Equality “unisex tariffs
From 21 December this year, men and women will also be equal when it comes to insurance. This is what the European Court of Justice has ruled. From this point onwards, all different premium calculations according to gender will become obsolete.

With the new “unisex tariffs”, premiums and benefits will be the same for everyone in future. It is therefore advisable to take out insurance before 21 December 2012 if there is a genuine need to do so, in order to benefit from the more favourable premiums currently available in individual cases – as is the case, for example, with private health insurance for men.

Real Estate Heritage Favorite

The real estate assets of ab 65-year-olds are expected to double over the next 18 years – more and more Germans are leaving increasingly valuable real estate to their descendants.

55 percent of potential testators plan to bequeath a property to their descendants, according to the results of a recent Allensbach –  survey. The likelihood of inheriting   a home has thus almost doubled. Previously ranked fourth among inherited items, real estate pushed jewelry and furniture to the back of the list and now claims the top spot. Money – previously the most commonly named inherited item – is close behind in second place. This means that home ownership is becoming the driving force behind the ever-increasing volume of inheritance in Germany. And the number of inherited houses and apartments will continue to rise.

Dieter Pfeiffenberger, Chairman of the Management Board of BHW-Bausparkasse, expects a major wave of modernisation to hit Germany. Many of the houses to be inherited were built before the first Thermal Insulation Regulations were introduced in 1977.

Whether it is a condominium or a house – the value of the real estate to be inherited is also constantly increasing. 23 percent of the testators surveyed estimate that their property is worth between 250,000 and 500,000 euros.

Well insured

Every German spends an average of around 2,100 euros a year on insurance. No one can insure themselves against all the vicissitudes of life, but it is essential to make provisions for the existential risks. In every phase of life, different insurance cover is necessary – seniors should also bear this in mind and check  whether the policies still correspond to the current life situation. Which ones make sense, and which ones can you safely do without? Do you really need special senior insurance? Answers  can be found in the BdV brochure “Well insured – even in old age”, www.bundderversicherten.de.

Young professionals are a popular target group for insurance companies and coveted recipients of high-commission endowment insurance policies. Trainees and students should rather “keep their hands off” endowment or pension insurance policies, advise the independent insurance experts. It is much more important to have your own personal liability insurance  – if you are no longer covered by your parents – and occupational disability insurance. The BdV brochure “Well insured – in training and study”, which can also be downloaded from the Internet at https://www.bundderversicherten.de/app/download/BdV-AzubiBroschuere.pdf, provides information.



Emergency and probate folder

One topic that tends to get pushed aside, but is even more important for business owners than for individuals, is emergency instructions and estate planning. Where are which papers, who has to be informed, what measures have to be taken?

With its structured content, the Emergency and Estate Folder provides the support you need. Preprinted forms and notifications to government agencies and private insurance companies, as well as instructions on financial and real estate assets with overviews of capital investments create clarity and order.

The lockable document folder made of black Luxyl foil with gold embossing has a 2-ring mechanism with a filing height of 40 mm and is available with register, inner part, hold-down and lock for 56,- € plus VAT. 4,90 € shipping costs. Document folder with index and over 80 pages inside.

At www.notfall-nachlass-mappe.de you can get comprehensive information and download or request material free of charge: Publishing house Bernd O. Dort, P.O. Box 71 03 67, 30543 Hanover. Tel.: 051112706 0173, Fax: 0511/2706 0174

Company pensions

A new ruling by the Federal Labour Court (BAG) of 19 June 20 12 (Ref. 3 AZR 408110) confirms that employers are liable if a company pension scheme (bAV) sponsor, such as a pension fund, reduces its benefits in accordance with its statutes.

As a result of the continuing low level of interest rates, at the latest since the introduction of the euro, virtually every employer with occupational pension commitments will soon have to reckon with this. Intermediaries like to claim that outsourcing a pension commitment to external providers of occupational pension schemes – such as provident funds, pension funds or pension funds – relieves the employer of its responsibility. The opposite is true, as the ruling of the BAG shows. The employer is nevertheless liable for the fulfilment of the commitment, § 1 I 3 BetrAVG.

If a company lives beyond its means, it becomes insolvent. The statistical risk of this is around 1% per year – so a large proportion of employees and occupational pensioners will be affected. However, the company pensioners, i.e. normal employees, then often receive far less from the “Pensionssicherungsverein aG”,  than was once promised and planned for old age by their own employer – so here too there is a reduction in benefits.

Dr. Johannes Fiala

Courtesy of VDL Journal

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About the author

Dr. Johannes Fiala Dr. Johannes Fiala

Dr. Johannes Fiala has been working for more than 25 years as a lawyer and attorney with his own law firm in Munich. He is intensively involved in real estate, financial law, tax and insurance law. The numerous stages of his professional career enable him to provide his clients with comprehensive advice and to act as a lawyer in the event of disputes.
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