Self-employed persons may voluntarily join the professional association – economy

Every roofer knows this fear: a moment of inattention and loses his balance and falls off the roof. The next station is the hospital. There, the accident is dealt with by the accident insurance physician responsible for accidents at work. The statutory accident insurance then takes over the responsibility for the further treatment and rehabilitation of the man. If your incapacity for work continues, you will lose your earnings.

Employees are automatically insured against accidents at work under the statutory accident insurance, which is compulsory. Companies pay contributions. The program also includes students and many volunteers.

Little is known: Self-employed persons can also apply for statutory accident insurance. Some professions, such as farmers or physiotherapists, are even automatically insured, others may do so voluntarily and for a fee. Prices can be significantly lower than private accident insurance.

“Self-employed persons who do not have statutory or statutory compulsory insurance can insure themselves voluntarily,” says Eberhard Ziegler, head of the department of German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV).

Self-employed persons can apply for coverage online to the trade association responsible for them. The day after receiving the application, protection against accidents at work, accidents on the way to work and occupational diseases begins to apply, says Ziegler. Self-employed workers can find out from the DGUV which of the nine trade associations they need to contact. Publishers belong, for example, to the Professional Association of Administration (VBG).

Many additional services are included in the price

In emergencies, people with statutory accident insurance are entitled to a whole host of benefits. On the one hand, the professional association covers the costs of treatment, as well as the costs of assistance, rehabilitation and physiotherapy.

In addition, statutory accident insurance also provides for cash payments to compensate for loss of earnings. This includes benefits for injuries during treatment from the time the person is diagnosed as incapable of work. On the other hand, entrepreneurs, i.e. self-employed in a trade association, have a waiting period of up to 13 weeks. If an accident necessitates retraining, the so-called transitional allowance. The amount of the payments depends on the agreed sum insured.

If the accident leaves a permanent health impairment with at least 20% reduction in the ability to work, the insured person is entitled to a pension. “The loss of a thumb is roughly 30 percent,” says Ziegler. The amount of the pension depends on the agreed amount. You pay for as long as the write-off lasts. Lifetime if you lose your finger.

The more dangerous the work, the greater the cost of accident insurance.

(Photo: UJ Alexander / imago images)

The costs of voluntary statutory accident insurance depend on the profession of the self-employed person. Depending on the activity, there is a lower or higher risk of an accident. Secondly, the premium depends on the agreed sum insured. There is a statutory minimum amount insured, but self-employed persons may also choose a higher amount up to a certain maximum.

The minimum sum insured for VBG, which is also responsible for independent journalists, is 23,688 euros. To this end, the insured person must now pay a premium of € 62 per year. In this case, the accident benefit during treatment from the 22nd day after the diagnosis of incapacity for work would be EUR 1,579. If a journalist agrees to the maximum sum insured currently amounting to € 120,000, an annual premium of € 313 will be due. Accident Benefit is € 8,000 per month.

The data for BG Bau, responsible for the construction industry, differ significantly. Currently, there is a minimum amount of EUR 31,500. The annual fee for this is 977 euros. The monthly accident benefit for medical treatment is 2,100 from three weeks after the incapacity for work occurs. The maximum sum insured is EUR 79,000. In this case, the annual fee is € 2,450 and the accident benefit is € 5,264.

Difficulties may arise in the event of an accident in the home office

However, the fact that statutory accident insurance is clearly limited to work-related accidents can lead to difficulties in working from home. After all, a self-employed person makes sense to run the washing machine or fill the dishwasher. “Basically it is important whether the activity is work-oriented or not,” says DGUV officer Ziegler. For example, filling a washing machine may be an insured activity – for example, in the case of a self-employed hairdresser who launches towels from her salon.

On the other hand, we still have to wait for the development of the home office, ‘says Ziegler. Currently, we are dealing primarily with falls down stairs, which are insured to such an extent that they occur in the staircase related to the work of, for example, a printer on strike.

The challenges are especially great in the case of accidents on the way to work. Travel from home to office and back is covered by insurance; but only if there are no detours. Even a short stop is crucial, says Ziegler. “If you stop buying strawberries from a sidewalk stall, it’s not insured.”

For insurance consultant Roland Harstorff, other forms of protection for self-employed workers are more important than accident insurance. She recommends that they take out Disability Insurance (BI) first.

These rules apply if the insured person becomes unable to work due to an accident or illness. “Statistics show that in the vast majority of cases, disability is caused by disease,” emphasizes Harstorff. Accident insurance usually doesn’t get anywhere – although statutory protection covers certain occupational diseases.

However, high-risk people often do not receive an affordable BI policy. Private insurers are interested not only in the work of a potential client, but also in their individual risk. Anyone who brings pre-existing conditions with him and is older must make a significant contribution.

If you can’t get an inexpensive BU policy, accident insurance may make sense as a partial replacement, says insurance consultant Harstorff.

A clear advantage of private accident policies for consultants is that they cover not only accidents at work but also leisure time accidents. However, it is often much more expensive than a trade association. Due to the extensive benefits, self-employed workers should think about both private accident insurance and membership in an industry association, says Harstorff.

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