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Insurance policy: what does the insurance certificate say?

 In times of digitization, consumers often no longer value printed documents. However, special care should be taken with an insurance certificate. The insurance policy is direct proof of existing insurance cover. Without a valid insurance certificate, policyholders cannot prove that they have a corresponding policy.

insurance policy

Insurance certificate or insurance policy?

The insurance certificate is a document that confirms in writing that an insurance contract exists between an insurer and a policyholder. A certificate of insurance is also known as a policy (French for "evidence") or insurance policy. With the insurance certificate, policyholders can prove that they have appropriate insurance. It can only be proven with a valid certificate that an insurance and thus a certain protection exists.

However, the function of the insurance policy goes beyond mere proof. All insurance benefits and the general terms and conditions of the policyholder are precisely specified in the policy. In addition, exclusions or individual agreements between the policyholder and the insurance company are recorded in writing.

Significance for the insurance contract

The policyholder will be sent or handed over the policy after conclusion of an insurance contract. The insurance contract only has full legal validity once the policy has been sent and accepted by the policyholder.

In the event of damage or a claim, the insurance certificate ultimately serves as proof that a contract exists. Likewise, the policy may be required as proof if insurance is used as collateral for the loan. In addition, the document must be present when selling life insurance. As a rule, however, it is not sufficient for the document to change hands. Rather, the new owner must be entered.

Insurance policies are required for these insurances

Car insurance: 

If you take out car insurance, you will usually receive an electronic confirmation of insurance (eVB). With the eVB number, you initially have proof of provisional insurance cover for registering a vehicle. However, full and definitive insurance coverage is not in place until you have received and accepted the policy from your insurer. In the event of damage, you must prove your insurance cover with your policy. This also applies, for example, if you use a rental car and only take out temporary damage liability insurance.

Life Insurance:


 The life insurance policy is a contract between the insurance company and the person who wants to buy the insurance. Every life insurance policy is different, as are the laws of the states that govern those policies. The life insurance policy plays an important role in that the capital or an annuity from the insurance can only be paid out if the original proof is available.

Funeral Insurance:


 This type of insurance is also known as “mini life insurance”. In order for the insurer to pay, an original document must also be available here.

Term life insurance: 


The policy of this insurance is also required in the event of a claim. In addition, banks can request the certificate as proof if the term life insurance is used to secure a building loan.

Professional liability insurance: 


Certain professional groups such as architects, insurance brokers, doctors or lawyers must have liability insurance in order to be licensed to do their work. The policy must be presented with the application for admission. Clients can also request to see the proof.

Household contents insurance:


 If you take out household contents insurance, you will receive a corresponding policy after the conclusion of the contract. The insurance contract is only fully concluded upon receipt of the policy.

Private health insurance:


 If you are a private health insurance policyholder, you will usually receive a comprehensive policy with all the details of your tariff. If you have any questions about benefits, you can then look directly at your certificate.
insurance policy


content of the contract

The insurance policy is more than just a document that serves as proof of insurance coverage. It contains all important contract details as well as information about the contractual partners. This includes in particular details about the policyholder and about other insured persons, the type of insurance and the insurance number, the conditions of the insurance cover, the sum insured and the insured value, insurance premiums and the start of the insurance.

Start of contract: The start of the contract is shown on the insurance certificate. If the insurance benefit is linked to a specific term, this is also noted on the policy.
Agreed insurance cover: The policy lists all insurance benefits in detail.
Insurance contribution: The insurance certificate shows exactly which contributions are due for the insurance. In addition, the contract also contains information on how the insurance premium is paid and which conditions apply to this. For example, the policy can state that the contributions must always be paid by the 15th of the month.
Insurance number: The insurance number is an important element of the policy. You must also state this number, for example, if you have any questions about the contract.
Individual agreements: If individual agreements are made with the insurance company, these must also be recorded in the policy.
Exclusions from benefits: The policy also lists the cases in which the insurance does not apply. This information is particularly important in the case of disability insurance, for example.

policy number

The insurance number (VSNR) consists of letters and numbers and is an identifier for insured persons (statutory pension insurance). This is also known as the pension insurance number (RVNR) and was introduced in 1964. The pension contributions are billed using the insurance number. It is required for any work subject to social security contributions or social benefits, such as applying for unemployment benefits.

With the number of the insurance policy, this can be clearly assigned. The number is usually found at the top of the insurance certificate and in some cases on every page of the insurance policy.

The number is important so that you can state your insurance certificate when contacting the insurer by telephone or in writing. In addition, the number plays an important role if you lose your insurance policy or report a claim.

As a rule, an insurance policy number is limited to a maximum of 17 characters. Some insurers also use longer numbers. If you want to claim damage, you have to omit some characters for longer insurance numbers. This is the case, for example, if the damage is reported to the insurer electronically via portals such as schadenplus.de.

Structure of the insurance number

Every insurance company has its own system for assigning the insurance number. It usually consists of information on the type of insurance as well as a consecutive number and an assignment to a specific processing area.

contract application

An insurance certificate is not applied for directly. Rather, you receive the policy when you take out insurance. It does not matter whether you apply for the insurance contract online, through an insurance broker or with a local insurer.

The insurance policy is usually sent to you by post. Depending on the policy, it may take a different amount of time before you receive your policy. For example, it takes insurers longer to review an application for life insurance than an online application for car insurance. In the case of car insurance, the policy is usually sent within a few working days.

Different versions

The original life insurance policy can be printed in the form of a real certificate, which is created in a separate folder. Conventional policies for liability or car insurance usually consist of conventional paper printouts.

Lost Insurance Policy - Now What?

In principle, insurance policies should always be kept carefully. However, it can always happen that a policy is lost, be it when cleaning up or when moving.

Property insurance (household contents or liability): With conventional property insurance, the loss of the insurance policy is not really tragic. In this case, you can contact the insurer and request a replacement print. This will then be sent to you within a short time.

Personal insurance: In the case of a life insurance policy, a loss is more serious because, in theory, the policyholder is also the beneficiary of the insurance benefit. If you lose the policy, you are initially not entitled to the sum insured in the event of a claim, since you cannot prove that you have the insurance.

retention obligation

The limitation period for insurance benefits is three years. You should therefore keep your expired insurance policies for at least this period. You are then entitled to any subsequent claims.

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