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Insurance coverage during internships - what interns should consider

  • During one Internship insurance coverage must be guaranteed.
  • For this purpose, interns need e.g. a Health, liability and ideally one more Accident insurance. Further insurance may be recommended depending on the situation.
  • Which insurances are necessary and to what extent they are already covered Family insurance covered depends on the intern's situation and the type of internship.

What insurance do interns need?

Many college and university students must have different degrees during their studies Compulsory internships complete to successfully complete your degree. The internships serve to acquire professional knowledge, skills and experience and are intended to prepare students for life after their studies.

But internships are also common outside of studies: pupils usually get a taste of a job in the 9th grade, and for many it is a good idea to do an internship between school and study, work or training.

Important insurance for interns
  • Health insurance
  • Liability insurance
  • Accident insurance
  • Legal protection insurance as required

If the internship lasts long enough or is sufficiently paid, there may also be compulsory insurance in the Pension, long-term care and unemployment insurance to lead. However, the interns do not have to take care of this insurance themselves.

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Internships during your studies

Interim internship

The most common form of the mandatory internship is the so-called intermediate internship (you can get more information from the DAK), which is provided for by the study or examination regulations and within the semester takes place. The student is therefore enrolled at the relevant educational institution while completing the internship.

For this type of internship there is first of all no compulsory insurance as an employee in health, long-term care, pension and accident insurance. Neither the duration of the student internship nor the amount of remuneration play a role in this regard. Exception: In the pension insurance there is compulsory insurance for voluntary intermediate internships if the monthly remuneration exceeds 450 euros and the duration of the internship exceeds that of a short-term employment.

The student is still insured for health and accidents through the existing family insurance (GKV) if he has not yet reached the age of 25, unless he has taken the option of private insurance.

Pre- or post-internship for a fee

In addition to the intermediate internship, a pre-study or post-internship can also be provided for in the study and examination regulations. In the case of a pre- or post-internship (see the TK website for more information), the student is the student not enrolled at the college or university and has not yet started or already completed the course.

For the assessment under insurance law, it is crucial whether the intern receives remuneration or not. If the internship is paid for, the Compulsory insurance as an employee in health and long-term care insurance as well as in pension and unemployment insurance. However, family insurance may still apply here.

Voluntary internship after graduation

Many graduates decide to do an internship after completing their studies, either for orientation or as a start in a company. With the De-registration The compulsory insurance as a student ends if there was no private health insurance. In order to continue to have health insurance, the former student can initially take out voluntary statutory health insurance.

Family insurance up to the age of 25 only continues to exist if the insured person is younger than 23 years and does not have any gainful employment. If a volunteer intern completes his internship free of charge or if he is marginally employed, he is exempt from insurance as an employee and nothing changes with regard to the assessment under insurance law.

In the case of marginal employment, however, the employer is obliged to pay a flat-rate contribution to the health insurance company. If the remuneration exceeds 450 euros, the intern is subject to compulsory insurance as an employee. The compulsory contributions are paid half by the employer and half by the voluntary intern.

Special provision for free pre- / post-internships

However, if the corresponding internship takes place free of charge, the intern is not an employee subject to health and long-term care insurance. However, due to a special provision, membership in a statutory health insurance company is compulsory if no insurance coverage is guaranteed by an existing family insurance policy.

Basic compulsory insurance in unemployment and pension insurance

In the unemployment and pension insurance there is Compulsory insurance regardless of the payment of a fee. The intern has the status of a vocational trainee, whereby the contributions are to be paid by the employer alone.

Internships during or after school

School internships are initiated by schools and serve as an orientation aid for later career choices. A student internship is generally free of charge insurance freeeven if the employer pays pocket money as recognition. Students are about that Parents' family insurance Statutory health insurance or privately insured through a separate contract, provided that the parents are covered by private health insurance.
Students are also legal accident insured. The accident insurance only applies to accidents during work and commuting accidents. If the parents have also insured their child with private accident insurance, the insurance cover covers both professional and private life.

Unemployment and pension insurance

The same applies to unemployment insurance as to pension insurance 450 euro limit. Accordingly, a voluntary intern is exempt from insurance if it is part of a marginal job or an unpaid internship. In the case of earnings above the limit, the insurance obligation applies as an employee and the amounts are divided between the employee and the employer.

Overview: Which insurance for which type of internship?

ArtHealth insuranceAccident insuranceLiability insurance
Interim internshipup to 25 years of age through family insurance (GKV), or through private health insurance, if you earn more than 405 euros, family insurance cover expires and the intern has to take out self-insurancePrivate accident insurance / statutory accident insurance for compulsory internshipthrough parental liability insurance or your own liability insurance
Pre- or post-internship with remunerationup to 25 years of age through family insurance (GKV), or through private health insurance, from the age of 25 the intern must insure himself through a statutory health insurance company, the compulsory contribution depends on whether it is a compulsory internship and how high the remuneration is, partially or completely taken over by the employerPrivate accident insurancethrough parental liability insurance or your own liability insurance
Pre- or post-internship free of chargeup to 25 years of age through family insurance (GKV), or through private health insurance, from the age of 25 the intern must insure himself through a statutory health insurance company, the employer pays a lump sum.Private accident insurancethrough parental liability insurance or your own liability insurance
voluntary internship after graduation free of chargethrough a statutory health insurance, the employer pays a lump sumPrivate accident insurance / statutory accident insurancethrough parental liability insurance or your own liability insurance
voluntary internship after graduation with remunerationThrough a statutory health insurance company, the employer pays a flat-rate contribution of up to 450 euros; if the earnings exceed this, the compulsory contribution is paid proportionally by the employer and the employeePrivate accident insurancethrough parental liability insurance or your own liability insurance
Student internshipthrough the family insurance (GKV) of the parents, or through the private health insurancePrivate accident insurance / statutory accident insurancethrough parental liability insurance
Internship after leaving schoolthrough family insurance / private health insurance (exception: long-term employment with pay over € 450 per month)Private accident insurancethrough parental liability insurance (with minimal / no remuneration) or your own liability insurance
Internship abroadthrough the GKV or PKV, if necessary through an additional foreign health insurancePrivate accident insurancethrough parental liability insurance or your own liability insurance

When is the insurance of the parents or the statutory insurance sufficient?

Those who do an internship need some insurance. Younger interns in particular who still live with their parents can, however, lean back in many cases as the Insurance coverage for your family extends to them too.

Health insurance

About your parents Family insurance in the GKV are children who

  • are under 25
  • have not yet completed their first degree (bachelor's or bachelor's degree and the subsequent master's)
  • do not yet have their own income above the marginal earnings threshold

Private patients have their own policies right from the start or, up to a certain age, have an insurance that is linked to that of their parents.

Accident insurance

Insurance cover through family accident insurance usually only covers children up to the age of 18. Students therefore need their own accident insurance. The statutory accident insurance guarantees interns a certain amount of insurance coverage, but only within narrow limits: it must be an unpaid internship or a compulsory internship at the school or university. Voluntary internships abroad are not insured, even if they are completed at German companies. The protection only applies at the workplace or on the direct route to it. In order to close insurance gaps, an additional one is recommended private accident insurance.

Additional coverage for an internship abroad

For interns who want to do their internship abroad, it is advisable to have a additional private foreign health insurance to be adequately protected in the event of illness and to avoid immense costs. In principle, however, the interns are still insured through GKV or PKV abroad. A private accident insurance is also recommended, as the insurance cover applies worldwide. If you want to get all-round coverage as an intern abroad, you have the option of taking out a complete period abroad insurance, which includes travel and accident insurance as well as liability insurance for your stay abroad.
Liability coverage worldwide
If you take out liability insurance as a student, you should make sure that the insurance cover applies worldwide. Especially if an internship or semester abroad is planned.

Liability insurance

About their parents Children are usually covered by liability insurance who

  • are not married
  • still have their main residence with their parents
  • are in their first degree / first training / a voluntary ecological or social year

Check your insurance records as the conditions here vary from insurer to insurer.

Liability insurance: a must for students

In principle, every student should take out private liability insurance if this is no longer protected by parental insurance. Many student liability insurance policies include coverage that covers the time of the internship.

In most cases, however, certain ones apply Special regulations as well as restrictions, for example with regard to the duration of the internship and the location where the damage occurred. In addition, the companies often also limit the sum insured. Student legal protection insurance is less important, but can come in handy in the event of a legal dispute with the employer.

Legal protection insurance

Students and trainees

  • under 15
  • without own income
  • registered with the parents
  • and are unmarried

can about this free be insured in the legal protection insurance in the family tariff. Legal protection insurance is far less important during the internship than health or liability insurance, but it can be helpful in the event of a dispute with the employer.

Example case of the intern Jessica Lutschak from Berlin

First of all, introduce yourself briefly: What's your name? How old are you? And where do you come from?

Jessica Lutschak: My name is Jessica Lutschak and I am 24 years old. I recently moved to Berlin, originally from Rostock.

How long have you been working at Urlaubsheld and in what position?

Jessica Lutschak: I have been working as a volunteer intern at Urlaubsheld since October 2015. Before that, I was a student and did my Masters in German Studies.

Is it a paid or unpaid internship?

Jessica Lutschak: The internship is remunerated.

Have you ever thought about your insurance coverage before the internship?

Jessica Lutschak: I dealt with the topic of health insurance, more or less inevitably, even before my internship. Even during my studies, I kept getting mail from my health insurance company that wanted to know what I would do after my studies. When I knew I was going to do an internship, it was difficult for me to find the information I needed. I just knew that after graduation I would no longer be covered by family insurance, but not how much I would have to pay. Of course, I also thought about switching providers, but in the end decided against it.

Do you think that you are adequately insured? Which insurances do you have or which ones do you know about?

Jessica Lutschak: Basically, I do think that I am adequately insured. To be honest, I have not yet taken care of home contents insurance because I live in a shared apartment to sublet and I don't really know what my insurance cover looks like in this case. I also know that there is also car insurance and additional dental insurance. But I don't have a car and I don't think dental insurance is necessary.

Insurance broker Alexander Vorgerd from Since Jessica lives in a shared apartment, I recommend that she take out household contents insurance for all flat share members, as a single “room insurance” only applies to the corresponding room and not to the entire apartment. In addition, she should definitely take out liability insurance and disability insurance, as both are among the elementary insurance policies that a young person should have. Rather, it is better to forego occupational disability insurance, but in principle everyone should have liability insurance. This usually costs no more than 50 euros a year.


Interns need comprehensive insurance coverage