The field of insurance law can be roughly divided into insurance contract law, insurance supervision law and insurance intermediary law.
Insurance Contract Law
Within insurance contract law, i.e., the law governing the various classes of insurance, a distinction is made between indemnity insurance, such as liability insurance or legal expenses insurance, and aggregate insurance, such as term life insurance or daily sickness benefits insurance. Furthermore, one also differentiates between personal and property insurance. Personal insurance includes, for example, life, health and occupational disability insurance, while property insurance includes lines such as motor vehicle own-damage, luggage or transport insurance.
The legal regulations of insurance contract law can be found in the German Insurance Contract Act (VVG) as well as in the German Civil Code (BGB). In addition, there are the individual insurance contracts together with the associated insurance conditions.
Insurance supervision law deals with all issues relating to the licensing, i.e. granting of permission to conduct business, and supervision of insurance companies by the competent supervisory authorities, the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin), and the federal states.
Insurance supervision is essentially carried out on the legal basis of the Insurance Supervision Act (VAG).
The term insurance intermediary is understood by the law (§ 59 VVG) to mean the insurance agent, the insurance broker and the insurance advisor.
Pursuant to Section 59 (2) VVG, an insurance agent is anyone who is entrusted by an insurer or an insurance agent to broker or conclude insurance contracts on a professional basis. An insurance broker, on the other hand, is a person who professionally arranges or concludes insurance contracts for the principal without being entrusted to do so by an insurer or an insurance agent (Section 59 (3) VVG).
The insurance advisor, on the other hand, advises third parties on a professional basis on the agreement, amendment or review of insurance contracts or on the out-of-court assertion of claims arising from insurance contracts without receiving an economic advantage from an insurer or being dependent on it in any other way (Section 59 (4) VVG).
Within the aforementioned areas of insurance law, there are in turn special products for individual client groups, such as professional liability insurance for the liberal professions, such as those that exist for doctors, lawyers, architects and insurance agents and are in some cases even mandatory (compulsory insurance), or business liability and business interruption insurance, D&O insurance and insurance for supplier credits, forwarding and product liability insurance against specific commercial risks for companies.
We advise and represent private, professional and commercial policyholders nationwide in the enforcement of their justified claims arising from their individual insurance contract relationships against insurance companies. Our advice ranges from the extrajudicial assertion of contractual and legal claims against insurance companies to arbitration proceedings (e.g. before the insurance ombudsman) and the representation of interests in court throughout Germany.
Overlaps with other Areas of Law
Questions of insurance law often overlap with other areas of law, e.g. in the field of employment law in the drafting of employment contracts, the establishment and termination of employment relationships or in questions of company pension schemes. In the area of employment contract law, questions of professional liability and D&O insurance may also arise. In the area of insurance intermediary law, we advise and represent our clients in matters concerning the assertion of commission claims, the enforcement of justified book statement claims and compensation claims, as well as in the drafting, conclusion and termination of insurance intermediary relationships.
Medical Liability Law
In the area of medical malpractice law, we advise and represent injured parties in asserting their justified liability claims against physicians, hospitals and their professional liability insurers, as well as physicians, hospitals and insurance companies in defending against unjustified claims by allegedly injured patients. Here, we see our insurance law advice and representation as an indispensable complement to our competencies in the field of medical law, which have been proven by the corresponding specialist attorneyships.
Real Estate Business Law
In the area of real estate business law, we also advise and represent our clients nationwide in all insurance law matters, such as liability law issues, e.g. planner’s liability, planner’s liability and damage liability in construction. Furthermore, this again includes insurance contract matters, such as the insurance of real estate with damage and property insurance and the insurance of construction projects and the parties involved in the construction project.