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Children incapable of tort in liability insurance

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Include children who are incapable of tort in liability insurance

It is usually the case that the person who caused the damage also has to pay for the damage that has occurred (BGB § 823). That’s why one private liability insurance one of the main insurance companies in Germany. In the worst case, a single loss can threaten your financial existence. And children in particular can quickly cause damage when they play too much.

However, with children it also depends on whether they already have able to assess their actions. Was the child even aware that his actions could cause damage to another person/thing?

Children under the age of 7 are considered incapable of committing a crime

In Germany, the law stipulates that Children under 7 years old can’t assess this yet and therefore they be considered incompetent. For example, if your 5-year-old son drops a friend’s mobile phone on the floor while you are there, the private liability insurance without the children incapable of tort module does not have to pay for possible damage.

In the event of damage in (road) traffic this limit is even raised up to 10 years (BGB § 828).

Children who are still legally incapable of committing a crime are included in many liability insurance policies (especially in older tariffs). not insured. If there is damage here, the liability insurer will reject it directly.

Why is that?

Well, if your child is still legally incapacitated and then causes harm to another person, they are not liable and you as a parent (if you have your duty of care not violated have – BGB § 832), neither.

Parents are only liable if the duty of supervision has been violated

Was, however, by the parents at the moment of the damage breach of duty of carethen the child is not liable, but the parents and the liability insurance must pay.

Supreme Court judgment

When the duty of supervision has been breached is decided on a case-by-case basis. However, as a parent, you can register on BGH judgment Az. VI ZR 51/08 from 24.03.2009 according to which a person responsible for supervision must ensure that a child aged 5½ years on a playground is checked at regular intervals of no more than 30 minutes. In principle, the level of supervision required for children depends on their age, idiosyncrasy and character. Referring to the cell phone example above, if the child is left unsupervised for more than 30 minutes, the parents are likely to be liable.

In summary, this means that if your child, who is still under the age of 7 or 10, causes damage and you as the parent have not breached your duty of care, the Injured party “seats” on the damage causedsince there is no legal liability.

Law vs. Morality

So legally nobody can do anything to you. Morally speaking, things look a little different. For example, if your child damages someone else’s property, then as a parent you naturally want to take responsibility for the matter.

At first you probably think that damage to your child is also covered by your liability insurance. This is especially tricky when the Damage done to good friends and you do not want to burden the friendly relationship because of this incident.

You either pay for the damage out of your own pocket or – and this is the absolutely more recommendable option – you have made sure with your liability insurance that children who are incapable of committing a crime are also insured.

Such a tariff is for all parents with children under 7 or 10 years of age absolutely recommendable.

To what extent are damages caused by children who are incompetent to commit a crime also insured?

It remains to be clarified to what extent damage caused by children who are incompetent to commit a crime is also insured.

Here the range goes from 10,000 euros to the amount of coverage for property damage and personal injury. In some cases, there are also tariffs that pay up to 10,000 euros in the case of property damage and up to the amount of the insured sum in the case of personal injury. Experts recommend damage caused by children incapacitated up to at least 30,000 euros to insure. However, the price differences here are often small, so that you can definitely choose a tariff with reimbursement in the amount of the coverage for property damage and personal injury.

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