Insurances for Doctoral Students

Especially, if you are not in an employment relationship subject to social insurance contributions, you should take care of your insurance coverage during your doctorate at an early stage.

In the following, we have compiled information on the most important insurances for you:

Health insurance

According to section 5 of the German Social Code (Sozialgesetzbuch), health insurance is mandatory for all persons living in Germany. Consequently, when you take up your studies at a German university, you must be included in compulsory insurance (“studentische Pflichtversicherung”) by a statutory health insurance provider (GKV) of your choice unless you take out private health insurance. However, this does not apply to persons enrolled as doctoral students, since, according to a decision of the Federal Social Court, doctoral programs do not count as academic education. Thus, as a doctoral student, you do not have the right to be included in student health insurance of a statutory health insurance provider, which costs less than standard health insurance. We suggest: Inform your health insurance provider about your plans to pursue a doctoral program as soon as possible and ask if your insurance rates will change once you are enrolled as a doctoral student. 

If you are an academic staff member at the University of Mannheim or work in another position subject to social security contributions, this is where you pay your health insurance contributions.

Further information on the topic:

Federal Ministry of Health: Fees and insurance rates

Academics guidebook: Health insurance for academics

Liability insurance

Even though it is not mandatory in Germany, it is useful to have liability insurance. Liability insurance covers damage to other persons and objects caused through one’s own fault. Doctoral students enrolled at the university have limited liability insurance (“begrenzte Haftpflichtversicherung”) through the Studierendenwerk, provided that they are not employed at the university. Academic staff members have liability insurance through the university (within the immediate reach of the university).

Accident insurance

Accident insurance covers all costs resulting from accidents (medical care, ambulance service as well as follow-up costs such as compensation for pain and suffering, attendance and transitional allowance). All employees and students of the University of Mannheim have statutory accident insurance covering the costs resulting from accidents that happen on their way to work and back home as well as at the work place. However, doctoral students who are not enrolled or employed at the university are subject to an exemption as they have only limited insurance coverage. Their insurance does not cover accidents on their way to the university and back home as well as those happening during university sports courses.