Similar to other branches of social insurance, statutory accident insurance is mandatory. Therefore, every entrepreneur is obligated to register their business with the relevant statutory accident insurance carrier. This should be done within one week of the company's opening, especially for new businesses.
Through their contribution payments, employers transfer liability to the employers' liability insurance association (Berufsgenossenschaft). This protects entrepreneurs from the consequential costs of accidents involving their employees and the associated economic risks.
Exempt from compulsory insurance are only self-employed doctors, dentists, veterinarians, psychotherapists, psychological psychotherapists, child and adolescent psychotherapists, alternative practitioners, and pharmacists. On request, entrepreneurs of agricultural enterprises up to a size of 0.25 hectares (excluding special crops) can also be exempted. However, even in these cases, it is advisable to consider voluntary accident insurance for the reasons mentioned above.
The German Social Code VII (SGB VII) contains all legal regulations regarding mandatory and voluntary accident insurance, including:
- Statements regarding the insured group (mandatory or voluntary coverage)
- Procedures, determinations, and benefits in the event of an insurance case
- Calculation bases for insurance contributions and their determination
- Liability of companies or limitation of liability in the event of an insurance case
- Carriers of statutory accident insurance with statements on their respective responsibilities
The German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV) offers a Joint Online Service of employers' liability insurance associations and accident insurance institutions. Here, (potential) entrepreneurs can register a new business, report a workplace or commuting accident, or submit cost receipts for reimbursement if an insurance case is already being processed in statutory accident insurance.
To find out which accident insurance carrier is responsible for the business, one can inquire through the hotline of the Statutory Accident Insurance at the toll-free number 0800 6050404 or via email at email@example.com. Information is also available from Chambers of Industry and Commerce (IHK) and Chambers of Crafts (HWK).
UV Annual Report Companies are required to annually report the wages earned by their employees, the number of employees, and the hours worked to the relevant employers' liability insurance association or accident insurance institution. The UV annual report must be submitted by February 16th of the following year.
Important: Don't Forget Your Own Accident Insurance! With the start of self-employment, entrepreneurs, co-entrepreneurs, and non-mandatory insured spouses of sole proprietors are no longer automatically insured against the consequences of work accidents and occupational diseases. They can and should voluntarily insure themselves. Without accident insurance, potential loss of earnings, medical rehabilitation, and other cost factors can quickly become an existential problem in the event of an accident.
Detailed information on accident insurance for entrepreneurs can be found, among other sources, in our GründerNews dated July 20, 2023.